Movie: “Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster”
Studio: Mandarin Films Distribution Co. Ltd.
After watching the first movie starring Donnie Yen, it’s only natural that I also have to watch this sequel. I enjoyed the first one and became more interested in Ip Man himself along with his style of martial arts. I wanted to see the progression of his story.
After escaping China to go to Hong Kong due to the Japanese military occupation in the 1940’s, Ip Man attempts to open a martial arts school to teach Wing Chun in order to make a new life for his family. Doing so drew the ire of other kung fu masters in the area, so he had to earn his way in so that he would be allowed to teach his style.
During this time, Hong Kong was under British occupation, and they were enforcing their way of life into the citizens of Hong Kong primarily martial arts. The people had to protect their sacred kung-fu from the Westerners who wanted to show that boxing was the superior form of hand to hand combat.
Just like in the first movie where he had to fight off the Japanese invaders and their karate to give the Chinese people hope, Ip Man had to fight off the British invaders and their boxing to give the Hong Kong people hope. Although it is alright to accept new influences, it is very important to preserve tradition.
I did enjoy the fight scenes as they felt fresh. Ip Man’s fight against the boxer felt fresh as it was two completely different styles pitting East against West. It was speed versus power. It was tradition against modern. It pitted mind, body, and soul against brute strength.
I felt like many things were exaggerated especially the British boxer’s full disrespect to the Chinese style of martial arts. I felt like it was done to establish the British as the bad guys of the story.
It was pretty much the same story, different environment, and people when comparing this one to the previous story.
Watching this movie made me wonder when we’ll actually see the lessons taught to Bruce Lee. Although most people know Ip Man as Bruce Lee’s master, we didn’t know his other contributions to martial arts. The first two Ip Man movies showed what he was capable of when all hope is lost and is up to him to restore it.
Overall rating: 4/5
Reviewed by: Timtastic