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2 items from 2016

Ip Man 3 review – a plodder with occasional highlights

17 January 2016 12:00 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Slick choreography fails to lift this patchy third instalment of the martial arts series

This third instalment in the quasi-biographical series ruffled feathers during pre-production when it was announced that a CGI simulacrum would be employed to bring Bruce Lee back from the dead to play himself. Lee’s estate protested, and the plan was dropped, the incidental role being filled instead by Danny Chan. Sadly, the necessary technology does not exist to breathe life into Mike Tyson’s performance as lumbering thug Frank, who speaks two languages but is coherent in neither. Donnie Yen returns as Ip Man, with whom we pick up in Hong Kong, 1959.

There’s a West Side Story liveliness to some early scenes, after which the patchy story plods messily towards a projected showdown with Cheung Tin-chi (played by Zhang Jin, who had an eye-catching role in Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster), who challenges Ip »

- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic

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Ip Man 3 review – fast and furious kung fu caper

14 January 2016 2:15 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Donnie Yen is poised and impassive as the legendary martial arts master Ip Man, whose pupils included the young Bruce Lee

Here is the final part of a boisterous Hong Kong trilogy about the legendary martial arts master Ip Man, who in the 1950s taught the wing chun style of kung fu to Hong Kong and thereby to the world – and numbered among his pupils the young Bruce Lee, here played by Danny Chan.

Donnie Yen returns to play the poised and impassive Ip Man, heroically battling for the underdog in local skirmishes and dealing with foreign devils including a corrupt British police captain and a thuggish American boxer, played in cameo by Mike Tyson. It’s fast and furious, with streaks of broad comedy and sentimentality, and so arguably in line with the more popular tradition of wuxia, very different from the higher-brow and more glacial Chinese version playing on the international festival circuit. »

- Peter Bradshaw

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