Essentially a reworking of the first movie starring Donnie Yen as the master of Wing Chung, “Ip Man 2” features all the badass action and Yen being his badass self, except this time instead of Japanese bad guys, you have British bad guys. The British stuff is pretty generic and clownish (and was done much better in Jet Li’s “Fearless), but all the other stuff, especially the battles with Sammo Hung, are classic martial arts kickassery. And as I’ve always said, if you ever get the chance to see a good old fashion Chinese martial arts movie on the big screen, take it.
After escaping the Japanese occupation of his hometown of Foshan, China, Ip Man and his family have arrived in Hong Kong, which is living under the iron fist of British colonial rule. Ip wants to support his family by opening up a martial arts academy to teach his unique Wing Chun style. But a corrupt cabal of Hong Kong martial arts masters, led by Hung Chun-nam, refuses to allow Ip to teach until he proves himself – and prove himself he does, in an intense series of fights against the masters showcasing a dazzling variety of martial arts styles, culminating in a highly anticipated brawl between Ip and Hung atop a rickety table. But even after gaining the respect of the masters, Ip’s troubles are far from over. Hong Kong under British rule is a world of corruption, and when a Western-style boxer named Taylor “Twister” Milos comes to town to entertain the British upper-class, and insults both Chinese martial arts and the native citizens in a horrifically violent way, Ip must step up and fight for the honor of both his kung fu and the Chinese people. Forced by honor to enter a brutal “King of the Ring” boxing match against Twister, it’s East versus West in an amazing, knock-down drag-out fight to the finish.
Starring Donnie Yen, Lynn Hung, Simon Yam, Sammo Hung, Huang Xiaoming, and directed by Wilson Yip.
Catch it in limited release January 28, 2011.
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