Centering on Ip Man’s migration to Hong Kong in 1949 as he attempts to propagate his discipline of Wing Chun martial arts.
Ip Man 2 (Diep Van 2) follows on from where the original movie left us with Ip Man and his family’s migration to Hong Kong. We follow Ip Man now to opening his own new academy to teach Wing Chun on the rooftop of his friend. And the news editor’s (Pierre Ngo) apartment.
Donnie Yen (Chung Tu Don) once again proves not only what an amazing martial artist he is. But what a great actor he can be too; he has such a calm and peaceful face. Even when he’s fighting. He radiates warmth and likability, but when he is forced to fight, rarely will you see someone so impressive. He moves faster than nearly anyone I’ve ever seen. Especially when he does the multiple punches; my face hurts just watching it.
Business is difficult for Ip Man in a strange city where without his reputation he had in Foshan is struggling to find new disciples to his teachings until a young man named Wong Leung (Huang Xiaoming) who says he will only pay for lessons if Ip Man can defeat him. Unsurprisingly Ip Man defeats the young man who runs away embarrassed (without paying). But returns a short time afterwards with several friends who try and team up to defeat the master unsuccessfully. The young men realise that Ip Man is the real deal and ask for him to become their master.
Ip Man’s reputation in his new city begins to spread and his class grows. Things begin to look up for Ip Man until Leung is kidnap. And held to ransom by the students of a rival school. Again Ip Man must once again prove his worth, by freeing Leung and beating the rival students. This appears to be the theme throughout the second instalment of the Wing Chun Master’s story as time and time again the scenario is a challenge to over come that results in another challenge related to the previous.
By rescuing Leung it brings Ip Man to the attention of master Hung Chun-Nam (Sammo Hung or Hong Kim Bao). Who runs the local martial arts schools. Ip Man can only continue to teach Wing Chun. If he completes the tests against the other masters and yet again. Ip Man has no choice but to show what he is capable of. And defeats several masters and matches Hung in a one-on-one.
This scene is probably my best moment in the movie as the fighting sequences are flawless. And in some cases very imaginative as the challenge set for Ip Man is to fight these masters on a table without being knocked off. Sammo Hung as Hung Chun-Nam is expectedly impressive in these scenes. He appears a lot older and heavier than Ip Man. But I suppose that is the point of his style of martial arts. Unassuming and effective as he matches the master of Wing Chun.