In the modern era, it does appear as if American audiences have a greater appreciation for martial arts movies than they did 20+ years ago. Stars such as Jackie Chan and Jet Li have helped raise awareness of these movies, and this in turn has led martial arts fans towards forgotten classics from a previous era. Below, we look at five of the greatest martial arts movies for adults, which feature amazing fight sequences and the list spans many decades.
Five Must-See Martial Arts Flicks
Many Jet Li fans believe that this is his most entertaining American film. The plot revolves around the fact that there is a multiverse with different versions of each person in these numerous universes. Jet Li plays Gabriel Yulaw who is an evil killer/former policeman who murders different versions of himself in a quest to become invincible. It is also theorized that this would destroy all life! In the end, there is only one version left, Gabe Law, also a police officer. Some of the scenes are a little preposterous, but the action sequences are amazing.
This is the sequel to the first Drunken Master, which is an amazing movie as well, but the sequel surpasses it with Jackie Chan once again in the lead role. He fights traitorous smugglers who are looking to hand rare Chinese artifacts to the British for cash. The final fight with the head of the traitors is a remarkable fight sequence and involves brawling with swords and spears under a train! This movie is a prime example of how brilliant Chan is at creating fight sequences using different environments.
This movie is proof that a simple plot can still result in a great movie! Tony Jaa tries to recover a stolen Buddha statue for his village and takes on the Thai underworld. The film incorporates Thai kickboxing to devastating effect, and Jaa performs his own incredible stunts. The fight scenes are mesmerizing and brutal in equal measure as the full force of kickboxing is unleashed on the criminal world!
This goes down as a modern martial arts classic, even though it is actually a traditional Samurai tale. It is set in feudal Japan and involves 13 Samurais who band together to stop an evil general from pillaging the land. This brilliantly shot movie is mainly about sword-fighting and can be quite gory at times, but there is a great deal of beauty within the carnage.
We could have included Enter the Dragon, since it was Bruce Lee’s American movie debut, but Fist of Fury (also known as The Chinese Connection) was the movie that launched Lee’s career in Hong Kong. He plays a young warrior who takes on Japanese invaders in his town and features some of the most extraordinary fighting scenes ever. It brought martial arts movies to another level and also launched a wave of Chinese nationalism! There are also some genuinely poignant moments within the movie that showed Lee possessed acting ability.
Watch a Classic Martial Arts Movie Today!
Satiate your desire for martial arts action by watching any one of the classic movies mentioned above!