Ip Man 4: The Finale: Movie Review

It's been ages since we've experienced a hardcore kungfu film. "Ip Man 4: The Finale" proves that we should have appreciated this genre more in recent years. The film features a well-balanced mix of action and drama we never anticipated to experience from the get-go.
Ip Man (Donnie Yen) has just found out that he has cancer but the bad news doesn't stop there as his son has just been kicked out of school. Timely, Ip Man gets invited by his student Bruce Lee to America. There he decides to look for a school for his son while also having a check-up for his sickness at the same time. But when he arrives in the United States, he finds out that all is not well in the land of plenty. Now he must face foes from his own race and those who are racist not only against the Chinese but Kung Fu.
There's just something about Kung Fu movies that make us feel awesome when seeing one. It's probably the over-the-top and silly theatrics that is distinctly of the genre that mixes reality and fantasy seamlessly. And "Ip Man 4: The Finale" had a lot of it. May it be "Kung Fu vs. Kung Fu" or "Kung Fu vs. Karate", the film doesn't disappoint with its fight choreography. The action sequences were shot impressively as each punch, kick, and acrobatic move was shot with so much clarity and crispness that we wonder why motion blur and jittery camera movements even became a thing in action. If we could judge the film on its fights alone, it gets a perfect score. It was fast, well-paced, and ultimately efficient in bringing in the fun in regular doses. On the acting front, Donnie Yen was impressive as Ip Man - not only during his fight sequences - but also on building his character's back story as a terminally ill master and a struggling father to a rebellious son. His performance was nuanced and even moving to the point that there was one particular scene that even made us shed a tear. We cannot deny though that the supporting cast, particularly Wu Yue and Scott Adkins, had stellar performances as well. Where the film takes a stumble were particularly on its story and its script. The main plot itself was acceptable. It was basic, simple, and had a surprising dramatic core. But the over-patriotic overtones on Kung Fu and Chinese superiority was too much perhaps to a fault in our opinion. Overall though, the finale for Donnie Yen's rendition on Ip Man has a well-fitting end. While we've never seen the previous films in the series, this fourth film is still a compelling and complete package all on its own.
Rating: 4 reels

Why you should watch it:
- awesome fight sequences with crisp visuals
- had a dramatic flair that caught us off guard

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the patriotism feels a little bit too much at times
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