The Kung Fu movie genre is one of the biggest movie genres of all time. China, in particular Hong Kong have led the way and have remained the leaders for making the best kung fu movies. So what makes a classic martial arts movie? Let’s take a look.
The thing about martial arts movies is that they are timeless. Even the old ones just get better with time and gain classic status, while some of the newer movies coming out are instant classics.
The older style of movies employed less special effects such as hidden wires and CGI and depended solely on the martial arts skills of the actors. When CGI first became big, many Chinese movie makers were very quick to use it in their all of their movies at every opportunity, much to the dismay of many movie goers.
Some of the more recent kung fu movies have forgotten all about CGI and only use hidden wires very sparingly for dramatic effect. One example is the 2008 movie ‘Ip Man’ staring Donny Yen. The movie was a showcase for Chinese martial arts and demonstrated some classic story telling. Not surprisingly it received a whole host of rewards at the Hong Kong movie awards.
Everyone enjoys different types of martial arts movie but for me the best kung fu movies are the ones which are set in old China and show how life used to be in this fascinating country. The good thing is that there are just so many kung fu movies available that it would take a whole lifetime to watch.
Many are available very cheaply as well via the internet which means building up a vast library of classic martial arts movies isn’t a very expensive hobby at all. There are literally thousands and thousands to choose from.