The main feature that make the Ip Man saga a cut above all other martial arts movie is the depth of the story arc and it’s ability to connect with its audiences. This last installment is no different to the other Ip Man installments. This time around, the stake is higher because Ip Man is in this stage, an ailing old man whose time is running out. The villain, this time around, is an arrogant and racist American combat officer circa 1960s against the oppressed chinese in San Francisco Chinatown. This outright villainous character hark back to the tradition of old school chinese martial art movie from the 60s and 70s. This was explained in great details by the Netflix documentary IRON FISTS AND KUNG FU KICKS. Back to Ip Man 4, historical accuracy be damned, master Ip travelled to San Francisco and met up with his most famous student. It’s the first time ever an adult Bruce Lee made an appearance in the Ip Man franchise. But don’t be misled by the teaser trailer, despite the fact that Bruce Lee had a fight sequence in this movie, master Ip Man is still the focus of the story. Scott Adkins had to play the villain this time around but his hand to hand combat with Donnie Yen is the scene that will be replayed many times by martial arts fans. A satisfying and emotional conclusion to the Ip Man saga.
On a side note, this movie broke all kinds of box office record on opening day in China, besting Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by a wide margin.