Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ January 19, 2014
A bloated, overlong sequel that is more concerned about following the formula of the Rocky movies than having an identity of its own, with all of it making it look like a conventional and very predictable Hollywood product, including a ridiculously caricatural villain.
Super Reviewer
½ June 30, 2011
The predecessor, "Ip Man", carried a genuinely interesting plot, characters; Ip Man 2 fails to have the same dramatic impact as the first one had but still manages to entertain.
Super Reviewer
January 26, 2011
the plot is recycled, and in comparison to the first the characters are less compelling, the mood less serious, the scope less epic, and the stakes not as high. having said all of that, the first was a masterpiece, so this not measuring up doesnt mean its not great. this was a fantastic martial arts film. the action was awesome, and it was great to see a few returning characters. a solid sequel.
Super Reviewer
½ January 11, 2011
"I can abide in order to survive, but I won't let him insult Chinese martial arts!"

Ip Man 2 once again brings much of the amazing martial arts action that I loved in the first movie, but this time around, the story is of a much different tone. Instead of dealing with the brutal circumstances and struggle for survival under the Japanese invasion and occupation of China during the 1930's, it centers around Ip Man and his family after they move to Hong Kong following the events of the first film. There, Ip Man seeks to establish a new martial arts school, but has to deal with the other martial arts masters already in the city.

The last half of the movie focuses on the British who were in charge in Hong Kong at the time; specifically an arrogant boxer and a cruel officer that have no respect for the Chinese, their ways, or their martial arts. This all leads up to finale where Ip Man defends Chinese honor against the boxer in a match. It's entertaining enough, but the story as a whole just doesn't hold up to the powerful, stirring plot of the original Ip Man.

Ip Man 2 is a good movie and definitely worth watching, but don't expect it to be better than the first film (it's not). Still if you like more than just surface thrills and smack-downs in your martial arts viewing, you shouldn't hesitate to see this.

Also worth noting is that along with once again doing the fight choreography, Sammo Hung has a pretty pivotal role as a martial arts master in the film. Good news for fans of the man's acting, as well as his martial arts prowess.
Super Reviewer
½ May 25, 2010
The first half follows the teacher as he attempts to turn his fledgling Wing Chun school into a success. In the beginning IP Man struggles and there is drama in his endeavor. This culminates in a scene where Hung Chun-nam, a Hung Ga master, demands that Ip defeat practitioners of all wushu varieties before he can teach in his own school. The conflict leads to a match atop a table where celebrated star Donnie Yen must battle Master Hung himself played by Hong Kong legend Sammo Hung. The hand to hand combat between the enemies justifies the film. It's an exhilarating display. The second half sees former adversaries become allies as they band together to unite against the British, specifically a championship boxer who insults the integrity of the Chinese martial arts community.

Here's where it gets silly. Iranian-British actor and martial artist Darren Shahlavi plays British boxing champion, Taylor "The Twister" Milos. To call him a ruthless character would be an understatement, and make no mistake, he is a character. He is the model definition of "the heavy". He shows no respect, belittling the very culture of the country he's a guest of. The portrayal is so crude he makes Ivan Drago, the central villain in Rocky IV, seem like a paragon of subtlety and restraint. At this point the plot feels as if it was lifted directly from that mid 80s movie. Chinese nationalism has rarely been this unbridled or obvious. I lost count how many times the British were referred to as "foreign devils" with unabashed contempt.

