The Movie: 7.5/10
Ip Man 2 starts off several months after the ending of the first movie with Ip and his family settling into British controlled Hong Kong. Trying to support his family, which is expanding, Ip does what he does best: starts teaching martial arts. His style, known as Wing Chun, is relatively new in the area, and it proves a difficult sell to find paying students whom Ip can tutor. Eventually Ip finds a loyal group of students to teach, and he discovers that Hong Kong is not a very hospitable place for a new master to open up shop.
When Ip is confronted by rival master Hung (played by martial arts movie veteran Sammo Hung), Ip is forced to battle the local area masters for the right to teach in Hong Kong. While he proves his worth and gains to right to be called a fellow master, Ip is still forced to pay monthly “club” dues to Hung, which again makes things difficult for a man with a family to think about.
It is not until a British boxer who goes by the name Twister emerges on the scene to create havok that the local masters truly join together to defend the rights, culture, and way of life. Twister cares not for the “dancing” as he sees martial arts, and in hhis arrogant, violent “friendly” matches he ends up killing master Hung, much to the horror of the locals. It is at this point that Ip again finds himself defending martial arts and country, much like he has done in the past, in a showdown that pits East against West.
Donnie Yen is again wonderful as master Ip, the legendary martial arts teacher who later in his life taught another legend by the name of Bruce Lee. Ip Man 2 is a solid movie, and really does a decent job of following the original, which was quite good as well. The two movies compliment each other, while still being able to stand on their own. I found the story in Ip Man 2 a bit underwhelming compared to the original, but the action and message are equally as good. These two movies are a different kind of martial arts presentation, with a bit slower, more relaxed pace than many, but they are a fun watch. I know that in the movies they took some liberties with the legend of Ip, but overall Ip Man 2 was a good movie. I have recently read that Donnie yen has stated that he will not do another Ip movie, for fear of trivializing the legend of the master, which is nice to see, but at the same time, I will miss this this group of movies if this is indeed the last one made.
- Making Of – This is pretty standard behind the scenes shots. The feature runs about 18 minutes, and is just what you think it would be.
- Behind The Sets – I really liked this feature, as it delves into the creation of the sets. You kind of take the sets for granted here, but they add to the feel of the movie, with the oppressed Hong Kong setting. This was an interesting look into their creation.
- Deleted Scenes & Shooting Diary – The deleted scenes are pretty standard stuff, and this shooting diary is basically just a camera taking shots of the movie as it is being made.
- Interviews – The interviewes are fantastic, and they cover just about all of the main players in the movie, with long interviews with Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung, and Director Wilson Yip. These are very insightful interviews.
Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
I like the cover for Ip Man 2, with its action style. It is an action shot of the master’s fist, on kind of a sepia (older looking color palette) background. Very stylish. The menu features a static shot of Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung, with clips of the movie in the background. Not as good as the cover, but not bad. Martial Arts movies have taken a real turn in the last 15 years, and the high quality of the movies is refreshing. This is expressed from start to finish, and the cover art for Ip Man 2 really sets the tone for the movie.
Audio & Video: 8/10
A muted color palette adds to the feel of the movie, while the details and crispness of the 2.35:1 1080p AVC encode is sharp. The action shots lose nothing here, and the overall presentation is incredible. The 1080p 2.35:1 AVC encode is solid. There was a little bit of artifacting on the edges of some of the shots, but overall this is a great video presentation. The audio is presented in 3 languages, with the english dub being a bit bright, but otherwise pretty decent. The fight scenes are great, with the kicks and punches being overly loud, as is usual in these types of martial arts movies.
Ip Man 2 is a decent follow up to the original, with the story being closely related to the first. Some liberties were taken with the story of the famous master, but overall this movie is a decent martial arts film, with Sammo Hung and Donnie Yen adding some real martial arts credibility to the movie. For martial arts fans, Ip Man 2 is a great little watch. It is not the best martial arts movie ever made, but it sure was a fun movie to watch.
Overall Score 7.5/10