I recently watched the Chinese movie, ‘Ip Man 3’ and enjoyed it very much and would like to recommend it to you. Donnie Yen is incredibly spectacular, as an actor and as a martial artist. This movie had several long fight sequences, the most notable ones for me were: the power punch up with Mike Tyson’s gangster character, and the extraordinary skillful final fight scene with the fellow Wing Chun challenger. This movie also touched on a young Bruce Lee’s first meeting with Yip Man in Hong Kong.
I have seen several movies based on Yip Man (also known as Yip Kai-Man), the legendary martial arts Grandmaster, and while this version showed a more sensitive and vulnerable side of the man (yes, I shed some tears), my favorite story so far is the version entitled ‘The Grandmaster’ starring Tony Leung, in which the most inspiring and heart-rendering character was played by Zhang Ziyi. Perhaps the notion that a woman is capable of being a Grandmaster is appealing to me – martial arts being mostly dominated by men, almost exclusively for centuries in China – and I am all about women’s empowerment.
Here are some of the lessons I learnt from watching ‘Ip Man 3’ and some commentary/trivia related to the movie, to share with you:
1) Martial arts is not about fighting and being that bad ass. Knowing when to use it is just as important as how.
2) Yip Man sums it up best, for qualities in a true martial artist – Simplicity, Patience, Compassion. These virtues were demonstrated frequently in the movie. I should remember to practice these virtues more frequently…
3) “Use your martial skill for the good of humanity” Yip Man had supposedly said. Again, this lesson of doing good or contributing positively for humanity, no matter how big or small, is something we should take heart.
4) Donnie Yen can fight and look hot in traditional Chinese clothes.
5) Whoever the plastic surgeon was who did work on Donnie’s face, this doctor is pretty good; I remember being startled seeing the double eyelid work many years ago during a close up of him in the cinema and I still remember the exact scene where he was soaking in a wooden hot tub (yup, you can see everything in high definition).
6) Mike Tyson was a BEAST in this movie. He reminds us that he was a true world champion boxer and he still has the power and skills.
7) I must admit that I chuckled when I read a back story that Mike injured a finger while filming the fight scene – oh come on, people do get injured in action movies…
8) Seriously, respect (with fist bump to the heart) to Mike for speaking Cantonese, which by the way, sounds better than my attempts; this man won back my heart when he sang in the ‘Hangover’ movie and he continues to amaze me as he leaves his troubled past behind.
9) Way back in the day when Mike was dating or married to Robin Givens, I remember seeing a picture of her in the tabloids and got excited – she wore the exact same pair of Dior sunglasses I had (which I still own).
10) The actress who played Ip Man’s wife is not outstandingly pretty. Yeah, ok she played a sick woman, but I cannot see her appeal. Apparently she is Aaron Kwok’s ex-girlfriend (and if you don’t know who he is, please look up this Heavenly King! He is one of my favorite few Asian men/actors).
11) The kid who played the son was super irritating when he kept crying so loudly. As the supposed son of a kung fu master, shouldn’t he be braver? My Mom explained to me that the boy was still young and it was ok to be frightened. While I see her point, I am unable to comprehend why the kid had to keep wailing for such a long – and I mean a distractingly irritatingly looooong – time.
12) Compare that pathetic kid to the child version of an Aaron Kwok character in one of my favorite Chinese movies, ‘Storm Riders’. That kid did not even react when his father and the entire clan were murdered before his eyes. Solid stone cold.
13) Apparently Yip Man’s two sons served as advisors for this movie; I wonder if they are as extraordinary as their father.
14) Yes, Yip Man was a REAL person! So was Wong Fei-Hung.
15) I wonder where they shot the part where Ip Man fought the Muay Thai fighter; was it an old building that still exists or a set that was built? The attention to detail was superb, from the old fashioned elevators to the small tiled floors and walls.
16) A lot of the décor in the movie was nostalgic and charming, especially the wrought window grilles.
17) Cheongsams are not only for slim fit women; fat women can wear it and look good too.
18) Did Yip Man smoke in real life?
19) I wonder where those Chinese single day tear away calendars originated from and who invented them. My grandmother is so traditional, she insists to have at least one set every year at home. And it must be decent sized (at least half an A4), not one of those small dinky ones, as the small font makes it too difficult to read.
20) Triads and martial art groups still exist in Hong Kong today as it did back in the 1950’s. I wonder what is the current relationship between these two factions.