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Film / Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy

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Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy is a 2018 Hong Kong/Chinese martial arts movie directed by Yuen Woo-Ping. It is a Spin-Off of the Ip Man film series, and focuses on Cheung Tin-chi (played by Zhang Jin aka Max Zhang), who first appeared in Ip Man 3. The cast also includes the likes of Michelle Yeoh, Dave Bautista and Tony Jaa.

Cheung Tin-chi is now trying to live a normal life after swearing off Wing Chun following his defeat against Ip Man. Unfortunately, he cannot find peace so easily, and must put his fighting skills back into use after he accidentally saves people from a drug-dealing gang.

The film was followed by a return to the main series with Ip Man 4.

A sequel was confirmed in April 2019, with Max Zhang set to reprise his role.


This film provides examples of:

  • Action Hero: Cheung, who uses his fists to solve problems.
  • The Aggressive Drug Dealer: Kit, who is really mean, and later forces Nana to overdose on drugs, killing her.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Very true for Kit who wants to be the boss of Chung Lok.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Kit's hand is cut off by his own sister, who seems really pissed that he is doing drugs.
  • Anachronism Stew: An odd variation. The fictional character Black Bat is clearly meant to be an Expy of Batman who, of course, existed in the 50s. But the appearance for Black Bat's character is based off Batman's design in Batman: The Animated Series, which wouldn't have taken form until the 1990s.
  • Ascended Extra: Cheung Tin-chi graduated from Final Boss in Ip Man 3 to main character of his own film.
  • Anyone Can Die: Surprisingly, many main characters die, such as Nana and Fu.
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  • Badass Normal: Hu, who can fight, but is beaten to death by Davidson for being a trouble in his plans.
  • Bar Brawl: After averting this trope most of the film thanks to Fu interrupting any circumstance, the final fight between Davidson and Cheung fittingly takes place in a bar.
  • Benevolent Boss: Kwan is a genuinely caring boss who doesn't want her subordinates to get arrested, and even geuninely listens to those who have differing views, though she does not tolerate greed and embezzlement.
  • Berserk Button: For Tin-chi it is when his son gets hurt in the process.
  • Bald of Evil: Davidson, by virtue of being played by Dave Bautista.
  • Big Bad: Owen Davidson, who seems like an affable bar owner but plans to smuggle in some drugs.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Tin-chi hoped to find peace after leaving Wing Chun behind. Destiny decided otherwise.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Cheung Fong being a fan of Black Bat and enthusiastically pointing out that Owen is wearing a Black Bat bracelet actually becomes a plot point when Fu is murdered and Tin-Chi finds out who his killer is by finding the bracelet in his hand.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Subverted. After his defeat Tin-chi learns some humility and learns to use his Wing Chun for good. Though Tin-chi's style is still more attack-based in contrast with Ip Man's defensive techniques.
  • Dies Wide Open: Nana after being force-fed drugs by Kit and his thugs.
  • Dirty Cop: The British police chief, who agrees to work with Davidson for profit.
  • The Don: Kwan, who wants to legitimize her business much to the chagrin of her brother.
  • Drugs Are Bad: The main theme, actually, as the whole plot revolves around the substance.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Davidson seems very surprised that Kit would kill his henchman just to get a job working for him.
  • Evil Brit: Both Davidson and the police chief are examples, the former a drug dealer masquerading as a friendly restaurant owner,the latter a corrupt cop.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Owen Davidson regards the Chinese people to be scum while pretending to be a friendly restaurant owner.
  • Foreshadowing: Tin-chi warns Fu that flipping around is not a very smart technique during their spar. Sure enough, it's what gets him killed during Fu's fight with Davidson.
  • Genre Shift: This is more action-packed than the Ip Man series.
  • Hero Killer: Davidson kills Fu while the latter's hands are tied.
  • Hidden Villain: For most of the film, we have no idea that Davidson is behind the drugs that Kit is selling.
  • Hypocrite: The westerners at the bar who dismiss and despise Kwan even though they themselves profit from the very same things.
  • Interesting Situation Duel: Tin-chi versus five thugs on top of signboards and buildings.
  • Ironic Echo: Kit repeats his friend's line about every bullet needing its value before shooting him dead.
  • It's All About Me: Kit is very selfish to the point he's willing to kill a friend to work for Davidson.
  • It's Personal: This seems to be the case for Sadi, the killer, whom Tin-chi deals with three times, but they never directly speak to each other so it's downplayed.
    • Tin-chi himself regards Kit starting the fire as this and takes revenge by beating up his men.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Davidson tries to flee on foot after the corrupt police chief is arrested. Unbeknown to him, Sadi awaits him, and kills him with an ice pick to the head.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: If the tide of battle turns against him, Davidson will run to fight another day... not that it does him much good because Sadi is there to make sure he's killed.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Cheung Tin-chi is this, making him rather different from Ip Man.
  • Nice Guy: Hu, who is really affable and nice and breaks up fights despite being rather loud.
  • No-Sell: Performed by Davidson a lot of the time, but he begins to take real damage during his fight with Cheung at the end when the latter starts going for his joints.
  • Not So Different: Kwan uses this to chide the westerners who chided her.
  • The Oner: The camera gives us a good view of what's going on inside Gold Bar.
  • One-Man Army: Tin-chi defeats a whole gang single-handedly.
  • Professional Killer: Sadi, played by Tony Jaa, who has been hired to kill Owen Davidson.
  • Reality Ensues: Tin-chi is arrested for fighting the drug dealer.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Kwan is wise enough not to enter a cycle of revenge and wants to let the fire of the opium den rest. She even gives compensation to Tin-chi. But her brother is a dumbass.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Kwan, who's genuinely trying to legitimize her business, chides the westerners for being selfish.
  • Secret Test of Character: Davidson seems to imply this trope is in play after Kit murders his friend to work for him.
  • Spin-Off: The film is a sequel focusing on a character who appeared in Ip Man 3 and it is set after the latter. The film series' main protagonist, Ip Man (Donnie Yen), doesn't appear in it, but is mentioned.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: When Cheung faces off against Davidson at the end.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Davidson, who deals drugs while pretending to be the owner of a bar.


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