FOUR years since the last Ip Man movie ended, and a spin-off (Master Z: Ip Man Legacy) that took place last year, the latest instalment of the Ip Man film series is expected to be released soon in Malaysia cinemas nationwide. The movie, produced in collaboration with Mandarin Motion Pictures Limited, sees action martial arts star Donnie Yen reprising his role as the legendary Wing Chun master, Ip Man.
Co-produced by Donnie Yen, actor-turned-producer, Raymond Wong and Yip Wai Shun, principal photography of the movie started in April last year and wrapped up three months later. The filming locations include Shanghai, China and Preston, Lancashire in the United Kingdom.
The movie held its Press conference in Hong Kong, recently; and it was attended by Raymond Wong and director Yip Wai Shun. Also attending were the movie’s action choreographer Yuen Wo Ping, Donnie Yen, Lynn Xiong, Karena Ng, Patrick Tam, Gordon Lam, Danny Chan, Vanda Margraf, Kanin Ngo, Yu Xing and Chris Collins.
Raymond Wong expressed his delight to see that the traditional Chinese martial arts form are being highlighted on international platform. Not only that, director Yip Wai Shun has also successfully show off the other side of Ip Man, a loving man who puts his family first and his never-dying spirit towards martial arts. As a result, the well-loved movie not only has plenty of action-packed scenes to keep the fans on the edge of their seats but also touching scenes that touches their hearts.
Helming the same role for 11 years, Donnie Yen is especially thankful to Raymond Wong for the opportunity. “I am forever thankful to Raymond Wong for his trust as well as Yip’s effort in telling Ip Man’s story as it is. Also, not forgetting all the cast and crew who made the movie a success,” Donnie Yen said, adding that the movie has also attracted a lot of interests on the international level.
At the Press conference, a short video clip of the Ip Man movies were played to the audience. Starting from the first movie until the latest instalment, the clips show Ip Man taking out the bad guys while showing the world the spirit of traditional Chinese martial arts.
Ip Man 4 sees the grandmaster grieving over the death of his beloved wife. His relationship with his son, Ip Chun seems to be increasingly alienated. For his son’s future, Ip goes to the United States in search of a proper schooling facility for the former. In the US, he meets with constant racial discrimination, where the locals are treated unfairly.
Playing Ip Man’s infamous student, Bruce Lee is Chan Kwok Kwan Danny, while action actor Chris Collins plays a US Army Commander, who shares plenty of screen time with Donnie Yen. Newcomer, Vanda Margraf plays Tai Chi master, Wu Yue’s daughter.
Yip, who helmed all four of the Ip Man movies, said that he felt there were many stories involving the grandmaster’s life that can be told. With Yuen Wo Ping on-board as the action choreographer, expect plenty of surprise elements in the movie. This time, the use of the Chinatown Martial Arts Conference will make the action pictures complement each other.
At the same time, playing Ip’s wife, Lynn Xiong highlighted that “no man is afraid of his wife but only one that respects his wife”. In the eyes of Lynn’s character, family is the most important aspect of her life.
Throughout his life, Ip Man is constantly surrounded by his “martial arts brothers” like Shi Yan Neng’s Wu Chi Lin, who fought against the Japanese during the Japanese Occupation in China in the first Ip Man movie. In one of the pivotal scenes in the first movie, we see Ip Man takes on 10 Japanese soldiers, which later become one of the most classic scenes of all time.
At the same time, the villainous characters in the movies are also well-received by the audience. One such character is Patrick Tam, who plays Ma King-sang, a local triad leader who also works for Mike Tyson’s Frank, a property developer and boxer in the third movie.
Recalling a scene with the world renowned boxer, Patrick Tam says Tyson’s punch was so fast that even the camera failed to capture it. Another villain in the first movie is Gordon Lam’s Li Chiu, who works for the Japanese as a translator. On the surface, he seems to be a collaborator of the Japanese but deep down inside, he struggles to help keep his countrymen safe.
At the end of the Press conference, the cast and crew took a group photo together. They also wish for the movie to be a success and a perfect ending for one of the greatest action movies ever made.
To hype up the movie, Mandarin Motion Pictures Limited has set up a “Ip Man Pavilion” at the Hong Kong International Film and Television Exhibition, which is currently taking place in Wanchai, Hong Kong.
At the Ip Man Pavilion, a restored Ye Family Mansion as well as classic scenes from the movie, are on display at the Exhibition. At the main entrance, there is a replica of Ip Man’s living room, complete with the Wing Chun wooden dummy or mu ren Zhuang, where the grandmaster trains. Not only is that, the walls on the living room is also plastered with pictures of Ip Man’s families and friends.
Donnie Yen has also personally selected a few images of Ip Man from the movie and turned it into 3D models, so that you can take photos with grandmaster himself.
“IP MAN 4 : The Finale” distributed by Lotus Five Star will be releasing soon in Malaysia cinemas