12 Good Chinese Action Movies

Friday, January 15, 2010 at 9:42 am

If you’re looking for 12 good Chinese action movies, then you’ve definitely come to the right place. The following films feature plenty of martial arts action, shootouts, and even a few car chases to keep your interest. Good Chinese action movies are star some of the biggest names in international cinema, including Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and Chow Yun-Fat.

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Hard Boiled (1992) – A tough cop named nicknamed Tequila (Chow Yun-Fat) must team up with an assassin (who also happens to be an undercover cop) to take down a high-ranking member of the Triad. John Woo directs the film, and you won’t want to miss the tense shootout in a maternity ward filled with babies.

Super Cop (1992) – The third film in the Police Story franchise, Jackie Chan reprises his role as lawman “Kevin” Chan Ka-Kui. The lovely Maggie Cheung plays Kevin’s girlfriend, and Michelle Yeoh co-stars as Inspector Jessica Yang. This time around, Kevin must go undercover in order to infiltrate a Chinese crime gang, but a chance encounter with his girlfriend may place everything in danger.

A Better Tomorrow (1986) – John Woo does it again, this time with Chow Yun-Fat, Ti Lung and Leslie Cheung. The central focus of the story is on a pair of brothers, one a cop and one a criminal. When the former goes to prison, the latter blames him for the death of their father. Yun-Fat plays Mark, a close friend who aches for revenge against the devious Shing (Waise Lee).

Bullet in the Head (1990) – Yet another action masterpiece from John Woo, this Chinese action film focuses on three friends who must leave Hong Kong after they kill a gang member. It’s 1967, so their flight to Saigon gets them embroiled in the Vietnam War with tragic consequences.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) – Made on a budget of $15 million, this Ang Lee film achieved massive international success and became the highest-grossing foreign film in U.S. box office history. Numerous quality fight scenes abound, including lots of eye-popping wire work. Stars Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi.

Once Upon a Time in China (1991) – Jet Li plays legendary Chinese folk hero Wong Fei Hung in this action-packed motion picture. There’s a kidnapping plot afoot, and several villainous Americans are involved. It all culminates in a martial-arts showdown, with Wong Fei Hung and his followers coming out on top.

Once Upon a Time in China II (1992) – Jet Li returns as Wong Fei Hung and gets caught up in all sorts of dangerous political intrigue. There’s a showdown with Priest Kung, the evil leader of a nationalist cult, but the real highlight is a showdown between Jet Li and Donnie Yen (as General Nap Lan). If you’re a fan of Jet Li’s, this final fight (which includes lots of great work with the staff) is not to be missed.

Police Story (1985) – Jackie Chan considers this his best film in terms of action, and there’s little wonder why. From a car chase straight through (and I do mean through) a shanty town, to the impressive climax at a shopping mall, Police Story is filled with more action than the casual fan can handle. The best stunt is when Chan slides several stories down a pole and crashes through a pane of glass (dislocating his pelvis and injuring his back in the process).

Drunken Master II (1994) – While it wasn’t released in the U.S. until 2000 (until the title The Legend of Drunken Master), this film was well worth the wait. Jackie Chan reprises his role as Wong Fei Hung, a master of drunken boxing, and this time he takes on uppity Brits intent on stealing all the treasures of China. The fight scenes are incredible, especially a clash underneath a train and the climactic sequence between Chan and Ken Lo. The latter may very well be the best martial arts sequence ever captured on film.

Way of the Dragon (1972) – Bruce Lee wrote, directed and starred in this film about a martial arts master who travels to Rome to help out a friend being targeted by the Mafia. The iconic scene to watch out for is a dream showdown between Lee and a karate killer named Colt (played by Chuck Norris). One of the rare cases in which Walker, Texas Ranger doesn’t come out on top.

House of Flying Daggers (2004) – One of the many pictures inspired by the success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, this film stars Takeshi Kaneshiro and Zhang Ziyi. Zhang Yimou directs, and you can expect the same use of bold colors as in his previous film, Hero. Martial arts are still on display, but this one also features a prominent romantic plot. If you’re trying to get your girlfriend into martial arts movies, this might be a good place to start.

Just Heroes (1989) – Ever wonder what happens when a triad leader dies? Watch Just Heroes and find out. Apparently, everyone begins intriguing and loading their guns, and the whole affair culminates in a big, bloody shootout. Since it’s directed by John Woo, you can bet that at least half the showdown will take place in slow motion. Starring Danny Lee, Stephen Chow, and David Chiang.

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If these 12 good Chinese action movies have you in the mood to destroy something, try reading the following to calm down:

This entry was posted on Friday, January 15th, 2010 at 9:42 am and is filed under Good Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

13 Responses to “12 Good Chinese Action Movies”

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January 17, 2010


Number 5 on this list is by far the best one. Hard Boiled is okay, I guess.

October 28, 2010

Arnold Borden

The only change I would make is replace House of Flying Daggers with Hero.

November 9, 2010

kabiru tukur

that’s very nice films keep trying.


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