Netflix Review: Ip Man 2

If you have never seen Ip Man, you are missing out on a little piece of film heaven.  It is a “true” story of Ip Man (that’s his name folks, he is not a super hero).  He brought Wing Chun kung fu to China, fought against the Japanese, fought against the British and then to top that all off trained a man by the name of Bruce Lee.

If that premise were not bad ass enough for you, then I will also let you know that the movie stars Donnie Yen.  Donnie also choreographs all of the fight scenes for the movie.  He is the choreographer of Dragon Tiger Gate, Blade II, Legend of the Fist and many more. You do not need to see Ip Man in order to understand what is going on in Ip Man 2.  But I would highly recommend a direct injection of kung fu crack directly to your eye balls, and just watch both.

Do you know where the 5 o'clock free crack giveaway is?

Ip Man 2 smacked me around like I was Donnie Yen’s bitch. I went from loving it, to having a moral crises, to welling up with emotion to loving it. Let me see if I can explain every phase of this crazy kung fu classic.

Loving It

The first hour of this movie is made up of Ip Man trying to start a new kung fu school so that he can teach Wing Chun to his fellow Chinese.  He is harassed by other kung fu schools.  One of the schools in particular decides to pick on one of his students, and Master Ip goes and fights off 100 guys with weapons pretty much  by himself.  Loved it!

He then is challenged by the local masters to take the “master test” where he has to stand on a table and fight any master who challenges him.  They light incense, and if Ip is able to stay on the table the entire time the incense is burning, he earns the right to be a kung fu master.  I imagine this is similar to how strippers are trained, you just substitute the table with a pole, and the masters with drunken sailors.

Legend has it that Carmen Electra still holds the highest score.

This leads to an epic table top fight between Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung.  If that last sentence did not just make you jump up and squeal like a little girl, then you should probably read it again.  Sammo Hung and Donnie Yen have an epic fight where both show that they truly are masters.

Moral Crisis

At this point the movie takes a turn and changes the big bad from Sammo’s character to a visiting world champion boxer from Britain.  For about the first half hour of this occuring my brain just went with a bog old “What the fuck?!?”  Ip just fought 100 guys with swords and staffs and all this with no problem.  What in the hell is a boxer going to do to him?

This dude scares me more than the boxer in Ip Man 2.

Ip Man uses his entire body to punish evil doers and fight for what is right.  This jaggoff of a boxer only uses his arms.  In a movie where Ip fights 100 guys or fights one boxer, it was the boxer where I could not suspend disbelief.  I actually started freaking out a little.  My internal monologue went a little like this: “How the hell is a boxer a formidable opponent?  Just buy it and watch the awesome fight scene.  Seriously, a fucking boxer?  It is still amazing choreography, can’t you just enjoy that?”  On and on, round and round.

I really started to think about this.  The boxer would be fast, and if he landed a punch it would be pretty tough to recover from something like that.  Plus, he is a good foot taller than everyone else around him, so that size difference right there would make his hits even more effective and their hits even less effective on him.  Ok, I see how a boxer could be a solid opponent.  Plus it is a fighting style that they are very much not used to, and the unknown can bring its own challenged.

Crisis averted.

Emotion and Love

I do not want to ruin the ending, so I will simply say that Ip Man 2 tugged at my heart strings perfectly.  You hated who you were supposed to hate, and you rooted for who you were supposed to root for, and the ending they come up with is well deserved.

There were no confusing baby Hitler feelings. I hate him because he is Hitler, I love him because he is a baby!

In the end, Ip Man 2 made me love its characters, its fights and its story.  I only expected one out of those three.  Ip Man 2 is streaming on Netflix as of this very moment.  Go watch it.

Have you seen Ip Man 2?  What did you think of it?  Let us know in the comments below.

~Ryan Lynch