Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 30th, 2013
BluRay released: November 12th, 2013
Approximate running time: 101 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Mandarin, Dolby Digital Stereo Mandarin, DTS-HD 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English
BluRay Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.98
IP Man: The Final Fight was directed by Herman Yau who is most known for two of his previous collaborations with Anthony Wong, Ebola Syndrome and Taxi Hunter. Key collaborators on IP Man: The Final Battle include cinematographer Kwong-hung Chan (Full Contact, The Legend Is Born: IP Man) and composer Chun Hung Mak (Drunken Master Killer).
Where previous IP Man films focused more on his rise, this film delves into the later part of his life. And though he has aged a few years, his skills when it comes to demonstrating and teaching Wing Chun are just as razor sharp as they ever were.
From a narrative stand point this latest installment about IP Man obviously features many similarities to the other films about him that preceded this film. There is the getting to know him period, since he is now new to Hong Kong. Then the building up a following period and all of this leading up to yet another epic showdown with a evil slumlord that has corrupted one of IP Man’s pupils.
Visually the film is a feast for the eyes as the retro 1960’s look is effortlessly recreated. Pacing is never an issue as the events unfold at a break neck pace. And most importantly the martial arts sequences in this film are all first rate. Most notably a scene early on where IP Man first arrives and a young man challenges him. To make things fare IP Man agrees to stand on a single sheet of newspaper, while the young man can move freely throughout the room. Unfortunately what appears to be an easy task turns into a unmovable mountain.
Narrative wise this film finds a very satisfying balanced between action set pieces and more character driven moments. And if there was any area that was lacking, that would be this film’s special effects which often call attention to themselves.
As mentioned before Anthony Wong has been cast in the role of IP Man and when compared to those who have traveled this path before him. He gives what is arguably the strongest performance to date in regards to character driven moments and he also more than holds his own during the martial arts sequences. And when it comes to his supporting cast they are all very good in their respective roles. Especially Xin Xin Xiong (Tai Chi Zero) in the role of the evil slumlord who’s path collides with IP Man’s.
IP Man: The Final Fight comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black levels look very good, details look crisp throughout and there are no issues with compression.
This release comes with four audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Mandarin, a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Mandarin, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in English and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in English. All four audio mixes sound clean and balanced throughout. With the two DTS-HD 5.1 offering up the most engrossing sound barrage of these four audio mixes. Also besides dong a great job with the action oriented sequences. The two DTS-HD 5.1 mixes do a superb job with more ambient aspects of the soundtrack. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles that are easy to read and follow.
Extras for this release include two trailers for the film, a brief ‘Making of’ segment (9 minutes 24 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, In Chinese with English subtitles) and cast & crew interviews (21 minutes 7 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Chinese with English subtitles). Content wise the interviews & ‘Making of’ featurette are not much more than those involved in this film discussing their character or their role in this production.
Also included with this release are trailers for other titles also available from Well Go USA. Overall IP Man: The Final Fight gets a solid audio / video presentation from Well Go USA.
Note: This film is also being released by Well Go USA on DVD.