May 17, 2010

“Ip Man 2″ (2010)

So, who do you beat after the Japanese? Kind of predictable, don’t you think? It’s the goddamn yong gwai chi (also known as contemporary ‘sei gwailow‘ or ‘a fucking white guy’). The Chinese is always pissed at everyone. Figuratively speaking, if anyone who isn’t Chinese comes to live with them, they’d go apeshit to beat the crap out of that person, citing on the grounds of their Chinese pride and self-esteem (yes, I have to agree, we do get a bit racist sometimes for the sake of entertainment).

To me, “Ip Man 2″ is no different from some of the already existing popular kungfu themes out there. You know, to rise and fight against the corrupted influence of ‘outsiders’ (foreigners). So it’s either the Japanese or Westerners (funny, little has ever shown about the Mongols). Jet Li actually did the Japs and gweilo in 1 flick – “Fearless” – and predictably, garnered heaps of praise from many critics. It kind of gets dull after you’ve watched a few hundreds of the same theme.

Anyway, in “Ip Man 2″, it’s east meets west, and the glorified-but-humble kungfu master whoops the cocky + behemoth Western guy’s ass and upholds the Chinese dignity. The only different thing about the theme in this sequel is, they actually got someone quite wimpy to be the main sei gwailow antagonist (who is as tough as a hypermart check-out guy. They should have fucking gotten ‘The Rock’ to do it! You should check out the size of the brute Jet Li beat in “Fearless”!) and the uncanny resemblance to Rocky 3 theme (you know, antagonist kills hero’s friend, then hero takes on the antagonist. Like how Balboa avenges for Apollo Creed after he got killed by the badass Mr. T). Hell, even the way they lifted him up during the victory was similar!

Another thing I didn’t like about “Ip Man 2″ was the use of wire during the sparring session between the Chinese kungfu masters. I felt that it totally adulterated the whole flick. Generally, I have no problem with wire-kungfu, but they’ve got to know how to separate the fantasy shit versus the real stuff, you know? This is almost like watching the biopic of Ray Charles, and then suddenly he takes out his sunglasses and a thick red laser beam starts to shoot out of his eyes to obliterate an evil roach creeping around his piano. It boggles the mind and makes the whole experience strange.

It was just an ok flick for me. Nothing to shout about. 5/10 (yes, I think the first one fared better).

michaelooi  | movie reviews  | 

14 Comments to ““Ip Man 2″ (2010)”

  1. ShaolinTiger says:

    Mongolians win, if you haven’t you gotta watch “Mongol” – superb movie and make sure you watch it in HD the filming/scenery is glorious.

  2. michaelooi says:

    Yeah, I’ve watched “Mongol”. The art direction is superb, no doubt. But it didn’t correctly portray the real story of Genghis Khan though… the real story is grittier and more violent (eg: the bride was actually snatched, not won over). But still a good watch.

  3. vincent says:

    I love Ip Man. But Ip Man 2 was rubbish. All the whiteman cliches which we have seen a million times when we were a kid (right down to the crappy Cantonese spoken by the gwailo)

  4. moo_t says:

    Obvious scripting for China market.

  5. sweewon says:

    Oh yes I agree Ip Man 1 is better. I found myself kept saying (to myself) “Oh crap..” “Wth??!” while watching Ip Man 2.

    Ip Man 1 more engaging to me and I felt like my soul was somewhere else while watching Ip Man 2. hahahha.

  6. MT says:

    Agreed… Its just a modernized (i.e. more spiffy special effects) version of any old run-of-the-mill kung-fu movie. Exactly like how you put it; Chinese people being oppressed by some foreigner, Chinese kung-fu master steps up and beats the living daylights out of them, thus saving the day.

    Oh by the way, I don’t mean to be pedantic but, Apollo Creed was killed by Ivan Drago the Russian boxer (played by Dolph Lundgren) in “Rocky 4″ and not by Mr.T in “Rocky 3″… :)

  7. michaelooi says:

    Vincent – I think the flick is selling because of Donnie Yen and on some level, Sammon Hung. Without these 2 actors, it’s basically a wannabe flick from China.

    moo_t – Of course ler. Do you have any idea how many people in mainland China were eagerly waiting to watch this sequel? Their support = profit.

    sweewon – I like “Ip Man 1″ better because 1) Only Donnie whoops ass. 2) The wire-kungfu within acceptable limit.

    MT – Eh, yalor hoh. I thought Mr. T also killed someone right? Wth, lost track of the Rocky series. I only liked (ok, absolutely LOOVVVEEE) the first Rocky, and perhaps the last as well. The rest were all craps.

  8. Tan Yee Hou says:

    Ya I agree that it sucks. Finally, people who think alike can gather at Mikemike’s place and have a support group wtf.

  9. LOLsim says:

    Ip Man 2 was supposed to tell the story of Bruce Lee but they couldn’t manage to secure the rights. This is essentially a hack job.

  10. doc says:

    And they are complaining about Iron Man 2 beating the crap out of Ip Man 2 on the chart.

  11. MT says:

    Rocky’s trainer died in “Rocky 3″ but that also was from a heart attack. But yeah, I do agree, the rest of the “Rocky” movies were quite bad la. I think the worst one was “Rocky 5″.. Really can vomit blood la. :)

    Its refreshing to see a like minded group of people here i.e. “We didn’t think Ipman 2 was that great” group of people, because the moment I try to point out some of the obvious flaws in the movie to my friends, especially the Chinese ones, they get all defensive and stuff… So stupid la..

  12. michaelooi says:

    Yee Hou – Well, maybe we here, are all harder to please people.

    LOLsim – You serious? I’ve seen many el-cheapo flicks (even serial dramas) featuring the Bruce Lee story before. I think there was a recent one starring the goalkeeper in Shaolin Soccer. I figure that it won’t be hard to get ler, the rights for the story.

    doc – Of course ler, Ip Man can’t even break a wooden dummy, let alone a titanium (or something) body suit full of automatic and modern weapons.

    MT – If you want to watch great fights, check out the flicks (you can easily find them in Youtube) from the 80’s starring Sammo Hung, Ti Wei, Benny the Jet, Yuen Biao and Jacky Chan. It will blow your mind off, even by today’s standards.

    ***
    Another thing, do you guys notice, that Ip Man always wear that same black suit? Like, come on, don’t he have it in other colors? Blue maybe? Brown? Or green? What the fuck.

  13. LOLsim says:

    Well, Ip Man is famous for being Bruce Lee’s teacher. I heard that Ip Man 2 is going to feature Bruce Lee and during the entire movie, I keep thinking he’s going to appear anytime soon. Then, the kid shows up and I go “That’s Bruce Lee” but he’s not. After awhile, I knew that this movie is going to suck. BTW, some other director is going to make a few Ip Man movies.

  14. michaelooi says:

    Bruce Lee was actually taught by Wong Shun Leong, Ip Man’s student. This Wong Shun Leong, was a known avid free sparring kaki. Held several records of sorts, until he was defeated by some Korean Taekwondo master. So I guess, the following flicks about Wing Chun will be more on this Wong character, and Bruce Lee of course… and their struggle against the superiority of the Korean Taekwondo.

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