Master Z: Ip Man Legacy

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy Movie Poster Image
Slick, exciting, but very violent martial arts movie.
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 107 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Movie is partly about making the right choices, but it's also about revenge, self-defense, violence. A young boy is bullied; by the end of the story, he hits the bully back.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Though the main character is attempting to live a quiet, personal life, he still decides to help others, even if it comes at the cost of his own safety and that of his son. He has changed his entire way of life because of a defeat, but he has spun it into something positive, taking pride in his new, humbler roles.


Tons of martial arts fighting, punching, throwing, slamming, etc. Women are hit and slapped; one is severely beaten and subsequently killed with a forced overdose of drugs (they're shoved down her throat in a very upsetting scene). Severed arm. Guns and shooting; character shot in head. Other characters killed. Some blood shown. Child in peril, injured (burn wound on his back). Burn wounds on arm. A young bully punches another boy in the eye; black eye shown. Buildings burned. Knives shown.


A woman walks around in bra and panties. Flirting.


Infrequent language includes uses of "a--hole," "son of a bitch," and "goddamn."


Coca-Cola cooler on display. Sign for Tsing Tao beer. A boy is a big fan of a character called Black Bat, which looks just like Batman but with a different colored suit.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drug-dealing (heroin) is part of the plot. Secondary character is an opium addict; she's seen smoking opium and having withdrawals. Several scenes of social drinking in bars.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Master Z: Ip Man Legacy is a spin-off of the Ip Man series; it follows a character who was defeated by the hero in 2015's Ip Man 3. The movie highlights the beauty of martial arts but also has brutal violence. In addition to tons of martial arts fighting, expect guns and shooting, severed limbs, characters being attacked and killed, and, worst of all, a woman who's beaten and then killed by having drugs forcibly stuffed down her throat. A child is injured in a fire and punched by a bully. Drug dealing is part of the plot: A supporting character is an opium addict (she's seen smoking and having withdrawals), and social drinking is shown throughout. Language is infrequent but includes uses of "a--hole," "son of a bitch," and "goddamn." A woman is shown in her bra and panties, and characters flirt in bars. Overall, the movie is spirited and well crafted and recommended for mature martial arts fans.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTeenFilmScholar April 15, 2019

Master Z: Ip Man Legacy

Master Z is a spin-off of the Ip Man series, and continues the story of Cheung Tinchi, who challenged Ip Man for the title of Wing Chun Grandmaster at the end o... Continue reading
Parent of a 18+-year-old Written byRehan Padia April 14, 2019


Teen, 16 years old Written byBad Boys March 12, 2020


Slicing hands. Naked women. To much sex. A woman is killed with drugs. Use of knives and guns.
Teen, 14 years old Written byEhdhsge1735 October 24, 2019

What's the story?

In MASTER Z: THE IP MAN LEGACY, Cheung Tin-chi (Max Zhang) is trying to move on after being defeated by Ip Man in Ip Man 3. He briefly works as a mercenary before deciding to live a quiet life as a grocer and raise his son. While on a delivery, Tin-chi notices an opium addict, Nana (Chrissie Chau), and her friend Julia (Liu Yan) being hassled by a thug, Tso Sai Kit (Kevin Cheng), over debts. Tin-chi intervenes and defeats Kit and all his men. Unfortunately, this brings unwanted attention to Tin-chi, and his store is burned down. He's taken in by Julia's brother, Fu (Xing Yu), and given a job in Fu's bar. Meanwhile, while syndicate leader Kwan (Michelle Yeoh) -- Kit's sister -- wishes to make her organization legit, Kit wants to move further into illegal drugs. And so Tin-chi finds himself in the crossfire between a hired assassin (Tony Jaa), a crooked restaurateur (Dave Bautista), and other criminals. It's time to call on his Wing Chun skills once more.

Is it any good?

What could have been a feeble attempt to ride on the coattails of Donnie Yen's franchise turns out to be an exhilarating, tightly paced, expertly crafted martial arts romp. Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy succeeds mostly thanks to its legendary director, Yuen Woo-ping, who's best known for choreographing the poetic fight scenes in The Matrix, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and the Kill Bill movies. He's still at the top of his game here, emphasizing clarity, fluidity, and beauty of movement; the impact is still violent, but -- aside from one character's brutal murder -- it's more exciting than shocking overall.

Another winning factor is the lead performance by Max Zhang (Pacific Rim: Uprising) in a strong but sympathetic role. Tin-chi is fueled by his defeat at the hands of Ip Man, but he's not pathetic or whiny. He accepts his loss with dignity and begins to take pride in his new roles as father and working man -- yet he still chooses to do the right thing, at great risk. It's too bad that the other "stars" advertised so prominently (Yeoh, Bautista, and Jaa) have such small roles (and that Guardians of the Galaxy star Bautista's role is villainous), but once this spirited, hugely entertaining movie gets going, that marketing ploy is easily forgiven.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Master Z: Ip Man Legacy's violence. How do the martial arts scenes compare to those of more brutal, evil violence? What's the difference? Can martial arts be both beautiful and violent?

  • How is bullying portrayed in the movie? Is it resolved satisfactorily? Why or why not?

  • Is the main character admirable? Does he ever act selfishly, seek revenge, or use violence for violence's sake?

  • How are drugs and drinking portrayed? Are they glamorized? Are there consequences? Why does that matter?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate