A few reasons why I enjoy watching Asian action films, is to learn about their culture, their country’s history, to watch their fresh storylines and of course to watch those awesome fight scenes! There’s just something really enjoyable about Asian actions movies, those interesting storylines combined with amazing fight scenes which have the ability to captivate you. You follow the story intently while you anticipate the next beautifully choreographed fight scene. Just waiting to be blown away by those impressive hand to hand combat scenes, or those outrageous flying kicks.
So if I managed to capture your attention with my reasons for loving Asian action films check out these 13 Asian action movies from the 2000s which you will definitely enjoy.
A group of assassins’ scheme plan and prepare to kill an evil lord who is causing suffering amongst the people. A bloody, violent and literally cut-throat action movie, 13 Assassins manages to split its drama and action well, providing some detail on each assassin and having enough time showing the preparation and journey before the all-out war which takes place. 13 Assassins devotes 45 minutes of its film to engaging, gripping and brutal sword fights. This movie is definitely a treat for action fans.
The Man From No Where
A quiet pawnshop keeper with a “very specific set of skills” takes on a drug-and-organ trafficking ring in hope of saving his only child friend who has been “taken” from him. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Well that’s because The Man From No Where is like the Korean version of taken, but with better and more brutal action. Although this film has a few gun fights, when the hand to hand fight scenes occur they are awesome! The Man From nowhere has a good storyline and some amusing villains making an highly entertaining action film.
One of my favourite action movies, A S.W.A.T. team becomes trapped in a tenement run by a ruthless mobster and his army of killers and thugs. The Raid may have a basic plot but the brilliant choreographed realistic fight scenes make up for it. The raid is extremely action-packed and has different non-stop hand-to-hand and weapon-to-hand fight scenes. This film is truly a treat for action fans; the movie surpasses many other action films due to its fantastic fights. Once you have finished watching The Raid, check out its just as awesome sequel The Raid 2.
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When the head of a statue sacred to a village is stolen, a young martial artist goes to the big city and finds himself taking on the underworld to retrieve it. Ong Bak is a jaw shattering, head cracking, rib breaking action movie filled with vicious kicks. Tony Jaa as Ong Bak is ruthless in this film delivering deadly elbows to the head, lethal knees to the ribcage and brutal body breaking blows. Tony Jaa delivers a fantastic performance in Ong Bak and it is probably one of his best movies.
A defence officer, Nameless, was summoned by the King of Qin regarding his success of terminating three warriors. Probably one of the most visually stunning action films I have ever seen. Mix that in with creative storytelling and beautiful fight scenes and you have a great movie. While watching Hero you won’t just be in awe of the wonderfully choreographed fight scenes but you will be fascinated by the pure beauty of it, the colours, the scenery, the clothes, everything about Hero is just lovely.
Kung Fu Killer
A martial arts instructor from the police force gets imprisoned after killing a man by accident. But when a vicious killer starts targeting martial arts masters, the instructor offers to help the police in return for his freedom. Kung Fu Killer contains exciting, entertaining and gripping fight scenes from beginning to end, with an interesting storyline and an excellent villain to back it up. This is just what every good action flick needs. Each fight was a different style (sword fights, boxing, grappling etc) making them unique and fresh.
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An autistic girl with powerful martial art skills looks to settle her ailing mother’s debts by seeking out the ruthless gangs that owe her family money. From the director of Ong Bak, Chocolate is a movie just as brutal but with a female autistic protagonist who can really kick ass. Zen looks to settle her mother’s debt by mercilessly beating the crap out of every gang member in her way. Chocolate’s well-choreographed fight scenes definitely deliver, the film is packed with many fight scenes but the fights never get stale as the different settings and weapons add some sort of freshness and excitement.
A true story about the legendary Wing Chun master Ip Man from Fo Shan, China and his life before and during the Japanese invasion of 1937. Ip man is an emotional and dramatic movie filled with superb martial art scenes. The martial art scenes were spread out through the movie well and were mixed in brilliantly with the story. Ip Man is worth watching, not just because of its fantastic fight scenes, but because it’s an inspiring story about a real person.
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Kung Fu Hustle
A wannabe gangster aspiring to join the notorious “axe gang” scams the people of pig sty alley into believing he is a member. However some residents living in pig sty alley exhibit special powers to defend their village. Kung Fu Hustle is definitely not a serious action film, in fact it’s a completely absurd, hilarious Kung Fu movie packed with loads of action, jokes and crazy characters. Kung Fu Hustle will have you rolling on the floor laughing whilst blowing you away with its cool fight scenes.
The Good, The Bad, The weird
The story of two outlaws and a bounty hunter in 1940s Manchuria and their rivalry to possess a treasure map while being pursued by the Japanese army and Chinese bandits. The Good, The Bad, The Weird a ridiculous Korean western film inspired by the good the bad and the ugly. All the action in this film are gun fights, but it’s still pretty awesome. The Good, The Bad, The weird never takes itself too seriously and provides wacky action, enjoyable gun fights, fun characters and some amusing scenes.
Jet Li stars in this action-packed biography of Chinese Martial Arts Master Huo Yuanjia, who is the founder and spiritual guru of the Jin Wu Sports Federation. Fearless has a strong plot which is based on a true story. During Huo Yuanija’s mission to be the champion of Tianjin we are provided with outstanding fight scenes which are choreographed superbly. Seriously these fight scenes will really leave an impression, fearless is also worth a watch to see Huo Yuanija’s journey of finding himself and understanding the true meaning of Wushu.
A papermaker gets involved with a murder case concerning two criminals leading to a determined detective suspecting him and the former’s vicious father searching for him. Although Dragon has a few good fight scenes it doesn’t have as many as the other movies on this list. But what makes dragon so impressive is the direction and cinematography. At the beginning of the film the cinematography is pretty impressive as the papermaker recalls a recent crime that occurs. The compelling story had great characters and a few gripping fight scenes. Making Dragon an interesting action film.
War of the Arrows
Set during the second Manchu invasion of Korea, Nam Yi, the best archer in Korea, goes up against the Qing Dynasty to save his younger sister Ja In – who was dragged away by Manchurian. War Of The Arrows has a nice story with interesting characters. Most of the action in this movie are arrows and sword fights, but these fights don’t disappoint. The action in this film is shot beautifully and the flying arrow scenes are magnificent. As we follow Nam Yi on his journey to save his sister, War Of The Arrows delivers fun and visually stunning arrow scenes, merciless villains and intense forest scenes.