‘Ip Man 3’ concludes martial arts trilogy

January 25, 2016

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The film “Ip Man 3” was released Dec. 24, 2015 in China, but it’s just now making its way west to the U.S. As such,  movie buffs and martial arts enthusiasts have plenty to get excited about.

Modern martial arts marvel

The series began with the release of “Ip Man” in 2008. The movie franchise is a semi-biographical account of the life of Yip Man. Yip Man is a famous personality in the martial arts world, in part because he was the contemporary grand master of the martial art Wing Chun. In addition to being the leader of Wing Chun, Man famously taught martial artist and movie star Bruce Lee. The first film in the trilogy focused on Yip Man’s life in the city of Foshan, China, during the Sino-Japanese War.

“Ip Man” was extremely well-received upon its release. The film was nominated for 12 Hong Kong Film Awards, and won Best Film and Best Action Choreography that year. Following the immense success, producers announced plans for a sequel, “Ip Man 2,” which was released in 2010.

After again enjoying success at the box office and receiving critical acclaim, the franchise seemed to require a third film. “Ip Man 3” sticks to a script in line with the abundance of drama usually found in martial arts action flicks. In this third installment, Master Ip defends his city from a band of brutal gangsters led by an evil property developer.

Great cast

Many critics believe films in the “Ip Man” trilogy are good because of the strength of their casts. Donnie Yen plays the title character and brings life to Yip Man. In addition to being one of the premiere film stars of China, he’s an accomplished martial artist in his own right. The stunts and choreography are second nature to Yen, and he actually helped design the choreography for the films. That makes sense, given the fact that he’s won the world championship in wushu multiple times. He’s also appeared in “Blade II” and “Shanghai Knights.”

Although those in the U.S. might not recognize Yen, they are sure to recognize the film’s villain. The character, Frank, is played by none other than famous American boxer Mike Tyson. Though he may not be as quick as Yen when it comes to martial arts, his presence and professional experience make for excellent fight sequences between the two main characters.