Ip Man 2 shows its titular hero to be a man of honor, discipline, and skill, although far from perfect. He is a fascinating character who probably could have been explored a touch more, such as the first film. The problem is that it may not really be a problem. Yes, this is a story about a real person, but it is also a movie made to be a piece of entertainment and director Wilson Yip and writer Edmond Wong do an admirable job of bringing some balance, a balance that works despite some clear leanings towards the entertaining side of the coin.
Donnie Yen proves to be an interesting presence. I remember seeing earlier films and being blown away by his skills but being a little non-plussed by his screen presence. However, he has steadily gotten better over the years and he is just great as Ip Man. I have no idea how accurate it is, but I love the calm he brings to the role and how the storms swirl around him.
Simply put, if you are a martial arts fans, you will definitely want to get a hold of this one. The original may be a more complete film, but there is no way you want to miss these fights, including Donnie versus Sammo. Plus, they are shot and edited in a fashion that allows you to see what is happening, there is genuine sense of space and how these guys exist within it.
Audio/Video. The movie is presented in it's original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and it looks quite good. It is in a bit of contrast to the first film whose colors were quite drained and drab, which was on purpose, but looking at the nice coloring here, it just makes this look very good by comparison. There is some aliasing seen throughout, but not enough that I found it distracting. Color and detail is quite good, even during fast action, you notice the nice detail of the table fight between Ip Man and the other masters, not to mention the great looking sequence in the fish market.
The disc features three audio tracks, all DTS-HD tracks. There is the original Cantonese track, a Mandarin dub, and an English dub. The original Cantonese is really the way to go, it just makes everything feel more naturalistic and authentic in the original language. It also happens to be a very good tack with crisp clear dialogue and a well realized sound field even when it gets a little busy during some fights. Overall, the overall track works very well. I did also listen to the English track, this makes it easier to focus on the screen a bit more. It is not ideal, but it doesn't sound all that bad.