Unlike the first film which was shot with Mandarin dialogue, English is used to portray the story. The first film received much criticism from Chinese viewers due to the fact that only one of the four main characters spoke Mandarin fluently. It is possible that in order to avoid a similar review and maintain the freedom to cast whomever they chose, producers went with English dialogue.
This is the second movie with Donnie Yen and Michelle Yeoh where their characters are or were once in love. The first movie they appeared in together was Wing Chun (1994) where Michelle Yeoh plays Wing Chun, the inventor of the style of Kung Fu that also bares her name. Donnie Yen who was in the Wing Chun movie went on to play the famous Ip Man (trainer of Bruce Lee) whose style of Kung Fu was Wing Chun.