Finishing Blow Episode 78
A lot of fun stuff to look at and respond to this week. Have fun!
Hope you guys had a good week. Thanks for watching these videos!
Donnie Yen and Wilson Yip team up for the fifth time in Ip Man 2, the sequel to the tremendously successful biographical story of Bruce Lee’s master. The second film promised more of everything, including having Sammo Hung fight as a master instead of just choreographing the film. The story of the film faced a setback when the persona of Bruce Lee was denied for the film, creating a difficult position for writers. This didn’t keep them from making a screenplay, adding bigger fights are more depth to Ip’s character. All of the main characters return for a second round, but is this just one film that should have been left alone?
Following the story of Ip Man, Ip Man 2 tries to follow what happens in Ip’s life after he moves to Hong Kong. One of the biggest things that I cannot overlook, however, is the story to the film. At a glance, it’s decent, until you compare it with the original film. Almost every aspect of the film is simply recycled and reused. From the evil foreign power oppressing the people to the crooked interpreter, everything was done before…in the previous film. Without rambling for too long, I hated the fact that they simply alluded to what happened to Simon Yam and left it at that. It was really jarring and I couldn’t accept what they wanted to be common knowledge at that time. Basically, the story isn’t bad if you haven’t seen the original film, but it’s also very cookie-cutter.
The characters themselves fare a little better. Yes, the foreigners are still jerks, but everyone else sees some form of growth and development. Ip is still the humble master who doesn’t flaunt his skill, and he typically gets into a bind because of someone he takes care of. Since most of the characters are from the previous film, you’ll get a little more insight as to what they are doing since the events in the first one have passed. The newer characters clearly get the short end of the stick, and it’s really a shame. It would have been great to know that Twister had some internal turmoil as a fighter instead of just being a racist loudmouth all of the time.
For me, this is what really makes Ip Man 2 stand out. The fights, while basic in setting, are really amazing. I liked the fight at the fish market as well as the classic masters getting their hands dirty for a bout. The only main complaint I have is the use of wirework. The original didn’t have that much, yet this one seems to rely on it more. The final fight was much better than the first, and I think that’s what really sets it apart for me. Of course, that’s if you overlook the obvious adjustment to rules that make no sense in the finale except to raise tension. No matter who you are, you’ll like at least one of the fights (if not all) in Ip Man 2.
Own it, Watch it, Try it, or Skip it?
Okay, this is probably going to be one of the hardest reviews for me. Ignoring the fact that this film is like one of the Rocky movies (because I haven’t seen any of them) and the rushed story, I still find myself liking this movie over the original just a bit. The first movie knocked it out of the park for the most part, but the final fight was really disappointing for me. The sequel is pretty much the exact same film with a better final fight, and I think that’s what makes me like it more. Yes, if the first one didn’t exist, I’d recommend this to everyone I crossed paths with, but the original is a better starting film. Personally, this film inches out the original just a bit. Professionally, it’s definitely worth a watch because it’s still a good film with awesome fights.
Hope you guys are enjoying your week. For all of you in the states, have a Happy Thanksgiving.
Donnie Yen’s next film, the Iceman Cometh is about to start production at the end of the month. There are a lot of expectations for the film, and some are curious who will be on the screen with Yen. However, Donnie has remained tight-lipped about his new co-star, only giving us this small hint:
“She is a very famous Mainland actress, with long hair and long face. Everyone is very familiar with her. She has even made a Hong Kong film that made 60 million at the box office.”
So, speculation time! Who do you think it will be? Will it be a new or familiar face? I don’t really know any actress that doesn’t have long hair, so it’s not much to go off of.
Feel free to express who you would want to see, and we’ll see who comes the closest when the co-star is revealed!
Source: HK Top Ten
A lot of great stuff this week. Check them all out!
After the success of SPL and Dragon Tiger Gate, Donnie Yen and Wilson Yip teamed up for a third time in Flash Point. Originally written to be a sequel to SPL, Flash Point quickly became its own beast with several new components. The main focus was on MMA action, something that Donnie has wanted to integrate for a very long time. Collin Chou served as the main villain in the film, and both he and Donnie stated that the final fight was the most demanding in their careers. Did their hard work pay off, or was it all for nothing?
The story to Flash Point is probably the weakest part of the film. It’s very by-the-books, which is a shame. You’ll be able to see every plot twist coming from a mile away, and there isn’t any real depth with any of the characters. There is very little when it even comes to backstory, and it’s obvious that the main focus is on the action and how to get from one fight to another. While the story isn’t bad, per se, it’s just so overdone that it’s nothing engaging or interesting.
Donnie Yen and Louis Koo have a nice chemistry together, but it’s only good for a few laughs. The other characters are just as one-sided, with Collin Chou’s character showing a little more of a softer side partway through the film. Sadly, this doesn’t really add any depth to the movie and feels a little tacked on. It would have been better if the story and characters were fleshed out, but they serve their purpose well enough.
I know I can say this about practically any action movie, but it really rings true with Flash Point: the fights more than make up for the lack of story. The only negative aspect I can think of is that I wanted more fights earlier on. That being said, the pacing really picks up once the ball gets rolling. The end fight is one of the best I’ve seen, and the incorporation of MMA really sets it apart from the rest. If you like martial arts films or MMA in general, you need to watch these fights.
Own it, Watch it, Try it, or Skip it?
Flashpoint is a film that accomplishes so much in one aspect, yet is lacking in another. The story and characters are basic, yet the great fight sequences justify the creation of the film. People who enjoy a good fight will love this movie while those that want a deep, intriguing story will be left wanting more. But let’s be honest, we all watch these movies for the action. In that respect, it’s a must-have.
Lots of fun things to discuss, so feel free to sound off. I’m excited for the Donnie Yen/Nicholas Tse project myself, but I can wait on Man with the Iron Fists.
A new film featuring Donnie Yen and Nicholas Tse is in the works. Called the Master, the film takes place in a US Chinatown and has Yen playing a former martial arts star who is forced to contemplate his actions when an immigrant he befriends ends up causing a rift between two triad factions. Tse will play the immigrant in the story.
Other details include Chan Hing-Ka in the director’s seat with Donnie handling the action. Emperor motion picture CEO Albert Lee has gone on to say that “Donnie and Nicholas have worked well together before, but Enter The Master will take the collaboration a step further by pitting the two directly against each other, both emotionally and physically.”
Needless to say, I can’t wait to learn more about this movie, it already sounds like it could be awesome.
Source: Film Business Asia