September 21, 2013

Ip Man: The Final Fight (2013)

Ip Man: The Final Fight (2013) - Movie Review
Directed by: Herman Yau
Country: Hong Kong / China

Movie Review: Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man was the subject of several films since 2008, going from illustrious unknown to appreciated martial-artist. His later life was depicted once again by the hand of Herman Yau, who already has directed “The Legend Is Born” in 2010, and the results are not so stylish and sumptuous as in Wong Kar Wai’s “The Grandmaster”, or entertaining as Wilson Yip’s “Ip Man”. Similar to those traditional martial-arts flicks in which multiple fights happen in the streets at the same time, “Ip Man: The Final Fight” seemed to have been prepared to look nice in its vivid colors but forgetting to tell this man’s story in a more captivating way. I was looking for something more vibrant and not so dramatic, a tendency that threw away any possibility of success. The cinematography was capable, while the soundtrack by Mark Chun-hung, alternating between sentimental and rambunctious, just intensifies everything that appears on the screen. The best aspect in the film is undoubtedly Anthony Wong’s performance, which despite not so charismatic as Tony Leung’s in “The Grandmaster”, was convincing and powerful. Some historical aspects concerning the political situation of Hong Kong at that time were not even mentioned, and as the title suggests, the most exciting moments were reserved for the final fight. In the end I had the impression that this wobbling portrait could have been done differently, for better, both in accuracy and spectacularity.

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