Given that fight scenes are choreographed in the movies it’s hard to think that there might be that much danger. But with actors it might be irritating if a person gets tagged once or twice, since many times actors will go through the fight scenes numerous times in practice to get it right. Those that somehow can’t be bothered to get things right are usually the most obvious since they look horrible on screen and are typically throwing punches and kicks that look insanely weak, ineffective, and even foolish. But when throwing two people that know what they’re doing in the movie and expecting things to go smoothly, there’s still an element of risk that has to be understood and respected. During Ip Man 3, Donnie Yen took on the role of the famous Wing Chun instructor once again, and again he was impressive despite the fact that the story of Ip Man’s life is definitely retconned, but apart from taking on multiple opponents and a Muy Thai fighter, he also took on a crime boss who was played by none other than “Iron” Mike Tyson.
It’s easy to think that a pro athlete would know how to check their movements when it’s required, and despite the fact that Tyson could likely knock Yen down if he connected squarely, it’s also understood that he knows how to go at half-speed when it’s necessary. But if that was the case this time around it’s hard to tell since Donnie actually told how dangerous it felt to be shooting his scenes with Tyson since the former boxer was apparently swinging for the fences. The goal of course is to make everything look as real as possible, but in order to do this there are times when the actors have to cut everything down to the split second in order to make the fight appear authentic. Unfortunately, it does sound as though one of Tyson’s hooks caught Donnie, or might have come close, and made him well aware of the power the Tyson still possesses. To hear a respected martial artist and actor admit that another individual could have likely killed them with a single hit.
That might be an exaggeration, but it’s very likely that if Tyson did connect with Donnie the result would be disastrous. The fight scene the two engage in during the movie is vicious to begin with, and to be fair, had it happened in real life it’s very likely that Donnie would be walking away with several injuries that might not heal for a while. Anyone that has watched the movie managed to see that Tyson landed a few vicious blows that many people wouldn’t be getting up from. But as it’s already known to many, pro athletes and professional martial artists are often trained to withstand such punishment and also deliver harder hits than many others since they’re taught how to use their entire body when engaging in their profession, meaning that the average boxer will typically hit harder than someone that’s merely strong and likes to fight. Likewise, a martial artist will typically have greater awareness of their body and their surroundings than many people that are merely attentive.
Among the Ip Man movies it’s hard to pick a favorite, but one thing that has to be remembered is that it’s for entertainment, using a very famous historical individual that was seen to be highly influential to the martial arts world when it came to his own contributions. How much is real and how much isn’t is something that a person is better to research on their own. But believing everything that happens in the movies is kind of asking to be ridiculed since while Ip Man was definitely a renowned teacher, his legacy has been built up in a way that a lot of people are more than willing to dispute. The fact is that he was a real person, but his exploits have been blown out of proportion as much as Bruce Lee’s. Ip Man is a fun movie though, and one that Donnie Yen has made into a very entertaining story.
To think that the two actors would ever come to blows isn’t likely since for all the issues he’s had in his life, Mike Tyson has proven to be a decent individual when he’s on a movie set, and while he plays a few very rough characters he’s also shown a great deal of professionalism with several people. What’s unfortunate is that accidents do happen from time to time no matter how well a fight is choreographed. It’s thankful that Donnie wasn’t seriously hurt and that there were no hard feelings about any near misses or possible connections. Overall, the movie was actually kind of enjoyable, even if it’s hard to say whether a boxer would have a chance against a martial artist, and vice versa.