IP MAN: THE FINAL FIGHT
Directed by Herman Yau
Opening Night Film, 2013 Hong Kong International Film Festival
The adventures of Bruce Lee’s most famous teacher continue in the fifth Ip Man movie since Wilson Yip’s blockbuster Ip Man (SDAFF ’09). As with his 2010 film The Legend is Born: Ip Man, Herman Yau makes his latest, THE FINAL FIGHT, focus on the man and his surroundings. In the former, we see a young Ip Man growing up in rural Foshan. This time we’re in Hong Kong in the 1950s, with screen legend Anthony Wong as the titular hero in his later years.
Ip Man spends his time in the city teaching Wing Chun, his special brand of kung fu, while his students attract trouble on a daily basis. Unsuccessfully avoiding violence, Ip Man inevitably unleashes his talent for punishing evil-doers, especially when he discovers that his wife (Anita Yuen) cannot return to Hong Kong due to political turmoil. A budding romance between our hero and singer Jenny (Zhou Chuchu) conveniently breaks up the action as Ip Man battles an array of local thugs, rival-school master Chung Ng (Eric Tsang), and finally the scar-faced gangster, Dragon (Timmy Hung).
Released this year alongside another Ip Man story, Wong Kar-wai’s luscious The Grandmaster, THE FINAL FIGHT stands apart as a kung-fu history lesson authenticated by British-Chinese conflict, union strikes, and opium addiction. Ip Man, always the renaissance hero, is a teacher, a lover, a peacemaker, and of course one bad-ass kung-fu fighting machine. –Otto Lai
Akiko Izumitani / USA / 2013 / 2 minsIs there anything more romantic than butt kicking?
Precedes: IP MAN: THE FINAL FIGHT