Let’s play: Ip Man 2 or Rocky IV!
While watching Ip Man 2 (2010) starring Donnie Yen, a song kept repeating in my head. I had a hard time understanding why one line kept circulating through my thoughts, and an equally hard time understanding my compulsion to be in a Siberian forest trying to outrun Russian KGB agents. Then, as the song started materializing out of my mouth, it became clear: “There’s no easy way out/There’s no shortcut home!”
Good God…Ip Man 2 is a Chinese version of Rocky IV.
Now, you might remember my last (and only) article for Grizzly Bomb about Ip Man. I generally enjoyed the film, loosely based on Yip Man, the one-time master of Bruce Lee. It had great action, a kick-ass soundtrack, and introduced me to the venerable Donnie Yen (ok, so I’m behind on the times).
Anyway, now it’s time to play a game. It is simple: I will give you a piece of plot from Ip Man 2 or Rocky IV, and you guess which movie is being described. Feel free to write down your answers and put your name on the top right-hand corner of your paper. The answers will follow the questions, but please don’t cheat.
By the way, there are spoilers for both films in these questions. Be aware.
1.) Our protagonist is a fighter that comes to mutual respect with a onetime enemy. They are both powerful combatants, and have come to draws in previous altercations.
2.) After coming to said respect, the protagonist watches the onetime enemy die at the hands of an unprecedented destructive foreign fighter.
3.) The protagonist simply wants to enjoy his life and family, and tries to avoid fights.
4.) The protagonist’s home country is worried about the foreign fighter’s country taking away its culture and freedom.
5.) After watching his friend die, the protagonist challenges the foreigner.
6.) There is a dramatic training montage.
7.) During the climax battle between the protagonist and foreigner, the foreigner certainly has the upper-hand, but all that the protagonist believes in and fights for helps him overcome and defeat the foreigner.
And now the answers:
1.) Rocky is a boxer that has formed mutual respect with one time rival Apollo Creed. Ip Man is a martial artist that has formed mutual respect with Master Hong after multiple altercations.
2.) Apollo dies in the ring at the hands of Russian Ivan Drago. Master Hong dies in the ring at the hands of British Taylor “Twister” Milos.
(Getting the idea yet?)
3.) Rocky just wants to enjoy his family and life away from boxing. Ip Man wants to enjoy his family and peacefully teach his style of fighting, Wing Chun.
4.) The United States is toward the end of the Cold War, constantly worried about Communist takeover. Hong Kong is being controlled by the British.
5.) Rocky agrees to fight Drago. Ip Man agrees to fight Twister.
6.) Rocky has a kick-ass training sequence in Siberia where he lifts wagons, out-runs cars, and jams to “There’s No Easy Way Out” by Robert Tepper. Ip Man beats up a wooden training dummy. It didn’t stand a chance. I think there was some music.
7.) Both films had the protagonist simply beaten down hard-core. However, both use their memories of lost friends and pure testicular fortitude to overcome the unbeatable foreigner.
Please put a “C” next to all correct answers, and a “DUMMY” next to all incorrect answers.
Since I love Rocky IV, and Ip Man 2 was a quality film, I really didn’t mind that there was such parallelism between them. There is such a vivid difference between American movies of the 1980s and those of modern China, one simply doesn’t take away from the other. Of course nothing really compares to anything from the American 1980s, but I digress.
I give Ip Man 2 four out of five bears.