The 10 minute table fight sequence notwithstanding, there is little that's distinctive in this sequel. That's surprising given the legacy of this fascinating leader in martial arts. This was, however, a huge money-maker in China so look for Ip Man 3: The Teaching of Bruce Lee. Yes, that movie title may be a joke, but anyone familiar with Ip Man's life will appreciate the humor. Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung are of course a marvel in their combat scenes. If that's all you crave, you will not be disappointed. Their adversarial chemistry is exciting. I only wish the script could have been a bit less predictable.
Super Reviewer
½ December 13, 2010
Ok. I LOVED LOVED the first film. This one isn't quite as memorable, BUT I still found it enjoyable. Plus, Donnie Yen is just the bomb. Perhaps if I had never seen the first one, maybe I wouldn't judge this one so harshly. Donnie Yen is excellent in his portrayal, just like in the first film. The fights are also excellent. For some reason, though, the storyline just didn't quite make it for me. The VERY last scene was cool, though. Very cool!
Super Reviewer
½ May 9, 2011
It's possibly the greatest martial arts action film i have ever seen, and I've seen some amazing martial arts films. It's mind-blowing and spectacular action entertainment that you will never forget. It's exhilarating, thrilling and absolutely unforgettable. A masterpiece of the genre. An instant classic. A complete knockout of amazing and eye-popping action sequences and stunts. This is 100% pure wow of an entertainment ride. An incredible movie. It's an awe-inspiring epic with adrenaline-charged action with attitude. Donny Yen gives yet another brilliant performance, you cant your eyes off him whether it's his electric star-power or or astonishing martial arts skills.
Super Reviewer
½ May 2, 2011
While the first film managed to be what I called the "Life is Beautiful of Martial Arts movies", the sequel is also very solid in a Rocky sort of way.
Super Reviewer
½ May 19, 2010
Incredible Hong Kong action film. Great to see Donnie Yen returns as the titular kung fu grandmaster in this sequel, with Wilson Yip reassuming his directorial duties and, most importantly, Sammo Hung back in his role as action director, and also as a main character. This story picks up from where the first movie left off.
Any scene in the film featuring Hung is gold. In fact, the sole reason to see Ip Man 2 is for Hung's match with Yen. If you've seen S.P.L.: Killzone, then you already have an idea of how epic a match between these two can be.
I see this story is nothing new to write home about; it's basically the Hong Kong version of Rocky IV, with Yen is equivalent to Sylvester Stallone's iconic character, and a very buffed-up Darren Shahlavi playing a British boxer which is the equivalent of Dolph Lundgren's Ivan Drago character. However the direction and the fight scenes are executed so masterfully that it makes the story easy to relate to.
In the final scene, I was surprised to see a child actor who plays as a superstar martial artist who first met the master and wanted to teach Wing Chun - it's true because of Ip Man's biopic - you'll see when you watch it.
Super Reviewer
October 10, 2010
Simply put, Wilson Yip's continuation of the Ip Man biopic is a smashing success.The very beginning provides a quick refresher from the first film and the story can more or less stand alone, but viewing the first installment is still a wise decision.The 1 hour 45 minutes is a constant shift between action and drama, which makes it move without the feeling of much drag. The dramatic scenes move the story along to setup the action, while the new characters don't have a whole lot of buildup to become highly likable.The action is fantastic because Donnie Yen and the Wing chun style of martial arts is a perfect combination; therefore, even though the outcomes of the fights are predictable, they are still appealing to the eyes. Sammo Hung's choreography even makes Chinese martial arts versus Western boxing a blast to watch.There is some good acting all around. Donnie Yen is the perfect casting choice for Ip Man. Xioaming Huang and Sammo Hung are the more notable supporting characters.In the end, Ip Man 2 has got enough martial arts action to satisfy. Check it out.
Super Reviewer
½ June 12, 2010
The sequel to the mega smash, the story continues as Ip Man and his family migrate to Hong Kong to start a new life. Opening a new school, Ip Man begins to realise that things are done differently in Hong Kong, causing friction with the other local schools, and in particular Master Hong. After passing their tests, though refusing to pay bribes and kickbacks as deemed by the martial arts community, Ip Man and his students face tough challenges as they try to train and study their art. But soon, the entire chinese martial arts world will unite as sadistic boxer, promoted by a corrupt Police commander, who belittles the proud Chinese and kills Master Hong in the ring. With Master Hong's last words of pride and honor for the chinese people on his mind, Ip Man decides to once again fight to the death against a brutal and oppressive enemy, to which the likes he has never faced before.

Obviously, as the old adage goes, the sequel is usually never as good as the original, and of course this is so. But it was still nevertheless a quality work and enjoyable movie, despite stretching the truth about the real history of Ip Man, but of course, its a movie.

Hong Kong films are now of the highest quality, especially periodic movies like this, with wonderful sets, costumes and quality acting. recent movies, like Ip Man, Bodyguards and Assassins and the epic Warlords serve to reinforce the point that HK films are no longer cheap budget flicks but now top range productions which do rival and beat Hollywood easy, usually in Asia.

The cast of course is some of the golden boys of HK including Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung and guest star Simon Yam, and backed up by impressive youngsters with acting and martial skills as well. Its great that vetran and HK legend Sammo was the action coordinator, though this may have not been his very best work, but it surely rates highly. I guess we have to thank the director and production cast for making the sequel with quality and vibrance and made sure the storytelling didn't lapse and movie flowed along seamlessly. It is really an embodiment on the character of Ip Man, a peaceful and humble man by nature, who is surrounded by violence from time to time, though fighting for his beliefs, pride and people.

And of course, most would be asking.... where's Bruce Lee? Well, of course, the movie isn't about Bruce, but you will see him at the end. :P

An enjoyable movie, but I strongly suggest those who havn't seen Ip Man 1, to watch that first, they certainly don't know what they are missing.
Super Reviewer
May 20, 2010
Good sequel, more ambitious plot-wise, at least in the first half. The conflict between the schools and the authorities gives some good fights, some good tension. The movie then moves to more predictable areas, with evil foreigners, and the expected tough rival for the final climatic fight.

Sammo brings again his sharp eye for the action, his always magnetic screen persona helps a lot as well. Simon Yam and Fan Siu Wong could had been used a lot better. Neverless, good times.
Super Reviewer
May 19, 2010
19/05/2010 (CINEMAS)

The legendary "IP MAN" is back with more lightning attacks and this time he has a mutual friend who can reply every blow from him.

