|Ip Man: The Final Fight (2013)|
|Writers:||Erica Li and Checkley Sin|
|Starring:||Anthony Wong, Anita Yuen, Jordan Chan, Eric Tsang, and Gillian Chung|
Although most members of the cast prove themselves capable within the movie, the real standout is of course Anthony Wong. This legend of the industry needs no introduction for the audience, and seeing him in this laid back role is pure joy. Wong keeps the role subtle and he manages to differentiate himself from all others who have played the role so far. He’s less the showman that Donnie Yen has been, and his character has none of the cockiness found in Dennis To’s portrayal from The Legend is Born. Instead, Anthony portrays the character in a way that strips him down and simplifies him. Throughout the movie, Wong rarely smiles, and plays the character as a strong and stoic man of few words. This may be the reason why the film develops so many subplots throughout. Without the movie being anchored to Ip Man, who nearly moves into a supporting role due to his stoic and quiet demeanor, the film tends to run off into tangents. Going back to Wong, he takes this now “cinematic character” and moves him to his most obvious progression: a mature and wise man. Wong himself, has mastered his craft to such a degree that he no longer has to prove anything to anyone. Conversely, for Ip Man, teaching his martial art is one of the few things in life that still ignites his passion. Everyone knows his skill, and there seems to be few things that he’s out to prove. He’s still up for a fight, but his character seems as if he would be far happier sitting at home watering his plants or teaching a peaceful Wing Chun lesson. This is Ip Man: The Retirement Years, but for some reason it almost seems more logical or realistic than the other movies that have been released. And yes, I realize how crazy that sounds while discussing a movie that features a subplot focusing on underground fighting tournaments.