[IP MAN 4: THE FINALE screens Saturday March 14th at 9:40 pm at the Cleveland Cinematheque.]
Review by Bob Ignizio
As the title proclaims, IP MAN 4: THE FINALE brings to a conclusion the series of films based (very loosely) on the life of Chinese martial arts master Ip Man. Like all its predecessors, it stars Donnie Yen in the title role and was directed by Wilson Yip, with Edmond Wong and Chain Tai Lee once again serving as screenwriters, this time in collaboration with Dana Fukazawa and Jil Leung Lai Yin.
Set in 1964, for his final adventure in the series Ip (Yen) travels to San Francisco’s Chinatown. There he hopes to find a new school for his son Ip Ching (Jim Liu), who has been kicked out of school in Hong Kong for fighting. Ip also checks in on his former student Bruce Lee (Danny Chan), who has opened a martial arts school that teaches Wing Chun style kung fu to anyone, regardless of race. This doesn’t sit well with the Chinese Benevolent Association, headed by Wan Zong-hua (Wu Yue). Wing and his fellow board members are adamant that Chinese martial arts should only be taught to Chinese people.