Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Thoughts On Ip Man 3

  • The third one’s the shitty one in China, too.
  • Movies rarely anger me–I’ll just turn them off–but Ip Man 3 was a seemingly personalized mixture of things that piss TotD off: that Zack Snyder fast/slow bullshit in the action scenes, annoying child actors, intrusive and blatant score, and characters I hate taking forever to die.
  • Ip Man’s wife (Ip Woman) gets cancer and after 45 minutes of her moping around, I was actively and loudly rooting for the disease to metastasize faster.
  • For me, this movie’s protagonist was the tumor.
  • Don’t watch this, please; you MUST see the first two in the series, though, and that’s probably one of the reasons this flick let me down so much: I had high expectations, and that always leads to to sadness.
  • Anyway, the movie takes place in Hong Kong in 1959, and Hong Kong in 1959–according to this film as my only source–was chockablock full of greasers.
  • It was like Chinese Graffiti.
  • The Chinese version of Chekhov’s gun is nunchucks during the opening credits, and here is where I will mention for the first time the fatal flaw of this kung fu movie: there is not enough kung fu.
  • Huge stretches of the film go by with nary a windpipe being crushed, or a face being kicked.
  • There’s a bad guy and a rival, I suppose: the bad guy wants to buy the school that Ip Boy goes to, and the rival is another parent at the school.
  • Like a fucked-up PTA meeting, I guess.
  • Mike Tyson sends greaser thugs to the school and Ip Man calls the police.
  • Did I forget to mention that Mike Tyson is in this?
  • We’ll get back to him.
  • The thugs threaten the principal, but he won’t sell the school.
  • Schools work differently in Hong Kong, I guess; I do not believe principals are allowed to auction off the facilities in America.
  • I’m sure some have tried, though.
  • So the thugs kidnap the principal, and they do this by tossing a burlap sack over him in the middle of the street at lunchtime.
  • But here’s the thing: it’s not a cartoon-y movie–there’s cancer and children in danger–so the sack stood out a bit.
  • Finally, after 22 fucking minutes of not kicking, there is kicking.
  • Now we meet the bad guys, who are Mike Tyson and the most ridiculous British person on the planet.
  • Chinese audiences wouldn’t recognize how silly the accent is, but to a Westerner, it is clear that the actor was fucking around.
  • Take Jon Stewart’s impression of Queen Elizabeth and multiply it by Downton Abbey and then take the result to the Steven Fry-th power.
  • But, you know: I couldn’t tell Cantonese from Mandarin, let along regional accents from each other, so I’m not surprised no one noticed.
  • (Although it should be noted that Chinese movies do not have any of America’s (new-found) distaste towards making the bad guy a stereotypical foreigner. So far the Ip Man villains have been Japanese guys that looked straight off WWII propaganda posters, the British, and now Mike Tyson.)
  • Ip Woman gets cancer.
  • And, like, she really gets it: we got to the fucking doctor and the pharmacy and see x-rays; it takes for-fucking-ever.
  • So half the movie–fucking half!–is this cancer bullshit and the wife (who has been a wet blanket and a pill throughout the entire trilogy) is all sad and Ip Man may or may not be sad; I don’t know.
  • This is because Donnie Yen has two facial expressions, and one of them is “no facial expression at all.”
  • (The other one is “smiling awkwardly.”)
  • Then the children get kidnapped, also in the middle of the streets at lunchtime, and the scene’s shot for comedy: the Level Boss literally catches kids and throws the in a van with a cage door on the back.
  • But then he starts screaming about how he’s going to sell the children into slavery.
  • Can we not bring child slavery into it, Ip Man 3?
  • Any chance we can keep it light and have Kung Fu Guy fight Mike Tyson and let me eat my popcorn in peace?
  • So, Ip Man fights an entire shipbuilding factory and then his rival shows up (there’s a lot I’m leaving out, but you don’t give a shit and neither do I) and there is some good kicking and fun punching for a while.
  • And then it’s cancer time again.
  • Why can’t Ip Man use kung fu on the cancer?
  • Kick the tumor very hard?
  • Whatever, get to the action.
  • Hey, it’s convicted rapist and Trump supporter Mike Tyson!
  • And he is speaking (a little) Cantonese (badly, one would assume)!
  • He and Ip Man fight, and I cannot lie: it is a damn good scene.
  • Here it is:
  • That’s the only part of the movie you need, and it occurs WITH AN HOUR LEFT.
  • Gonna be honest: I checked out mentally after this.
  • After quite a bit of acting, Ip Woman dies.
  • The rival, the other dad from the school, becomes some sort of kung fu hero and challenges Ip Man and then they fight and I did not care at all.
  • More like Nope Man.


  1. The choice of Mike Tyson as the villain is kind of interesting in light of your comments of the other types of villains and this:

  2. Luther Von Baconson

    July 2, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    do you mutter in Britspeak at times, to the Fryeth power?

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