Update: I’m adding to the list based on readers’ comments, and movies I have watched since writing the post. The originals I wrote are the ones with brief remarks after them.
What’s that behind you? It’s me! Wham!
Now that you’ve recovered, I must tell you that I’ve been on a huge chop socky flick kick. This happens about once a year where I round up all of the (hopefully) best martial arts movies I can find and I watch or rewatch them.
This year, as with the previous three, Tony Jaa’s The Protector is at the top of my list. It is the only movie I have ever seen where a giant, musclebound white guy throws an elephant. True story.
So first, watch The Protector. But if that’s not enough for you, here are a few I can vouch for, and will vouch for, through flying fists and feet, if necessary…
- Enter The Dragon: This is a no-brainer
- When We Were Kings – I’m putting this in because it’s got Muhammad Ali in it, and it’s the greatest documentary I’ve ever seen
- The 36 Chambers of Shaolin – Got turned on to this by the RZA in The Tao of Wu (my review)
- Barry Gordon’s The Last Dragon – Indescribably bizarre and great
- Rumble In The Bronx – This was the first time I saw Jackie Chan and it still makes me laugh every time the Mexican guy yells “Que Pasa!” because that’s what Mexican Gang members in America yell, as viewed through Asian cinema creators. Also, there is a guy in a fringe coat who wear braids that I think of as “Native American Man.” Great action scenes, despite all the silliness.
- American Ninja – This is the only time I’ve watched a martial arts flick and thought “I could kick that guy’s butt.” Still, it’s a great guilty pleasure
- Ip Man
- Ip Man 2
- True Legend
- Ong Bak
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
- Kung Fu Hustle
- Best of The Best
- Once Upon A Time In China
- Iron Fist Pillage
- The Karate Kid
- 5 Deadly Venoms
- Fist of Legend
- Iron Monkey
- The Challenge
- Revenge of The Ninja
- The Big Brawl
- Master of The Flying Guillotine
- Drunken Master
- Kung Fu Panda
- Return of The Dragon
- The Bourne Identity
- Million Dollar Baby
- King of The Kickboxers
- Blind Samurai
- Seven Samurai
- Ghost Dog
- Game of Death
- Lone Wolf McQuade
- Dragons Forever
- Blood and Bone
I’ll leave it at that for now. I have to go kick something. But feel free to fill in the blanks.
What’s that behind you! It’s one of the best martial art movies ever. Go watch it!