Wednesday 26 December 2018

The Current Cinema - John Snadden finds a Christmas alternative MASTER Z: THE IP MAN LEGACY (Yuen Wo Ping, China) 'an above average martial arts feature'

In MASTER Z: THE IP MAN LEGACY, Michelle Yeoh shines and rising star Max Zhang shows he has the right stuff to take this franchise in a new direction.

The story takes place in 1960s Hong Kong (actually filmed in Mainland China on not very convincing sets), where Wing Chun exponent Cheung Tin Chi (Max Zhang Jin) tries to escape his violent past - with little success.

Michelle Yeoh, Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy
Director Yuen Wo Ping and action choreographer Donnie Yen are instrumental in making this pic into an above average martial arts feature. The generic story line does create three action set-pieces which are high points of the movie. Although, I did find the epic showdown between Cheung and gweilo heavy Davidson (Dave Bautista) to be a bit of a letdown. 

Max Zhang, Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy
There are some good supporting performances from Canto stars Ada Liu Yan as a nightclub hostess/singer and Phillip Keung in the role of a corrupt Hong Kong detective. Tony Jaa's prominent billing is completely unwarranted as his screen time is minimal…. and to little effect.

All considered, MASTER Z: THE IP MAN LEGACY is well worth a look. It's screening at multiplexes around Oz and at Melbourne's Chinatown cinema.

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