Mike Tyson vs Donnie Yen? Enough said. Ip Man 3 Review

Does the addition of Mike Tyson help or hurt this second sequel?

Released by: Well Go USA

Release Date: Dec. 16th. 2015

Starring: Donnie Yen, Lynn Hung, Jin Zhang, and Mike Tyson

Written by: Tai-Li Chan, Lai-yin Leung, Edmond Wong

Directed by Wilson Yip

Rated PG-13 (sequences of martial arts violence and brief strong language)

There has been a wealth of martial arts movies over the past few years but, unlike the 80's when the
last big wealth happened, most of them have been stinkers. Donnie Yen had his fair share of stinkers during this time. Special I.D. was an over edited mess, Ice Man had some good things going for it, but not enough to save the movie, and the less said about Legend of the Fist the better.

Ip Man 3 stars Yen as Ip Man, a teacher of Wing Chun, who is married and has a young son. The neighborhood that Ip Man and his family live in has began to be terrorized by a gang led by Mike Tyson (yes that Mike Tyson). The gang first tries to take over the elementary school where Ip Man's son goes to. The teachers ask Ip Man for help and he guards the school at all hours of the day and kicks some ass when the gang finds out who he is. (It seems like everyone in the town knows who Ip Man looks like except for the gang which is weird).

The gang goes into overdrive and kidnaps Ip Man's son and then makes Ip Man grovel to get his son back. This leads to a fight scene, which Ip Man wins.

All of this is going on while Ip Man's wife, Wing-sing, is getting sick. She finds out that she has cancer, but can not find a way of telling Ip Man. She knows that he will drop everything to help her, but he is counted on by the community to keep it safe. After their son is kidnapped and returned, Wing-sing tells Ip Man and he does exactly what she thought he would do.

There is another subplot with Jin Zhang, who stars as a man who wants to open up his own Wing Chun school. To get the press he needs he calls out Ip Man and challenges him to a fight. The winner will be crowned Grandmaster and be the only teacher of Wing Chun. Ip Man ignores this to take care of his wife.

There is a lot going on in Ip Man 3 and somethings just didn't fit right. The subplot with Jin Zhang calling out Ip Man felt forced even though it is woven into the movie at the start. I think that the creative team felt that Ip Man needed an enemy, but they had one in Mike Tyson.

Speaking of Mike Tyson, all I have to say is: Wow. I was afraid that Tyson was going to be all over the movie. He is not very good, acting wise, and I felt that he was going to hurt the movie much like he hurts people in the ring. To my surprise, he has a handful of scenes and they are brief but memorable. Tyson does his own calling out of Ip Man and they have the best fight scene in the movie, even though it is very short. Tyson seems at home with the action. This comes as a nice surprise to me because not all athletes can adapt to movie fight choreography, but Tyson holds his own against Yen.

I liked Ip Man 3, but it pales in comparison to the other two in the series. The fight scenes are not as memorable as the first two movies. The only fight that stands out is the Donnie Yen/Mike Tyson fight and that doesn't last for very long. All of the other fights are good, but they don't last as long in my memory. I can recall with ease almost every fight scene in the first two Ip Man's.

Even though the movie is kind of all over the place, I will give the filmmakers credit with the "wife has cancer" story line. It is a cliche to even include it in movies nowadays, but they pulled it off. The actress, Lynn Hung, is really good here and you feel for here. She has been in all the Ip Man movies as Ip Man's wife so the scenes between here and Yen play out very nicely. We believe that they love each other deeply and her illness hurts Yen as much as it does her. This is one of the rare instances where we remember the couple as much as the fight scenes. In fact, I liked the quiet scenes between Yen and Hung more than fight scenes.

Ip Man 3 is a flawed movie. It was rushed into production because of an opening in Yen's very hectic schedule and it shows. The fight scenes are not all that great even though Yuen Woo-ping did the choreography. Woo-ping is a master, but it seems like he is kind of slumming here. He also directed and did the choreography for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny and with these two movies it shows that Woo-ping needs to go back to the drawing board. I liked Ip Man 3, but I liked it more for the chemistry between Yen and Hung than I did for the fight scenes. The fights are good, but not that good.


Post a Comment