Namely: all signs point to nothing—no hope, no love, no redemption; violence only begets more violence, and every action has an equal but opposite reaction. Then, cue Donnie Yen, who will later play the definitive Ip Man, here a whirlwind of limbs in a brutal knife vs. Way of the Dragon stands as the only film that Bruce Lee ever finished directorial duties on, passing away before he could complete The Game of Death or the co-credit he might have shared on Enter the Dragon.
It stands, therefore, as perhaps the most accurate and complete piece of work that Lee personally envisioned, a story about a Hong Kong fighter who travels to Rome in order to protect a family restaurant being threatened by the mob. As one would expect, it has some great fights, but nobody has quite the same presence on camera as Lee. Chuck Norris, the final opponent, which takes place among the ruins of the Roman Colosseum.
That classic fight is no doubt worth the price of admission alone—just feel the tension as both of them warm up and crack their knuckles before the battle begins. Enter the Dragon is often the martial arts film cited as being the start of the kung fu craze in America, but in reality it was Five Fingers of Death that kickstarted the genre in the U. As such, the dubbed version at least is a little more naive in its presentation and attitude toward the martial arts, treated with a sort of aloof, mystic reverence.
It proved extremely influential—once again, Kill Bill borrows elements here, in particular its instantly recognizable battle music , which was itself lifted from the TV series Ironside. Perhaps most importantly, films like this one paved the way for martial arts cinema to soon explode into crossover popularity in the U. Flash Point could probably have gotten away with spending its whole running time simmering through its central cat-and-mouse crime yarn, so long as it still ended with Donnie Yen and Collin Chou beating the tar out of each other.
Theirs is a brawl for the ages, a knock-down, drag-out scrap between two titans of the martial arts genre that holds back nothing in the brutality department. Every list of this nature needs a lot of Chow. So much more than a martial arts flick, this feels like a super-gifted filmmaker doing exactly what he was born to do. This is where it all started for a young man named Bruce Lee, his first starring vehicle in a Hong Kong action movie.
The Brave Archer is a true martial arts epic by Chang Cheh and the Shaws, taking full advantage of a large budget and access to expansive, lavish sets. He was truly a talent taken before his time, but The Brave Archer stands as a testament to his skills as a performer. While there are plenty better, there is no movie in the canon of martial arts films bigger than The Matrix , and even today we still have this film to thank for so much of what we love about modern kinetic cinema.
This is our red pill; everything else is an illusion of greatness and everything else is an allusion to what the Wachowskis accomplished. This film is a bit of a storytelling Gordian knot, but all of the interconnected plots means tons of colorful characters and combat.
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An influential film that one might call the birth of the modern wuxia epic, Dragon Gate Inn was actually made in Taiwan, despite being set in historical China. But when a brother-sister team of martial artist allies arrive, they help even the odds for the refugees. The action is stylish and heavy on the swordplay.
Michelle Yeoh would become well-known six years later with the release of cross-cultural smash hit Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon , but she was a star in martial arts cinema from the s onward, and Wing Chun is one of the best overall star vehicles for her great physical and comedic talents.
It manages to be both charming, as the story of a country woman protecting her village, and a thrilling collection of set-pieces largely practical in their special effects. Adapted from a Japanese manga and one of the few films on this list that should definitely not be watched in its original language, Riki-Oh is a hallucinatory smorgasbord of flying viscera and exploding bone fragments—either a deadpan attempt to translate gratuitous comic book violence to the screen, and thereby comment on the kind of jading culture perpetuated by martial arts media, or just a movie made by a seriously crazy person.
It is all—all of it—just totally fucking insane : watch with your friends, laugh with your friends, cheer with your friends when, at the very end, Ricky—spoiler alert—through the sheer power of his inhuman awesomeness, punches down a foot concrete wall. Because that happens. In the U.
Rather, The Duel is something more unique, a moody and well-acted crime drama that still has tons of bloody martial arts action sequences, many of them being knife fights. The film features perhaps the two biggest stars of the day, Ti Lung and David Chiang, as the participants in the titular duel, and this was a pretty big deal. Both had typically played heroes in the past, and both had been paired together as allies. For the Chinese audience, seeing the two of them finally come to blows in a duel to the death was a bit like watching Macho Man Randy Savage turn against Hulk Hogan and break up the Mega Powers.
David Chiang alone kills nearly people in this freaking movie.
Enter the Warriors Gate
Swordsman 2 Year: Director: Ching Siu-tung. Martial arts fans tend to praise films almost exclusively for realism and real acrobatics, but Swordsman 2 is a great example of the mystical artistry that good wire-work does bring to the film when used to set a visual aesthetic properly.
