Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes
Ip Man 3
In 1959 British Hong Kong, Ip Man (Donnie Yen) lives a quiet life with his wife Cheung Wing-sing (Lynn Xiong) and his younger son Ah Ching (Xiao Long Li). Ah Ching gets into trouble with another boy in his class and both parents are called to the school. There Ip Man meets Cheung Tin-Chi (Jin Zhang), who also practices the Wing Chun style of kung Fu. He is struggling as a single parent, and makes a living pulling a rickshaw, but his dream is to have his own martial arts school. However, he can’t afford the rent. The boys reconcile and the fathers become friends.
Trouble comes in the form of a rich businessman, Frank (Mike Tyson) who desires to own the property the
school sits on and is willing to do whatever he can to get it, including the use of force. He uses his thugs to terrorize the school, forcing Ip Man and his students to step in. While his wife understands what he is doing, she wishes he were at home more. And she hasn’t told him, but she isn’t feeling well, and fears something may be wrong.
Complicating matters, a jealous Tin-Chi has decided to make a name for himself by battling the other kung fu masters. He then challenges Ip Man to a fight… for the title of Grandmaster of Wing Chun. When Ip Man does not show up for the scheduled match, Tin-Chi declares himself Grandmaster. Meanwhile, matters at the school escalate, and some children are kidnapped in order to force a showdown with Ip Man
The third installment of the Ip Man series is just as good as the others. He and his family don’t live the opulent lifestyle they once did before the Japanese invasion, but they have a good life. Ip Man is well known and respected in the community. The film deals with respect, and family, and standing up for right is right. Tin-Chi is not a bad man, and he means well, and has to make choices between getting ahead and doing the right thing. I have to say that I found the addition of Mike Tyson jarring. First, he is no actor, and he speaks mostly in English with a few Mandarin phrases thrown in for good measure, but his slight lisp doesn’t help with the Mandarin. Secondly, he’s a boxer and his movements are powerful and seem rough when seen in juxtaposition with the graceful moves of Ip Man. The fight between Ip Man and Frank is inevitable, as is the outcome. Side note: Donnie Yen broke Tyson’s finger in that scene. The best fight in the film, among many good fights, is between Ip Man and Tin-chi. Also, there is a scene in an elevator between Ip Man and a Thai fighter with poor Mrs IP trapped in the corner that is pretty good.
There is one more film in the series and I look forward to that. Also, there is another one with Tin-Chi called Master Z, and I’ll watch that too. I’ll give this film 4.5 Stars.