Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grand Master | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grand Master

The master of Wing Chun martial arts moves to Hong Kong after World War II

Wilson Yip directs this semi-biographical film, while kung-fu master Sammo Hung directs the fight sequences, and also co-stars.Ip Man (Donnie Yen) struggles to get his fledging Wing Chun school going, and to be accepted by the city's clannish martial-arts masters. These tensions naturally lead to a few matches, including an acrobatic bout atop a rickety table. But these are mere appetizers for the film's headliner: a match-up between Chinese kung-fu practioners and a boastful British boxer. While the fighting sequences should satisfy, the story and characterizations become a little silly. The British are simply quite awful, the Chinese quite noble, and everybody speaks in sound bites. If you don't get that Ip Man is fighting, not to avenge the death of another master, but to educate the colonials about the superiority of Chinese culture, never fear: You'll be told several times. In Cantonese and Mandarin, with subtitles. Starts Fri., March 18. Harris

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