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Review Ip Man 3 a.k.a. Yip Man 3 (2015): Donnie Yen kicking ass again, what is there not to love!

genre: martial arts, action

If it were up to me they could continue the film series for a long time if they keep up the quality as they have been doing so far. 

Ip Man 3 for the most part is on par with it's predecessors. The fights and action of course are the main highlights and I am very happy to report that the action is spectacular as usual. I said for the most part. Because Ip Man 3 does deviate from the formula a little. The first two set up Ip Man as a folk hero (whether this was true or not) and made him part of nationalistic and politic affairs. All of that is done with and things are downsized considerably. The stakes are less high but surprisingly remains to be grand and epic. We get to see Ip Man the husband who tries to be there for his wife as much as possible. I won't spoil why but it was endearing and touching and very welcome variation in between all the action and the mayhem. I usually don't care that much about the acting abilities of martial artists. But I have to say that Donnie Yen never ceases to amaze. He manages to bring a sensibility to his role that makes you like the character even when some of his choices or actions might be questionable. In this film he shows that there is more to Ip Man than just his fighting. Naturally most people watch these films for the action but I think it's nice when martial arts films like these make the effort to tell an actual story. It does help to increase the intensity of the action. 

That being said however I still am not entirely sure what I should think of Mike Tyson and his part in this film. Of course it is always interesting to see an ex professional boxer fight a martial artist. But it was definitely not the highlight of the film. Actually it felt out of place entirely. It seemed like an afterthought or a gimmick. Whatever the reason Mike Tyson can't act and I know he has quite the reputation as a boxer but as an actor I simply can't take him seriously. To have him star as the big honcho felt just weird. Honestly how can you take a guy seriously who talks like he does? Well, they did remedy this by not giving him too much dialogue and having stooge Jin Zhang do most of the fighting for him. Still him being there did not feel right with the overall tone of the film.

Another thing that I hoped would be better is the Bruce Lee bit. By now Bruce has grown up and finally becomes his student. But like with Mike Tyson it felt more like a gimmick. Why not show more? Why not have some teacher - pupil moments between them? Because let's face it the whole reason most of the people are familiar with Ip Man is because of Bruce Lee and not the other way around. 

Ok I might have been nitpicking a little concerning Bruce Lee. Ip Man 3 is very much a worthy successor in the franchise and I sincerely hope it won't be the last. One I can recommend. 

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