IP MAN: THE FINAL FIGHT Review
Ip Man: The Final Fight is arriving on VOD on August 20 and in select theaters September 20th. Herman Yau (All’s Well Ends Well, Turning Point 2) directs Anthony Wong, Eric Tsang, and Gillian Chung in the third film in the Ip Man trilogy. If you are a fan of martial arts, then you will love Ip Man: The Final Fight.
Erica Lee penned the screenplay that tells the story of Ip Man’s final fight for honor and to preserve human life. The film takes place in postwar Hong Kong, and follows the legendary Wing Chun grandmaster is faced with simple challenges from rival kung fu styles that soon transcend into the dark and dangerous underworld of the Triads. Ip Man must fight one more time to protect those he cares about and to defend his honor.
Donny Yen played Ip Man in the first two films. Wong does well as the grandmaster, but I would have rather seen Yen in makeup to make him look older. Regardless the Ip Man films do justice to telling the story of such as legendary man. The character of Ip Man (traditional name Yip) was based on a Chinese martial artist. He had several students who later became martial arts teachers in their own right, including Bruce Lee.
The fight scenes are nothing short of epic in Ip Man: The Final Fight. It is almost like watching aerial ballet at times. The quick motions of Wing Chun are well represented in the film. The pacing at the beginning and between fight scenes is rather slow for my liking, and from past Ip Man films.
The big battle scenes are enjoyable, but where the Ip Man films shine is in the one-on-one fight sequences. Especially the fight scenes between the grandmaster and the master of a rival kung fu school. I also love pole battles. It is hard enough for me to imagine fighting on the ground, let alone while standing on poles. The final battle takes place during a typhoon and is pure epic.
Period films have always been a favorite of mine, primarily because of the cool costuming. Since this film takes place in Postwar China, the costumes are appropriate for the time. The cinematography by Kwong-hung Chan is great, and gives the aged affect to make it look like the period. The original music by Chun Hung Mak adds to the overall feel of the film. Each of these elements adds up for an impressive production value for the film.
I was sent a screener of the film to review before it arrived on VOD and in theaters from Well Go. First let me say thank you to them for sending copy. With that out of the way I have one massive gripe. It is a bit hard to review a film that has Well Go in white transparent lettering through the whole film. In addition to that “sample” is in the top left corner also in white. Since I am not fluent in Chinese, I have to read the subtitles (which are necessary for the story) and contend with the sample lettering.
The good outweigh the bad with Ip Man: The Final Fight. I recommend you watch the film on VOD starting August 20. If you are in New York or LA see it in theaters since it will look great on the big screen.