Written by J. Johnson
Starring: Donnie Yen, Zhang Jin, Lynn Hung, Patrick Tam, Karena Ng, Kent Cheng, Bryan Leung, Louis Cheung, Danny Chan, with Mike Tyson | Cantonese w/ English subtitles | Rating: PG-13 (For sequences of martial arts violence & brief strong language)
Runtime: 105 minutes
Content in this article (review) may contain spoilers for ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’. Readers discretion is advised.
You have to say to yourself, any movie featuring Hong Kong martial arts/action star Donnie Yen going up against a former Heavyweight champion in Mike Tyson with fights choreographed by Yuen Woo-Ping (“The Matrix” & “Kill Bill“) at least has that subtle humor to it. Although it may still get you to watch the movie, I know that peaked my interest.
“Ip Man 3‘ — the latest in films about the legendary Ip Man, the real-life master who trained Bruce Lee in the mighty art of the Wing Chun style of kung-fu. It’s truly more than just a fill of stunt casting and suggestive pop-culture ideas.
In this final part of a boisterous Hong Kong trilogy about the legendary master Ip Man who taught the young Bruce Lee (Danny Chan) back in the 1950s. Ip Man (Donnie Yen) returns to play the poised and impassive Ip Man. As well as him battling heroically as the underdog in the local skirmishes, but also had dealings with foreign foes including a corrupt British police captain and a thuggish American boxer (Mike Tyson).
Kung-fu movies are seen for many different reasons, but the main reason is for the fights. If the story can please the audience watching that’s just an added bonus. “Ip Man 3” does not disappoint as three main fights grab you: Wing Chun vs Muay Thai (Thai boxing), Wing Chun vs Mike Tyson, & Ip Shifu vs Cheung Shifu. All had some great sequences of fighting that it gives its predecessors a run.
Throughout, there’s those standard one vs all fights, where a crowd of baddies surrounds the hero, getting roundly kicked and pummeled and then he breakaways. Afterward, he does other things like running away only to be met by the baddies again and he runs up a ladder to get away. It’s alright in this case, but something that most kung-fu movies should try to get away from.
“Ip Man 3” definitely is the satisfying electric action movie that you will want. It also has a surprisingly touching and personal side that only expands the trilogy as more than an action movie. The one drawback — or plus, depending on one’s tolerance for unintentional humor — is the cardboard acting. As usual, the unflappable Yen shows off his calm, zen style of fighting but no one’s going to be showering Tyson with Oscars anytime soon. Still, this isn’t enough to knock down “Ip Man 3“.