Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster – 3 out of 5
Yip Man, as I explained in my review of the first film, was the man who ended up creating the legendary ass-kicker Bruce Lee. After the first film took some liberties with the man’s story a sequel was produced in 2010 to take some more liberties…and also show that martial arts masters can defy physics and are borderline superheroes.
|"Round two, bitches!"|
|And that man's future lineage is destroyed in|
a single moment.
|The key to any martial arts: Using a fat baby as a human shield.|
I actually found myself enjoying this one a little more than the first film. Both movies are entertaining to watch but each one had some issues that kept it from being anything but middle-of-the-road for me. As I said in my review of the first film my biggest problem of the movie was the bad sound quality and some of the fights—although cool—looked silly at points. Well, the good news is the sound is far more balanced in this one (although the rapid punches still sounds like Neil Peart wailing away on his drums) but some of the fights are still really silly—although still cool at points.
|"These are quality knives. I would hate for them to slice you up if you don't buy them."|
Like the previous film, this movie is loosely based on Yip’s actual life but, it’s clear, that the liberties were taken for the martial arts because, like I said, these guys are borderline superheroes. They move at inhuman speeds, have balance that can only be attributed to being connected to a wire (*wink wink*) or as if gravity no longer applies to them and are capable of nearly achieving flight from a standing position.
|"A guy my size should not be able to do this!"|
While this occasionally happens in a fight scene these sequences are mostly pretty awesome and amazingly choreographed. That is until the superpowers kick in and a story that should be grounded in reality since it’s based on the guy who inspired Bruce Lee suddenly becomes a fantasy film about martial arts masters who are able to alter physics and spin tables with their feet in mid-air all the while controlling their bodies to move through the air through seemingly sheer force of will like they’re fucking Superman.
|Are you happy to see me, piece of inanimate wood meant for training martial artists?|
One thing I really found to be a great improvement in this film is the fact that the overall appearance of the movie seems to be of a higher quality. The movie’s camera work was pretty dynamic with the viewpoint constantly circling the action and getting right in the middle of the goings-on. The previous film, for the most part, had a very static camera that watched the action while this one seemed to be more a part of the action.
|"Whoa, you almost hit me...again! I'm starting to think you're actually trying to|
do harm to me."
|A young Hugo Weaving apparently played the boxer.|