Ip Man 2 (2010) – REVIEW

by Jordache Wee

Original Mandarin Title: 葉問 2:宗師傳奇
Release Date: April 29, 2010
Directed by: Wilson Yip
Language: Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese
Music by: Kenji Kawai
Starring: Donnie Yen, Lynn Hung, Simon Yam, Sammo Hung, Huang Xiaoming, Fan Siu-Wong, Pierre Ngo, Calvin Cheng, Kent Cheng, Li Chak, Ashton Chen, Lam Hak-ming, Lo Mang, Fung Hak-on, Lu Meifang, To Yu-hang, Jiang Daiyan Charles Mayer, Brian Burrell, Darren Shahlavi, 

Set in the 1950s, Ip Man (Donnie Yen) and his family resides in Hong Kong after escaping from Foshan (under Japanese Occupation). Ip Man has also decided to earn a living to support his family by opening a martial arts centre.

Being new in the community, Ip Man has yet to get any disciples.  One day, a young and reckless man named Wong Leung (Huang Xiaoming) appears and challenge Ip Man to a duel. He proposed that if Ip Man’s martial arts can defeat him, he will bestowed him and greet him as master.

Wong Leung (Huang Xiaoming) challenges Ip Man

Wong Leung was defeated in many ways. He left the scene and came back with a group hooligan friends to beat up Ip Man. Likewise, Ip Man’s defeated them as well.

All the young men were stunned and Wong Leung self-proclaimed to be Ip Man’s first disciple and indeed he became. So Wong Leung and his friends all became Ip Man’s disciple. The following day, more students came to join and learn Ip Man’s martial arts.

Later, Wong Leung was caught in the act of pasting his master’s promotional poster on top of Hung Ga’s martial arts poster. One of the Hung Ga’s student, Cheng Wai-kei (To Yu-hang)challenges Wong Leung and he was ultimately defeated, only to play dirty by letting his friends ganging up on him and held Wong Leung as hostage until his master arrival to apologize.

Cheng Wai-kei (To Yu-hang) tries to settle the scores with Ip Man

Ip Man arrived at a wet market with supposedly meeting and negotiation with the Cheng Wai-kei instead the negotiations ends up bad. Ip Man has to help and save his student and also protect himself against the angry mob of Hung Ga’s students.

Subsequently, the fight ends with the sudden appearance of Master Jin Shanzhao (Fan Siu-wong) stopping the whole fight. Master Jin is a changed man, unlike himself in the first film. He has learn the hardship to strive for a living. Hung Chun-nam (Sammo Hung), the master of Hung Ga’s martial arts school too arrived in the midst of the fight.

The commotion was left silent with Hung Chun-nam telling Ip Man that if he plans to set up a school – he must defeat all present martial arts masters before he can proceed to do so.  Officer Fatso (Kent Cheng) intervenes and arrested Ip Man, Wong Leung and Master Jin for causing the fight scene.

Ip Man and Master Jin were released on bail by their wives. Master Jin released Wong Leung on his favor to help the young boy as he sees him as his previous recklessness.

Along the way back home, Ip Man spotted his good friend, Chow Ching-chuen (Simon Yam), who is now a recluse man and he does not remember Ip Man. It was mentioned by his son, Chow Kwong-yiu (Calvin Cheng) that his father has been head-shot by the Japanese army when he tries to escape to Hong Kong. Ip Man feels guilty and he recommend Chow Kwong-yiu to take up a job in the local press which he has acquaintances with the editor.

Hung Chun-nam and Officer Fatso are accomplices with the corrupted Hong Kong Superintendent Wallace (Charles Mayer). They collect protection fees for the Superintendent and via martial arts matches too.

Ip Man accepted the Hung Chun-nam challenge in order to open his own school. He must defeat all 3 masters before the incense burns out. Ip Man took on Master Cheng (Fung Hak-on), Master Law (Lo Mang) and finally Master Lam (Lam Hak-ming).

