IP MAN 4: THE FINALE (2019) review

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Eleven years after his career was both boosted and defined by the resounding success of Wilson Yip’s Ip Man, Donnie Yen is back for a final time as the grandmaster of Wing Chun. Following the death of his wife, Ip Man is diagnosed with head and neck cancer; his son Jing wants to become a martial arts master himself, but Man wants him to attend university instead, and sensing his end approaching fast, he travels to San Francisco to get him enrolled in a university, hoping the expatriation will teach him independence. There, he meets his former student Bruce Lee, now a revered teacher himself, but frowned upon by the more traditional kung fu masters of Chinatown for daring to instruct non-Chinese in the ways of Chinese martial arts. Chief among these traditionalists is Tai Chi Master Wan (Wu Yue), the head of the Chinese Benevolent Association, whose recommendation is crucial in getting Ip Jing accepted into university. Masters Ip and Wan butt heads over the issue of spreading Chinese martial arts to the West, but a common enemy soon emerges: racist Marine instructor Barton Geddes (Scott Adkins) who deeply resents the attempts by American-born Chinese soldier Hartmann (Vanness Wu) to have Wing Chun included to Marine training, and sends Karate master Collin (Chris Collins) to Chinatown in an attempt to humiliate Chinese martial arts.

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ABDUCTION (2019) review

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17 years after they co-starred – at the very beginning of their respective careers – in one of the worst films of all time, Tsui Hark’s Black Mask 2: City of Masks, Scott Adkins and Andy On are back together, this time in a Chinese straight-to-vod executive-produced by Roger Corman, no less. Behind the camera is Ernie Barbarash, whose output includes the bad (Cuba Gooding Jr vehicle Hardwired), the middling (Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicles Assassination Games and Pound of Flesh) and the solid (Michael Jai White vehicle Falcon Rising and another JCVD, Six Bullets). Fortunately, Abduction falls into the latter category. It follows Quinn (Scott Adkins) a man who following the kidnapping of his daughter in 1985, wakes up in 2018 Saigon, having not aged one bit, and with vague recollections of fighting inter-dimensional beings. To find his daughter, he teams up with Conner (Andy On), a soldier turned enforcer whose wife was just abducted by the same beings, and with Anna (Truong Ngoc Anh), a doctor who’s the only one to believe them.

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