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Ip Man 3 

Wednesday, Jan 20 2016

Wilson Yip's Ip Man 3 is not only the conclusion of a trilogy starring Donnie Yen as the real-life Wing Chun Grandmaster Ip Man, it's also the sixth film about Bruce Lee's mentor to be released in the past decade. (Others include Ip Man: The Final Fight, The Legend of Ip Man, and Wong Kar-wai's The Grandmaster. But Ip Man 3 is the only one to feature Mike Tyson!) Here, Master Ip finds himself challenged by an American property developer (Tyson) looking to demolish a local school, as well as a local martial arts expert Cheung (Jin Zhang), looking to dethrone Ip as the true Wing Chun master. Although it's being marketed on Tyson as the big bad guy, and he and Yen do square off, Ip Man 3 is ultimately about Ip struggling with his legacy and what's truly important in his life. Director Yip stages both the action and the drama scenes expertly, and Yen is appropriately soulful as the aging Ip — while Tyson is just terrible, and thus fascinating to watch. Indeed, an exchange between the convicted rapist and an uncredited Caucasian actor putting on the fakest British accent ever may prove to be the year's funniest scene. Thankfully, Ip Man 3 is too graceful to be knocked out even by the lumbering train-wreck that is Iron Mike.

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Sherilyn Connelly


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