In the United States of the 70s of the last century, people had no idea about martial arts. Citizens did not have the opportunity to study the art of kung fu, there were no specialized schools. Ip Man was one of the first teachers, he trained many gifted fighters, including Bruce Lee. As an immigrant from Hong Kong, he began a new life in the United States, opening a martial arts school. He taught philosophy, fighting techniques, inspired a lot of people. His best student, a famous actor, became an example to follow. The Americans worshiped him and tried to be like a legend. Many began to use weapons less, relying on fists.
That is why the great teacher appeared enemies. The owner of the gun shop suffered from new trends, buyers became less interested in his goods, profits fell. He sincerely believes that no fighting skills can resist a good gun, but his son did not share his views. On the contrary, he was fond of kung fu, and once decided to put his knowledge into practice during a fight, but got a gunshot wound. The inconsolable father, having lost his only beloved heir, is ready to ruthlessly revenge.
In postwar Hong Kong, legendary Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man is reluctantly called into action once more, when what begin as simple challenges from rival kung fu styles soon draw him into the dark and dangerous underworld of the Triads. Now, to defend life and honor, he has no choice but to fight one last time…
Also Known As (AKA): Yip Man 4
Japan / Japanese title: イップ・マン 完結
USA title: Ip Man 4: The Final Fight
Creators: Erica Lee,
Director: Herman Yau,
Star Cast: Anita Yuen, Anthony Wong, Eric Tsang, Gillian Chung, Jiang Luxia, Jordan Chan, Marvel Chow, Timmy Hung, Xiong Xin-Xin, Zhou Chu-chu,
Producer (s): Albert Lee, Kwok Lam Sin, Raymond Wong,
Production House: Golden Harvest Company, Bullet Films, Mandarin Motion Pictures
Music: Kenji Kawai
Original network / Official Sites: Mandarin Motion Pictures
Release Year: 20 December 2019 (Hong Kong)
Runtime: 107 min
Genres: Action, Biography, Drama, History
Country: Hong Kong, China
Language: English, Cantonese, Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Bengali
In 1964, following the death of his wife, Ip Man discovers he has throat cancer due to smoking. After his rebellious son Ip Ching fights back against a bully and is expelled from school, Ip decides to travel to San Francisco in order to look for study opportunities, asking his friend Bob to keep an eye on his son. His student, Bruce Lee, has upset the local martial arts community in San Francisco by opening a Wing Chun school, teaching non-Chinese people martial arts and writing an English-language book on martial arts. He discovers from an associate and his friend Liang Gen that, because he is a foreigner, a referral letter from the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association is needed to enroll into a school. Grandmaster Wan Zhong-hua, the Association’s president, refuses to write the letter as Ip is unbothered by Lee’s actions, whereas the other grandmasters are against him. After a brief confrontation with Wan (resulting in a broken tabletop), he leaves.
While leaving the school after a meeting with the principal, he chances upon Wan’s teenage daughter, Yonah, undergoing racist violence from a rival cheerleader, Becky, and her male friends. Yonah fights back somewhat (with Becky accidentally cutting herself on a pair of scissors) but she is ultimately outnumbered, and Ip steps in to rescue her. He escorts Yonah home, where Wan accuses Ip of using his daughter merely to get the letter and challenges him to a fight for it. The duel is interrupted by an earthquake, and Wan tells Ip they will finish their fight at the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival. Ip refuses, explaining that he merely accompanied Yonah home for her own safety, and leaves.
Becky lies to her parents, claiming that she had been bullied. Her father Walters, an officer of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), is pressured into holding the Association responsible and deporting all Chinese associated with them. Meanwhile, Hartman, a Staff Sergeant in the United States Marines and student of Lee, attempts to convince Barton Geddes, the Gunnery Sergeant on his base, to incorporate Chinese martial arts into their hand-to-hand combat training. Geddes, an arrogant and openly racist man, proves the Marines’ current Karate training superior by having Hartman fight the Marines’ Karate instructor, Colin Frater, who defeats him. Hartman later manages to convince the unit’s commanding officer of kung fu’s potential, and is instructed to film the Mid-Autumn Festival happening at the Association for research purposes, infuriating Geddes.
Geddes instructs Frater to challenge the grandmasters at the Festival. Frater proves his strength by defeating three grandmasters until Ip intervenes and beats him badly, hospitalising him. Meanwhile, Wan, who was supposed to be present at the festival, is arrested by the immigration officers. Upon seeing Frater in the hospital, Geddes barges into the Association to find out where Wan is. Revealing his own martial arts prowess, he brutally defeats all the grandmasters present. He then threatens Walters to release Wan into the Marines’ custody before bringing Wan into the camp to fight him. Due to a tip-off by Billy, a subordinate of Walters and another student of Lee, the Association is empty by the time the immigration officers conduct their raid. Lee provides refuge for the Association, earning their respect.
Wan and Geddes fight at the Marines’ camp. At first, Wan is able to match Geddes’ blows, but is eventually overwhelmed and seriously injured. An emotional Ip reveals to Bo that he has cancer, which finally compels Ip Ching to talk to his father over the phone, after many failed attempts by Ip. Ip is brought into the Marines’ camp by Hartman, and ultimately defeats Geddes in a long and savage fight.
Wan prepares the referral letter for Ip, but the latter states that he does not need it as he does not intend to move to San Francisco, having realized that America is not what he imagined. Ip reconciles with his son after returning. A weary but determined Ip instructs his son to film him as he demonstrates Wing Chun on the wooden dummy.
In 1972, Ip succumbs to his cancer at age 79, and Lee pays respect to his master at the funeral. An epilogue reveals that the Marines officially incorporated Chinese martial arts into their training in 2001.