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5 Greatest Martial Art Movies

Updated on March 8, 2013

What is the 5 Greatest Martial Art Movies?


Martial art movies are a sub genre of the action films. Though martial art movies started out as a popular niche in the East, but soon it spread like wildfire in the West too. Today we have numerous sub genres of the martial art movies and varying degrees of innovation, hand - to - combat and weapon play. These movies also portray the wide range of martial arts that have been developed by the Eastern countries.

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1) Seven Samurai (1954)- The first movie on the list is ´Seven Samurai´, which is a Japanese martial art movie, masterminded by the celebrated Akira Kurosawa. It is probably one of the most influential, popularly and critically acclaimed martial art film that was ever made and also one of those very few that gained immense popularity all over the world. The story paints a picture of a village of hard working farmers whose crops are stolen by a band of ruthless bandits, after harvest. To prevent this, the villagers hire a band of samurai mercenaries (ronins) to combat them. At the time, it was the single largest project undertaken by a Japanese filmmaker. It´s plot premises have been recreated time and again.


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2) The Chinese Connection (1972) - Also known as ´Fist of Fury´ and´The Iron Hand´, the movie stars Bruce Lee in his second major role. Bruce Lee plays a student of kung fu who seeks vengeance for the death of his dead teacher and fights foreign aggressive forces to save the honor of China. This movie was path breaking as it brought about the ´Shift´from swordplay to bare handed combat in the movies of Hong Kong. With the release of this movie, the Golden era of kung fu started for the Hong Kong movies. Bruce Lee catapulted to success after this, becoming the first Asian superstar. His skills, talent, workout and training regime was way ahead of the time and his impact on the martial art movie genre is unarguably huge.

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3) Drunken Master II (1994) - This movie is about a young martial artist, played by Jackie Chan who is torn between his father´s wishes and saving precious artifacts being stolen by foreigners. This movie is one of the rare examples where a movie sequel had surpassed its predecessor. Jackie Chan portrays a unique style of drunken Kung Fu in this movie. The final battle combines swordplay and spear fight and Jackie Chan emerged as one of the best kung fu artists of all time. He also became famous for using his environment and common objects lying around him in combat.
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4) Fearless (2006) - It stars Jet Li as the legendary Huo Yuanjia, Chinese marital artist, founder of Jin Wu Sports federation. This movie not only depicts some very skilled martial arts, it also carries a message how the martial arts can be used for educating instead of using it for vengeance.
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5) Ip Man (2008) - Donnie Yen stars as Yip man, in this semi - biographical movie. This movie as cemented Donnie Yen´s position in the martial art movie industry along side many other legends. He will definitely be remembered by this movie. Unlike other movie stars, Donnie got better with age like aged wine, which is highly unlikely and rarely seen in a movie industry.

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    • Farasucan profile image

      Farasucan 4 years ago from Las Vegas

      These are all good movies, but I believe you missed one of the all-time epic martial art movies--"Enter the Dragon" starring Bruce Lee.