This is a Work in Progress as you do notice it's devoid of pics and vids, since I'm outdoors at the HKCEC waiting for the 4th AFA to start. Do check back again later!
It's almost one month to the premiere of the sequel to the highly successful martial arts film Ip Man, and it's without a doubt one of the most anticipated sequels given the tremendous positive response to the first film that just demanded a follow up to be made, so here we are now. Graced by producter Raymond Wong, screenwriter Edmond Wong, director Wilson Yip and principal cast Donnie Yen, Xiong Dai Lin and Calvin Cheng, the press conference at this year's HK Filmart had the air buzzing as many had gathered to hear what they had to say about making Ip Man 2.
The booth set up by Mandarin Films has a showreel running that is made up of plenty of rock solid action, that if you want to stay clueless about, then please skip to the Press Conference report proper.
Otherwise here goes. As the first film ended, Ip Man and family is now in Hong Kong, and to earn a living, he's started a martial arts school, so we have a fair bit of scenes of him training his pupils on a building rooftop, perchance a makeshift location for his intended new school. The next scene is an extended battle sequence between Ip Man and his pupil (played by Huang Xiaoming, who had his hands tied) against plenty of thugs who decided to arm themselves with choppers when they get their butts kicked around. Ip Man evens the odds by arming himself with the same, albeit using the non-blade side of the choppers. Sammo Hung's grand master of the "Hung Quan" intervenes because one of the thugs happened to be his pupil, and explains to Ip Man the house rules of setting up a school in HK.
Which leads us onto the next action sequence where a glimpse got included in the teaser trailer, where Ip Man has to challenge and defeat all the other martial arts schoolmasters in a single session. It's the one where he stands atop a table with plenty of overturned chairs surrounding it, and we get to see him fight against 2 other exponents (one displaying the mantis style) before dueling with Sammo's Master Hung. Action wise, expect to be wowed because of the constricted space atop a round table that the combatants have to make do, and Sammo's agility is yet another highlight. Then there's talk about differences in philosophies, shots of Ip Man's wife asking him to call it quits if opening a school in HK is so demanding, and a boxing ring three-way battle between Ip Man, Master Hung and Twister (Darren Shahlavi) when the latter is whipping the Chinese. Initially when I read the synopsis, I had almost rolled my eyes at yet another True Legend or Fearless, but after seeing that short clip, I think my fears are unfounded.
Not surprisingly, there was little talk about the action, and I suppose it's because we should be fairly familiar with Ip Man's martial arts skillset already. Moreover, the showreel at the Mandarin Films booth had whet appetites enough to want to go into discussions about it since that spoke for itself already. Instead, the press conference rightly focuses on the more dramatic and human aspects of the cinematic Ip Man that already had been the focus in the first film, and the formula of balancing human drama and action continues into the sequel. If there is a theme that can be used to sum up the press conference, it will be “Ip Man the Family Man”.
Press conference clips in Mandarin language only:
Part 1 of 6 - Wilson Yip
Part 2 of 6 - Wilson Yip
Part 3 of 6 - Raymond Wong and Edmond Wong
Part 4 of 6 - Donnie Yen
Part 5 of 6 - Xiong Dai Lin
Part 6 of 6 - Calvin Cheng