May 4, 2010

Ip Man 2

Since its release last year, the immensely successful Ip Man has elevated its eponymous grandmaster of the wing chun martial arts school to an icon of Chinese kung fu and propelled action star Donnie Yen to super-stardom. And everyone is eager to have Ip Man 2 as soon as possible. So the high anticipated sequal came to our shore last Thursday and I managed to get my tix on the same day as I could not wait any longer. Ip Man 2 closely follows the format that made its predecessor a blockbuster hit but this time the Chinese here-versus-foreign invaders narrative is flashed out without wire or CGI enhanced martial arts moves.

Ip Man 2 picks up the action in 1950 as Ip Man, with young son and heavily pregnant with in tow, arrives in Hong Kong. Ip establishes his own Wing Chun martial arts school but struggles to bring in students, and therefore an income for his impoverished family until the arrogant, yet inquisitive Wong Leung appears. After taking a thrashing, Leung signs up along with a group of his friends and interest finally blossoms for this new fighting style. However, the other martial arts schools, particular that of Hung Chun Nam (Sammo Hung) are reluctant to let Ip simply set up school on their turf. When Leung get into fight with one of Hung's student and is subsequently held of ransom, Ip Man is forced to face Hung and barter for his release.

For the first half, Ip Man 2 is every bit as good as its predecessor and although it does slip into more generic, melodramatic territory in its second half, perhaps even as the expense of showcasing the fighting talents of its starts, there is still plenty of top drawer Wing Chun and Hung Kuen action to keep martial arts lovers satisfied. After all, who are we to bergrudge a film for attempting to infuse a bit of story in between...

3 comments:

taufulou said...

chun eh..this movie`

ksc:nick said...

not only chun is super chun :)

BenHerman said...

Wanna watch it...tq! :)