Ip Man 2

Following a great success in its first, Ip Man 2 continues in Hong Kong where the calm and cool kung fu grandmaster (Donnie Yen) establishes his own Wing Chun martial arts school. The much anticipated sequel, directed by Wilson Yip, also stars Sammo Hung, Simon Yam, Fan Siu Wong and Huang Xiaoming among others.

Charismatic Donnie Yen plays calm, well-mannered martial arts expert Ip Man and grandmaster of Wing Chun martial arts. Even after he relocates to Hong Kong and despite his impoverished family and a heavily pregnant wife (Xiong Dai Lin), he strives to pass on his martial arts skills in Wing Chun fist to the next generation.

In this quest, he meets his first disciple, Wong Leung (Huang Xiaoming), who gets into a scuffle with a student (To Yu Hung) of Hung Chun Nam's (Sammo Hung). Ip Man is then forced to exchange blows - his Wing Chun fists against Hung's Jung Kuen for his student's release.

To Ip Man fans' delight, there are several pockets of action - with Leung, rival martial school students, street rascals and even the police - before the major tabletop show down with Hung, which is well-built up to. And of course, there is also the emergence of Chinese pride and dignity by trashing an all-brawn-no-brains foreign character, Twister (Darren Shahlavi), essential in almost every Chinese kung fu flick. The East versus West showdown between martial arts versus boxing, however, lacks the sought after display of swift, focused martial arts.

All in all, although the historical backdrop could have been better applied and the characters such as Quan (Simon Yam) and Jin (Fan Siu Wong) better illustrated, Ip Man 2 delivers what it is expected to - action, tension and more action. The ending of Ip Man 2 also leaves us wondering if there would ever be an Ip Man 3. This time, perhaps tackling the master's most famed student, Bruce Lee. I, for one, would most welcome more fast precise punches over CGI effects as could be seen in Iron Man 2.

Related link: Ip Man 2 official site

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