The team behind Kill Zone—director Wilson Yip, actor Donnie Yen and action choreographer Sammo Hung—pair up again for a semi-biographical account of Yip Man. Yip Man, or IP Man, was the first martial arts master to teach Chinese Wing Chun. He did so during Japanese occupation of his hometown of Foshan during the Sino-Japan way in 1937. The first film embellishes a villainous encounter with Japanese Colonel, Mr. Miura (Hiroyuki Ikeuchi), who insists upon fighting the legendary master. The second film begins after IP Man was forced to flee with his family, and has many similar difficulties in his new hometown.
Residing in British-occupied
Hong Kong, Grandmaster Ip Man is forced to deal with their cockiness as well as a corrupt group of martial arts masters (Led by Hung). The latter actually comes first, and after proving himself, Ip Man is able to win over many of the masters, even bonding with them as they face the British. Rather than the outright violence of the Japanese, the British just demean the locals. This is never more apparent than in a boxing showcase with a Western boxer fighting the martial arts students.
With action superstar Donnie Yen in the role, IP Man quickly becomes able to do incredible things. He takes on ten men in a demonstration, easily able to walk away without sustaining so much as a blow. The film walks the border between biopic and traditional martial arts action, but does so in a way which preserves both. The spirit of Yip Man is in here, even where the story takes liberties. The main focus seems to be finding a way to connect the storyline to the influence the master had on action superstar Bruce Lee.
The Blu-ray includes a making-of featurette, as well as behind-the-scenes footage and deleted scenes. There is even a shooting diary and interviews, not to mention a trailer and an option dubbed track. The subtitles work just fine, however, and I would never recommend the dubbed over this option.
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