When a menu for movie selections is placed in front of me, I skip over most genres until I find Action & Adventure. Yeah, it’s a guy-thing. A chase scene, a battle, a threat, an explosion, a gun, a knife, an arrow or simply a fight and I do admit that I pause.

Ip Man 2 was put into my hands. Like Spock’s idyllic left eyebrow raising, my interest was won. Like a trailer playing in the recesses of my mind Ip Man played through my head.

The first film started slowly, took a few odd turns but ended up a fascinating experience. Wing Chun is a remarkable Kung Fu style and Master Ip puts it on display with modest bravado. There is as much humility as there is dominion.

This sequel was better than the first. It told the story better. The progression of the story made sense. Any twists and turns were reasonable.

Now, the story of Master Ip continues in Hong Kong. He attempts to establish a school to advance his art. The tension with economic hard times, competitiveness with local martial arts teachers and the international bully of British Imperialism escalate through the film.

Historians might laugh at the portrayal of the Foreign Devils. But, there is no mistaking the bitter feelings spawned by British rule. The Chinese felt exploited, disrespected and abused.

Ip Man 2 shows the Master to be vulnerable, human. In combat, he gets hurt. That is real.

Nevertheless, his great personal strengths continue. He is still even-keeled, balanced, wise and discerning. Generosity, patience and mercy abound in the character.

While the storytelling is an improvement over the first episode, the martial arts sequences are scintillating. They show the speed, accuracy and anatomical knowledge that spans the limits of human ability, even the limitations of age. Like a detailed choreography, the fight scenes speed the film along and amaze the audience.

What I expected was a large part of the story showing the relationship between Master Ip and Bruce Lee. Instead, it was simply a small scene at the end. Master Ip meets a young Bruce Lee as a boy, a decade before any training begins.

Since this series is “loosely” based on a true story, there is a plethora of material for new screen writing. There must be enough for at least another sequel before the Bruce Lee saga begins. Marketing people are milking this one.

photo credit: google image