Beginning in the early 20th century, Martial Arts movies were traditionally packed with fights as a method of telling the protagonist’s story, as well as expressing their development. Often, these particular fight scenes are used as the vocal selling point to its audience, twisting the aggression of the fighters into a key entertainment factor of the genre. From DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda to the action-packed Furious 7, the development of Martial Art Movies has shown a contemporary shift from the traditional Chinese heritage to Hollywood Blockbusters.
Ip Man (2008)
Following the Japanese invasion of China during the Second World War, Ip Man recounts one man’s opposition against the Japanese forces. As a hub of Southern Chinese Martial arts, the protagonist (Ip Man) suffers a terrible, oppressive life under the Japanese rule of his home in Foshan; however, as the focal point of the genre, Ip uses his skills as a favorable fighter in order to defend himself and his country from the malicious General Miura.
As the protagonist, Donnie Yen portrays a functional depiction of martial artist Ip Man due to his background in Kung Fu. Reverting back to his childhood, Yen trained in a variety of forms of martial arts, including Japanese karate, Korean taekwondo and western boxing. Consequently, this honed his performance as Ip Man, with the movie gaining an 8.1/10 rating on the critical site IMDb.
Kung Fu Panda (2008)
Out of all the movies listed within this article, Jack Black’s Kung Fu Panda is the most contemporary approach to martial art movies of the last century. Through the representation of a Kung Fu fanatic, Po incorporates the hero’s narrative archetype from zero to hero that is usually presented within tradition wuxia films.
Despite the possible controversy brought into the genre through an animated comedy, Kung Fu Panda also provided Dreamwork Animations a big success, grossing of $20.3 million on its opening day and $60.2 million on its opening weekend. Jack Black also contributed significantly to the success of the movie, ultimately bringing the martial arts world into the lives of a much younger audience.
Furious 7 (2015)
As an exceedingly popular film franchise, Fast and Furious is a tremendously fast-paced action movie incorporated with intricate fight scenes of traditional American and Chinese nature. Seen more frequently in its sequel, Furious 7 became the fastest film to earn $1 billion globally, demonstrating the success of the outlandish fighting styles achieved by the martial artist actors. These included the likes of Tony Jaa, a Thai born fighter who exhibited his natural talent in his biggest fight scene against Paul Walker. As Furious 7 was his debut Hollywood break, searching for something as simple as Tony Jaa net worth emphasizes the success of the action and Kung Fu combination.
If after reading this article you have developed a keen interest in wuxia films and the genre of martial arts, then log in Netflix US, Amazon Prime, or Now TV and binge away. But remember, in the style of Quentin Tarantino, ‘revenge is never a straight line!’