Alexander Smith. When future generations look back upon the beginning of the 21st century and seek a way to understand the claustrophobia and fear that defined so much of our popular media of the time, let them look upon The Raid and weep. The Raid is what martial arts cinema looks like in our young century: bleak, dystopian and hyper-violent. This is brutality at its barest. Do you know how you can tell just how iconic he is? Another Lau Kar-leung classic for the Shaw Brothers, Mad Monkey Kung Fu is just an inherently likable film that deftly balances feats of athleticism with broad humor.
Hsiao Ho, a martial artist who does not get the recognition that he deserves, stars as a young street urchin and thief who is taken in by a street entertainer who performs alongside a trained monkey. Eventually, he must use his new style of monkey kung fu to seek out a local brothel owner who is holding a young woman hostage. Hsiao Ho is wonderfully expressive in the role, and his acrobatics in particular are top-notch.
He plays the part of the long-suffering, then overconfident, then humbled student perfectly. This is the film that made a star of Sonny Chiba, who you will again recognize as the wizened sword-maker Hattori Hanzo in Kill Bill. The rage and intensity in his face goes a long way, and they got mileage out of it for multiple sequels. Magnificent Butcher has the slapstick and bawdy humor that one usually expects from a Sammo Hung star vehicle, but it also knows how to be deadly serious at the same time, which makes it rather unique.
Hung stars as a literal butcher who has learned the ways of kung fu from folk hero Wong Fei-hung, played here by the truly magnificent Kwan Tak-hing, who was 74 at the time but puts on an incredible physical performance.
Butcher Wing, meanwhile, reunites with his long-lost brother and must help him rescue his kidnapped wife. Sammo Hung really was one-of-a-kind. Wing chun is a very influential style of martial arts when it comes to film, but it might be surprising for martial arts fans to know that true, traditional wing chun is actually quite rare on screen. Warriors Two , a modest, straightforward story of a young man training in martial arts to protect a town, is one of those few films well-regarded as featuring quite a lot of authentic wing chun, in the style which master Ip Man would have taught to a young Bruce Lee.
The irrepressibly youthful Chan plays a Hong Kong cop who comes to New York for a wedding and gets sucked into a criminal underworld. Do look for classic stunts, like Chan leaping off a building and onto a fire escape with no wires or nets. Wheels on Meals is a silly, silly movie, but damn, is the action amazing. You really have to see it to believe it. A loose chronicle of the nascent legend of Yip Man, the film skirts the line between noir-ish tragedy and chiaroscuro thriller, rarely leaving room to discern the difference.
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The first is an all-out brawl in a theater that sends bodies flying in all directions as members of multiple schools clash. The second is the really iconic one, as Gordon Liu takes on Wang Lung Wei in a truly unique location—the ultra-cramped alleyway between two buildings. As the fight progresses and they drive deeper into the alley, space becomes tighter and tighter until the two have only a foot or two in which to conduct combat.
It completely changes the aesthetic of a traditional kung fu battle, and the choreography evolves with it. The film is unconventional in portraying the Japanese not as outright villains but simply aggrieved, honorable fighters. What we get from that set-up is a fascinating contrast in styles, and fights that pit balanced elements of combat against one another—for example, Chinese drunken boxing vs. Sino-Okinawan karate. Or Japanese weapons such as the sai against Chinese butterfly swords. Another Venom Mob film from Chang Cheh, and one of the best. It was a shift for Lo Mang, who usually played characters who were sort of powerful, likable galoots, but he shines by giving what is likely his best performance in a story about a gang of outlaws who plot to intercept a large shipment of gold.
A film of style, grace and gravitas, A Touch of Zen is unusual in that it features a veritable non-combatant as its lead protagonist, although he is surrounded by many others who know how to fight. Remember that scene in The Blues Brothers where Jake and Elwood drive the Bluesmobile through a mall and wreck it up good? Chan plays a cop again who goes after bad guys again. Why complicate the plot synopsis any more than that? The only sensible way to rank Jackie Chan movies is simply to focus on the action and the death-defying stunts, which all the films in the Police Story series have in spades.
Chan has called the first Police Story his greatest film, though, and who are we to argue?
Leave it to Jet Li to invent Tai Chi. Junbao handles a ball of wind-bonded leaves as a raver would a pair of glowsticks. Shogun Assassin is bizarre to explain, hilarious to watch and incredibly entertaining from start to finish, a garish but gorgeous piece of exploitation cinema that transcends its grimy aesthetic and becomes something absolutely beautiful. Shogun Assassin is the American name for the film, which is assembled from footage clipped together from two Japanese samurai films adapted from a popular manga called Lone Wolf and Cub.
The American release, however, completely transforms the experience by cutting down the story to its barest necessities, adding voiceover narration from the point of view of a toddler, and preserving all the fight scenes in their hyper-violent glory. The tale of a father on the run with his young, vulnerable son just gets more and more ridiculous from start to finish, and the body count is too high to count.
