Hong Kong screen icon Donnie Yen is not only on the brink of world domination he proves he can still rock an fast paced martial arts movie with his most famous franchise; Ip Man.
Hong Kong, set during the late fifties Ip Man (Donnie Yen) and has family finally settled and Master Ip remains a renowned figure in the wing chun community.
His peaceful lifestyle does not last for long when small time gangsters begin an assault the local school. When the smart mouth gangsters (led by Patrick Tam) resort to violence towards the teachers – Ip Man immediately sends the mobsters packing. It is soon revealed that the gangsters are under the order of a crooked western property developer, Frank (Mike Tyson) and he will not stop until he owns that school.
Ip Man 3 comes a pleasant surprise – they manage to give us a fair mixture of well choreographed action balanced with the melodrama of Ip Mans home life. The story comes as an original tale which does not need to repeat previously trodden stories; this is simply Ip Man battles off evil western property developer and saves the children – it sounds like one of the old Wong Fei-Hong films from the sixties.
Ip Man 3 does come with a couple of sub-plots outside of Mike Tysons property wars – I will not reveal all the details, but the story between Ip Man and the rickshaw driver, Cheung Tin-chi (Jin Zhang) is particularly excellent. The two men are not only linked by their dedication of Wing Chun, their children attend the same school. Cheungs loyalty is tested as his main income is earned by bare knuckle boxing for the troublesome gangsters.
Like many films from Hong Kong you don’t go into this experience expecting academy award worth acting performances. Most times many Hong Kong actors tend to overreact their expressions, a good example comes from Kent Cheng; who is playing a man of the law for the fifth time. Although he is outdone by the head detective played by a nameless western actor whose sole motivation seems; Be as snobbishly British as possible! Pish Posh, Cheerio!
The film certainly meets its action quota, for the near 100 minute running time we are treated over half a dozen large scale action sequences helmed by action choreography legend Yuen Woo-Ping. Yen remains to look as fast as lightening without too much help from special effects. My favourite action sequence comes early on when Master Ip is guarding the school from any potential attackers. When he is prepared leave – fifty pole wielding gangsters show up trying to torch the school. This sequence has a perfect mixture of the heightened drama, matched with Kenji Kawais excellent score and the travelling camera work which blew me away.
Overall a excellent addition to the now Ip Man trilogy and if Donnie Yen claims this is his final martial arts film before joins a Galaxy far, far away – I’m pleased as punch that he has closed the door with Ip Man 3.
IP MAN 3
The next action-packed chapter in the story of the real life martial arts master! Showing in 2D & 3D in select cinemas. In cinemas from Friday 15th Jan. 2016.