Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

My Kingdom For A New Kung Fu Movie…

Is it just me, or is there a serious shortage of kung fu/fighting movies these days?

Back when I first started this blog, the genre was swimming with new titles to choose from.

Ip Man 2 and True Legend had just come out in theaters, and Undisputed 3 was out on video around the same time, not to mention a host of other (trashy) fight movies such as Coweb and Bad Blood were making the rounds as well.

 

Pictured: Industry veteran, Kane Kosugi locks arms with up-and-coming prospect, Jiang Lui Xia. Keep an eye on her, she's pretty talented for an internet star...

While Hong Kong recently saw the release of The Legend is Born: Ip Man, the pile of shit known as City Under Siege, and Donnie Yen’s Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen, as far as I’ve heard (and in the case of The Legend is Born: experienced firsthand) not one of these movies turned out to be worth the wait.

City Under Siege: 80% chance of it being "good-bad."

Damn, a lot of “Legend” movies came out in the past year…

Regardless, what happened to all the good fighting movies!?

Even though all of the movies that I just mentioned were released in the past year or so, I think the main reason for my concern/discouragement, is the fact that I may in fact have already waded my way through the vast majority of the kung fu/fighting movies I want to see, leaving me only new releases to look forward to seeing.

You see, quality Kung fu movies are like big budget action films.

At first glance it may seem like there’s a never ending supply of them, however when you take a step and really examine the history of the genre, it becomes all too clear that there really aren’t too many of them.

 

Did I mention that only about 2% of big budget action films are at all worthy your time? Pictured is a prime example of the other 98%.

In the case of big budget action films, this stems from the fact that the blockbuster action film has really only been around for 35-40 years, not to mention the fact that only so many producers exist on the planet to fund such massive monetary endeavors from year to year.

 

Hey Bruckheimer, give it a rest, 'k?

In the case of quality kung fu movies though, the main issue comes in the form of there being only a handful of outstanding performers capable of headlining entire films.

Athleticism and martial arts skills are one thing, but the ability to perform convincingly and dynamically on camera is a totally different beast.

 

Take for example, Randy Couture. Great fighter in real life, TERRIBLE on-screen performer. Acting included.

That being said, there really aren’t that many must-see kung fu/fighting movies, and in my case; I’ve reached a point where I’m running out of new movies to experience.

Sure, there’s the occasional classic that I may have missed and probably should see, (such as the early Sammo Hung flick: The Victim) not to mention there are a few rare and/or elusive films that I have yet to see, (I’m lookin’ at you Merantau and The Broken Path!) but for the most part, I’ve seen the one’s I really wanted to see.

Maybe I was spoiled by Donnie Yen’s blitz of Hong Kong cinema over the past 6 years, but goddamnit; I want a new kung fu movie to get excited about!

Here’s hoping something special happens in the world of kung fu cinema in the next few months, otherwise I swear I’m gonna’ have bust out some faux kung fu moves on some helpless pedestrian just to keep from going into withdrawals…

RANDOM, YET AWESOME, PIC OF BRUCE LEE KILLING CHUCK NORRIS!

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8 Responses

  1. Sean Parker says:

    Seconded. It’s been a long time since anything in the action genre really grabbed hold of me. In fact I can pinpoint when that was – early 2005, when Ong Bak came to the states. It was often stupid and sometimes uneven, but damn… I can’t lie to myself and say that movie didn’t rock my teenaged mind to the core. Course, we all know how gracelessly Jaa fell in his subsequent works thus far…

    We really do need a massive shake-up in the roster of prolific action producers. I know a good chunk of our generation would kill for a movie made for them that doesn’t do it in a horrifically condescending pop-star laden mess… best example I can think of is the tremendously mediocre Gen-X Cops, followed by Jackie Chan propping himself up with that cast for New Police Story. Blah.

    I promise if I make it anywhere in the industry, this will be a top priority issue!

    (Also, I find it absolutely hilarious that the auto-generated “possibly related posts” on this is referencing the blog entry “Why ‘The Forbidden Kingdom’ is a martial arts movie classic.” Well, make that hilarious and utterly depressingly disheartening…)

    • aznbadger says:

      Haha, didn’t notice that about the Forbidden Kingdom!
      Speaking of which, a coworker of mine found out I was a kung fu movie fan, and for whatever reason felt the need to talk-up Forbidden Kingdom to me.
      I distinctly recall giving him the nastiest stink-eye I could manage, and then quietly went back to work…
      Anyway, thanks for the input Mr. Parker, always good to hear from you!

  2. BOB SAGGOT says:

    Awww, I liked The Island.
    I know, that just means I have terrible taste, LOL. Oh well. ;._.

  3. Tory says:

    Dude, you’re freaking me out. First, the Guyver and now I find out that we’re in the same kung fu predicament. I’ve gotten through so much of Jackie’s stuff where I’m at the point that I’m having to buy stuff like Accidental Spy now. I’m trying to catch up on Sammo’s stuff too and I’m waiting for the right moment to buy (yep, you guessed it) The Victim. So that should keep me occupied for a bit.

    And I agree with Sean for the most part, except I had a blast with Gen-X Cops. Things need to be shaken up a bit. Either that or Donnie and Jaa start doing a movie a month.

    • aznbadger says:

      Sadly, from what I’ve read of The Legend of Chen Zhen, ‘ole Donnie Yen might finally be starting to slow down. Apparently there was some fairly obvious use of stunt doubles for some of the action beats, particularly the parkour segments. As for Tony Jaa, I’ve always felt his physical gifts (yes, he is in fact gifted)are pretty much the cream of the crop, his movies never really “did it” for me. I like watching someone “do” awesome things to people, but I like watching 2 fighters exchange awesome moves a whole lot more. Also, his movies tend to be utter crap outside of the action aspect… I think we’re about due for someone new. Who that is, I have no clue; but I eagerly await their arrival.

  4. codecrackx15 says:

    Kung Fu movies have gone more epic these days with good ones such as Red Cliff (international version only) being more of the genera that gets made. Another problem is Asia is facing the end of the action hero much like we did when Stallone, Arnold, and Chuck Norris starting get up there in age. Jet Li and Jackie Chan and Andy Lau are all on more of a decline with age setting in.
    I’d still like to see Zhang Ziyi in some more movies.

  5. nirmala says:

    Have you guys seen Iko Uwais’ latest movie “The Raid”? Critics label it as the best action movie in years. Too bad, people in the US might only see the US remake version of it as Sony’s Screen Gem is planning the remake.

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