Chinese martial arts cinema is legendary amongst afficionados of combat. The rich range of movies produced by the Shaw Brothers’ studio and its Hong Kong contemporaries from the 50’s to the 80’s stands as one of the most fascinating libraries of combative entertainment in history; the physical skill and acrobatic prowess of the performers therein is likewise a matter of legend.
Flash Point with Donnie Yen
Classic figures of popular martial arts were produced by the Hong Kong movie business: Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Chow Yun Fat, Sammo Hung, and Jet Li were made famous internationally primarily due to their starring roles in Hong Kong Gung Fu and generic action movies.
However, Chinese martial arts cinema- like Chinese martial arts themselves- have always been stylized affairs. Some would argue… *too* stylized.
For instance, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was a tour-de-force of visual art and dance… but it was as far from an accurate depiction of combat (and therefore of martial arts), as one can get. Read more of this post