Who doesn’t love the IP Man series? The first two are hailed as masterpieces of the martial art genre. Donnie Yen practically became a household name because of them. However, we’re reaching the “Judge all” moment of a series…the threequel. With the teaser trailer released today, we begin to judge for ourselves if it can break the cycle.
Following the lackluster third installments such as “Spider-Man 3”, “Shrek 3”, “Iron Man 3”, “Pirates of the Caribbean – At World’s End”, and even, in some circles, “The Dark Knight Rises”, the threequel of “Ip Man 3” faces a challenge many series have at this point: “How does one bring all three stories together in perfect harmony?”. It rarely seems to be a problem for the second film in a series. “Spider-Man 2”, “Shrek 2”, and “The Dark Knight” have all been hailed as superior to their predecessors. Yet, when it comes to the third installment, the rocket engines behind franchises begin to burn out a little. While this sometimes changes over time (Evil Dead’s “Army of Darkness” has become a cult classic), it’s rare the threequel bounces back.
Even Yen himself, along with “Ip Man” producer Raymond Wong, was disinterested in a third installment initially, Yen feeling that, “Because Ip Man 2 will incontrovertibly become a classic, bettering the first. I believe it’s best to end something when it’s at perfection, and leave behind a good memory.”
However, with a brief mention of Bruce Lee in “Ip Man 2”, director Wilson Yip hoped to find a suitable actor to portray Lee as an adult for the third installment and complete the tale of Ip Man’s famous tutelage of Lee. So, with Mike Tyson coming along for the ride in a small role, we’ll see if Yen, Yip, and Wong can pull off the impossible…an explosive third installment. Fingers crossed…or I suppose fists at the ready.