Fantasia 2019 Film Review: “Master Z: Ip Man Legacy” (2018) ★★★★★

© Courtesy of WellGo USA

Nothing can be better than films with a decent storyline combined with excellent martial arts which our eyes will never fail to be amazed with. After seeing all five versions of Hong Kong’s IP Man installments, I think perhaps the latest one is the most epic, exciting journey I could not believe I lived for so long before witnessing such exquisite art.

After being defeated by Ip Man, Cheunh Tin Chi (Jin Zhang) opens up a small grocery store while his side job is of a hired fighter against bad guys. Realizing that it’s time to enjoy a peaceful life with his son. However, during the delivery of purchased items to a client, Tin Chi gets into a fight with a foreigner, Kit, who happens to be a part of organized crime in Hong Kong. Being embarrassed about getting defeated by a common man, the man turns against Tin Chi having no idea that he is one of the best in martial arts around.

In the meantime, we meet Tso Ngan Kwan (Michelle Yeoh), Kit’s elder sister, who wants to distance herself from organized crime and begin life as a law obedient citizen. As she wants to concentrate on earning money in a legal way, her brother, on the other hand, disagrees with that and still, behind her back, plots revenge against Tin Chi. It all starts however with Nana (Chrissie Chau), who owed money to Kit for the opium he sold her. After beating her up severely, Kit asks Nana to get money as soon as possible, otherwise, he threatens to sell her to a brothel. After calling her close friend, Julia, her boyfriend Fu’s (Xing Yu) sister, the woman comes to rescue her. But when Kit demands more money, and the fight between Julia and Tin’s gang members begins, this is when our hero Tin Chi stands by the women rescuing them from the ruthless man who was willing to kill them.

The biggest surprise of Master Z: IP Man Legacy is that apart from its excellent storyline is the stellar cast, which includes names such as Michelle Yeoh, Jin Zhang, Tony Jaa, Dave Bautista, Kevin Cheng, Yan Liu, and Xin Yu, who has already appeared in a previous version of IP Man. Whether it’s choreography, fighting scenes, and the technique used in martial arts, the entire film is a complete joy to watch. Apart from the great performances delivered, literally by the entire cast, the film shines because of its intelligence and its approach, beating all its predecessors and leaving no chances even for a new one, if there are any, to match the current sequel of IP Man.

In the end, the screenplay by Edmond Wong and Tai-lee Chan and the film directed by Woo-Ping Yuen, Master Z: Ip Man Legacy is an entertaining piece only Hong Kong could deliver. The entire film is filled with intelligent action scenes, with beautiful moves, of course, nobody would like to be around to catch. Everything was well orchestrated, showing the spirit of one man that, no matter how hard he tries to distance himself from the world of martial arts, it still goes after him like a body without a soul, looking forward to reuniting with the person to feel once again – alive.

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