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Film / Ip Man 2

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Ip Man 2, also known as Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster, is a 2010 Hong Kong martial arts movie directed by Wilson Yip. It is the sequel to Ip Man and the second film in the Ip Man film series, starring Donnie Yen in the title role.

The film focuses on Ip Man's attempt to open a martial arts school and propagate Wing Chun in Hong Kong after World War II. In doing so, he finds opposition from other martial arts masters such as Master Hung Chun-Nam (Sammo Hung), as well as the British.

Another sequel, Ip Man 3, was released in 2015.

This film provides examples of:

  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy:
    • Twister, an utterly vicious British boxer.
    • Also notable is Wong Leung, who grows out of it after some hard lessons.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Part of Ip's defeat of Twister... once he realizes that trying to punch the hulking boxer in the face is only bringing him within range of his punches, Ip opts to inflict Death of a Thousand Cuts to his legs and body. And after kicking was banned, he targeted the nerves in Twister's arms, followed by attacks to the eyes and temple.
  • Artistic License – History: See the film series' article.
  • Artistic License – Sports: There is absolutely no way that featherweight Ip would have been allowed to fight light heavyweight Twister, who's four weight classes above him. This is presumably allowed on the basis that it is technically not a proper boxing match, but rather a style vs. style mixed kind of fight, but this in turn argues against the promoters' decision to ban kicking, which becomes undefendable if it is not hosted under Marquess of Queensberry Rules.
  • Blood Knight: Twister only cares about fighting and proving his superiority, showing pretty much all of the negative connotations (propensity for violence, anger, arrogance) but none of the relatively positive traits (honor, respect for his opponents).
  • Boring, but Practical: Being a boxer, Twister doesn't use kicks or hand techniques like his kung fu rivals, instead relying on English boxing punches. However, thanks to his speed, incredible strength and sheer Ax Craziness, he still manages to beat Master Hung Lie-Nang to death with his fists, and nearly does the same to Ip.
  • Call-Back: Early on, Wong Leung asks if Ip has defeated ten men at the same time. In the third film, this was revisited when Ip had to fight ten underground ring fighters.
  • Casualty in the Ring: Twister kills Master Hung on the ring.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: General Miura is a Noble Demon who sees Chinese martial artists as Worthy Opponents. Twister is a boastful, racist Politically Incorrect Villain who has no respect for Chinese martial arts and no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Ip Man accidentally kicks Twister after kicking has been banned in their match.
  • Deadly Dodging: During the fight at the fish market, one of the opponents throws a wooden pallet at Ip, who then ducks to dodge it. Another opponent who was running to attack Ip receives the pallet in the head.
  • Deconstructed Trope: The Old Master trope. Master Hung is an immensely capable fighter, but his aged body will give out on him if a fight drags on longer than it should. He eventually is killed in a fight with the younger, more powerful and Ax-Crazy boxer Twister.
  • Dented Iron: Master Hung.
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • Jin. Last seen by Ip as a bandit and gave the Japanese his location. Greeted as an old friend upon showing up (though his Big Damn Heroes moment certainly helped).
    • Master Hung. Introduced as the Opposing Sports Team who basically tried to keep Ip from starting a kung fu school and got Ip arrested for rescuing his prize student. This changes after they fight to a draw and he faces off against Twister.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Twister calls Master Hung a "yellow piece of fat" early on, and it only gets worse from there.
  • Evil Brit: Twister and the brutal policeman. Seems that being evil is a prerequisite to being a brit, which is a stark contrast to the Politically Correct History that's often portrayed. The British certainly were NOT that enlightened or innocent as is often portrayed, but a lot of the scenes in the film (particularly the copious officially-sanctioned use of Police Brutality to intimidate dissidents) dates back far before the film is set after said issues had been largely cleaned up (by World War II, the British realized it was not a good idea to needlessly provoke their Chinese allies when both the KMT and CCP were calling for annexation and they themselves were heavily dependent on the anti-Colonial US for support, and even as early as the turn of the century police corruption on the scale we see in the film- particularly involving violence- was met with jail or worse).
    • Also, it's implied that their British superiors weren't aware of the level of corruption and brutality, and bringing it to their attention is enough to get the head of the police fired. (Not that they particularly care about the Chinese, they just don't think it's appropriate behavior.)
  • Extreme Mêlée Revenge: Once Ip manages to get the Twister in a clinch at his mercy, he coldly rains down punches again and again on said villain's face, juxtaposed against the villain's No-Holds-Barred Beatdown of Master Hung earlier.
  • Extremity Extremist: Invoked. The British make kicking against the rules after Twister takes a few good hits.
  • Flexible Tourney Rules: When Ip Man starts to win against Twister, the referees "suddenly" remember that you're not suppose to kick in western boxing matches and call Ip Man on it; something they didn't bother to call Master Hung on in the last match when Twister was beating the sick and elderly Chinese to death.
  • Freudian Excuse: Jin tries to offer one as an excuse for his banditry.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Twister's boxing is brutally effective. Earlier subverted with the street fighting of Wong Leung and his friends, who get stomped by Ip.
  • Hate Sink: Taylor "The Twister" Milos is an arrogant, rude, and openly racist British boxer who believes that boxing is inherently superior to Chinese martial arts. When Master Hung fights him, Twister brutally beats him, eventually killing him, and after the match, he shows no remorse, even proclaiming that he will kill every single Chinese martial artist who tries to fight him.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Jin.
    • Master Hung too. Ip Man eventually confronts Hung about insisting that Ip pay his protection fees. During this confrontation, Hung's son suddenly appears, and Ip quickly grabs him off the ground to keep Hung from accidentally kicking him. This greatly changes Hung's disposition towards Ip.
