16 – The Grandmaster (2013)
7 – Drunken Master 2, AKA The Legend of Drunken Master (1994)
Come Drink With Me not only broke the wuxia mold, it practically created it.The film combines elements of wuxia, gangster and police action in an engaging and fun-filled tale about a pair of hard kicking women cops who get the job done. It is a film that has something for everyone, from a triad boss’s hyena cackle to Michelle Yeoh’s fierce, kick-in-the-heart performance.Do you enjoy watching movies about martial arts? If the answer is yes, then you’ll definitely appreciate this compilation of the greatest martial arts films ever made.
1 – Five Deadly Venoms (1978)
The movie centers on Phillip Kwok’s captivating character, who impresses with his confidence and remarkable physical prowess. Despite having a convoluted storyline, this Shaw Brothers martial arts film boasts exceptional combat sequences featuring a talented ensemble cast.
5 – Crippled Avengers (1978)
A sweeping historical drama with a rather confusing plot, but if you need to tell the synopsis for the class, there are multiple clans vying for possession of a scroll.
Don’t settle for the American version featured on Netflix, look for the Chinese original and you’re in for a treat. There are tons of flashy swordplay and lots of wire-aided fight scene craziness. Well, just another of Jet Li’s greatest films.The second movie in the franchise is good enough to reach #5 on this list. But the original is just a cult movie.
When talking about crazy and visceral fight choreography, you must talk about this one.
There are 36 chambers, in which he must toil to discipline his body, mind, reflexes and will. As classic as it gets.The use of stunts and special effects contributed to the creation of some of the most memorable moments in martial arts films.Wood ninjas pose as trees and use claws to slash and tear. And finally, the supremely goofy Earth ninjas are somehow able to tunnel through solid soil like freaking earthworms and explode out of the ground with an almighty bang.
Western movies could never compare to this.
19 – Swordsman 2 (1992)
The Grandmaster is a gorgeously paced historical epic told in patient piecemeal. From the opening to the end, it’s beautiful filmmaking.You might remember the more politically correct title for this movie: Return of the 5 Deadly Venoms.
It perfectly balances the tribute to Japanese and Chinese martial arts with all the visceral fight scenes that are Tarantino’s trademark. A must-watch.
Funnily enough, Jet Li played the part of the student and the master. His character is the student of his 2006 character in Fearless, Huo Yuan Jia.
20 – Come Drink with Me (1966)
What can we say about Enter the Dragon that hasn’t been said already?We get an amazing contrast in styles, and fights that pit balanced elements of combat against one another—for example, Chinese drunken boxing vs. Sino-Okinawan karate.Through the use of genre borrowings, Kung Fu Hustle creatively transforms Hollywood and Mainland Chinese cinema to construct a visually refreshing and politically critical cinematic narrative. It does so by intersecting a range of temporal, spatial, political and cultural contexts in order to comment upon the world.
Each group of ninjas has their own absurd costumes and ridiculous quirks: Gold ninjas use their shields to blind enemies. Water ninjas use snorkels and pull opponents down underwater to drown them. Fire ninjas use smoke shields to hide and move.
The masks, the fighting scenes, the mythology. This movie is emblematic of an entire era of Hong Kong cinema and the joy they took in delivering beautiful choreography and timeless stories of good vs. evil.
4 – Once Upon a Time in China (1991)
For example, Jaa ascending from the bottom of a tower to the top, fighting dozens of mooks in a single, unbroken shot that lasts four minutes.
Based on a popular Louis Cha wuxia novel, Sword Stained With Royal Blood is a sprawling epic. It’s a bit convoluted, but it’s also massively entertaining.After toiling as a labourer, he is finally granted the right to learn kung fu, which begins the film’s famous training sequences.Kung Fu Hustle is the second movie from Hong Kong’s King of Comedy, Stephen Chow. It combines elements of Western gangster films, musicals, slapstick and martial arts inspired sci-fi movies to evoke an imaginary Shanghai in the 1940s.
It’s just a funny, classic story, worth watching.Let us know if there’s anything else we should add in the comments section at the bottom!
1. The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter (1978)
Essentially a remake of Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury, with some really fancy fighting. I mean, Jet Li really knows how to kick some asses in this movie.The Raid (2008) gave us Silat and Iko Uwais, but the sequel that came out six years later gave us one of the most thrilling, martial arts movies ever made.
2. The Shaolin Temple (1989)
10 – Iron Monkey (1993)
Purely entertaining, Iron Monkey never takes itself overly seriously, striking an easy-going balance between hyper-kinetic, somewhat unrealistic action and a broadly appealing, Robin Hood-like story.
3. Sword Stained With Royal Blood (1980)
15 – Heroes of the East (1978)
After a mother fox and her young kit are chased by hunters and hounds, they hide in tall grass near a farm. When a shot rings out, they are saved by a kindly owl named Big Mama (Pearl Bailey).
4. A Touch of Zen (1993)
No Jet Li, no Jackie Chan, no Bruce Lee. Uma Thurman in her yellow suit with a sword in her hand is just iconic.
12 – Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2 (2003-2004)
A bit of a crazy movie, but that’s what kung-fu movies are all about. The story revolves around a few young fighters seeking vengeance against a ninja clan that massacred their classmates, but it’s the villains that really stand out.Well, that’s if we’re not talking about Warriors Two, a modest, straightforward story of a young man training in martial arts to protect a town, featuring quite a lot of authentic wing chun, in the style which master Ip Man would have taught to a young Bruce Lee.
6. Kung Fu Hustle (1988)
A Touch of Zen is an action-adventure film with a strong spiritual element. A Ming dynasty noblewoman must escape from an evil eunuch, seeking refuge at a decrepit town where she gets assistance from a naive scholar & a group of mysterious yet powerful monks.
9 – Tom-Yum-Goong, AKA The Protector (2005)
Martial arts films are an integral part of the history of action movies. And while some are more dramatic than others, all of them have a storied history of great fights and memorable characters.Even if you’ve never seen it, when thinking about a martial arts film, it probably looks like this one.
8. Yes Madam (1998)
Oh, the seventies. Those were the days. At least when we talk about awesome, kung-fu movies.It’s just different when you watch it, but still a work of art.