3 Martial Arts Movies with Impressive Horse Scenes

The Myth, 2005

This Jackie Chan movie was directed by Stanley Tong and was released in 2005. In it, Chan plays both modern-day archeologist Jack and Qin dynasty-era general Meng Yi. In the scenes from the past, he rides a horse as he escorts a Korean princess back to China.

The general gets involved in some huge fights scenes while riding his horse. In one scene, his horse kicks a rider off his steed and then expertly kicks the fallen rider when he tried to re-enter the battle. This all-action movie was the third highest-grossing domestic release in Hong Kong in 2005 and earned some $120 worldwide. 

Reviews of this historical fantasy comedy are mixed, with some reviewers noting that the action scenes are a bit slower and less dramatic than in his best films. Nevertheless, it still stands the test of time as an enjoyable mixture of action and fun. The amusing fight on the moving, sticky conveyor belt of a rat paper factory remains a highlight.

Raiders of the Shaolin Temple, 1982

Instead of real horses, this movie uses bronze mechanical horses for a fascinating fight scene. The plot is about a character called Little Lu. He looks after the horses at a Shaolin Temple and is keen to learn how to fight.

The temple has a type of dungeon that is used as a training room. This is where the bronze horses are lined up at either side of the room. It is called the Horse Room and it almost kills our hero the first time that he is taken down there. These are nothing like Kentucky Derby contender horses or other real animals you might have seen.

Finally, he discovers the fighting secrets needed to defeat the horses and is ready to go out into the real world and defeat the villains. It is a bold and hugely ambitious movie with a great soundtrack and some genuinely crazy moments. It sometimes seems a bit too over-the-top. 

One point worth mentioning is that some versions of this movie appear to be called Raiders of the Wu-Tang for some reason.

House of the Flying Daggers, 2004

While this wuxia movie perhaps focuses more on romance than on fighting, it still has some great scenes in it. The story revolves around rebel groups fighting the Tang Dynasty. It was nominated as the Chinese entrant in the 2004 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film.

A couple of police officers need to find out who the Leader of the rebel gang is and kill them. Some of the most exciting scenes take place in forests, with the action mainly shot in the Carpathian Mountains of Ukraine. The bamboo forest scenes were filmed in China, though.

Horses play a big part in the big fight scene in the forest. A tense chase is followed by some gripping action, as the riders attack blind dancer Mei (played by Zhang Ziyi) with long spears. She uses some impressive moves to unseat both riders before she is out-numbered while putting up a terrific fight.

The House of Flying Daggers was a commercial success in the US, where it grossed over $11 million and also sold well in the home DVD market. Reports also suggest that it got a 20-minute standing ovation when it was premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.