Viewed – 19 March 2011 Blu-ray
Martial arts superstar Donnie Yen reprises his role as legendary kung fu master Ip Man, the fabled mentor of Bruce Lee in this much-anticipated sequel. Following Man’s migration to Hong Kong in 1949, living in poverty and unable to afford the rent, he attempts to open a martial arts school to teach the local youths his Wing Chun fighting style. Yet this soon attracts the attention of other martial schools, most notably that of gang leader Hong Zhen Nan (Sammo Hung), who is working with corrupt British officials to stage a boxing tournament.
With much deeper characterisation this time around than the first movie, some gentle humour and of course excellent fight choreography, this is again a masterful and satisfying experience. Yen further more cements his place in the kung fu movie hall of fame, offering blistering martial arts and convincing emotion when things get really tough going. Veteran martial arts legend Sammo Hung also delivers a powerful performance as a gang leader who stands up for what he believes in, and considering the man is in his late fifties, kicks-ass like someone half his age! Darren Shahlavi as the wild and psychotic english boxer however, is every bit the stereotypical western invader, all loud mouth bravado but little brain cells. Also the portrayal of the British as pompous assholes out for a quick buck, boarders on insulting.
With that said, director Wilson Yip crafts another fitting salute to the kung fu genre and as a follow-up to an already impressive movie, this perfectly complements what has gone before without exactly blowing it out of the water.
Verdict: 4 /5
- ‘Ip Man 2’: Sequel’s martial-arts action beats the storytelling (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Movie Review | ‘Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster’: This Martial Artist’s Fists Never Leave His Body (movies.nytimes.com)