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Movie Review – Ip Man: Kung Fu Master

Imagine for a moment Kung Fu legend Ip Man fighting corrupt politicians, Japanese soldiers, and the Axe Gang as a masked vigilante during an invasion by the Japanese army in pre-revolution China. Sounds about perfect, right?

Enter Ip Man: Kung Fu Master. It was released in late 2019, and was released directly to streaming platform Youku.

Lots of reviewers compared the film negatively to the more popular trilogy of films about legendary martial artist Ip Man, but I think that’s entirely the wrong way to think about this movie. Think about this as a direct to video release from a small studio that is exploiting the popularity of a real person in order to tell a story that has very little to do with that real person.

Taken in that light, this film is a world better than you might expect.

Compared to other “Ip-sploitation” films, this one sits near the top of the pile. I think Ip Man: The Final Fight might best it, but it’s significantly better than most of the other films looking to cash in on Ip’s name.

(And I’m going to be honest, when he showed up wearing a leather mask reminiscent of Kato’s from The Green Hornet, I got Hype.)

So, if in this era of video streaming, you’ve found yourself missing the kind of direct to video martial arts films that littered video store shelves in the 1980s, you’d be hard pressed to find a more worthy successor than this direct-to-Chinese-streaming release about a highly fictionalized Vigilante Ip Man.

Of course, you may be more interested in our other Kung Fu titles, including a number of films that were originally part of those drive-in and direct to video releases. Check out the kung fu films and novels we currently have in stock:

(View All Kung Fu Titles)

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