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Review Ip Man a.k.a. Yip Man 4 (2019): A bit too fantastical and political but I enjoyed it!

genre: martial arts, action, drama







The third part already was a good conclusion to the franchise. But apparently one more film was needed. I don't know about the propaganda and the blatant disregard for any historical reality and subtlety. Although wasn't that also present in the earlier parts? Still like many martial arts flicks the story and characterization comes second to the action. And naturally that was as solid as one could expect from masters Yuen Woo-ping and Donnie Yen.

All the Yip Man films managed to offer an emotional component next to the wonderful martial arts. This one is no different. But it's definitely somewhat weaker and artificial. That being said it was super effective. I was happy to find out that Bruce Lee was featured more prominently. Still not to the extent I would have liked to see. How did they train? What did Bruce learn from Yip Man exactly? What was their relationship like? Even if the answers to these questions were fictional I would not have minded Drunken Master / Karate Kid kind of moments between them. Actually that was something I was expecting when the first film hit. Until I realized they were trying to turn him into a national hero. Something I applauded but had taken with a grain of salt since this simply is not true. But because of it all the movies packed a punch just as this one. 

Although this time around I found the villains to be a little boring. Scott Adkins usually is made for these roles. Only this time his character is super flat. It's also a bit stupid to have the American Marines be THE representatives of Japanese Karate but at the same time spout derogatory insults towards the Chinese people in this film.  Chris Collins who I recognized from Saat po long: Taam long a.k.a. Paradox was slightly better but mostly annoying. I get that they were asked to exaggerate their roles but come on couldn't they have given their characters a little more depth? Maybe not be a dick all the time? Perhaps they can be blamed for this and is this director Wilon's Yip fault. 

In any case this fourth and last part  had me emotionally invested from start to finish despite it's many flaws.




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