IP MAN 4 THE FINALE is a beautifully choreographed martial arts film. The movie flows like a Broadway Musical with Chinese actor, who moved to Boston at age 11, Donnie Yen in the lead role as Ip Man. As a matter of fact doing research for this film I read that Yen's nickname in China is "The Fred Astire of martial arts." He, and the entire cast, do an amazing job with the choreography of the fight scenes.
But the choreographed fight scenes are not all that the movie has to offer. IP MAN 4 is based on the true life story of IP MAN. He's a very laid back martial arts master who only fights to protect the weak. IP Man's real life student was Bruce Lee and at the start of the movie he receives a personal invitation from his most famous pupil to come to the United States to see Lee's Kung Fu demonstration.
Also, Ip Man is dealing with his own life or death issue. His doctor gives him a diagnosis of cancer of the larynx, which will eventually take his life. Meanwhile, Ip Man, who lost his wife to cancer, has a teenage son who's always in trouble at school and the final straw is when he gets expelled from school for fighting.
On his trip to San Francisco he decides to try and find a quality school for his son to attend after he's gone. However, he needs a letter of recommendation from the local Chinese benevolent association and the group of local Chinese businessmen want a favor in return from Ip Man in return. The group is unhappy with Lee, played very well by Kwok-Kwan Chan, who is teaching Chinese style Kung Fu to non-Chinese. When Ip Man says he's happy with Lee teaching their style to Americans the group declines to help Ip Man and they send him away empty handed.
Another part of the story is a racist army officer, played by Scott Adams, who hates Chinese. He really gets riled up when one of Ip Man's former students goes to the highest ranking officer on base and convinces the military to teach Kung Fu to soldiers as part of their self defense training. Adam's Character, Barton Geddess, a Karate man, is vehemently opposed to Kung Fu being taught to his men.
There are a few more story plots and twists that make the film very enjoyable. If you like martial arts movies this is one that is not to be missed. Although a little bit of creative liberty was taken in the "true story", it was done to make the movie more entertaining, which I can forgive.
The movie is unrated and has a run time of 1 hour and 47 minutes long. It's currently playing on NETFLIX. On my "Hollywood Popcorn Scale" I give IP MAN 4 THE FINALE a JUMBO.