During the Japanese invasion of 1937, when a wealthy martial artist is forced to leave his home and work to support his family, he reluctantly agrees to train others in the art of Wing Chun for self-defense.
In postwar Hong Kong, legendary Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man is reluctantly called into action once more, when what begin as simple challenges from rival kung fu styles soon draw him into ... See full summary »
Anthony Chau-Sang Wong,
A martial arts instructor from the police force gets imprisoned after killing a man by accident. But when a vicious killer starts targeting martial arts masters, the instructor offers to help the police in return for his freedom.
Ip Man 2 is a 2010 Hong Kong biographical martial arts film loosely based on the life of Ip Man, a grandmaster of the martial art Wing Chun. A sequel to the 2008 film Ip Man, the film was directed by Wilson Yip, and stars Donnie Yen, who reprises the leading role. Continuing after the events of the earlier film, the sequel centers on Ip's movements in Hong Kong, which is under British colonial rule. He attempts to propagate his discipline of Wing Chun, but faces rivalry from other practitioners, including the local master of Hung Ga martial arts. Written by
Darren Shahlavi who costars as Twister in the film, has been a fan of Hong Kong cinema since a boy and even attended a seminar for film fighting by Donnie Yen 20 years ago in London, England. See more »
In the final fight, the announcer's microphone appears to be a modern condenser microphone. The film takes place in the 1950's. See more »
Exciting action sequences marred by weak third segment
Ip Man 2 contains top-notch action sequences from the beginning to the end. It is a befitting sequel that is almost on par with the first movie.
However, it is unfortunate that some of the action scenes rely too much on wire-works. The battle between the masters for example, was inventive but a bit on the fantastical side. Looking back at the first movie, all of the best action sequences were much more grounded in realistic portrayal, as the Wing Chun style looks good in this manner.
It was good to see some cool style vs style fights though, as we get to see Animal Style, Baguazhang and Hung Gar vs. Wing Chun. A friend and I were wondering though if it'd be more accurate to present Preying Mantis, Taiji and Choy Li Fut in the mix as these styles are well established in Hong Kong.
In terms of plot, Ip Man 2 transitions nicely from the first movie, where we get to follow Ip Man as he establishes and propagates Wing Chun in Hong Kong after escaping Communist persecution in 1949. A fact that was obscured by making the character look like he's escaping the Japanese Army instead. No doubt this is a marketing ploy to make sure the movie would not upset the powers-that-be in China.
And like the first movie, Ip Man 2 takes liberty with many facts and plot to condense the essence of Ip Man's characters and what he stood for. It is interesting to note that little is mentioned about his sibling and extended family who helped him in some capacity during this difficult period of time. One of his first pupils was loosely based on a real-life counterpart, the late Master Wong Shung Leung. In Ip Man's old life, he'd often send Wong to successfully answer challenges.
Sammo Hung has delivered yet another amazing feat with choreographing this movie, despite his declining health during production.
My biggest disappointment has to do with the blatant stereotype and one-dimensional characterization of the British colonists and the Twister character. It's a lazy writing that may excite a certain segment in the Chinese market, but in my eyes this serves only to bring down the movie to B-grade martial art flicks of bygone era. There's no denying the populist appeal of this method considering the main target market.
All in all, this has been a fun movie to watch, and I hope the prequel will be as fun, if not more mature in its storytelling.
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