ip man 3 : a martial artist' review

First I want to declare a disclaimer. I am a karateka. And when Ip Man declared he wanted to fight 10 karatekas at once, I laughed out loud in the cinema and almost spewed the popcorn I was eating. The karatekas in Ip Man 1 were the ultimate stereotypical bad villains who waited patiently while the hero disposed of them one by one. Add to the fact that all of them were obedient karatekas who adhered to karate rules of no attacking to joints and no face punching and you start to view this movie in a whole new light where Ip Man was the villain who aimed to maim people with his knuckle massaging techniques.

Ip Man 1 championed Wing Chun while humiliating karate and Hiroyuki Ikeuchi was a pussy who couldn't even go toe to toe with someone so small and short.

Ip Man 2 went on to defeat boxing, the role of the boxer played by Darren Shahlavi who died of a drug OD. At least the boxer's fight was pretty much evenly matched.


Now 2016, we have Ip Man 3. I'm not going to into synopsis here. Ip Man 3 had different directors and choreographers than its predecessor. The dialogue is cringe-worthy. Who speaks like that in real life? Any attempt to portray Ip Man as a humble, down-to-earth, lovable master falls short. Jokes ran flat and some scenes just scream stereotype.

Some scenes are just unnecessary. The dialogue between the Chief Inspector and Tyson just felt like an awkward first date and adds nothing to the plot. In the 1950s, do you think a Black American and a Brit would be on such good terms? Is that Tyson's on screen daughter with the balloon? Why is she so fair skinned? What does the balloon signify? Why did it take so long for the mother to move her to safety? How did the glass not cut her?

Why does Tyson spout random chinese nonsense which I don't understand? Do you expect a thug to honor his word just because he lost? Was Ip Man wearing kevlar under  his suit? There is no way he can withstand Tyson's rib punch. It's just not believable.

The Muay Boran fight was totally unnecessary except to give Ip Man an excuse to fight in close quarters. The fighter wasn't even good except as eye candy. Good usage of camera angles though.

The wife subplot was just not interesting enough. She has always been in the shadows either producing the next heir or cooking or looking sick. Although she must've been a better master than Ip Man for him to totally submit to her. Quite angst-y toward the end.

The fight climax was wing chun vs wing chun. But I see no real reason why Ip Man would win. He does not practice, he does not teach class, but he seems to win with minimum effort. On a plus side, you get to see some weapon work. I see a lazy, effeminate man who puts his wife last. Even the loser's statement after he broke his grandmaster signboard sounded like it was written by a primary school student.

On the plus side, you get to see Donnie play with weapons. And when I see him holding a long bamboo cane, I reminisce the times he fought against Jet Li (the guy grew fat!) in Once Upon a Time in China 2. Now those were good times.

All in all, Ip Man 3 disappointed.

Action scenes: 6/10
Dialogue: 3/10
Stars: 4/10


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