Ip Man 3 is a 2015 Hong Kong biographical martial arts film directed by Wilson Yip, produced by Raymond Wong and written by Edmond Wong. It is the third in the Ip Man film series based on the life of the Wing Chun grandmaster Yip Man and features Donnie Yen reprising the title role. The film also stars Mike Tyson, and Yip Man’s pupil Bruce Lee is portrayed by Danny Chan. Principal photography commenced in March 2015 and ended in June that year. The premiere of the film was released in Hong Kong on 16 December 2015, and officially released in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia on 24 December 2015. It opened in Taiwan on 31 December 2015, New Zealand and United Kingdom on 15 January 2016 and one week later in Australia. It will be released in the United States on 22 January 2016, and mainland China on 4 March 2016 respectively.
In 1959, Ip Man is settling into his low-profile life in Hong Kong. The film begins with Ip Man practicing his wooden dummy techniques and a butterfly flew and sat atop the wooden dummy.
The opening subtitles expressed that his elder son, Ip Chun has returned to Foshan to study, leaving him with his younger son Ip Ching and his wife Wing-sing.
A young Bruce Lee visits Ip and asks to become one of his students. After demonstrating his speed to Ip, Ip neither accepts nor rejects him and tells him to “come back later”. Ip Ching is seen fighting with another boy, Cheung Fung at school, with both boys ending up with minor injuries. Wing-sing along with Ip is asked by Miss Wong, the boys’ class teacher, to go to the school. As an apology, the Ips invite Cheung Fung to their home for dinner. At Ip’s house, Cheung Fung displays rudimentary yet impressive Wing Chun skills. When Ip asks the boy who his mentor is, he says that it is his father, Cheung Tin-chi. Cheung shows up to pick up his son shortly after.
Cheung is seen participating in black market boxing matches and having a streak of victories. The organiser, Ma King-sang, a local triad leader, also works for Frank, an American property developer. Frank orders Ma to acquire a piece of land occupied by the school where Ip Ching and Cheung Fung study. Ma assures that it will be done within two weeks. Meanwhile, Frank is impressed by Cheung’s Wing Chun skills.
Cheung fights Tin in his umbrella shop, who fails to defend himself against his assailant’s swift blows and ends up in the hospital with a broken arm. Ip receives a call from the hospital and visits Tin. Upon knowing that Tin did not call him, Ip realises that it was a set-up by Ma to lure him away from the school so that his gang can kidnap some of the students including Ip Ching and Cheung Fung. Ip arrives at Ma’s shipyard surrounded by Ma’s men. Ma, who is holding Ip Ching at knifepoint, threatens to sell the kids off to slavery if the headmaster still refuses to surrender the school. Upon knowing that his son was also kidnapped, Cheung arrives at the scene and fights alongside Ip. Ip and Cheung are able to hold their own until a troop of policemen led by Fatso comes to arrest the gang, while Ma flees but is later fired by Frank. Frank sends a proficient Thai boxer after Ip instead.
Returning home, Ip is told by Wing-sing about her condition and that she can only live for six more months. While taking Wing-sing to the clinic, Ip is attacked by the Thai boxer. Ip defeats the boxer after a few moves. Fatso later tells Ip about Frank who wants to eliminate Ip at all costs for obstructing his plans. Ip decides to confront Frank in his office. Frank challenges Ip to a three-minute fight—if Ip can withstand his fists for three minutes, he would leave the school, Ip and his family alone; Ip accepts the challenge. From the outset, Ip is seemingly overwhelmed by the sheer muscle and force of Frank who dominates the fight thoroughly. Realising he is no match for Frank in terms of hand speed and power, Ip attacks Frank’s footwork instead and is able to launch a few punches on him. Just as both are about to launch a decisive blow on each other, three minutes had passed. Ip leaves the office and Frank keeps his promise, seemingly impressed.
Cheung opens his martial arts school and claims that his Wing Chun is genuine while Ip’s isn’t. Cheung proceeds to defeat a number of martial arts masters and becomes famous on the news. Finally, he challenged Ip to a battle that shall decide who will be the Grandmaster of Wing Chun. Meanwhile, Ip spends more time with his dying wife. On the day of the match, Ip chooses not to attend, but instead goes out dancing with Wing-sing (after having been taught a few moves by Lee, whom Ip finally accepts as disciple). Some of those who attend the match are made impatient as Cheung waits for his opponent. Ultimately, Cheung is declared the winner owing to Ip’s failure to attend. Wing-sing, despite being happy about Ip’s decision to accompany her, makes an appointment with Cheung for another match on Ip’s behalf; she knew that Ip would have attended if not for her condition.