Master Z: Ip Man Legacy

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Master Z: Ip Man Legacy
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy Poster
Movie poster
Directed byYuen Woo-ping
Written byEdmond Wong
Produced byRaymond Wong
Donnie Yen
StarringMax Zhang
Dave Bautista
Liu Yan
Xing Yu
Michelle Yeoh
Tony Jaa
Music byDay Tai
Orange Sky Golden Harvest
Mandarin Motion Pictures
Enlight Pictures
Young Enlight Productions
Distributed byUniversal Studios (USA)
Release date
  • 20 December 2018 (2018-12-20) (Hong Kong)
  • 21 December 2018 (2018-12-21) (China)
Running time
107 mins
CountriesHong Kong
Budget$28 million[1]
Box office$19.7 million[2]

Master Z: Ip Man Legacy (Chinese: 葉問外傳:張天志) is a 2018 Chinese martial arts film directed by Yuen Woo-ping and produced by Raymond Wong and Donnie Yen. It is a spin-off of the Ip Man film series, and takes place after the 2015 film Ip Man 3. This film stars Max Zhang, Dave Bautista and Liu Yan, and was released on 21 December 2018.[3][4]


After being defeated by Ip Man,[a], Cheung Tin-chi lives a depressed life moonlighting as a mercenary before choosing to leave behind the world of martial arts and instead open a grocery store on the ground floor of his house. While on a delivery run, he runs into an opium addict named Nana and her friend Julia who are both fleeing from drug dealer Tso Sai Kit. Tin-chi ends up fighting with Kit's gang and defeats them single-handedly.

The police arrive and arrest everyone. Kit and his gang are released after bribing a corrupt senior police officer, while Nana and Julia are released by name-dropping Julia's brother, Fu, the owner of Gold Bar, one of the most popular bars on Bar Street. Tin-chi is eventually released late at night and is unable to take his son to a steakhouse called Petrus for his birthday.

Following the incident, Kit decides to seek out Tin-chi, with his whole gang setting fire to Tin-chi's building. Tin-chi barely escapes with his son Fung while being pursued by the gang and Sadi, a hired assassin. He is offered shelter at Fu's home by Julia, and works as a waiter at Gold Bar to pay his rent.

Angered by the injuries to his son, Tin-chi retaliates and sets Kit's opium den on fire. Kit's sister, Kwan, the head of a family crime syndicate wishing to transition to legal businesses, prevents Kit from taking revenge and visits Tin-chi at Gold Bar to compensate him for all damages Kit caused and for Tin-chi to drop the matter. Tin-chi refuses the money, impressing Kwan. At the same time, Tin-chi forges an increasingly close friendship with Fu over their shared pasts in martial arts.

Kit, attempting to escape from the shadow of his sister Kwan, decides to move into heroin dealing. He peddles his drugs on Bar Street for Owen Davidson, the owner of Petrus, who uses the restaurant as a front for his drug business. Tin-chi tips off Kwan about the business, who requests more time to settle the matter with Kit.

After finding Nana in a back alley, Kit and his gang kill her by forcing her to overdose on heroin. Tin-chi and Fu fight their way to the syndicate's headquarters, where they fight with Kit and Kwan. Kwan, attempting to placate them, cuts off Kit's right arm and forces him to reveal where he stores his heroin. Fu exposes the drugs to the media which makes newspaper headlines.

Soon after, Davidson has corrupt police officers plant drugs at Gold Bar and arrest Fu on drug charges. After arresting him, the senior police officer hands Fu over to Davidson to be killed in an unfair fight. Following the discovery that Davidson murdered Fu, Tin-chi fights with Davidson at his restaurant, during which he regains his confidence in using Wing Chun for good.

The senior police officer arrives to arrest Tin-chi despite Tin-chi's testimony that the heroin belongs to Davidson. Instead of complying, Lieutenant Fai arrests his boss for corruption, assault and lets Tin-chi go free. Davidson attempts to escape in the ensuing chaos, but is assassinated by Sadi, who had been hired by Kwan before leaving Hong Kong with Kit.

