Saturday, April 09, 2016

'Ip Man 3' Doesn't Have the Story I Want, but Is Still Great Martial Arts Fun

When I saw Ip Man in 2008, I never really expected it would become a trilogy eight years later.  I always felt that the previous two movies ended in definite notes.  I guess their respective epilogues have that kind of effect.

Anyway, if you have been following this series from the start, you know already that it tells the story of kung fu master Ip Man (portrayed marvellously by Donnie Yen) – or Yip Man – who was Bruce Lee’s mentor, and whose discipline – Wing Chun – Bruce Lee based his own fighting style creation – Jeet Kune Do – on.  Knowing this fact, and assuming from the connotation of the final scene of the second movie, I thought Ip Man 3 would focus on how Ip Man trained Bruce Lee, and how the latter developed Jeet Kune Do.  But, though Bruce Lee is in the movie, that won’t be the case with its plot.  Instead, it’s about Ip Man protecting his community’s school from a rough American property developer (Mike Tyson) and his hooligans, while dealing with his wife’s illness and a rival Wing Chun master keen of defeating him.

The movie does have some dramatic moments, but there’s nothing commendable or of substance as far as the writing is concerned.  But that’s okay since these movies have always been about beautiful martial arts action anyway.  And Ip Man 3 has this in spades.  The fight scenes are a lot of fun; Donnie Yen is brilliant, as usual; and even Mike Tyson surprisingly sells it.   Also, the good camera work and cinematography greatly help.  Thus, though there’s nothing sophisticated about the story, it’s still a very entertaining movie in general.

Now, I just hope that the next installment – there should be! – will finally focus on Ip Man’s mentoring of Bruce Lee. 
But while waiting for that to happen, I'm really excited to see Ip Man kick butt in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story later this year.

No comments: