Ip Man and Four Kings (2019) - China
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
Cashing in on the fame of Ip Man 4 release, comes a cheap budgeted VOD version starring Hong Kong’s Michael Tong in the title role of Ip Man. The production values is obviously cheapened as are the exterior sets, the fight scenes are edited and shortened with camera angles more suitable for cable TV. The result is a poor man Ip Man affair that is unlikely to spark any interests amongst demanding action genre fans. Chinese director Fu Li Wei is no Wilson Yip as he is equipped with a flat story of human trafficking and just how bad the colonial masters were in the 1950s.
Michael Tong does a decent job as Ip Man, but suffers from a terrible script, obvious use of stunt double and constantly borrows heavily from Donnie Yen and Tony Leung Chiu Wai far superior efforts. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if Tong wants an extended career to prolong the Ip Man legacy, he needs his own style and adaptation.
All in all, “Ip Man and Four Kings” is an inconsequential film that is filled with out of place characters and a deafening storyline to boot. Despite Tong’s best efforts to make an assured performance and several other martial artists tries to lower the expectations, the film feels every by contrived and largely forgettable experience for most Ip Man fans.
I rated it 2/10