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View All Ip Man: The Final Fight News
All Critics (18)
| Top Critics (9)
| Fresh (12)
| Rotten (6)
This is a rare case where, if a film had been livelier and less traditional and "respectful," its lead performance might have seemed less special.
Seriously, if not always elegantly, the film portrays the great Ip Man as someone trying to survive, which is to say just as often a victim as a victor.
Soap opera, set-bound and unexceptionally written and directed.
The naturalism of Wong's performance is undercut ... by Yau's use of phony-looking sets, sterile CGI and flashy aerial shots.
The overall sense is of a rushed, simplistic installment in a well-worn biography franchise.
The Final Fight plays out like a collection of greatest-hits vignettes barely connected to one another.
With a political edge that recalls some of the work of Ip Man's most famous pupil, the film is nevertheless at its strongest as a character study.
It's admirable that Ip Man: The Final Fight takes a different approach to the character than the other Ip Man films out there, but it lacks the excitement that made Ip Man and Ip Man 2 so entertaining.
More a frequently elegant drama than an outright action movie.
Ip Man was a notable martial arts instructor, he was not a saint. Perhaps someday, somebody will make an accurate film about the man. Meanwhile, we have these kung fu pseudo-biopics to entertain us.
Cut off from his home and family in China, martial-arts teacher Ip Man tries to adapt to life in Hong Kong. Intriguing if reverential account of an icon's final years.
The action choreography eschews the slow-motion, wire-assisted grace of Yuen Woo Ping's in "The Grandmaster," but does a solid job of crisply and clearly showcasing a few epic brawls.
The last time Herman Yau got to tell Ip Man story we received "The Legend Is Born: Ip Man" which as of to date is the least liked of the Martial Art films based around the fame Wing Chun grandmaster. Now director Yau got another chance with "Ip Man: The Final Fight" while an improvement over his previous Ip Man outing it still fails to say anything significant coming of a basic outline of a man's life.
Ip Man: The Final Fight chronicles the life of Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man in postwar Hong Kong. The plot generalized 18 years of Ip Man life into an hour and forty minute long film meaning strong story content will be in short supply. This is the main issue with the script are it many subplots becoming huge and distorted. It looses focus on exactly whose story to tell as supporting characters at times become our focus. The supporting character aren't developed enough (neither are their arcs for that matter) for us to care about switching back to Ip Man incase it finds itself at a dead end. Now the idea of the influence and interaction Ip Man had with his students if written better and the sole focus would have made a good film in itself. Instead here it's another underdeveloped idea. The events it chooses to explore are also glossed over. At one point it brings up Ip Man possible opium habits, but never explores his addiction. Another being the impact of the death of wife being quickly analyzed and never mentioned again. Ip Man personal experiences are brought up than disappear. The same goes with it glossing over significant events in China during the 1950s and 1960s. It loosely touches upon the 1956 Hong Kong riot and does not bother to even mention the Chinese Civil War. Without a focus or a contained timeline to explore it we an outline instead of a completed script.
Anthony Wong plays an aging Ip Man was a natural fit for the part. He brings a different take on the role emoting more emotions and is convincing in his fight scenes never coming off as an actor replicating Wing Chun. The supporting cast while decent doesn't have a stand out among the group. The fight scenes provide enough entertainment to forgive the standard choreography. Most of the fights required the actors (if on the good side) to stay in place while their opponent comes in with an attack for them to counter. The only time it breaks away from this pattern is in the final fight scene easily being the best in the film. It's fluid allowing the actors freedom to move around the set and the choreography is creative enough with it surroundings for a satisfying finale. Sadly these fight scenes don't last long, but enough energy in them to keep you awake. As for the actor who plays Bruce Lee he comes off as a prototypical rich jerk.
Ip Man: The Final Fight could be best described as wasted material. The script had potential to touch upon issues that other Ip Man films ignores, but instead glosses over them. The fight scenes while decently choreographed and fluid last to shortly to satisfy those looking for action. For anyone interested in learning about Ip Man final years this film will make a decent outline just don't expect it to cover anything specific all that well.
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