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Iron_Leopard

Martial Arts movies you watch for the story more than the action.

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What are those films you feel have a better story than fight scenes? A few that come to mind for me are "Blood Brothers", "Five Deadly Venoms", "Have Sword, Will Travel",  "Hero (2002)". I know there's others I'm forgetting. 

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One that springs to mind for me was The Barefooted kid.It has decent fight scenes but for me it was a great film which just so happens to contain fight scenes rather than a Kung fu movie that has a decent story.?

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Isn't this question an oxymoron?:tongueout

I think I get where you're coming from though.  Ideally, any martial arts movie I watch should be a combination of great story and great action.  Otherwise, just go on youtube and type in 'kung fu movie fight clips' (a demographic which I'm sure exists).  The concept of just fast-forwarding to the fight scenes has never been one that appeals to me, because when I watch a fight, I want it to be for a reason, which should be provided by the story.

However if I had to choose, I'd likely go with any pre-Venoms era Chang Cheh flick.

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6 hours ago, One Armed Boxer said:

Isn't this question an oxymoron?:tongueout

I think I get where you're coming from though.  Ideally, any martial arts movie I watch should be a combination of great story and great action.  Otherwise, just go on youtube and type in 'kung fu movie fight clips' (a demographic which I'm sure exists).  The concept of just fast-forwarding to the fight scenes has never been one that appeals to me, because when I watch a fight, I want it to be for a reason, which should be provided by the story.

However if I had to choose, I'd likely go with any pre-Venoms era Chang Cheh flick.

The more I think about it I agree. Chang Cheh's early films did lack in great fight scenes but they made up for it with great stories.

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Great call on the early Chang Cheh flicks. Also all of Sun Chungs top movies, although the MA is good, that's not what makes them most memorable. Killer Constable is another Shaw film that fits the description here, although the action is good in a more direct and dramatic way. Dragon (Wu Xia) for a more recent film.

 

As One Armed Boxer pointed out, the best MA films are those where the action is great but compliments the story.. Look at SPL, some of the very best fights in modern MA films, yet there really isn't much fighting in the movie, and it packs a great dramatic punch.

Edited by paimeifist

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I would choose Chee Keong-Cheung's Underground (or 12) for one because it may seem like a tournament film, but it also shows the respect the fighters have for each other. Two brilliant dramatic moments that for me drove the film are:

Spoiler

Joey Ansah brutalizing Zara Phythian's teacher character to a coma and he visits her in the hospital room. He breaks down and apologizes.

Then there's the death of Liang Yang's character in a 3-on-1 assault fight in the semi-finals. The other fighters actually attend his funeral and pay their respects to their comrade in a very brilliant scene.

There's also Ekachai Uekrongtham's Beautiful Boxer, because it not focuses on Muay Thai, but this being a biopic of the transgendered female Nong Toom, Asanee Suwan brings in both a fighting and very dramatic performance in the role of Nong.

I also did like Sammo Hung's The Bodyguard because while it is more dramatic, once he finally lets the action loose, he really gives it his all IMO.

Then of course, Best of the Best. It is about a team really coming together while in training for their fight against Team Korea. The bonds eventually grow strong as they overcome their own personal struggles in order to take on Team Korea. And who could ever forget that final scene. It still brings me to tears...literally.

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