Howdy ladies and gents, time for another one paragraph review. Now recently reviewed Ip man, one of my favourite martial arts films and today I’m going to talk about the first sequel, Ip Man 2 from 2010. I recall seeing the trailer for this film back in college and thought it looked insanely cool, but I just never got around to it, so after years of being busy and some procrastination I’m finally getting to share my thoughts. 🙂
The plot can be summed up as the following: “The film centers on Ip Man’s movements in Hong Kong, which is under British colonial rule. He attempts to propagate his discipline of Wing Chun, but faces rivalry from other practitioners, including the local master of Hung Ga martial arts.” The interesting things about Ip Man 2 is that in a good few ways it is similar to the first in terms of its themes, story structure and certain character progression, yet at the same time it finds ways to advance the story and provide all of the key characters with struggles physically and internally hat they must overcome. The way this film handled its story was very effective, I appreciated how difficult, dark and complicated that period of time was for everyone whether it was due to the economy or certain individuals in power who could manipulate those below them, key themes of honour and racism are brought to the forefront and it has some dramatic and emotional ramifications which were really good. As good as the story was I felt it didn’t have the dramatic weight or realism that the first film applied, however, when the story was on-point it was very entertaining. Acting-wise everyone was pretty good, though some performances were a little questionable. Firstly Donnie Yen as Ip Man was amazing, he has solid handle on this character and performs his fight scenes so gracefully, but also has some really beautiful dramatic moments too. New to this film is Sammo Hung as Hung Chun-nam, he’s a master of Hung Ga and has asthma, he was a really compelling and interesting character to watch, I was also a massive fan of Sammo in Martial Law back in the late 90’s so to see him flex his kung-fu muscles was really awesome for me. Ip and Hung have some great chemistry and their scenes together either exchanging words or blows were some of my favourite scenes in the film. Lynn Hung and Simon Yam return as Cheung Wing-sing and Chow Ching-chuen, and they both do well in their roles. Huang Xiaoming was also really fun and endearing as Wong Leung, and seeing the return and progression of Louis Fan as Kam Shan-Chau was really great. The only people that suffer are the english speaking cast as they seem to be overdoing it with either the overall performances or just the speaking parts, the best of the bunch is Darren Shahlavi as Taylor “The Twister” Miler, his villain role while a little generic, was fun to watch. As for the presentation it was great. The visual side of things is once again fabulous, with lovely cinematography and fight choreography that is so fluid, fast, intense and all sorts of insanity to watch and with the incorporation of more makeshift weapons and certain interior and exterior locations, it is a marvel to watch. As for the film score it is once again handled by Kenji Kawai and while it doesn’t have the same level of impact that the last film had, it still had some really moving moments. In conclusion Ip Man 2 is one fine sequel, while it lacks the dramatic force of the first film, it has story worth telling with a mixture of drama, humour and culture, plus the acting and martial arts is still incredible. Check it out if you’re a fan of the first film.
So have you seen Ip Man 2 and if so what do you think of it? Be sure to leave your thoughts on the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