Moderator / Reviewer
- Apr 4, 2017
My AV System
- Preamp, Processor or Receiver
- Yamaha TRS-7850 Atmos Receiver
- Other Amp
- Peavy IPR 3000 for subs
- Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
- Sony ubx800 4K UHD Player
- Front Speakers
- Cheap Thrills Mains
- Center Channel Speaker
- Cheap Thrills Center
- Surround Speakers
- Volt 10 Surrounds
- Surround Back Speakers
- Volt 10 Reach Surrounds
- Rear Height Speakers
- Volt 6 Overheads
- 2x Marty subs (full size with SI 18's)
- Video Display Device
- JVC RS-46 Projector
- Draper Cineperm M1300 119 inch Static Screen
As a life long fanatic and practitioner of the martial arts, I find it amusing how very few people knew of the master who taught Bruce Lee. Bruce was the forefront of modern Kung Fu cinema, and he revolutionized it at that. However, few of us knew exactly who taught him, and the legend that he actually was back in the day. It wasn’t until Donnie Yen donned the role as Ip Man back in 2008 that people started to know that name, and Donnie pretty much became the face of Ip Man overnight (playing him for 3 films at the least, and the series spawning countless spin offs, ala Wong Fei Hung). The myriad of “sequels” to the original trilogy, or the countless other interpretations of the famous Wing Chun practitioner have been a bit lackluster compared to Yen’s portrayal, but there has been some fun clicks revolving about him.
Sadly I think the well has been drained a bit dry, as now we’re using spinoffs of spinoffs, using the Ip Man name to prop up Kung Fu films that otherwise would have next to know relation to the famous master. Master Z: Ip Man Legacy revolves around master Cheung Tin-chi (Jin Zhang, aka, Max Zhang) after he was defeated by Ip Man (Donnie Yen) in Ip Man 3. Cheung was defeated pretty soundly by the wing chun master, and retired from his old old school, moving away with his young son to live a simpler life. For a while he worked as an enforcer to a local hit man, but after gaining her bearings, Cheung settled down for the life of a grocer. That is until he interferes with a local mobsters assault of a local woman and gets his store burned down as his thanks.
Taken in by the young woman (Julia, played Yan Liu), Cheung works for her restaurant owning brother Fu (Xing Yu, who actually played Master Lin in the original Ip Man with Donnie Yen) where he begins to pay for their generosity in taking him in after his store his burned down. However, much like all these films, Cheung’s life becomes more complicated when he is caught in the middle of a drug war between the triads who burned down his store, and a local restaurant owner (Dave Bautista) who seems to be the paragon of virtue on paper. Now it’s a fight to the death for the honor of the Chinese people in their efforts to pull themselves away from the horrors of the opium crisis.
In some ways I liked the film, as it had some fun martial arts choreography and good fights (even the fight with Bautista was really good), but the film is a bit sappy and melodramatic at the same time. The best part of the film is the first half where we see Cheung and his young son bond after their life has been upended thanks to Ip Man’s beating his senseless. It’s not until the drug lord portion of the film takes off that the film seems to lose its way with over patriotic nationalism and soap opera plot points.
Michelle Yeoh is great as the triad leader trying to go straight, while Bautista and the rest ham it up for some good kung fu fun. Tony Jaa is listed on the front cover as top billing, but really he’s in it for 5 minutes of the film as one of the hitmen that Cheung worked with, and has a fight with (it’s interesting seeing the Thai boxer try to utilize the fluid nature of Chinese martial arts vs. the harsher and blunt style of the traditional Muay Thai he practices). One thing I found particularly interesting was that the film didn’t use a million quick cuts and employed a sped up camera for the fight scenes, which is more indicative of the older style of kung fu filmography more than what we see in the post 2000 era.
Not Rated by the MPAA
• Battle of Strength
• The Cheung Lok's Fight
• Signboard Street Fight
• The Hitman Confrontation (
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy is a solid enough kung fu flick, but it really has next to no connection to the Ip Man films (especially having Ip Man in the title) besides a single character who went his own way from that franchise. The movie is good, a bit sappy but good, and showcases some very solid martial arts choreography with a nice throwback twist in the film making style (my before mentioned use of sped up cameras and close shots). The Blu-ray by Well Go USA is very solid as well, giving us the (now) traditionally anemic extras we all know and love plus some really amazing technical aspects in regards to audio and video. While I’m not going to be going out and buying the film day one, Master Z: Ip Man Legacy makes for a rather good rental if you’re a fan of Chinese kung fu movies at all.
Starring: Jin Zhang, Dave Bautista, Michelle Yeoh, Tony Jaa, Chrissie Chau, Kevin Chang
Directed by: Woo-Ping Yuen
Written by: Edmond Wong, Tai-lee Chan
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: Cantonese: Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Core), English DTS-HD MA 5.1, Mandarin, French DD 5.1
Subtitles: English, French, Mandarin
Studio: Well Go USA
Runtime: 108 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: July 23rd, 2019
Recommendation: Good Rental