“Ip Man: Kung Fu Master,” the latest in a long line of Ip Man movies from Hong Kong and mainland China, has found its way to the virtual Cannes Market, where it is being represented by Hong Kong- and Paris-based All Rights Entertainment.
Directed by Li Liming and produced by Kai Pictures, it stars Dennis To in his third go at the role of Ip Man, the martial artist who famously tutored Bruce Lee, and whose life has spawned two competing biopic franchises.
To previously portrayed the kung fu ace in Herman Yau’s “Ip Man: The Legend Is Born,” and Jeff Lau’s “Kung Fu League.” Ip’s oldest son, Ip Chun, described To’s performances as the most accurate portrayal of his father. “Kung Fu Master” also stars Hong Kong star Michael Wong Mun Tak.
The story harks back to Ip’s early days before the Communist Revolution in 1949. Ip was then a police captain who was framed for the murder of a ruthless but honorable mobster, and targeted for vengeance by his dangerous daughter. Forced to quit the force, Ip soon also has to contend with the arrival of the Japanese army in Guangzhou.
Chinese cinemas have been closed since Jan. 23 due to the coronavirus and have not reopened since. “Ip Man: Kung Fu Master” was able to quickly change tack and swung to an online release, where it has garnered over 70 million views.