I have not done a movie review in a while, but now it should be the best time to do so. International martial arts star, Donnie Yen, has returned to protray as one of the most revolutionary martial artist of the 20th century, Ip Man.
The sequel takes place right with Sifu (Teacher/instructor) Ip Man living a new life in Hong Kong. Compared to the first film, its transition was from living in Fo Shan and fleeting for a more prosperous life away from the Japanese. It was difficuly to attract students, but it all begin to change once his first disciple, Wong Shun Leung, challenged him in a duel.
Ip Man’s demonstration of wing chun was not only new for Wong Shun Leung, but also the hong kong martial arts community. In order for Ip to continue teaching martial arts, he must challenge the masters in Hong Kong whose leader is played by Sammo Hung. Although he was accepted to teach, but his biggest threat lead him to defeat a western boxer for the respect/preservation of the chinese arts.
This movie is beyond a martial arts film. Many of the times we watch martial arts films is to fast forward to the action; However, Donnie Yen’s performance was extremely eloquent regards to empathy and compassion of his character. Ip Man was only a extraordinary martial artist, but an activist for his people. From the beginning of the film, I totally felt his anger and pain to stand up against the oppressor and guilt towards his friend being shot. Ip Man fought for so many people, which subliminally changed the eyes of chinese martial arts to the world.
It was amazing to see Sammo Hung return as Donnie’s counterpart. The 2 martial artists were last seen brawling it out with dynamics kicks, intense hand strikes and throws in the epic martial arts film, Kill Zone (originally known as SPL). Punches were not held back as their rapid exchanges were controlled and precised!
This particular scene was very similar towards Bruce Lee’s decision to teach anyone beyond the ways of the chinese culture. Anything expressed slightly different from a traditional criteria is automatically criticized and often challenged. Ip Man showed that once again and defeat the odds in this epic film (look out for the lil bruce lee cameo). Unfortunately, I feel the film would not be appreciated as much on the american silver screen, yet it has something to offer as much as “black swan” or some shit.