ASIAN FILM - Review
16:47 - 25th March 2013, by Calum Waddell

Ip Man 2

Starting with a short re-cap of the events of the original film (to which NEO awarded three stars), Ip Man 2 quickly gets into gear and not only supersedes its predecessor but stands tall as a modern martial arts classic in its own right.

Donnie Yen once again returns as the title hero (who famously trained Bruce Lee) in this Wilson Yip-directed blockbuster, and this time he engages in a feud with a brutal British boxing promoter in Hong Kong shortly after the conclusion of World War II. Also causing some problems for our guy, at least initially, is a local martial arts school chaired by Chinese cinema legend Sammo Hung (who can still go with the best of them). The two eventually find peace, even though Hung is immediately sceptical about Yen's mastery of Wing Chun and his desire to teach the locals a new form of self-defence.

Of course, what makes Ip Man 2 really stand out is its action - mixing some digital trickery with wire-fu and, naturally, the very real kung-fu prowess of its leading actors - this one hits hard and is nothing less than almost consistently exhilarating. And if Yen was a bit too straight-faced to really illicit our sympathy in the first feature, he more than comes into his own as the character in this superior sequel. Utterly essential.

A punch 'em up that'll please most anyone...
SCORE: 5/5
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