Tin-chi returns to Julia's apartment and reunites with his son. The three of them share a meal together. In a mid-credits scene, Fung uses Wing Chun to defeat the boy who bullied him earlier.


  • Max Zhang as Cheung Tin-chi, a former Wing Chun master who was defeated by Ip Man in a duel behind closed doors and subsequently becomes a mercenary.
  • Dave Bautista as Owen Davidson, the owner of Petrus and leader of a drug smuggling syndicate.
  • Michelle Yeoh as Tso Ngan Kwan, the leader of the Cheung Lok organised crime syndicate who wants to turn the gang into a legitimate business entity.
  • Tony Jaa as Sadi the Warrior
  • Liu Yan as Julia
  • Xing Yu as Fu, Julia's brother and former martial artist, who now owns Gold Bar on Bar Street.
  • Kevin Cheng as Tso Sai Kit, younger brother of Tso Ngan Kwan. He initially runs an opium den but becomes a heroin dealer behind his sister's back on Bar Street.
  • Chrissie Chau as Nana, an opium addict and Julia's close friend.
  • Patrick Tam as Ma King-sang, local Triad leader and former martial arts disciple.
  • Brian Thomas Burrell as Senior police officer
  • Philip Keung as Fai, a Hong Kong police officer who has doubts working under his British supervisors.
  • Yuen Wah as Agent
  • Henry Zhang as Cheung Fung, Tin-chi's son[5]

Home media[edit]

The film was released in North America on DVD and Blu-ray by Well Go USA entertainment on 23 July 2019. In its first week of release, it sold 11,940 DVDs and 18,446 Blu-rays, with total estimated sales of $430,000.


The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 89% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 38 reviews, with an average rating of 6.59/10. The site's critics consensus reads, "Master Z: Ip Man Legacy marks a departure from previous entries in the franchise — but its thrilling action set pieces remain every bit as satisfying."[6] At Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 72 out of 100 based on 14 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[7]

Elizabeth Kerr of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy doesn't have much on its mind besides delivering on fights — and in that aspect it succeeds."[8] Edmund Lee of South China Morning Post wrote that "Master Z is undoubtedly a feast for martial arts movie lovers", and gave the film 3.5 of 5 stars.[9] Richard Kuipers of Variety wrote, "Despite his skimpily defined character, Zhang hits the mark as a likable guy who’s trying to put violence behind him and lay inner demons to rest."[5]


In April 2019, it was reported that Max Zhang is set to reprise his role in a sequel to Master Z: Ip Man Legacy. The sequel is reported to be taking a budget cut, down to $13 million, from the first film's budget of $28 million.[10][11]


  1. ^ As depicted in Ip Man 3.


  1. ^ Frater, Patrick (5 October 2018). "Busan: Hot Titles at the Asian Film Market". Variety. Archived from the original on 7 October 2018. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Ye Wen hui chuan: Zhang Tianzhi (2018)". BytheNumbers. Retrieved 6 July 2019.
  3. ^ "《叶问外传:张天志》定档12.21". Archived from the original on 10 June 2020. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  4. ^ "叶问系列最新电影《叶问外传:张天志》即将上映". Archived from the original on 27 October 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  5. ^ a b Kuipers, Richard (11 April 2019). "Film Review: 'Master Z: Ip Man Legacy'". Variety. Archived from the original on 5 February 2021. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  6. ^ "Master Z: Ip Man Legacy (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Archived from the original on 31 July 2020. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Master Z: Ip Man Legacy Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 28 January 2020. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  8. ^ Kerr, Elizabeth (12 October 2018). "'Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy' ('Ye wen wai zhuan: zhang tian zhi'): Film Review | Busan 2018". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 12 October 2018. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  9. ^ Lee, Edmund (20 December 2018). "Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy film review". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 22 March 2019. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  10. ^ Vo, David (27 April 2019). "MAX ZHANG To Return For MASTER Z Sequel". MAActionCinema. Archived from the original on 26 September 2019. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  11. ^ Bona, JJ (26 April 2019). "Max Zhang to return for 'Master Z: Ip Man Legacy' Part II". City on Fire. Archived from the original on 27 June 2019. Retrieved 26 September 2019.

External links[edit]