|Posted by Fred on November 22, 2012 at 5:45 AM|
August 21, 2010
I was surprised to learn that there was a sequel to the great martial arts film of 2008, Ip Man, so soon after the first film. Being a fan of the first one, I knew I definitely had to catch this one as well.
Edmond Wong's screenplay was rather lazy. Frankly, it is basically the same storyline of the first movie, only this time, the setting was transposed to Hongkong. We follow Ip Man's efforts to establish his Wing Chun style of kung fu in the Crown Colony. Like the first movie, there was the recruitment of students, while having a difficult time making ends meet financially for his family. Similarly, there was the requisite challenge of the other kung fu masters in town for a fight showdown to prove worthiness to teach. However, while the Japanese were the foreign aggressors in the first film, it was the British here in the second.
Anyway, the highlights of a film like this are the fantastic action sequences, and they surely did not disappoint here. Donnie Yen effectively reprises his cool, collected and masterful style of fighting. The centerpiece fight sequence is really the table-top battle of our hero Ip Man versus the rival HK hotshot Hong, played by Sammo Hung, which was shot in a most breathtaking manner. That thrilling fight scene alone is well worth the price of admission.
The Western Boxing vs. Chinese Martial Arts showdowns at the end were a bit too patronizing, and marred by the floridly bad acting of Darren Shahlavi as the uncouth musclebound lunkhead of a British boxer named Twister. In fact all the Caucasian actors in this film were so hammy and lousy. I wonder if that was done on purpose by the filmmakers to further drive their patriotic message to the Chinese audiences.
The film is not bad on its own, but it will suffer when you compare it to the first movie. It is still, however, a good movie to watch and enjoy, espeically if you liked Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung, and the first Ip Man movie.