In an era when China was facing massive social change Master Chen Shi’s mission is to continue the dying art of Wing Chung to honor his masters dying wish by opening a martial arts academy. The problem is that in order to open a new academy in Tianjin one must first defeat 8 out of the 19 academy’s champions! OH WAIT; no one’s ever beaten more than seven before! Wait that’s not it, Master Chen cannot partake in the challenges; according to tradition one must train an apprentice to represent him.
Of course he picks Geng Lianchen, the kid in a gang who’s willing to catch a beating just to take a look at his beautiful wife. After a long and honestly at times confusing story, Lianchen honors and respects Chen’s wife, and Master Chen cares for his apprentice; only then does he discover that even if Lianchen does defeat the academies he will be ostracized or worse … for embarrassing the martial arts community of Tianjin.
Being and honorable man who lives and breathes Wing Chun and wants to keep the art alive he faces the dilemma, sacrifice Lianchen to keep Wing Chun alive? To honor Lianchen (or to clear his conscience in my opinion) Chen takes on the remaining champions of the schools to demonstrate the power of Wing Chun. In a very exciting set of fight scenes down a very well-lit alley way Master Chen is amazing in his display of what he represents, what Lianchen represents, the hand to hand fighting style of Wing Chun! As he takes on each champion they progressively get to be greater fighters further exemplifying Chen’s craft. Did I mention he is no killing these men? One champion warns another “He does not strike to kill, he aims to maim”
You will honor the scar I give you here today – Master Chen
Overall an entertaining movie with amazingly choreographed fight scenes ranging from hand to hand combat, “push knives”, broadswords, to Bardiches this movie has it all covered! If the storyline was focused on a fraction of what the fighting scenes were this movie would be a huge hit! Then again, it is a Martial Arts movie.
THE FINAL MASTER , Directed and Written: Xu Haofeng. Starring: Liao Fan, Song Jia, Jiang Wenli, Jin Shi-Jye, Song Yang and Huang Jue