My friends and I love watching kung fu. Not only is it badass, but the dialogue is always hilarious. We’ve seen pretty much all of the movies Netflix has to offer, and have definitely seen our fair share of kung fu. I asked for their help compiling a list of our favorites that we seem to watch all the time. This is just going to include the more recent films, because it would be impossible to list just five great all time kung fu movies. I can’t emphasize enough to watch these with the english subtitles, versus the dubbed version, the subtitles make them so great.
5. Kung Fu Hustle
If you want your kung fu movie funny, this is one is for you. Director Stephen Chow brings us this 2004 comedy starring himself as Sing, a wannabe gang member who tries to join the Axe Gang. Hilariously combining old school gangster with great martial arts, this contains almost magic-like fight scenes and is packed full of great one-liners. I’d say this one is an exception to the rule about watching the dubbed version, because the voiceovers are almost the most comedic part of the film. Add this one to your watch list, absolutely.
This 1988 Newt Arnold film, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme as Frank Dux, an american who is especially skilled in martial arts and escapes his army troop to compete in an illegal competition. He encounters many different styles of martial arts in the competition, but moves on easily because he is very highly skilled. Once he reaches his final rival, Chong Li, in a fight that has known deaths to occur, he must defeat this champion, and evade his military trackers.
3. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
When a treasured sword is stolen the owner, Li Mu Bai, must track it down and he then must avenge his master’s death. This is an action packed film that will have you invested in the slight romance between Mu Bai and Yu Shu Lien, but it’s not too involved with that to take away from the badass-ness of the fighting. The two of them engage in some very intense hand to hand combat, and entertain with their great chemistry. Coming out in 2000, this Ang Lee movie was made in the prime of “great effects” that are just epic enough to look past the somewhat corny stunt execution. This one is always a good one to watch.
2. Ip Man 1 & 2
These are both so good, directed by Wilson Yip, and starring Donnie Yen. Ip Man is based off the true man, Yip Man, who was a master at Wing Chun and the first to teach the ways of it, Donnie Yen is the Ip Man. He must defeat his foes to continue spreading the art of Wing Chun, and we follow his fight against whole gangs, corrupt Generals, and other martial arts masters. This style of fighting is more graceful than that of the Muay Thai featured in Ong-Bak, but is not any less lethal. Yen is truly a master at this craft, making it look easy while maintaining his calm composure, plus he can punch super-duper fast. These are two very awesome flicks that you should definitely check out.
1. Ong-Bak 1 & 2
Once again, I couldn’t say no to the whole series. They are both so perfect first directed by Prachya Pinkaew and the second by Tony Jaa and Rittikrai. Tony Jaa stars in both as Ting/Tien, the Muay Thai master who must defeat enemies to protect his village. It says that the second movie is a prequel to the first, but the timelines don’t match up. This genre of movie isn’t generally known for its amazing plot, but none of that matters, because Tony Jaa still kicks major ass. With dialogue that literally makes you laugh-out-loud, using words like lunkhead, and numbskulls, they sound ridiculous. That is all forgotten as soon as an incredible fight scene happens and Tony Jaa annihilates his competition every time. Devastating kicks and elbows to the back of the head puts him in the lead.
What’s your favorite Kung Fu movies? Let us know in the comment box below.