The story of the master who trained kung fu legend Bruce Lee continues in this sequel to the first Ip Man film.
Ip Man (played by Donnie Yen Ji-dan) and his family move to Hong Kong in 1949 after beating a Japanese general in Foshan their home town. He sets up a Wing Chun martial arts academy, which is unheard of in Hong Kong, and struggles to attract students. The newcomer crosses paths with the city's kung fu masters who insist that, to earn his right to teach Wing Chun in Hong Kong, he must win duels against them.
This leads to a masterfully choreographed match between Ip and Master Hung (Sammo Hung Kam-bo), who leads the league of kung fu schools. They spar on a vast, unsteady tabletop, with defeat coming to the first fighter to hit the floor.
Ip's final battle pits Wing Chun against Western boxing. His rival is a cartoonish British boxer named Twister (Darren Shahlavi). This part is predictable as it too closely resembles the format that made its predecessor a hit.
The film is proudly patriotic, especially in scenes such as when Master Hung stands up to Twister, who thinks Western boxing is superior to Chinese martial arts. Like the first Ip Man film, this sequel has a certain grace to it and Hongkongers, whether natural-born or adopted, will feel proud watching it.
And for those of you waiting for it, yes, a young Bruce Lee shows up - eventually.
YP rating: 3/5