Ip Man 3, film review: Elegant fight scenes and a cameo from Mike Tyson

(12A)​ Wilson Yip, 110 mins. Starring: Donnie Yen, Patrick Tam, Jin Zhang, Lynn Hung, Mike Tyson

Geoffrey Macnab
Friday 15 January 2016 00:37 GMT
Kung fu fighter: Max Zhang in martial arts sequel ‘Ip Man 3’
Kung fu fighter: Max Zhang in martial arts sequel ‘Ip Man 3’

Ip Man was the martial arts master who taught Bruce Lee his skills. He was the subject of Wong Kar-wai's ravishing The Grandmaster, in which he was played by Tony Leung. Ip Man 3 is a more prosaic and workmanlike affair, albeit with some very elegant fight scenes and an enjoyable cameo from the former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson.

Donnie Yen underplays nicely as Ip Man. As portrayed by Yen, he is a graceful and gentle figure who just happens to have lethal kung fu skills. The film is set in late 1950s Hong Kong. Ip Man is leading the quiet life, raising his young son. The main conflict here comes when thugs try to take over his son's school on behalf of gangster/property developer Frank (Tyson).

There are two other main strands to the story, one involving Ip's beloved but ailing wife Wing-sin (Lynn Hung) and the other revolving around Cheung Tin-chi (Jin Zhang), a rickshaw driver and aspiring kung fu master who becomes Ip Man's friend and rival. The plotting is on the feeble side but director Yip stages the set-pieces with plenty of relish. These include a mass brawl in the docks, a heavily ritualised face-off between Ip Man and Cheung Tin-chi and a semi-comic tussle in which Ip Man pits his silky fighting skills against Tyson's fists of fury.

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