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Film / Ip Man 3

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Ip Man 3 is a 2015 Hong Kong martial arts movie directed by Wilson Yip. It is the second sequel to Ip Man and the third film in the Ip Man film series, with Donnie Yen returning in the title role.

In 1959, when a band of brutal Triads gangsters led by Ma King-sang and working for a crooked property developer (Mike Tyson) make a play to take over Hong Kong, Master Ip is forced to take a stand.

A spinoff titled Master Z: Ip Man Legacy came out in 2018. A sequel, Ip Man 4, was released in 2019.


This film provides examples of:

  • Anachronism Stew: In Real Life, Bruce Lee started his training with Ip Man at age 16 circa 1956. The film is set in 1959, and Bruce is still not Ip's student yet.
  • Artistic License – History: See the film series' article.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Frank proves himself to be a very powerful boxer when he challenges Ip Man. Considering he's played by Mike Tyson...
  • Cool Versus Awesome: Mike Tyson versus Ip Man, or Mike Tyson versus Donnie Yen.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: The fight against the Thai boxer
  • Endurance Duel: Ip Man engages in a one-on-one fight against Frank, and must last three minutes. Although Frank gives him a hard time due to brute strength alone, Ip Man hangs on to the end, and Frank leaves him and his son's school alone as promised.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: The film's first half is a straight-up action flick that's a borderline-parody of itself, with Ip taking on gangsters in a save the school plot. The second half is a (comparatively) serious drama about Ip dealing with his wife's cancer and likely death, and having to choose between what is most important in life — his family or martial arts.
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  • Happy Ending Override: In the previous film, Ip Man may have defeated Twister and brought back a lot of national pride for his people. But seeing as Hong Kong wouldn't be free from British colonial rule until 1997, more mundane people in this film like "Fatso" still have to deal with British authorities being condescending towards them, making them go through bureaucratic red tape, and not giving any priority to their pleas to seriously investigate criminals like Frank.
  • Homage: A shot of Frank breaking glass with his punches while fighting Ip is very similar to one of Fujita fighting Chen from Fist of Legend.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: When the filmmakers announced their intention to use a CGI recreation of a young Bruce Lee as a character in the film, a lawsuit was filed against the studio by Lee's estate. The character still shows up, but is played by an actual actor instead of CGI, with little fanfare in his initial scene (going for a more introductory feel as opposed to bombastic and epic), and not appearing exactly like the traditional depiction of Bruce Lee, instead being depicted as a jovial and friendly, if slightly arrogant young man, which is more realistic considering the character's age.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Frank, despite being a large man, is fast enough to keep up with Ip Man, and his punches actually knock Ip Man back several feet. Even when blocked.
  • Mirror Match: Displayed in the final battle with Ip Man vs. Cheung. While most of Ip Man's previous fights were Wing Chun vs. another martial art, this is a match between Wing Chun vs. Wing Chun. It's even emphasized in the three rounds they went on: long poles, twin blades, and finally barehanded combat.
  • Noble Demon: Frank is a family man who actually keeps his word. After getting into a draw with Ip Man after a self-imposed 3-minute round, he leaves Ip alone as he promised.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Tin Ngo-san: we are told that he is the most famous martial artist in Hong Kong (next to Ip Man, of course), is friends with all of the other martial arts masters and runs the tea shop where they all hang out, despite us having never met him before in the previous films. This is especially noticeable as it was a plot point in the previous film that Ip Man had to challenge the Hong Kong masters, and it wouldn't make sense for someone so highly regarded to have been absent from the match.
  • Scary Black Man: Frank, first when he shorten the delay with Zang to two weeks instead of a month and then when he fights Ip Man by throwing punches so hard it can send him flying.
  • Shout-Out: In Punch-Out!!, Little Mac has to survive 90 seconds of Mike Tyson's instant knockout uppercuts. In Ip Man 3, Ip Man has to survive Frank's (played by Mike Tyson) extremely strong punches for three minutes.
  • Tranquil Fury: Ip Man doesn't show much emotions when Frank's assassin shows up in the same elevator he and his wife are in but once they are able to get out and Cheung is safe he starts giving a pretty strong beatdown, even stepping on the fighter's toes.
  • The Triads and the Tongs: Ma King-sang leads a Triads gang.
  • Villain Respect: Frank not only leaves Ip Man alone as promised, he gives a smiling nod in approval as to say "not bad, not bad at all."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The school teacher Miss Wong, disappears about half way into the movie, despite being set up as a potential love interest for one of Ip's students.
  • Young Future Famous People: A young Siu Lung (Bruce Lee), who else?