Ip Man 2: Same plot, but great action

The filmmakers of Ip Man 2 had meant for this movie to centre around the relationship between him and his famed disciple, Bruce Lee.

However, the filmmakers couldn’t get permission from Lee’s descendants and so could only portray him as a child at the very end of the movie.

Which leaves us with a pivotal character is missing from the other 107 minutes and 30 seconds of the film. The solution adopted by director Wilson Yip and Edmond Wong, both of whom had worked on the first film: take the plot from Ip Man, rename the characters and try to sell it as an entirely new film.

Ip Man 2 follows the titular character (played by Donnie Yen) after he flees to Hong Kong with his family in the wake of angering the Japanese. There, he tries to make ends meet by teaching Wing Chun martial arts, but is stopped by Master Hung (played by veteran actor/director Sammo Hung, who is also the film’s action choreographer). The latter demands that Ip Man pass a test given to him by the other masters in the area before he’ll be allowed to set up a martial arts school of his own.

10-IMG_9826

We all know who wins, of course, but the fight sequence, in which fists are a blur as the masters battle it out on a flimsy table, is spectacular enough to warrant your forgiveness.

While this scene seem new at first, it’s reminiscent of the scene in the first film where Ip Man defeated Jin Shanzhao, the aggressive Northern fighter who thought he could easily best the Wing Chun master, as both scenes seek to prove that no one should underestimate him.

IMG_1383

Ip Man gets tickets to a boxing competition from Hung, to watch Twister, a famous boxer from the West, in action. Before the main act, the different schools of martial arts are given a chance to demonstrate their skills.

Things get chaotic when Twister insults and injures the performers. Hung steps up to defend the integrity of the Chinese spirit when the boxer refuses to apologize.

The Hung Fist master ends up getting killed by the Englishman. The character development here is sloppy with Hung, as he shifts from antagonist to protagonist too suddenly for it to be convincing.

It’s here that you start to notice the stark similarities between the first and second movies: the Chinese are getting bullied by a foreign power, Ip Man is reluctant to fight at first, but when one of his friends is killed, he defeats the enemy and restores the dignity of his race.

While the constant declarations of Chinese pride may ensure box-office success in China, it borders on propaganda and risks alienating most of the world. Furthermore, the English characters are two-dimensional, almost like cardboard targets made for Ip Man to take down in a flashy show of his skills. Perhaps this is vengeance on behalf of Bruce Lee, who acted as third fiddle and the same flat characters to his Caucasian co-stars in Western productions, despite his considerable skills.

The fight sequences are still as brilliant, with scenes like Ip Man fighting off 50 men armed with cleavers with a mere pallet while maintaining a mask of serenity.

RAh

However, if you don’t know anything about Wing Chun, which just about describes most of the audience, you can easily watch the fight scenes from the first movie and still be equally amazed.

It’s no surprise that Donnie Yen isn’t willing to sign up for any more Ip Man movies, with the shameless repetition that is happening in these films, even the most ardent fan would be tired.

Release Details:

Title: Ip Man 2
Opens: Apr 29
Duration: 108 mins
Language: Chinese (with English subtitles)
Rating: ✮✮✩✩✩
Genre: Action, Drama
Director: Wilson Yip
Cast: Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung, Lynn Hung

About Amanda Foo

Amanda has chosen to hide behind written "unencumbered numbered words" (Jason Mraz, of whom she is a fan) due to her unsuccessful attempts to attain proper enunciation. Also, Jason Mraz can be very odd sometimes, which is something that Amanda identifies with easily. Amanda is also desperately in love with the food blog, smitten kitchen, because that’s the sort of life she hopes to have someday: a small kitchen in a bustling city filled to the brim with unforgettable food. She hopes that by being the Food editor of Trimedia Publishing, she is taking at least one small step towards her dream. She also loves the movie Inglourious Basterds. This is because the scene in which Lt. Aldo Raine casually carves the swastika into the forehead Col. Hans Landa and the fold of skin is arching up away from his skull is nauseating, demented and a work of genius.

33 Comments

  • May 4, 2010 | Permalink |

    Hi, thanks for the review. I saw this last night and can’t hide my disappointment. Ip Man 1 blew me away with the fighting scenes which I felt it really raised the bar with its choreography and brutal realism (well, as real as you can get with a martial arts flick), but I think 2 just aimed for too much to try and outdo the original. The good old ‘make it bigger, better and more badass’ approach to sequels.

    There’s that classic fight against 10 Japanese karate students/soldiers in Ip Man 1. Ip Man 2 never comes close to matching that. I really disliked the Sammo Hung fight on the table with obvious string work – wasn’t the first film about realism? The table snapping in half and the two characters still managing to balance themselves in the air? It isn’t ‘cool’ when it’s so utterly unbelievable.

    And as for the final third, well. I can’t believe it. Anyone who hasn’t seen a Rocky movie in their life might find it touching or original, otherwise it’s almost a frame-by-frame reenactment of the ending of Rocky IV, complete with the whole it’s-better-to-unite-than-fight ‘If you can change, I can change…WE CAN ALL CHANGE’ speech at the end complete with absolutely horrendous, cringe-worthy caricature villains. And I thought the Japanese lieutenant character in Ip Man 1 was bad (as in Disney villain bad); nothing compares to the corrupt police officer and the boxer ‘Twister’ in this film, who may as well be twirling their mustaches and shouting ‘I’ll get you, if it’s the last thing I do!’

    All that talk about there being a focus on the relationship between Ip Man and his wife? See the character Adrian in the Rocky series, only with considerable less dialogue being the two of them. Returning characters from the first film? Wasted. Actually, when you strip away the plot errors and the mistakes, alarmingly, the fighting isn’t even that good. There are no memorable fight scenes in the entire film. Maybe its to do with Sammo being the fight choreographer? We’ve all SEEN this stuff before, and it isn’t up to the standard of Ip Man.

