Ip Man The Awakening review

Set in 1930s Hong Kong, it sees future kung fu master Ip Man (Miu Tse) fight for the “rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” by taking on a gang of bizarrely accented British colonialists.

Young martial arts star (and Jet Li’s pupil) Miu Tse pulls off some impressive moves as he takes on evil Mr Stark (played by Italian-sounding Sergio De Ieso).

Stark, as master of a 19th century British mixed martial art Baritsu (a real thing, apparently), has been kidnapping and trafficking local women with the collusion of the Hong Kong authorities.

Deciding to stand up to his British oppressors, Ip Man sets about freeing the women, while spouting nationalist slogans and incurring the wrath of Stark and his henchmen.

The fight scenes are slickly choreographed and energetically staged but the plot is as thin as Tse’s barely written character.

And the flag waving made me feel a little queasy given communist China’s recent human rights crackdowns in the supposedly democratic ex-colony.

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