Ip Man 3 (2016)
Director: Wilson Yip
Writer: Edmond Wong
Runtime: 105 minutes
Cast: Donnie Yen, Zhang Jin, Danny Chan, Lynn Hung, Mike Tyson (in Cantonese and English w/subtitles)
Donnie Yen returns as the titular character of Ip Man, for this final installment of the trilogy. Ip Man is one of my favorite martial arts films and carries a legacy behind it. The story follows Ip Man to Hong Kong in 1959, settling into his new life with his wife Cheung Wing-sing and youngest son Ip Chun while his oldest has returned to Foshan to study.
The weakest part of the film is the story itself. It’s very predictable at certain points and when one plot point ends, another begins. Writer Edmond Wong could have done something to make the story more impactful instead of it being so linear. Outside of that, there were some touching moments in the film dealing with his family and the appearance of another Wing Chun practitioner Cheung Tin-chi played by Zhang Jin, who has his own stance on the use of Wing Chun. Danny Chan plays Bruce Lee, he isn’t in the film long but you see the likeliness and cool style of Lee. Mike Tyson, who plays Frank in the film, isn’t used for long. He’s only in the film for a couple of minutes and is not seen after that. It didn’t bother me seeing him used so little because as the story progresses, you can tell he was in there just for the one fight against Ip Man. Also, what bugs me is when Tyson speaks, it switches from English to Cantonese at certain points in the dialogue and threw me for aloof. I was actually laughing at how they did that, chuckling but still was pretty funny.
Everyone did a good job acting in their prospective roles. Donnie Yen was is still really good as Ip Man. He’s cool and calm and has a sense of ease with him. His face doesn’t change that much in the film. He’s either smiling, calm or looking sad. Lynn Hung, who portrays Ip Man’s wife didn’t resonate with me in the films, but she brought more emotions to the screen Yen did. When you learn what is happening to her, you feel bad about it. Zhang Jin, who plays opposite of Yen, character evolves over the course of the film. Turning from a rickshaw worker to becoming a master in his own right and you can see the drive the man has when playing his character. Tyson did an okay job for how long he is in the film and is menacing for his short time in the film.
When you go to see an Ip Man film, you know there are going to be amazing fight scenes and it doesn’t disappoint. Wilson Yip does an amazing job capturing these action scenes. The physicality on display in the fights are shot carefully and you can see the time put into creating these scenes. Seeing Ip Man use Wing Chun go against different styles is impressive. The action is amazing and fight scenes are choreographed in a fine fashion. Ip Man taking on multiple opponents in a shipyard was phenomenal and using the environment around him to isolate and pick off foes was awesome.When Ip Man takes on Frank, harkens back to Tyson’s boxing days with the three-minute time limit put in place. The time limit is put in place for a reason in the film. I love the final fight in this movie and I’ve never seen butterfly knives used so perfectly.
Ip Man 3 is a good send off to the series, even with it’s linear plot, it still manages to give you what you want. Actors handle their roles admirably and action sequences are choreographed in a beautiful manner to show off the various styles. Bruce Lee does appear in the film This may not be the best in the trilogy but does end it with grace.
4 Ip Man’s out of 5