I just watched Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster. And I liked it.

Yes, I’m biased but that’s not the point. It is good. The fight scenes are great. Sammo Hung is still awesome.

The fight scene in the fish market was crazy! He used meat cleavers as butterfly swords – what’s not to love about that?

Some say that the fight scene between Ip Man and the Hun Gar master (played by Sammo Hung) is one of the best in all Kung Fu movie history.

If you’re into Wing Chun, Kung Fu or the martial arts you’ll like this movie. And it’s definitely a must see if you practice Wing Chun like me.

We had a lot of discussion about the accuracy of the first film at my local Wing Chun club.

So, be aware that this movie (and the first one) is “inspired by a true story”. What’s that mean?

(Update: Since Ip Man and Ip Man 2 broke out onto the world in 2008 and 2010, respectively, an entire genre of Ip Man themed movies have come out. The new Ip Man movie for 2013 is called The Grandmaster with Tony Leung, Zhang Ziyi, Cung Le, Wong Kar Wai – director, and Yuen Woo Ping – action choreographer. And there’s at least one more Ip Man movie in the works. Stay tuned.)

Definition of “Based On A True Story” vs. “Inspired By A True Story”

Have you ever wondered, like I have, what’s the difference?

I thought they were two different ways to describe the same thing. But they’re not. According to a “Movie Facts” brochure I picked up at a movie theater these terms are very different.

Based On A True Story
Paraphrasing the brochure “…this is a storyline that has at least some basis in real historical events, biographies, and/or stories, which may or may not be altered for greater dramatic affects.”

Examples – The Sound of Music, Norma Rae, Erin Brokovich, or The Blind Side.

Inspired By A True Story
Paraphrasing again “…indicates that the story has been significantly altered from true events.”

“Significantly” is the key word here.

Examples – Ip Man 1 and Ip Man 2.

I Liked This Movie But Definitely Liked The First Ip Man Better

Ok, I said it. And now I’m going to get flack for it. But I call things as I see them.

I felt the story line in the first movie was better, more believable and you cared about the characters. Sure we don’t watch Kung Fu movies for the deep dialogue or story line. But it doesn’t hurt to have a good plot right?

Many great martial arts films have great plots. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon being one, Red Belt being another, and Ip Man 1 being a third.

The Plot In Ip Man 2 Is Weak

Fighting with the local kung fu schools to earn the respect and the right to open and run his own Wing Chun school … then fighting with the stupid, rude, racist, white guy…

Other than the kick butt Wing Chun moves and the title role for Ip Man … I felt like I just watched Jet Li in Fearless when the movie ended — not Ip Man.

**Breaking News!**

The production of The Legend is Born – Ip Man just wrapped!

Rumors say that this film is closer to reality, to real life. Will the third film be “Based on a True Story”? We’ll see.

Reports say that Ip Chun, Ip Man’s surviving son, is very pleased with the movie and congratulated everyone for how close it is to his father’s real life.

Donnie Yen won’t play the title role in this one, though (**Other than the title, this movie is not affiliated to the original Ip Man movies**).

Apparently, The Legend is Born is a pre-quel that takes us back to a younger Ip Man and follows him as he learns Wing Chun from his masters.

Now that sounds like a good plot to me. Can’t wait.

**Update on “A Legend is Born – Ip Man”**

It’s out! One reviewer wasn’t happy with it, I liked it, if you’ve seen it tell us your opinion about it.

Learn more about Ip Man movies:

Buy Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster from Amazon

The movie review for Ip Man 1

The Legend is Born – Ip Man movie review


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