There’s something about old-school martial arts films that makes you scream out, “Hee-yah!” Whether it’s through the appeal of a pure, impenetrable hero, or through the amazing choreography, contemporary martial arts cinema continues to embody many celebrated concepts of the Asian male identity that are reflected in film from the 1970s.
This Hong Kong blockbuster is a rousing post-colonial reclaiming of Chinese pride. It‘s based on the life of wushu and wing chun master Ip Man, who mentored martial arts legend Bruce Lee. Ip Man 2 begins where Ip Man left off. Having just escaped the Sino-Japanese war in China, Ip Man arrives in Hong Kong to begin a new life with his pregnant wife and son.
With very little money, Ip Man opens a martial arts school and quickly gains the admiration of young Wong Leung and his friends. But when Wong gets into a fight with a pupil from another school, Ip is confronted by Master Hung (co-star and action choreographer Sammo Hung), a powerful Hong Kong martial arts school magnate and extortionist.
When a British officer decides to host the “King of Boxing Competition,” Master Hung and his students are hired to organize the event. But when Western boxer, Twister, publicly insults wushu, Hung realizes that he must fight discrimination and corruption in order to defend his people’s pride. The devastating aftermath of the fight triggers an uproar of protests against Westerners. To stop the chaos, officials organize another West versus East competition, inviting any challenger to face Twister. Ip Man emerges to uphold the dignity of wushu and to highlight the harmonious principles of the art form.
– Heather Keung