My Review of "Ip Man 4: The Finale"
The final chapter to the Ip Man series. We kind of knew the 4th one was coming.
Ip Man 4: The Finale is the final installment to the popular Ip Man series. I didn't have too many kind words for the Ip Man 3. I felt that it was a cash grab but had some pretty good action sequences. That's really what you're looking for in action movies anyways so I couldn't fault it for that. Ip Man 4 kind of goes back to the story element of the Ip Man series.
The movie starts a little later after the events of Ip Man 3. Ip Man's son is a teenager and he's getting into fights at school. Apparently, he never taught his son Wing Chun after all of these years and his son feels neglected by his reluctance to teach him. The son really wants to get into Kung Fu but Ip Man won't have any of it. Unfortunately because of the fight that the son got into Ip Man has to find another school to get his son to attend.
At the same time Bruce Lee who had been enrolled under Ip Man in the previous movie is starting to make it big in America. He has someone to go to Hong Kong with plane tickets to come to America and watch his martial arts exhibition.
This is kind of the perfect opportunity for Ip Man because he thinks that there might be a good chance to get his son to school in America as he had just found out that he had just recently contracted cancer. So he heads to America to find a good school for his son. His son really doesn't want to go to America or to go to school in general.
In America Ip Man meets with San Francisco's Chinese Kung Fu association and they seem to have a problem with Bruce Lee. They want to have Kung Fu as strictly a Chinese art and Bruce seems to be teaching it to whoever wants to learn it. Ip Man agrees with Bruce and this kind of brings about friction between himself and the head of the association.
The movie goes on from there and I was legitimately worried that it was going to be a movie that starred a lot of Bruce Lee instead of Ip Man. Luckily for us it isn't. It would be fun but really it's an Ip Man movie so the focus should stay on him.
They go into some interesting understandings of race relations of the 70's. We come to understand why the Chinese association didn't want to teach Chinese Kung Fu to foreigners. Through oppression Ip Man realizes a different perspective of America. Something that he didn't realize was a problem until he got to America. He has a fun line saying that the grass isn't always greener on the other side.
A lot of the movie had to do with different issues with race relations. I find it kind of odd that the Army was so willing to take on a Japanese martial art like Karate over Chinese Kung Fu when they were in recent wars with Japan. There were a few things that didn't quite make sense in the movie but again it's a martial arts movie. It's not supposed to be super intelligent. At least they tried this time.
I did like how they used a juxtaposition with his relationship with his own son and the relationship with the leader of the Chinese Kung Fu association and his daughter. Ip Man was able to relate the two relationships and understand what he did wrong to his son. It's too bad they didn't really tie up some loose ends on the American families close to the end.
To me this was an adequate finale to the Ip Man series. They had a nice little farewell to the character in this movie. No they will not be having another sequel. If they do have another sequel I'd like to see it because it seems pretty impossible. Unless they make a prequel.
Overall, I liked this movie more than I liked the last movie. It still isn't quite as good as the first two movies but it was a nice send off to the beloved character. I have to give this movie a 7.5 out of 10. I'm glad that they finally finished the series because they would have ruined the series if they made too many. 4 is already a stretch.