As obscure as a lot of Chinese cinema has been and continues to be, I was pretty relieved in the last several months as we were all informed of the upcoming North American release of author and filmmaker Xu Haofeng's newest film, The Final Master. The film picked up a few good wins and nominations during recent award shows including a Best Choreography award at the Golden Horse 2015 ceremony and a Film Of Merit win in Shanghai this year, and even on those limited terms, it's unimaginable to me, the prospect of this film not getting more attention.
THE FINAL MASTER is a martial arts drama set in the transformational time period of China before World War II. Based on director Xu Haofeng’s best selling novel, THE MASTER, the story follows a Wing Chun practitioner’s ambitious journey to open a martial arts school in the Northern Center to fulfill his master’s dying wish of passing down the art. In order to gain the rights to achieve this, he has to send an apprentice to secretly challenge and defeat eight martial arts schools. Unbeknownst to him is that he is merely a pawn being played in the power game within the martial arts community. In the end, he must choose between what is right and what is expected to achieve his destiny. THE FINAL MASTER is a story of deception, tradition, betrayal and revenge that all culminates to a masterfully choreographed climatic ending.