Checking my Instagram account I found a message from MovieReviewWarehouse guys asking me to write my Top 5 martial arts movies. This question sent me back to good old times and pushed to write the article about that.
As I sure most of you will be asking me questions if I will just publish the list, so I decided to explain why exactly these 5 movies inspired me to start Budomate Magazine back in June 2009, when I was sitting on a coach and watching another kung fu film. So fasten your seat belts as here I go:
The Way Of The Dragon
The classic Bruce Lee movie with the most popular climactic showdown between Tang Lung and American champion Colt in Rome’s Colosseum. This film showcases how truly fast and nimble Bruce Lee is, and it is a perfect tribute to Jeet Kune Do.
By the way, Bruce originally planned to face Joe Lewis in the iconic fight, but the two had a falling out. Who knows where Chuck Norris could be without this movie. Now there are other amazing screen fights of The Raid and Ong Bak but this one sets the gold standard.
Besides racism and criminal topics of this movie I like it for the legacy Bruce left for other martial artists, he showed everyone that if a real martial artist takes control of the movie he can produce something spectacular. And of course I like Lee’s nunchuck skills and the WOOSH sound effects when he hits his opponents.
King of The Kickboxers
This is a true example of a kickboxing movie of 90s where Loren Avedon and Billy Blanks did a great job with jaw-dropping intense fights. Seasonal Films producers are no strangers to film production and they just took No retreat No Surrender movie and took it to the next level. The fights are truly spectacular and choreographed with such a precise flow, speed and immense power.
Billy Blanks lacks of that special “good guy” charisma and this makes him a brilliant villain, actually the same I think about Scott Adkins, he is perfect as a bad guy.
But what I like about this movie the most is Keith Cooke as an old champion Prang, his fight in the jungle on my opinion is one of the best intense fights even made in the movie history. Since China O’Brien I was following this talented martial artist career but he never did it to the high level but what he did with the second plan roles is already perfect. As Robert Clouse once said, “Cooke is a fast with his feet as Bruce Lee was with his hands,” I certainly support that.
Movie was filmed in Thailand in 90s and look at producers and actors now, after almost 30 years they are all back to make another wave of great martial arts movies.
Dragon. The Bruce Lee Story
This movie a true tribute to Bruce Lee, and Jason Scott Lee made his best to introduce the great master to the next generation with a help of director Rob Cohen and producer Raffaella De Laurentiis. Of cause it could not be done without amazing actors team: Lauren Holly as Linda, Ric Young as Bruce fathers, Aki Aleong as principal and others.
Late Jerry Poteet did a great job choreographing this movie and prepares Jason Scott Lee for his role.
I would not be re-telling you the story as true fans already know it but when this movie is on screen I am up to watch it no matter what.
Police Story 2
On my opinion this is one of the best Jackie Chan‘s roles so far and he can only beat it with the first part of his famous saga. This sequel I like because of electrifying and impulsive climatic showdown which I personally think one of the most jaw-dropping I have even seen on the screen …and this all before The Raid bloody mayhem.
Police Story 2 continues on from the excellent original and not simply match the quality but go on the absolutely larger and excitingly explosive level. If you only think how cool the terrorist trio is, especially deaf-and-dumb guy you will understand that.
Jackie Chan directed astonishingly dangerous stunts-galore and elaborated a stunning fighting choreography. The tough action of this movie is instinctive and lethal, making it amazing to watch.
This is a truly beautiful firework of skills and if you forgot this movie I strongly recommend you to re-watch it right now!
Best of The Best
My favourite movie of all times. I personally think this is the pure example how the western martial arts movie should look like and no one still beat it. And this is a true classic of cinema. I can bet $100 if you will ask any movie fan names like Tommy Lee or Alex Grady, they will tell you the movie, maybe not the title but the story for sure.
What is interesting this movie represents Karate but true fans know it is all about Taekwondo, just in 80s Karate was on pick of popularity and this is a logical way to promote the film this way.
This movie blend the perfect drama with explosive fights and how we can ask for more. The climactic fight scene is the most breathtaking onscreen fight ever where two brothers, in the movie and real life, forced to fight each other showing the true essence of traditional Tae Kwon Do. This film is what every martial art fan dreams about.
As Philip Rhee said, “That film came from the heart. It’s based on my story from when I competed in 1980 against the Korean team.”
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