Top 10 Asian Action Movies of All Time?

If you’re a fan of Kinji Fukasaku, Sammo Hung, or Lieh Lo, most of these titles may already be familiar to you. If you only know the lovely Yunjin Kim from the television series Lost, however, you’ve got some catching up to do on the topic of Asian action fare. Either way, you’re bound to enjoy watching our own “Movie Irv” and his special guest discuss the very best in this popular subgenre. Buckle up!

  • bill moores

    The best Asian movie I have seen is titled “The Five Fingers of Death.” I have it on dvd, but it does not capture the speed and great sound of the theatrical presentation.
    Great story with a charismatic hero who fights savage evil men with deadly skills. The final fighting scenes are not to be outdone in any other movie of its genre.

    p.s. known by other titles

  • http://www.facebook.com/Brintinacx Keith Abramo

    I agree with a lot of your selelctions. How in the world, though, could you forget Tony Jaa? The Protector or Onk Bok are incredible. You talk about jaw droppping stunts! Tony Jaa makes Jet Li AND Jackie Chan both look like rank amateurs. If you haven’t seen these films yet, you really need to. He does all his own stunts. Amazing! I guarantee you will rewind and rewind at least a half dozen times during his movies, because you just have to see how in the world did he just do that.

  • http://www.moviesunlimited.com George D. Allen

    Jackie Chan…a rank amateur? I guess now I have to catch up on some Tony Jaa. Irv/Mike may want to speak for themselves, but I have a feeling if I’d let the camera run longer they may have had quite a few other choices, Ong-Bak possibly among them. Me, I just want to find a respectable print of 1974′s Five Masters of Death, or whatever it’s called now.

  • David Ecklein

    Almost anything by Jackie Chan is entertaining on many levels, so I will not list them. If you can find the following, I suggest viewing these Asian action movies:

    Railway Guerrilla (D1956 China)
    Cops vs Thugs (D1975 Japan)
    Seven Samurai (D1954 Japan)
    Stray Dog (D1949 Japan)
    Yamato (D2005 Japan)
    She’s On Duty “Jambok-geunmu” (D2005 Korea)

  • Damon Foster

    I’ve watched & critiqued Asian films most of my life. I’m still amazed at how over-rated HARDBOILED and CITY ON FIRE are to me, have no memory of SHIRI, and feel you guys should improve your painfully bad pronunciation of Chinese names– but otherwise I agree with you both about 80%.

  • Hockeyguy 08

    As I am not a big fan of the genre I only know a couple of movies that fit the mode, I like Yojimbo and Sanjuro starring Toshiro Mifune as well as Seven Samurai. These movies have character development as well as action scenes.
    Some of the early Jackie Chan movies are entertaining as well as a number of Bruce Lee movies when he is on a revenge path..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1063274681 Irv Slifkin

    Seven Samurai and Yojimbo were both on my list before I finalized it. They are not only Asian action classics, but world classics, as are other greats from Kurosawa. I guess I decided to stick to the popcorn movies.

  • masterofoneinchpunch

    I hope you realized the poster you used was from The Big Boss (Fists of Fury) and not Fist of Fury (aka The Chinese Connection) which is what the film was picked for your choices.

    I did a list a few months ago detailing my top 50 HK films, of course there is much action on it including Hard Boiled and The Killer: http://www.criterionforums.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=861

    I can’t agree with King Boxer though. While it was the first film to really make a stir in the states it is nowhere near many of the Chang Cheh and Lau Kar-leung films in aesthetics.

    Of course with the Japanese films it is impossible to not think of the Baby Cart series, Zatoichi and many wonderful chambara films. With films like Yojimbo, Seven Samurai it makes it harder too, but they tend to be thought of more as artistic (which is noted in a previous post). I like the Yakuza films, but I do not think as highly of them with action aesthetics as I do with the HK wuxia, kung fu and even triad films.

    Tony Ja is missed though in this discussion. Only problem I have is usually with the storyline and acting ability. He does not have the charisma of Jackie, Sammo or even Yuen Biao.

  • masterofoneinchpunch

    I can’t believe my above comment still needs moderation…

  • masterofoneinchpunch

    I’ll test removing the link:

    I hope you realized the poster you used was from The Big Boss (Fists of Fury) and not Fist of Fury (aka The Chinese Connection) which is what the film was picked for your choices.

    I did a list a few months ago detailing my top 50 HK films, of course there is much action on it including Hard Boiled and The Killer: (link removed)

    I can’t agree with King Boxer though. While it was the first film to really make a stir in the states it is nowhere near many of the Chang Cheh and Lau Kar-leung films in aesthetics.

    Of course with the Japanese films it is impossible to not think of the Baby Cart series, Zatoichi and many wonderful chambara films. With films like Yojimbo, Seven Samurai it makes it harder too, but they tend to be thought of more as artistic (which is noted in a previous post). I like the Yakuza films, but I do not think as highly of them with action aesthetics as I do with the HK wuxia, kung fu and even triad films.

    Tony Ja is missed though in this discussion. Only problem I have is usually with the storyline and acting ability. He does not have the charisma of Jackie, Sammo or even Yuen Biao

  • http://www.moviesunlimited.com George D. Allen

    OUCH. Masterofoneinchpunch has landed a solid blow. Indeed, it is Fist(s) of Fury pictured, and not Fist, as it should be. I’ve made the appropriate annotation and afforded you the credit for keeping us honest (me, really, since I’m the one that heard “Fists” and hastily used the wrong art — which shows you I knew these movies less than our onscreen experts)! I’d love to see your top 50 HK commentary — we’ll see if we can’t make that happen.

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