There’s some obstacles however, Master Ip must accept a traditional challenge match with the other Kung Fu masters in town before he is ‘permitted’ to teach – so naturally, he uses his awesome Wing Chun to show up everyone in the room and win his right. But after refusing to pay a monthly fee, he gets some trouble from younger students of other clubs, but this all starts to blow over.
The real problem arises when a British Boxer Twister and other members of the British party arrive in town. Claiming that he is far more powerful than any Chinese man, Twister invites himself into the ring to fight local Kung Fu student, when things get out of control.
This is when Hung Chun (Sammo Hung) steps up to challenge him, and fights for his pride as a Chinese man in order to show the Westerners need to show respect to the Chinese and that they’re not beaten so easily. Ironically he is beaten to death after refusing to give up. It is then that master Ip rises to the challenge and agrees to fight Twister.
A fight for Chinese Pride
With such disregard for the Chinese people, the British community in this movie are really made out to look like total bastards. Twister in particular seems to be quite arrogant and completely unphased with idea of killing Chinese people in the ring.
Even after a public speech made by the British where they explain that Twister reluctantly accepted the challenge (yeah right!), Twister then continues to brag about how he’ll kill more Chinese men in the ring! What’s just as bad is the reference to the Chinese man (Sammo Hung’s character) as being ‘too weak’ to handle Twister’s fists.
The whole event – Hung’s death, and this totally ignorant speech, Ip Man is basically compelled to stand up for his people and fight Twister to regain their dignity.
Hung Chun’s evolving character
Hung starts out with an almost ‘crime lordish’ in persona, but gradually becomes a better person before finally being killed.
He charges other Kung Fu teachers around town a fee to teach,when Ip Man refuses to pay he initially becomes upset. After another run in and a fight in his home, Hung nearly attacks (accidentally) one of his children, but Ip prevents any harm from coming to him. This acts as sort of a pivot point for his change in character.
He is then seen being rather civil with Ip, and the two share a mutual respect. When he decides to jump into the ring to fight Twister, it seems by then he is more driven by pride for his people as opposed to money, with Ip claiming that he respected him the most after his death.
Ip Man’s Teaching & Philosophy
When Ip Man opens his school, he is challenged by many and effortlessly defeats them. These challengers quickly become his students.
While most of his students are headstrong and impulsive, Ip tries to teach them not to fight but to flee. Avoidance of violence is the best solution.
He discussed with his first student that he has great potential in martial arts, but that the reason he teaches is not to pass on Chinese fighting styles, but to help people encompass the Chinese Spirit – to work harder at becoming a better person.
Ip’s ultimate goal expressed at the end of the film was to unify East and West with his fight, not to prove Chinese Kung Fu is better than Western Boxing. I found it interesting as they show an appearance by a young boy portraying Bruce Lee at the end of the film.
As one of Bruce’s major accomplishments in life was helping to bridge the gap between East and West through the sharing of his martial arts and his work in martial arts movies, it’s hard not to look at this as inspired by (or paying tribute to) Bruce Lee – by telling the story of his martial arts instructor, as somewhat of a passed down goal to better the world.
Action & Martial Arts
As with the first movie, the second Ip Man delivers action to a high standard that is technical, and extremely exciting. Donnie Yen’s portrayal of Wing Chun is very convincing, even with the highly flashy movements thrown in with it.
Even some of the students who fought earlier in the movie displayed some good technical work, showing a deep level of commitment to the art they were portraying.
Most interesting I found is the fight between Ip Man and Twister. While twister was fast and accomplished, his raw power was what made him a formidable opponent. Master Ip showed great speed but was unable to contend with Twisters power on many occasions. By switching up his approach and attacking Twisters limbs, and breaking down other parts of his guard before going for the big shots, he outsmarted Twister and put him down quite decisively – it was interesting to watch.
It shows a big difference between competitive sports and a complete, no rules combative art. While Twister was quite deadly, Ip Man’s kicks were beginning to work to his advantage, until he was forbidden to use them by the judges. This approach of breaking down his strengths to bypass his defenses is definitely more of a no rules concept, especially when combined with the small amount of ground fighting Ip Man displayed.
Would I recommend it
Yes, just yes. The only way I couldn’t recommend this movie is if you hate reading subtitles or simply don’t like Donnie Yen. The movie is fantastic!
Find it On Blu-Ray –
Region A (US & Canada)
Ip Man 2 on Blu-ray
Region B (UK, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, etc)
Ip Man 2 on Blu-ray
On DVD –
Region 1 (US & Canada)
Ip Man 2 on DVD
or Watch Ip Man 2 Online Here
(US & Canada)