Hats off to Donnie Yen who portrayed Ip Man so well in this film. Ip Man practices the Wing Chun style of martial arts and was the master of Bruce Lee. Of course, as this film is fittingly named, you won't see much of Bruce Lee but more of the life of Ip Man. I wasn't much into the storyline of this second film (while the storyline for the first Ip Man film was superb) but the fighting is top notch. As with most of Donnie's films these days you won't get the low budget fighting with camera cuts/tricks to make the action more real sort of deal but you do get the authentic, long sequence of fighting without any camera cut-aways. Simply put, the fight sequences are fantastic, especially the one with Sammo Hung.
I am not sure what to make of the storyline in this film as it's barely there. As for action, it's basically non-stop throughout the film. None of the action sequences are truly spectacular but they are all above average and choregraphed with finese. The director is Yuen Woo-Ping, who is renowned for his choregraphy of the action sequences in The Matrix (and its sequels), Kill Bill, Ninja Assassin, etc.
Bodyguards and Assassins is (very) loosely based on political happenings in China a century back. As the name implies, there's a group of bodyguards who is trying to fend off assassins determined to kill the man leading a possible revolution. The film placed more emphasis on the story and drama of the characters than the fighting sequences themselves so it's not a non-stop action flick but there are still ample amount to satisfy most people.
The first Storm Warriors film was spectacular, ladden with a solid storyline, special effects, and great fighting. Unfortunately, the sequel comes up short in terms of storyline and fighting. There are a lot of special effects but they are so stylized and prolonged that they seem excessive. Nonetheless, there are still some good scenes in the film to make it worthwhile for any martial arts film fan.
The storyline of 14 Blades is pretty typical. A trained-since-young assassin is betrayed and decides to seek out his own justice. While most of the characters (and especially Donnie Yen) do a great job in the fighting sequences, none of them come off as truly memorable. The same goes for a lot of elements in the movie, it's not a bad film at all but just that nothing much really stands out. With that said, it's a very fun film to watch and is a must see for martial arts fans.