Ip Man accepts Hung Chun-nams match (Sammo Hung)

The last battle began with Hung Chun-nam  against Ip Man which create an intense fight scenes on the tables and chairs. The fight ended up in a draw with the round table broke into half. Although Hung Chun-nam is unsatisfied but allows Ip Man to open his school with one condition: monthly protection fees must be paid before due. Ip Man disobeyed him. Leaving Hung Chun-nam furious.

Hung Chun-nam sent his students to create havoc by discouraging anyone who are interested with the Wing Chun school. This incident led a street brawl between the Wing Chun and Hung Ga school.

Therefore, this tremendous situation made Ip Man to shut down his school after the landlord could not let his place be tarnished. Ip Man confronted Hung Chun-nam and ended with another fight only to be interrupted by Hung Chun-nam’s son. The meeting may have ended up sore but Hung Chun-nam has considered Ip Man’s meaningful speech.

He invited Ip Man to participate in British boxing match. Ip Man accepted his offer.

The boxing competition were participated by various martial artists performing each of their school’s skills.

Unfortunately, the event was intervened by the boxing superstar Taylor “The Twister” Milos (Darren Shahlavi). He openly insults “Chinese Boxing” that they stand no chance against British boxing that he attacks one of the martial arts students and created a scene.

Hung Chun-nam decided to put an end to the whole thing especially when he needs to deliver the protection fees to the Superintendent and he is also behind  Twister. He deliberately wants the British to stop insulting Chinese culture and all the corruption he has done for that he challenged Twister into a match.

In the beginning of the match, Hung Chun-nam has the advantage but his breathe and pace gets slower as he cannot keep up with his asthma. He was beaten to death by Twister with monster knock-out and further insulted.

The death of Hung Chun-nam was raised in the local newspaper of how the British are mistreating the Chinese. The news spread across all over Hong Kong which puts the Superintendent in a shameful spot.

Superintendent Wallace went to the local newspaper and destroyed anyone who wrote the article and even caught the editor, Leung Kan (Pierre Ngo) and punishes his hand. However, Fatso saves Leung Kan despite feeling guilty and being a “running dog” for the British. Later he helped Leung Kan by revealing all the corruption behind the Superintendent as he had enough of the mistreatment for the Chinese society.

A press conference was held in regards to Hung Chun-nam’s death. Twister said that Hung Chun-nam’s death was an accident and he even proposed a challenge to any Chinese for the next match. Ip Man stood forward and accepted his challenge.

Ip Man speak of righteousness on behalf of his now late friend that martial arts is not about fighting to be stronger but about self-defence.

Ip Man and Taylor "The Twister" Milos (Darren Shahlavi)

The match between Ip Man and Twister was heard all over the radio stations. Every Chinese people supports Ip Man’s righteous fight.  Ip Man does not start with a good match as each blow he receives was extremely strong. The match was strictly with any legs involvement.

In the same time, Ip Man’s wife was giving birth to their second child. Feeling both grievance and fear, she has confidence in him. After many rounds, Ip Man defeated Twister.

The Chinese community roars in excitement but winning is not Ip Man intended to prove but he would prefer neither British or Chinese should mistreat each other as times are tough that people should respect among each other.

Superintendent Wallace who was also present at the match felt disappointed and more disappointment when he was arrested by his superiors for major corruption and racketeering jobs.

Ip Man returns home and unite with his family holding his second newborn son and name him Ip Ching.

Several years later, Ip Man was approached by a young boy who wants to learn Wing Chun to fight better. Disapproved by Ip Man for the boy’s youth to ask him come back when he is more mature. The young boy then smirked at him and told his name: Bruce Lee (Jiang Daiyan)

Reviewer’s Note:
Ip Man returns in this sequel  after escaping from the Japanese Occupation. He settles in Hong Kong with his family in hopes to provide them a better living. Thus deciding on opening his own school.

Despite he endured many obstacles along the way but managed to settle at ease. He is not only good with his bare hands but he is also a man of righteous. His humbleness has bring him forth to build a harmony community among those who lives with him.

The  sequel provides more extensive plot and featuring the action-choreographer, Sammo Hung to participate in the film adding an extra excitement. The fight scenes has taken into another level of brutality.

This is one sequel where one must watch. Try to understand the moral behind the scenes. Although, the fight scenes are refreshing and energetic.

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