Awesome setting, a fine plot and two legendary "Martial Art Directors"(Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung) in one film.

What a great sequel!
Super Reviewer
May 23, 2010
Edmond Wong's screenplay, like the first movie, focused more on drama and had moments where questions such as integrity and the living of one's life according to ideals get raised, whether it is, for the sake of the greater good, worthwhile to forgo those ideals in order to make a living, and allow those who work for you, to make something out for themselves too. In essence, which of the lesser evils are you willing to compromise on. Action choreography continues to be designed by Sammo Hung, and personally three action sequences stand out. Two scenes which stood out involves Darren Shahlavi's battle with the Chinese grandmasters, and frankly, despite being a "boxing" match, it was really imaginative of Sammo Hung to deliver something that's quite different from the usual action sequences in Chinese movies involving battling a Caucasian in a ring. But the number one action sequence, albeit a little bit short, would be that which you've been teased by the trailer, with Ip Man versus Sammo Hung's Hung Chun-nam mano a mano atop a flimsy table, in what would be Wing Chung versus Hung Ga Kuen. Naturally, not to offend real life practitioners means the result of the fight would be understood, but to see Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung match up against one another, is an action movie fan's dream come true again, from SPL, especially after Ip Man dispenses with the side show phonies.
Super Reviewer
½ January 29, 2011
Loved it almost as good as the first installment. His attempt to open a martial artsschool ant take in some students is almost successful but the students as usual lack discipline...it is a good story....but in need of more action that you get it for in the first place.
Super Reviewer
September 3, 2011
The grand scale of the fighting choreography is only matched by the thundering sounds of Ip Man's punches.... this movie is fucking cool.
Super Reviewer
July 27, 2011
Super refreshing to see an incredibly well done martial arts movie. I saw the first Ip Man about 7 or 8 months ago and was astonished at how well the fighting was portrayed without becoming too fantasy. The Wing Chun style is an actual fighting technique in Chinese Martial Arts, and if you know your history, it's the style Bruce Lee ends up learning. In fact, this entire story is lightly based on a true story of how Ip Man spread Wing Chun across the world (and eventually becoming Bruce Lee's master. (there's a nice nugget at the end of the movie)

The fighting scene in the fish market was well done, and the table fight scene was spectacular and must have been next to impossible to film. The choreography was great and the dialogue was fair enough for a movie written in Chinese and translated into English. A dubbed or subtitled movie is never complete without corny American (or British in this time period) portrayal.

The fighting style is rapid, and when put up against western-boxing, you can really tell the difference between the two styles. However, this movie trails heavily in the shadow of Jet Li's Fearless. Granted, both movies take you back to the same time period when Japan was relinquishing control of China and the British influencing culture, but Fearless got there first....and years ago....and was also excellent. Only a few times did you notice the punches and kicks didn't connect and just a few times did the movie slow down with extra story lines that didn't quite matter. The human story in this is emotional...your classic story involving opposing sides that end up coming together in the end to defeat a bigger and badder bully.

If you watch foreign flicks like this occasionally, you'll recognize Sammo Hung Kam-Bo and Darren Shahlavi but Donnie Yen takes the gold.

Overall...you won't find a better martial arts movie out there since Jackie Chan and Jet Li stopped making them than Ip Man and Ip Man 2.
Super Reviewer
½ May 22, 2010
Donnie Yen returns as the titular kung fu grandmaster in Ip Man 2 moving to Hong Kong with his family. He attempts to make a living teaching his beloved art of Wing Chun boxing but is met with opposition and hardship in the form of rival martial arts schools and the corrupt British oppressors. I particularly enjoyed the finale fight between Darren Shahlavi who portrayed The Twister and Donnie Yen. Here we have a fight that's quite compelling to watch, with IP Man now being properly challenged by an opponent who's skilled with plenty of power and dexterity, but lacking the honor in finishing a fair fight. Watch out also for IP Man versus Sammo Hung's mano y mano action atop a flimsy table. We witness a brilliant exchange of strikes and blows by two kung fu stars .It was an absolute sight to behold.

Towards the end we catch a brief glimpse of the great Bruce Lee who went on later to learn the fine art of Wing Chun under the tutelage of Yen, hinting at a possible third installment in the IP MAN series.
August Seria
Super Reviewer
April 26, 2011
A chinese masterpiece. Breathtaking action sequences and very touching drama.
Super Reviewer
½ April 21, 2011
Another amazing movie in the Ip Man Saga and while it doesn't quite reach the level of the first film, it comes very close. Since most of the prime characters are established in the first film, the ones that make it to Ip Man 2 are understood and newcomers are the focus. While there isn't a whole lot of character development the epic battle scenes are more than enough to make up for it! Highly Recommended!
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