The best martial arts and kung fu movies ever

The era of buried cinema is already past its best yearsbut the beauty of this time is that at any time we can go back to the rich history of cinema and achieve whatever we want. Let’s see this time the best martial arts movies.

Kung fu movies – a forgotten classic?

The once dug cinema triumphed and was one of the most popular movie genres. The 70s and 80s, that is, before the era of the great development of special effects, were an ideal period for this type of film, which produced almost unreal and incredible fight scenes that delighted everyone who watched it. And while the movie mods have changed, martial arts cinema still resonates in pop culture, perhaps less directly, but its echoes can be seen in some series and the biggest blockbusters. Hardly any genre has contributed to such a powerful and rapid development of cinematic stunt. Of course, in the twenty-first century, movies also began to appear that refer to the tradition of kung fu production, which was relatively loud. We also have successors to Bruce Lee, Jet Li and Jackie Chan in the form of Iko Uwais, Tony Jaa and Donnie Yen. The martial arts cinema is still very much alive. Here are some of his best examples.


In this case, the plot is just an excuse for a trip through Thailand, with crazy chase scenes and even crazier fight scenes. “Ong-Bak” just stuns with the choreography of the duels and sometimes it’s hard to believe they were shot without any rope or CGI support.

Five Element Ninjas

This movie is just crazy in the best sense of the word. It looks like a cartoon or a crazy anime series, but in a version with real people and landscapes. The plot centers on several young warriors seeking revenge against the ninja clan that slaughtered their colleagues. In this film, however, the villains really stand out. Each group of ninjas has their own bizarre costumes and absurd quirks. Golden ninjas use their shields to blind their enemies. Water ninjas use pipes and drag their opponents underwater to drown them. Fire ninjas use smoke screens to hide and move. Wooden ninjas pretend to be trees and use claws to cut and tear apart. Finally, Earth ninjas can somehow dig through solid ground like earthworms, leap out of the ground and attack like missiles. There’s a method to this madness – because while it’s all real nonsense, it’s extremely entertaining, at times funny and full of absurdities, and the fight scenes are truly masterful.


Okay, the feature film “The Defender” is definitely the worst movie on this list. Tony Jaa plays a man who goes to Australia in search of… a kidnapped elephant. But aside from the script (who actually watches martial arts movies for the script?) and let’s focus on the fact that “The Defender” is an incredible depiction of combat scenes that are some of the best a movie camera has captured. Including one of the most ambitious in cinema history, where Jaa fights a horde of opponents in a single 4-minute shot. Considered by many to be one of the best action scenes in history.

The robbery

Raid is undoubtedly one of the most impressive fighting movies of the 21st century. And one of the few cases of dug cinema, which, apart from phenomenal fights, evokes a feeling of claustrophobia in the viewer, because almost the entire plot takes place in the narrow corridors and rooms of the skyscraper. The fight scenes in “Raid” look so realistic and are so breakneck that it hurts just to watch them. This cinema has been dug to the extreme.

36 Shaolin Room

This film, in turn, is the best confirmation of the saying that it is not the destination that counts, but the journey itself. This is one of the few examples of a production where the focus was not on subsequent battles with opponents, but on the training sequences the main character goes through in the Shaolin Monastery. In each of the 36 rooms, he must discipline his body, mind, reflexes and will. The training scenes are at the heart of this production and they are simply the centerpiece of the film and are beautifully filmed and staged.

Police story

Jackie Chan considers “The Police Tale” his best movie. I almost agree with him. I’ve moved both parts of “Drunken Master” higher, with “Police Tale” right behind it. This is yet another film, which is actually kind of a culmination of Chan’s great career, proving at the time that the human body is capable of doing real miracles. The action sequences in this movie still have a chatty effect and even the biggest Hollywood shows with the best stuntmen can’t even come close to Jackie’s level. What we can see in “Police Tale” is a kind of movement poetry.

The Dragon’s Entrance

The choice is as obvious as it needs to be on this list. There probably wasn’t a movie that would promote kung fu cinema more, at least in the West. “Enter the Dragon” uses the classic tournament structure to showcase a slew of great, superbly directed battles that have made their way into classics from the movie. But it’s also just as captivating in the scenes where the main character explores the main villain’s stronghold. Without it, not only would Bruce Lee’s stellar career and global fascination with kung fu be missing, Enter the Dragon has also paved the way for stars of future generations such as Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jackie Chan, Tony Jaa and Iko Uwais. . Without “Enter the Dragon” there would be no “Street Fighter” or “Mortal Kombat” (of course I drink more to video games than to their failed film adaptations).

Long ago in China

It’s hard to find a movie this close to perfection in the kung fu genre. The more that Jet Li is one of the best actors in the history of unearthed movies. “Once Upon a Time in China” is a masterful and visually beautiful blend of period costume film, action and martial arts that few other items can match. It is also undoubtedly one of the best filmed (wonderful and simply beautiful pictures) productions in this genre.

The Legend of a Drunk Master

The sequel to “Drunken Master”, which itself is an absolute classic of kung fu movies, is actually a masterpiece of the genre and definitely the best movie in Jackie Chan’s career. It’s sort of the best of Chan, which is simply unmatched in masterfully staged duels with a mix of fighting, dancing, ballet and slapstick comedy. It is not without reason that Jackie Chan is considered the most important heir to the talent of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin at the end of the twentieth century. What Chan did in front of the camera at the height of his career was just incredible and unique, and Legend of the Drunken Master brings it all together in one film.

WuDu. Five Poisoners

“Wu Du. Five Poisoners” are almost the Avengers in the kung fu version. The plot is a classic tale of the battle between good and evil, but told in such an engaging way that it’s hard to break away from this film. This is the first production in which a group of dug cinema actors appeared collectively called Venom Mob. “Wu Du. Five Poisoners” is characterized by excellent choreography, beautiful scenes of fist and foot fights, and rarely seen in this kind of cinema with beautiful sets and costumes. Sure, this movie (nomen omen) hits the eye with charming trash, but which 70’s or 80’s kung fu movie wasn’t right? Basically, “Wu Du. Five Poisoners” presents the best of martial arts movies in a nutshell.

Movie rankings worth reading

On our website you will also find many other rankings and lists that are worth reading. Below is a list of them and we encourage you to read them.

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