The film was such a huge influence on the style of Quentin Tarantino that you can actually hear some of it in Kill Bill Vol. I actually prefer one of the earlier fights, though, when Jet takes on an entire school of Japanese karate students—and then punches their master right on the bottom of the foot in a particularly goofy bit of violence.
Because revenge will never bring your murdered loved ones back to life, right? This is just what happens when you mess with a monk dead-set on breaking his vows. Only the coolest weapon in martial arts cinema history. This semi-historical film succeeds gloriously: both as cinematic triumph and as martial arts fan-bait. Kill Bill Vol. The greatness of Kill Bill Vol. In the early s, there was perhaps no cinematic experience like it well, at least until Vol. The gory but graceful tea house battle with the Crazy 88; the intensely claustrophobic kitchen showdown—these are only two excellent examples of everything that makes a martial arts movie superb.
That Tarantino filled two movies with this stuff of greatness makes for some truly transcendent viewing. Purely entertaining, Iron Monkey never takes itself overly seriously, striking an easygoing balance between hyper-kinetic, somewhat unrealistic action and a broadly appealing, Robin Hood-like story. If what you want out of a martial arts movie is to just watch an invincible engine of destruction wreck his way through everything in his path, then Tom-Yum Goong is your movie.
Tony Jaa is nothing short of incredible as a physical specimen and performer, in a movie where the primary plot point is driven by…stolen elephants? The action is realistic, impactful and on a whole other level in terms of brutality. The possession of anything begins in the mind. Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system. The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.
Take no thought of who is right or wrong or who is better than. Be not for or against. If you want to learn to swim jump into the water. On dry land no frame of mind is ever going to help you. You just wait. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Skip to content. Like this: Like Loading Author: The Blind Swordsman Chow young king This I decided to recreated This is to keep Bruce Lee s legacy alive ultimate master who ever lived Bruce lee dragon of jade the real title the blind swords man continues on a lot of people used the green Dragon like you see on the internet I used his necklace green jade he wore a round his neck instead makes more sense from big boss he wore but the real name is the blind swordsman s man Dragon of jade three kingdoms blood brothers theres 4 name's or 5 title s thunderbolt original photograph s the full sized one s thunderbolt fist as fast as forces of nature full speed ahead as fast as a car full speed ahead Shaw brothers and golden harvest jade is bruce lee s necklace from big boss that's where the name come from big boss bruce lee s necklace he where s Don't think, feel Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Shendu is growing impatient with the Dark Hand , as he only has two talismans, while six others are locked away in Section Just then, Finn and Ratso walk in with a newspaper, and Shendu notices a familiar picture there.
The local museum has recently acquired a statue of a Ling dynasty warrior named Lo Pei , who was the one that sealed Shendu into statue form and took the talismans to be concealed across the globe. Valmont reads that the statue bears inscriptions, and on the chance that these may help locate the remaining talismans, Shendu sends the Enforcers to obtain the statue. By the time they reach the museum, it is gone, but Chow discovers a note saying that it's on loan to Jackie Chan.
At the shop , Jackie and Uncle are already studying the inscriptions.
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They are interrupted when Jade propels her scooter through the front door and crashes headlong into the statue. It crumbles to fragments, and Jackie scolds her severely for it. She is left with the wreckage, wishing she could help. Some time later, he and Uncle look back and find that the statue's remains are gone.
Just then, the Enforcers arrive, demanding the statue. A fight breaks out, but Jackie fends them off, and they have no choice but to leave, realizing the statue isn't to be had. In her room at Section 13 , it turns out that Jade has the statue's fragments, and she uses the Horse talisman on them, reassembling all the pieces seamlessly. She then turns her attention to the inscriptions, but she comes up with an alternative idea to translating them.
She fetches the Rat talisman from the vault also, then returns to the room and activates it. The talisman flies into the middle of the statue, and in a flash of light, Lo Pei is standing there, alive once again. He does not know where he is or what he is doing there, but when Jade asks him about the talismans and he sees the Horse in her hand, he demands to know what has become of them. This leads him to the vault, and even though it is locked again, he uses scroll magic to break it open. He notes that quite a few are missing Jade acknowledges the "absence" of the Rat with a guilty feeling , but he takes all of the others, intending to safeguard them from being recovered by "the ultimate evil.
Jackie catches up with Jade, and he trails Lo Pei, who is using another scroll to fly to Alcatraz Island with the intent to secure a talisman there. Jackie tries to explain to Lo Pei that he is actually a statue and that he needs to return the talismans, but Lo Pei is not convinced. Furthermore, he is offended when Jackie asks for more details about his own goal, as he refuses to even speak the name of "the ultimate evil.