Let me be honest about two things: I’ve only seen a few kung-fu movies in my life, and I loved every part of this clean version of the legendary Master Wing Chun in all three movies (I haven’t seen the third one yet, but I think I’ll like it just as much), and this movie is the best of all. The latter seems to be the most colourful, also in terms of production design.
In every kung-fu film there seem to be many references among critics from all over the world to know who is the best, who has served the best combat choreography in the film, who has performed best, but there are also, so to speak, endless heroes who have allowed the flexibility of the human condition against the agility of every muscle, which every martial artist is able to remember and extract over and over again.
Of course, martial arts are no longer limited to Asian comedy or Chinese cinema alone. There are British and American colleagues who seem to have the humility and ability to dance a little in the air against the enemy of what kung fu has successfully achieved all over the world: Domination.
Let’s get back to the second point: I really liked the fact that this last Ip-Man collaboration between Wilson Ip and Donny Ian, choreographically speaking, was so easy. They have Ian, who at 56 can represent an aging Yip Man, and yet he can fight like he did twelve years ago in Foshan. In 2008 the first film was released as a relief, perhaps thanks to the idea of Yip and Ian (who also studies at Wing Chun, among the many martial arts he learned during his career), where we see a humble martial arts master whose main goal in life is to teach martial arts. Originally, he was presented as wealthy as he actually came from a wealthy family. And from there we can see his journey, together with a short history lesson about how the courage of the Japanese will later give way to their small town, a coal-rich but apathetic town, where traitors and the weak meet. Fortunately for Yip Man, he is here to prove that there is more to life than defeating ordinary mortals, but that he is a symbol of the national pride of their city. Then we move on to the second film, which tells the story of how he and his family, despite their passion to keep their martial arts business going, will solve one problem after another. Thirdly, I think he has yet to prove the value of Wing Chun’s existence in Hong Kong, which is under British rule.
The same would have happened in the finals, but this time we see Ip Man in the twilight of his life, his wife died in the previous film, and he learns here that he was also diagnosed with cancer (which would have killed him in 1972). The difficult times will lead him to send his son to a decent school and a decent life in America, even if his son protests to follow in his son’s footsteps in the family business. But in the late 1960s, martial arts, like our farmers here, were considered a commodity for the rich because of the rapid changes in industrialism. For some reason we only see this son, but maybe we can save him for another Ip Man spin-off. He accepts an invitation from his former student Bruce Lee to participate in a martial arts event in the United States, which he initially rejects, but under the circumstances he accepts, hoping to use the link to find a better school for his son.
He meets a Americanized Chinese man who introduces him to the director of the Chinese charity Wang Zong-Hua (played devastatingly by Wei Yue), who tells him that they were upset by Li’s decision to open his school to American students. Ip Man agrees with Lee, which makes his son’s chances of getting an appropriate application even greater, as most schools in San Francisco require a CBA transfer before accepting a Chinese student.
This chance encounter brings Yip Man de Van closer together again as he saves his daughter Yonah from the imitators played on T by the script of a tasteless English dialogue between Grace Englert and the company. Soon the army will be in action, with Wing Chun, via former F4 member Vanessa Wu, in the role of Hartman, a naval officer who tries to include Karate Kung Fu in martial arts training alongside the existing Karate Kung Fu. While neither principle requires violence, for whatever reason, a simple bell and a reminder that the Japanese were villains in the first film, this time they end up with a mixed Japanese and some racist commanders in the form of Scott Adkins, a famous British martial artist who finally gets the role that allows him to relive his skills and at the same time educate Yip Man villains, who may win this time. He is broad and angry, but fights as if he was born to bring Ian and Wu (literally) to their knees with style and bravery.
Edmond Wong’s scenario is both poetic and poetic and gives Danny Chang Kwok-Kwan more relief than that of his eponymous Bruce Lee. The neon fight scene in the alley shows a particularly bright moment in the lives of Lee and Ip Man, where they both struggle to place their individuality in the world while at the same time keeping their privacy above water. The battle during the Chinese festival would be choreographically one of the most exciting aspects of this film.
In fact, all of Ip Man’s films have served the best of what they want to be – a charming hero with a simple plot, able to resist conquest and hooliganism, but unable to fully prove that he is the biggest hooligan, not only of the world, but of those who tried to close Hong Kong and even the world with a disease that should not have spread if only they could have listened to the CBA. Perhaps Ip Man’s journey, as shown in the four films, should have been seen with the greatest respect for the people he serves, to show them that they benefit from it.