Ip Man 3 Review

Ip Man 3 (2015) Movie Review by Stephen McLaughlin


Director: Wilson Yip
Writers: Tai-lee Chan (as Tai-Li Chan),  Lai-yin Leung
Stars: Donnie Yen,  Lynn Hung,  Jin Zhang, Mike Tyson

The third instalment of the legend that is “Ip Man” continues after two rather successful movies. This time “Ip Man” is forced to take a stand against a brutal gang led by a crooked property developer named “Frank” (Mike Tyson) who plan to take over the local school.

Donnie Yen makes glorious return as Ip Man, and again doesn’t disappoint. If the first movie dealt with honour and the second movie dealt with acceptance, the third one really delves deep into the meaning of life and is possibly the most emotional storyline of the saga. Donnie Yen by now is such a charismatic actor and elegant fighter you know you are going to be entertained regardless.

In my previous reviews I probably nit picked at certain elements of the previous two instalments, but one thing always kept me watching and that was Donnie Yen. He really was cast so well for the role of Ip Man and especially because he is capable of combining acting and martial arts with grace.

Similar to the previous two instalments “Ip Man 3” is loaded with great martial arts sequences throughout the duration of the movie and in particular the martial arts fighting sequences were done with great care and attention to detail. It was elegant and visually impressive to look at and in particular the fighting scenes with Iron Mike Tyson. These scenes were beautifully choreographed and equally so executed by the actors on the screen.

As always the supporting cast around Donnie Yen was and is a bit ropey with some stand out performances and the occasional duff line or six with “actors” who are clearly more comfortable with their fighting sequences than their dialogue. Unfortunately one of those is the main villain in the movie “Frank” played by Mike Tyson making his first appearance as an action star.

As previously mentioned his fighting skills and scenes with Donnie Yen are some of the best moments in the trilogy but it’s the dialogue, acting and delivery that lets Tyson down as he confusingly floats between English and Cantonese in his lines unconvincingly. Again I’m nitpicking and I should really just see this as an oversight.

It was also a nice to see this series hint at one of Ip Man’s most famous students Bruce Lee. Like previously they hinted with a pre credit scene in the second instalment a young Bruce Lee making an appearance in the movie with Donnie Yen’s character saying come back to me when you are older. Ip Man 3 jumps right into this by the third instalment and now a much older Lee appears at his door to learn Wing Chun. Check out the cigarette scene on You Tube to whet your appetite. Actor Kwok-Kwan Chan did a decent job, although the portrayal of Lee is more a caricature version, but it fun nonetheless.

“Ip Man 3” movie is a definite must watch movie if you enjoy the previous two instalments and enjoy martial arts in general on the big screen. This movie delves into the emotional side of Ip Man and his family and there is truly some heartbreaking scenes throughout. Having now completed a trilogy of reviews on the Ip Man series I am now looking forward to the fourth instalment next year in which will mark a decade since the original. I think it benefits watching the current three back to back and although filmed in 2008, 2010 and 2015, they are seamless in their continuation and storytelling flow. I highly recommend everyone should watch “Ip Man 3”

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