Writer: Tai-lee Chan, Hiu-Yan Choi, Edmond Wong (Screenplay)
Starring: Donnie Yen, Xiaoming Huang, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Lynn Hung, Kent Cheng, Darren Shahlavi
Plot: Centering on Ip Man’s migration to Hong Kong in 1949 as he attempts to propagate his discipline of Wing Chun martial arts.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Hard Hitting Actioner
Story: Ip Man 2 starts in 1949, as Ip Man (Yen) has migrated to Hong Kong to start his own martial arts school, struggle for pupils early on it is Wong Shun-Leung (Huang) who becomes his first student, one of many who want to learn the art of Wing Chun. Ip must also come to terms with the causalities of the war with the friends that are no longer the same.
Ip clashes with fellow Master Hung Chun-Nam (Hung) who also has control of the city, this forces Ip into passing tests to prove himself worthy of being able to train in the city. This soon turns into a city-wide battle between the students trying to honour their masters.
Thoughts on Ip Man 2
Characters – Ip Man find himself residing in Hong Kong, he looks to pass on his training to anyone who wants to learn but he must stand up for what he believes in against the Master who runs the city to prove he is the true master. Leung is the first student Ip recruits, he is rash at times but his determination is everything needed to learn. Master Hung runs the city, he sees Ip as a threat to his power but over the course of the film the two learn to put aside their difference to face a common enemy.
Performance – Donnie Yen once again shines in this leading role showing us once again that he is ready to be the biggest name in martial arts films. Xiaoming Huang is also good in this supporting role showing us a student role needed for the movie. Sammo Hung is great in his role as the rival master that grows respect through the film, it plays it all straight throughout. The performance throughout are good though the Brits do feel out of place in the film with their performances that do feel over the top.
Story – The story does follow Ip Man as he must overcome a foreign enemy as well as one from home. Yes, the enemy isn’t as deadly to the whole country this time but it does show how he will stand up for his martial art form against anyone who is willing to get in his way and gain respect from the people that doubted him. It does feel like the previous formula once more with less of a threat but a deadlier final showdown.
Action/Biography/Sports – The action here is fantastic with the combat sequences looking and feeling like the punches and kicks are real, this is also a look at another chapter of Ip Man’s life and what his belief and martial arts style bought to the world.
Scene of the Movie – The massive fish market battle early on, because of the scale of the battle.
Final Thoughts – A sequel worthy of standing tall next to the first and one that can be enjoyed picking up in the middle too.
Overall: Must watch again for martial arts fans.