Martial Arts Movies

2017/11/18 lists

I asked the internet about Martial Arts movies, and they got back to me with a big list.

Kung-Fu Hustle

It's fun, and though the graphics and CGI already looks kinda dated, and the slapstick not particularly funny, the epic scale brings it up a notch and the spectacular soundtrack brings it over the top.

Ip Man, Ip Man 2, Ip Man 3

They're not all equal, but they're all watchable and the best are top tier.

Fearless

Easily Ip Man tier, totally recommended. According to my source, avoid director's cut.

Police Story

Absolutely recommended.

Police Story 2

Couldn't hold my attention.

Kundo: Age of the Rampant

Great production values, and a really cool populist theme.

Drunken Master

This one is on Netflix... and should be playing with Cantonese audio but instead I get English? It also stars "Jacky" Chan. It's basically a slapstick comedy, and I like the sequel better, but I think the choreography here is probably better.

Hero

No matter how many times I watch it, the main thing I recall is just the color gimmick. Still, worth a watch.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

When I watched this as a teen, I hated the fight scenes. Upon re-watch, I still found the choreography sub-par, but this time I was quite taken by the love-story and plot.

Wheels on Meals

Incredible Jackie Chan in Barcelona. The fight scene at the end is spectacular. My favourite out of all the "Three Brothers" films.

Project A

I don't like the military setting, and the piracy stuff gives me "Pirates of Penzance" PTSD. However, it's pretty cute I guess.

Dragons Forever

Maybe my least favorite in the Three Brothers saga. The fight scene with Benny the Jet is worth catching, but the industrial setting is so much more boring than the castle in Wheels.

Enter the Dragon

Sometimes there's a movie you appreciate, but definitely do not love. This fits in that category for me. Clearly a game-changer- I had no idea that it was a Martial Arts/James Bond mix, and there's lots to marvel at, but not that great as a thriller.

Way of the Dragon

This would definitely be my favorite Lee, although I haven't seen tons. It's less ambitious than "Enter the Dragon", given that instead of evil lair there's just offices, parking lots, and some shots in the colloseum that make it seem small. The fight with Chuck Norris is not the highlight, but the movie is overall very fun, and I definitely have a soft-spot for "training of newbies pans out"-type plots.

Legend of Drunken Master

Candidate for best in genre. The slapstick and the action both work spectacularly well.

The Matrix

Didn't expect to include this, or like this as much as I did, but it holds up extremely well. Turns out the choreographer hired was the same one as the one of Legend of Drunken Master, and it shows.

Kill Bill

Also didn't really think of this when I started the deep-dive, but it totally belongs. Excellent movie, particularly Uma Thurman.

The Streetfighter

A cut below China/HK fare, both in the talent in action scenes and the quality of the plot. Still, worth a watch.

Iron Monkey I/II

The lore behind these movies is interesting, and I find the music and aesthetics very memorable, but they're definitely a whole shelf below top.

The Final Master

Caught this on a whim from Netflix. I can't say I loved it, but the choreography was certainly not lazy, and the soundtrack also kept trying interesting stuff. A charmless protagonist and moustache-twirling villains just can't carry the whole thing.

Original: 2017/10/25