Sunday, May 23, 2010

Movie Review - Ip Man 2

Movie Title
Ip Man 2
Action, History
Picking up from where part 1 ended, Ip Man (Donnie Yen) with young son and pregnant wife (Xiong Dai Lin) have now settled in HK.Ip Man sets up his own martial arts (Wing Chun) school but struggles to attract students, until a youngster - Wong Leung (Huang Xiaoming) appears and challenges Ip Man to a duel in a test of Ip Man's Skills. After taking a thrashing, Leung with a group of his friends join Ip Man's training, and finally grows into a sizeable group of students (but still no sign of Bruce Lee yet).
One day, Leung gets into a fight with a group of rival martial arts school students, is subsequently beaten & held for ransom. Ip Man was forced to rescue him via barter for his release at the wet market. However, the altercation soon brings the much feared & respected martial arts Top Dog Hung Chun Nam (Sammo Hung) into the fray. Hung, representing the other HK martial arts schools, learns of Ip Man'snew school and refuses to let Ip Man simply set up shop on their turfunless Ip Man can prove himself in a duel with the other masters.The challenge of the duel was - if he could remain standing on a teetering tabletop for the entire duration of a burning joss stick while fighting off the other kung fu masters, he will be granted permission to run his school.

Ip Man was obviously victorious and soon earns the respect of Master Hung and his cohorts. The movie then shifts gears to focus on how the corrupt British Officials in HK disrespect the locals.It became the final straw when during a friendly boxing match turned tragic when a boorish British boxer - Twister (Darren Shahlavi) - kills a Chinese fighter in the ring. This infuritates Master Hungand he fights Twister for the honor of his kinsman. Predictably, Master Hung loses not only the fight but his life as well. This prompts Ip Man to pick up the fight. The ending provides no surprises as we are all geared up for Ip Man 3 (read: Ip Man wins).

Not to be outdone by it's box-office rivel Iron Man 2,Ip Man 2 also provides a much anticipated teaser for what's to come in it's 3rd instalment. Right before the credits roll, a snotty little kid (who had gotten Bruce Lee's mannerisms down to a T) who hasn't even hit puberty comes to Ip Man demanding to be trained. But of course history tells us that this fateful event doesn't happen till years later when Bruce Lee had put a few more youthful years behind him!

Most Memorable Moment
The fight between Ip Man and the Martial Arts Masters at the hall atop the precariously balanced table top.

The acting is credible from most of the cast but Simon Yam seemed to pose a puzzle as to why he even in the movie. What more can be said about Donnie? I like him as the Martial artist more so than Jet Li or Jackie Chan. Sammo is also believable and sometimes scary.

Discounting the really bad and equally annoying British characters, Ip Man 2 is an above average Action Kung Fu flick (probably the best for the year) that satiates the fans for the genre and Donnie Fans all over (especially after the lack lustre 14 Blades recently)! Visually, it's a feast as the set looks pretty authentic and the fights are very well choreographed!

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