  • Historical Relationship Overhaul: In real life, Ip Man and his wife Cheung Wing-sing were accidentally separated in 1951 due to the closure of borders between China and Hong Kong, and they effectively never saw each other again in their lives. In the film series, she remains to his side through their life until her death. Conversely, the real life Ip Man had a mistress from Shanghai who conceived an illegitimate son, Ip Siu-wah, none of which happens in the films.
  • Hot-Blooded: Wong Leung.
  • Improvised Weapon: Ip Man uses even more of these than in the first film, such as wooden pallets and baskets/trays.
  • Interesting Situation Duel: The fight that takes place on a very rickety table, surrounded by upside down chairs.
  • The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort: Twister laughs off the attacks of Master Hung's students, taunting their weakness, but properly dodges and blocks Master Hung and Ip's attacks.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Twister can take and dish it out well while still being fast enough to keep up with Master Hung and Ip.
  • Logical Weakness: The Chinese fighters have tremendous difficulty facing Twister simply because he punches well and is several weight classes above them - on top of out-reaching them significantly, so trying to land a blow to his face only brings them close enough for the boxer to hit them first. Then Ip prevails after much trouble through exploiting Twister's Logical Weakness- as a boxer, he's not well-trained against grappling bar clinching (Ip holds him by the neck and holds his arms, both illegal in boxing).
  • The Mole: "Fatso" pretends to be on the side of the British, but really isn't.
  • Mouthy Kid: A young Bruce Lee shows up at the end of the film, asking Ip Man to teach him so he can beat up people he doesn't like.
  • Necessarily Evil: Master Hung. He is something of a Jerkass and Opposing Sports Team to Ip Man early on, but it quickly becomes apparent that his rules, fees, and attitude are necessary for the martial arts schools to remain afloat under British rule.
  • Police Brutality: A British policeman beats on editor-in-chief Kan.
  • The Quisling: "Fatso" for the British. Like Li Zhao in the first film, he ends up betraying his foreign boss and helps the Chinese.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Many viewers complained about the supposedly "unskilled" Twister presenting such a formidable challenge to Ip when he handily defeated multiple karatekas and General Miura in the previous film. Whilst there is some grounds for this view, as boxing is a sport with rules and more limited techniques compared to other martial arts, it is a martial art, and Twister is clearly portrayed as being physically built to withstand a lot of punishment, which likely gives him a fair advantage. There is a very good reason that weight classes are so stringently enforced in modern fighting sports; 10 or 20 extra pounds of muscle is considered an enormous edge, and Twister seems to have well over 50 pounds on Ip. That being said, when Ip Man figures out a strategy for fighting Twister in the very last bout, it turns the battle largely in Ip Man's favor.
    • For reference, Darren Shahlavi (who played Twister) weighed around 185 pounds. In comparison, Donnie Yen dieted down to somewhere between 120 and 145 pounds.
  • Sequel Hook: The film ends with the introduction of a young Bruce Lee.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: The primary antagonists of both this film and the first Ip Man have high government connections. This serves to make Ip Man the underdog, despite being, well, Ip Man.
  • Sore Loser: Twister's manager is unpleased with his defeat, and leaves without a word.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Ip Man struggles to scrape a living attempting to attract prospective students to his Wing Chun school, due to his lack of reputation within Hong Kong. And even after his school attracts students, many of them are unable to pay him tuition fees in full, given the city's economic circumstances.
    • Master Hung is an Old Master... which means he doesn't have the stamina to keep up with the younger Twister.
  • Those Two Guys: There's a pair of martial arts masters whose main role is to sit together and comment about the fights they're watching. They mock Ip Man during his "tryout" for the Hong Kong martial arts society and cheer him on when he's fighting Twister.
  • 'Tis Only a Bullet in the Brain: Downplayed - Quan gets shot in the head by the Japanese and while he survives, the ordeal gave him amnesia.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Master Hung refusing to quit when he was clearly going to be beaten to death may qualify, though it is more out of Honor Before Reason.
  • Trash Talk: Twister mouths off about his perception on the supposedly inferiority of Chinese martial arts. A hell of a lot.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Applied to Ip Man.
  • Unnecessary Roughness: Twister revels in it.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Invoked; Master Law pretends that the table he fought on against Ip was "slippery", while he was just visibly outmatched.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: To Rocky IV. The underdog Humble Hero has become a hero in his country, but is retiring from active professional fighting to live a quieter life with his wife and son. However he is pulled back in when an evil foreign boxer (who is much larger than him, and also younger) from a country that feuded with the hero's in the Cold War fights and kills his aging friend and former rival in the ring as part of a poorly-conceived exhibition match. The hero's need to avenge his friend is driven further by the fact that, at said friend's insistence, he didn't throw in the towel to stop the fight before it was too late. After hard training, the hero challenges the evil boxer to a match himself, and despite encountering tremendous difficulty and getting knocked down several times, is able to come back and beat the boxer to a pulp, winning the match and avenging his friend. The hero then makes a speech in the ring about peace and tolerance between nations, which (combined with the courage he displayed in the fight) is so moving that the foreign crowd cheers for him over their own defeated champion.
    • It also draws heavily from Akira Kurosawa's Sanshiro Sugata Part II, specifically the plotline with the Eastern martial arts master (Japanese Judo in the Kurosawa film, Chinese Wing Chun in Ip Man 2) taking on a Western boxer in a public match after a previous practitioner had been defeated.
  • What the Fu Are You Doing?: Twister mocks the "dancing" of the martial arts demonstration.
  • With My Hands Tied: Wong Leung spends some time doing this.