Despite Mr. Yen’s impressive physical virtuosity, his stoic, often humorless presence tends to neutralize the emotional temperature.
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This time, celebrated action director Yuen Wo-ping, taking over from Sammo Hung, ensures the film’s fight sequences remain the film’s primary focus, although the overall tone is smaller and quieter, reflecting both the personal drama Ip Man encounters and Donnie Yen’s own encroaching retirement from kung-fu cinema.
In the end, Ip Man 3 doesn’t quite rise to the dizzying heights of the first two films, but then again, this will almost certainly be your only chance to see Mike Tyson go up against Donnie Yen.
Ip Man 3 credibly conjures the period with soundstage sets, rock-and-roll oldies and slicked-back hair. But director Winston Yip shows less concern for authenticity in Ip’s antagonists.
Ip Man 3, set in Hong Kong circa 1959, combines the customary, inventively choreographed action with an unexpected emotional depth, proving as hard to resist as its entertaining predecessors.
As it happens, the weakest part of Ip Man 3 is its run-of-the-mill, almost juvenile potboiler plot.
Unassuming, likable entertainment.
Donnie Yen's performance is so good that it's a shame Wilson Yip's films have never strived to be more than briskly entertaining hagiography.
Stone-faced martial-arts star Donnie Yen does a lot with a little in wuxia weepy Ip Man 3, the rare kung fu film whose sentimental dialogue scenes are just as good as its stripped-down action sequences.
Returning director Wilson Yip commits to this tone too late, getting lost in tangential conflict and stunt casting — in this corner, Mike Tyson! — at the expense of the drama and even the action.