What a strange series the Ip Man films are. The first film, released in 2008, was a fun enough period actioner brought down somewhat by a self-serious, more-than-somewhat jingoistic tone as concerned with nationalistic chest-thumping as with -actual- chest thumping. The new film in the series appears to be less concerned with historical drama and any kind of political or nationalistic agenda as it is with taking its hero, real-life Wing Chun grandmaster Yip Man, and throwing him into a series of bigger and bigger fights, the centerpiece being a brawl with former heavyweight champion (and convicted rapist) Mike Tyson.
It kind of reminds me of how the Godzilla series quickly went from a somber war allegory to a series of monster brawls, less concerned with any kind of message as much as the sensationalism of “look who he’s fighting THIS time!”. Not that I’m comparing the original Gojira to the first Ip Man film.
Recently Twitchfilm got an exclusive behind the scenes peek at the upcoming action epic, and you can see the footage of Yen and Tyson rehearsing below.