It’s the quintessential moneymaker that has kept various aspects of the filmmaking industry alive since the first time Sean Connery picked up a Walther PPK and made a funny. Whether they’re heavy on people talking while the cameraman gets all kinds of Alfred Hitchcock-ian-like, or they attempt to seize their audience with multiple pursuits over land, sea and air, and lots of things that go “bang,” the action film has always been one of the few genres that nearly every video store in the world can rely on as being worth having a whole section devoted to it (unlike, say, documentaries and musicals — which usually get grouped into some sort of “Special Interest” category)
Picking up an action flick can lead to one of several things. Your choice of entertainment for the day can be an adrenaline-pumping journey into sheer excitement. It could also afford you with a long-awaited opportunity to categorize your least favorite dress shirts — or, in my case, give you the chance to peruse all that porn you’ve been gettin’ behind on on the ‘Net.
In an effort to acquaint you with some newer titles that would more than likely be labeled as “action” (whether they warrant such a title or not) in most video stores, I have assembled this assortment of the good, the bad, and the truly interesting.
· Ip Man 2: Legend Of The Grandmaster (2010) (Well Go USA)
The Short Version: Not to be confused with IP Freely Man 2.
The Slightly-Elongated Version: Hong Kong superstar Donnie Yen returns to inhabit the highly-fictionalized incarnation of Yip Man in this sequel to Ip Man. Joining Donnie this time ‘round are Simon Yam and Sammo Hung. The action focuses on our titular legend’s exploits in Hong Kong towards the end of the 1940s. The movie starts off like your average vintage kung-fu flick (e.g. “You can’t teach kong foo here!”) with Ip Man being harassed by the city’s local martial arts teachers, but concludes with a finale that is not only all-too similar to the first movie, but also too customary for anyone that’s ever seen a boxing drama. But hey, at least there are some great moves here — and it wouldn’t surprise me if a third chapter pops up, just so they can make the most of the real life Yip Man’s schooling of Bruce Lee. Available in both single and double-disc DVD and Blu-ray editions.