Thursday, April 29, 2010

Movie Review: Ip Man 2 (spoiler alert)

I managed to watch the preview last night. Thanks again to! :)

Ip Man2 is the sequel to Ip Man (pronounced as "yip" "mun" and not "I.P. man") No, it's not internet protocol man. Lol. Anyway, this will be more of a brief teaser than the overall review. ;)

Ip Man is based on a grandmaster of the martial art Wing Chun, Yip Man, and the first person to teach Wing Chun openly. He is famous as being the master to Bruce Lee.

Continuing from the first movie, Ip Man (played by Donnie Yen) was brought out of China into Hong Kong after he was shot by the Japanese. In Hong Kong, the movie shows how he had to start again, being poor and avoiding the landlord lady when they don't have enough rent to pay. I wonder where they get the money. Does his pregnant wife work?

Anyway, he tries to open a martial arts centre on a roof top. In the movie, he is seen waiting till 9 days before anyone comes up to enquire. Before that, a lady happily dries her laundry in the vast space he has not used yet. The potential student comes and challenges him. He proudly announced to Ip Man that if he beats him, he will become his student. Later on, you should guess the outcome and he brings more friends with him to fight and eventually become students.

The early half of the movie also focuses on the proud, naivity of his one particular student who brought problem to his master, Ip Man and the centre. He fought to prove that Wing Chun martial arts is better than others and got bullied by the bigger centre who was in charge of the area. Lesson to learn for this student was shown in a friendly chat with Ip Man in his house. Ip man says something like this: You are only learning the techniques of Chinese Martial Arts. But that is not what Chinese Martial Arts is about - you should learn the Chinese spirit. (Sorry if I translated or rephrase it wrongly - but off-hand, I remember it as this)

 Ip Man goes to save his student

A little comedy was introduced in the part where Ip Man is asked to fight other existing martial arts master on the round chinese dining table.  They showed the older other martial arts masters' reluctance to fight him and get injured after one of them loses to Ip Man. I wonder if the different style of martial arts portrayed here are based on real kinds? Anyway, the highlight of this scene is when Sammo Hung "jumps" up to fight with Ip Man. The character of Hung emits a loud strong presence.
The table fight

Sidetrack, I find Sammo Hung's career matures as he grows older. Remember his earlier movies where he acts young and silly while being bullied? Now he can be a "strong master" with a dominant presence on screen. Kudos to you for maturing in your acting career!

The introduction of Sammo Hung as the master martial arts in Hong Kong is shown as a big "tai kor" who has to bow down to the greedy British "kwai loh" policeman to ensure protection and continued work for his students and followers. At first, he is portrayed as a man who reluctantly bows down to the western occupation in Hong Kong (specifically one individual). But the main event of the show is the boxing match between the east and the west which becomes the climax of the movie.

Hung fought to the very end with the British boxer, Twister in honour of the Chinese martial arts. Twister is shown as this buffed-up, muscular boxer who is way larger than the chinese men with very high stamina and seemed like an unbeatable giant. Twister and his other British counterparts are shown to look down upon the Chinese.

Ip Man preparing for the showdown. 
(What a nice scene and picture of this!! Look at the lighting and shadow casted)

The final showdown is between Ip Man and Twister when Twister threw out the challenge rather rudely and proudly proclaimed by the time he is through, there will no longer be any Chinese martial arts. Watch the movie to see how it ends. I find that the end of this scene seems timely to be the end of the movie.
 The final showdown

The part of Bruce Lee was hardly a minute at the end of the movie which showed a 10-year old boy visiting Ip Man and proudly proclaiming he will be the next master because he is "Li Xiao Long".  Obviously, he brushed his nose with his thumb - the Bruce Lee trademark! Teaser for the next up-coming movie!

Fighting scenes will enraptured you throughout the movie and little intimate or light comedy will make you smile. Go for it if you're a big fan of martial arts. Or perhaps like me, who grew up watching movies like Wong Fei Hong (Jet Li).  :)

P.S. Other reviews to check out in case I don't give you the right perspective.

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