Best Action Scenes of All-Time: Jet Li Edition - The Part-Time Critic

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Best Action Scenes of All-Time: Jet Li Edition

Fearless (retrospective) « Grading Fight Scenes
Jet Li is a martial arts icon and, in my humble opinion, has produced far more high-quality action set pieces than any of his Expendables cast mates. Yes, Li has more high quality action than Stallone or Statham. Becoming a star in the wake of Jackie Chan, Jet Li separated himself from other kung fu stars by featuring a unique quickness, stylish acrobatics mixed with traditional styles, strong weapons work, and the ability to do acrobatic wire work all within a compact underdog stature. Li became a true star through his Once Upon a Time in China series that, unique for the genre, featured high production values, traditional martial arts, and lots of wide shots where he can do big quick sweeping moves to large crowds of people. His small stature and quick movement contrasts well against large forces of enemies. Jet's run of martial arts films from 1991 to 1994's kung fu masterpiece Fist of Legend is prolific (13 films in 4 years!) and produced most of his best sequences. Check out sequence #1 and #2 to see just how versatile, acrobatic, and quick Li was in this period.

After this phase of his career, Li began to focus on American crossovers (again in the wake of Jackie Chan). Like Chan, Li's international work didn't bring out the best in him. It wasn't until he teamed with Luc Besson that he found an international partner that was able to get memorable stuff. Check out Kiss of the Dragon and Unleashed for his best international work. In 2006, he essentially retired from the martial arts epic with strong work in Fearless. If you are interested in action, especially martial arts action, copy this list and spend some glorious time researching on Youtube.

Top 20 Action Sequences
15 Foreign Action Movies Guaranteed to Kick Your Ass | Moviefone
20. “Fight to Name a New Master at Jing Wu Men” -Fist of Legend
19. “Jackie vs. Jet” -The Forbidden Kingdom
18. “A ‘Friendly’ Pole Fight: Yen vs. Jet Li” -Once Upon a Time in China II
17. “Escape from the Hotel: Down the Laundry Chute and Out the Laundry Room” -Kiss of the Dragon
16. “Wong Fei-Hung vs. The Immortal Kung and the White Lotus Sect” -Once Upon a Time in China II

(15-11)
10 Things You Didn't Know About Kiss of the Dragon – BULLETPROOF ...
15. “Temple Pole Fight Mayhem” -Tai-Chi Master
14. “Apartment Fight: Colin Chou vs. Jet Li” -The Bodyguard from Beijing
13. “Former Brothers Platform Fight Over Michelle Yeoh” -Tai-Chi Master
12. “Police Station Finale: Lobby, Dojo, and Twins Single Handedly” -Kiss of the Dragon
11. “Red Flower Society Broken Up by the Emperor's Assasins: Li vs. Zhao Pt. 1” -The Legend

(10-6)
Hollywood Wallpapers And Pictures: jet li hero
10. “Finally: Huo vs. Four Fighters; Boxing, Spears, Fencing and Tanaka” -Fearless: Director’s Cut
9. “Nameless vs. Sky in the Mind” -Hero (Link)
8. “Finale: Rescuing his father - Fong Sai Yuk vs. Vincent Zhao Pt. 2” -The Legend (Link)
7. “Dojo Disaster: Chen Zhen Rampages on Students & the Master” -Fist of Legend (Link)
6. “Blindfolded Teaching: Li vs. Kurata” -Fist of Legend (Link)

(5-1)
5. “Finale: Wong Fei-Hung's vs Iron Robe Yim in a Ladder Fight” -Once Upon a Time in China (Link)
4. “Trashing the Restaurant: Master Huo vs. Maser Chin” -Fearless: Director’s Cut (Link)
3. “Finale: Re-capturing Danny - Li vs. Lambert” -Unleashed (Link)
2. “Can't Touch the Ground: Fong Sai Yuk Fights Soo Ahn on the Crowd's Shoulders” -The Legend (Link)

Jet Li Capsule Reviews - The Chinese Cinema - Medium
1. “Finale Fight: Chen Zhen vs. General Fugita” -Fist of Legend (Link)
- Li's one on one fight with Billy Chow is one of the great cinematic fights of all-time. It clocks in at about 8 minutes long and not only combines detailed choreography, punctuated moments of spectacle and impact, but manages to tell a story of adaptation and perseverance along the way. To my mind, this is about as perfect as a cinematic finale fight can get.

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