Movie hero showdown: Iron Man VS. Ip Man

Movie hero showdown: Iron Man VS. Ip Man

We pit the action heroes of the moment against each other -- it's not going to be pretty
Iron Man Ip Man
Ip Man versus Iron Man; fists versus, um, robot palms shooting ultra-high energy beams.

"Iron Man 2" and "Ip Man 2" are taking Hong Kong's box offices by storm. And that's a great pun, because the rainy season is upon us and has done its part in driving entertainment-seeking crowds into cinemas to enjoy stylised violence on the big screen.

"Ip Man 2" opened at the end of April and grossed HK$2,800,000 by May 9. "Iron Man 2" opened a day later and lagged slightly in box office to gross at $2,188,000. "Ip Man 2" is still going strong at theatres across town, despite illegal downloading of the film online. Is it even feasible for "Iron Man 2" to beat "Ip Man 2" on its home turf?

We pit the superheroes against each other to see just what each has got going for themselves:

Iron Man 2Costume

Ip Man: Somber black Chinese robe. It says, "Beauty is found on the inside."
Iron Man: Showy red suit that seems to have a life of it's own. It screams, "Everybody look at me! I'm a celebrity!"
Winner: Iron Man, because Iron Man is the suit. Besides, if fans dressed up as Iron Man during Halloween, they'd look pretty cool and instantly recognisable, but if they dressed up as Ip Man, people would probably just think they're an eccentric artist and said fan would have to spend all night explaining themselves. I'm not talking from personal experience at all.





Ip Man: Hand to hand combat. Can take on over a dozen men at the same time.
Iron Man: High-tech weapons. Can take on over a dozen drones at the same time, as well as the whole US armed forces combined.
Winner: Iron Man. Let's put it this way -- if Iron Man and Ip Man fought each other, the fight would last about half a second because Iron Man would just shoot down the unarmed human Ip Man.  

Scarlett JohanssonPosse

Ip Man: Model Lynn Xiong plays his pregnant wife, martial arts heavyweight Sammo Hung eventually becomes his friend, and heart throb Huang Xiaoming becomes his first Hong Kong disciple.
Iron Man: Gwyneth is his love, Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. his guardian angels, Don Cheadle his sidekick Rhodey.
Winner: We were originally going to say Ip Man wins in this category, just because Don Cheadle was such a drag as Rhodey, especially when compared to the electric Terrence Howard who played Rhodey in the first "Iron Man." But ScarJo as a catsuit-donning action hero stole the show. So, Iron Man wins for supporting characters.




Ip Man: To uphold the honor of Chinese martial arts, spread the goodness of Confucianism, and generally kick the butts of any foreign devils who dare to bully us Chinese.
Iron Man: The privatisation of peace. And resolving his daddy issues.
Winner: Tie. They are both about achieving peace and non-violence through violence, as is the irony central to the superhero archetype.

Ip Man 2Verdict

It doesn't matter that Iron Man has won more categories here, because Iron Man is fictional. Iron Man isn't real. Sorry to burst bubbles. Ip Man on the other hand, is a real person who single handedly brings Chinese kung fu into the mainstream, eventually becoming Bruce Lee's master, and the rest is history.


After traveling around the world on a fistful of dollars, Zoe returns to Hong Kong, where she grew up, to discover and write about all the inspiring stuff that happens here on a daily basis.

Read more about Zoe Li