Man arrives in Hong Kong and tries to propagate Wing Chun
in the region. He faces rivalry from the local master of Hung
Ga, Hung Jan Nam. After a few encounters with each other,
Hung begins to respect Ip's existence. One day Hung is beaten
to death by an English boxer during a duel. Ip challenges
him in order to protect the dignity of Chinese martial arts.
the ripe 'old age' of 45, Donnie Yen experienced a surprise
career surge, something which has eluded him for the past
decades. The semi-biographical account of Master Ip Man in
2008 propelled the action man into instant stardom and one
who is now in great demand by producers, directors alike.
"Ip Man 2" continues from the first instalment with
Ip Man and his family being defected to nearby Hong Kong after
his tussle with the Japanese army. To make a living, Ip Man
decides to teach Wing Chun which has yet being heard of in
the territory. In addition to finding ways to roping in students,
Ip Man still has to face the rivalry and recognition of fellow
martial-arts practitioners including Hung Jan Nam (Sammo Hung).
Obviously, screenwriter Edmond Wong (son of famed producer
Raymond Wong) has taken quite a few creative liberties with
the onscreen Ip Man as compared to the real-life sifu. Ip
Man for the record has never faced any Japanese nemesis or
in this sequel, an 'angmoh' in a tournament. For the sake
of cinematic magic and nationalistic pride, the filmmakers
have once again delved into convenient plotting that involves
Chinese martial arts versus western boxing/army. Remember
"Once Upon A Time In China", "Fearless"
and "True Legend"?
Not taking account into the above mentioned folly, director
Wilson Yip proved once again he can pull off yet another martial-arts
classic with the help of action choreographer Sammo Hung and
his leading man, Donnie Yen who has worked with him for the
umpteen times. The action comes fast and furious, aggressive
while not excessively chaotic that you can’t distinguish
what’s happening. The first fight occurs in a fishery
and the one sequence that will have you on repeat mode belongs
to the one between Donnie and Sammo exchanging their moves
on top of a round table. Given Sammo’s size and recent
health problems (he is 58 this year), the man’s agility
and presence nevertheless remains impressive opposite his
opponent. Ex-Shaw Brothers, now TVB actor Lo Meng and familiar
screen villain/action choreographer Fung Hark-On dazzled in
their own sparring moments with Ip Man.
While many audiences will be lured mainly by the fighting
sequences, the production values such as the recreation of
1950s Hong Kong and costume designs in "Ip Man 2"
are apparently more eye-catching than the first. Donnie Yen’s
subtle performance as Master Ip Man is a plus and his almost
wordless interaction with his wife, Yong Cheng (played by
Lynn Hung) is ever so tender and loving. The rest of the supporting
cast includes veterans such as Kent Cheng, Simon Yam and Fan
Siu-Wong who chips in their moments of brilliance in this
Despite two movies, the legacy of Ip Man and the art of Wing
Chun remains as fuzzy as ever which might caused a serious
viewer to walk off pretty disappointed in a way. Though it’s
hard to balance a good amount of drama and action, credit
has to go to Yip and his crew for crafting a martial-arts
classic that is definitely worth mentioning down the road and a title destined to be on your video shelf.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
The Making Of consists of several short interview
features mainly with director Wilson Yip and production designer
Kenneth Mak in which he talks about the building of the fishery,
Chinese restaurant etc. The Shooting Diary
is just another short feature that has no commentary, interviews
and purely behind-the-scenes shots with the Ip Man theme music
playing in the background.
There aren’t any visible flaws in the DVD transfer
and the audio track is dynamic and strong on the bass, pity
it didn’t comes with a Cantonese soundtrack.
by Linus Tee
Posted on 29 June 2010