Centering on Ip Man's migration to Hong Kong in 1949 as he attempts to propagate his discipline of Wing Chun martial arts.
Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen and director Wilson Yip reunite with Ip Man 3, the third and possibly last entry of their film series revolving around the revered founder of the Wing Chun martial-arts school. Bolstered by Yuen Woo-ping's exhilarating action choreography and some stunt casting in the shape of Mike Tyson and Zhang Jin (the breakout star in Wong Kar-wai's rival Ip Man biopic The Grandmaster), Yen and Yip have managed to wring a serviceable film out of a pedestrian plot riddled with erroneous period details. Bound for commercial success at home and enthusiasm from kung-fu buffs abroad — the film's rollout outside Asia, in the U.S. and Australia, begins late next month — Ip Man 3 could possibly score a couple of noms at the annual film awards in Hong Kong.
The pic is set in 1959, when the titular grandmaster is seen settling into his low-profile life in Hong Kong after his decades of struggle against feuding rivals and then Japanese oppressors during World War II — all of which was shown in the previous two installments. The film picks up the narrative from Ip Man 2 with a face-off between Ip (Yen) and a grown-up Bruce Lee (Danny Chan). Defying the gritty, hard-knuckle action sequences which have defined the franchise, the showdown unfolds in the kind of Matrix-like slow motion that has propelled Yuen to international mainstream prominence.
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