Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Ip Man 2 (4½ Stars)

It's good to see Sammo Hung, on the right in the picture above. Supposedly he's made over 150 films in his career, but I've hardly seen any of them. Only two films that I remember, and he's listed in a third film that I know, but I don't remember seeing him in it. I know him mostly as a choreographer of martial arts scenes in recent Chinese films.

Ip Man (Donnie Yen) and Master Hung (Sammo Hung) meet as enemies, but as the film progresses a friendship develops. Ip Man despises Hung's corruption, taking payments from martial arts schools to pay the British rulers and keeping a cut for himself. Ip Man's words reach him, and he redeems himself by fighting for Chinese honour.

The film is very anti-British. After the Japanese were expelled from China after World War Two the British have become the new villains. The British soldiers, the British police and especially the British boxer Taylor Miles are all evil. I wonder if the British really acted so despicably towards the Chinese in 1950, the year in which the film takes place.

Taylor Miles, a.k.a. Twister, walks into the arena carrying the symbol of evil. The British crowd cheers, while Ip Man looks on in disgust.

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