    Disappointed, but at least there’s always the first one. And the Rocky series.

  • May 4, 2010 | Permalink |

    ergh, pardon the typos

  • Derek Wong
    May 19, 2010 | Permalink |

    Ip Man 1 fought against the Japanese. Ip Man 2 fought against the Westerner. Ip Man 3 fights against the UFO?? Come on… Will, at the end of the day, no one really knows the actual true story of real Ip Man. This is just a naration only. Chill out brother!

  • Lito
    May 30, 2010 | Permalink |

    Although Ip is a real kung fu master, Ip Man 1 and Ip Man 2 movies are full of fantasies that sensationalize the movies in catering at movie watchers. The stories of “Once Upon a Time in China” movies about Wong Fei Hong had also been set far from the true stories of the kung fu master.

    I wonder if there would real movies of martial art masters which are much nearer to true life stories.

  • Lito
    May 30, 2010 | Permalink |

    Although Ip Man is a real kung fu master, Ip Man 1 and Ip Man 2 movies are full of fantasies that sensationalize the movies in catering at movie watchers. The stories of “Once Upon a Time in China” movies about Wong Fei Hong had also been set far from the true stories of the kung fu master.

    I wonder if there would real movies of martial art masters which are much nearer to true life stories.

  • July 7, 2010 | Permalink |

    As a wing tsun student i loved both..However, its sad that 2 movies about Ip Man, couldn’t get closer to his real life…

  • Lim
    August 26, 2010 | Permalink |

    I think it would be nice to do a true story about the true person rather than fake it with sensational and unbelievable stunts. Story line is too like rocky series as someone comments. Should stick to the what old HK looks like those days.

  • Michael
    June 29, 2011 | Permalink |

    Please excuse the disrespect but I believe that a real life historical account would not have half the draw as a fantasized version. It is with most all things, people enjoy the overstated.

  • October 25, 2011 | Permalink |

    Белорусский оптом трикотаж, в москве, от производителя,каталог

  • November 3, 2011 | Permalink |

    S-templates.ru – Центр шаблонов и WEB-Графики…

  • November 9, 2011 | Permalink |

    CLEO скрипты, читы, моды, asi плагины для GTA – Главная страница

  • December 5, 2011 | Permalink |

    cheb.net – Самый первый и крупный портал

  • December 7, 2011 | Permalink |

    Добро пожаловать на сайт где всё об игре Garry

  • December 8, 2011 | Permalink |

    Интернет-магазин Gold ключей

  • December 14, 2011 | Permalink |

    Скачать фильмы бесплатно без регистрации и смс через торрент, смотреть фильмы онлайн, новинки кино

  • February 1, 2012 | Permalink |

    Cornery – это брендовая одежда оптом для мужчин, только в нашем магазине, самые стильные вещи для мкжчин. Покупайте в нашем интернет магазине

  • February 5, 2012 | Permalink |

    Наша компания предостовляет услуги по ремонту квартир под ключ, отделки квартир, Ремонту в новостройках.

  • February 21, 2012 | Permalink |

    Сайт компании Продаётся фахверковые конструкции, коттеджи, проектирование

  • February 21, 2012 | Permalink |

    Sasha Voro – профессиональный фотограф и дизайнер. Свадебная съемка в Санкт-Петербурге

  • February 22, 2012 | Permalink |

    MakeUp — искусство преображения. Все о декоративной косметике и макияже

  • May 29, 2012 | Permalink |

    Антикварный магазин

  • August 10, 2012 | Permalink |

    аренда квартир посуточно,квартира на сутки в москве,квартиры посуточно в москве,посуточно квартиры в москве,квартира на сутки

  • August 12, 2012 | Permalink |

    куплю квартиру в москве,купить квартиру в москве

  • November 6, 2012 | Permalink |

    недвижимость в сочи

  • December 4, 2012 | Permalink |

    пластиковые окна москва вы можете купить пластиковые окна в москве

  • March 7, 2013 | Permalink |

    continuously i used to read smaller posts that as well clear their motive, and
    that is also happening with this article which I am reading here.

  • April 9, 2013 | Permalink |

    I visit each day some web pages and information sites to read content, but
    this weblog gives quality based writing.

  • April 17, 2013 | Permalink |

    Hurrah! At last I got a website from where I be able to in fact obtain
    useful facts regarding my study and knowledge.

  • June 18, 2013 | Permalink |

    Both juicers abet here pros and cons masticating juicers are slower take
    centrifugal juicers are louder as academic dean are faster barring the masticating.

    One unessential prominent random sample on Keeping the christianity as for the power juicer is above make certain that the juicer is
    cleaned. If you’re in open market forward copernican universe juicer, aberrancy i will not further bar alpha Champion juicer.

  • June 30, 2013 | Permalink |

    We are a gaggle of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our
    community. Your website offered us with valuable information to work on.
    You have done an impressive process and our entire group might be grateful to
    you.

  • August 22, 2013 | Permalink |

    Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Finding the time and actual effort to generate a good
    article… but what can I say… I hesitate a lot and don’t seem to get nearly anything done.

  • October 14, 2013 | Permalink |

    Having read this I thought it was rather enlightening.
    I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this short article together.
    I once again find myself spending way too much time both
    reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  • November 8, 2013 | Permalink |

    Thanks for the good writeup. It if truth be told was a enjoyment
    account it. Look complicated to more introduced agreeable from you!

    However, how can we be in contact?

Leave a comment

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *