Yuen Woo-ping is a Chinese martial arts choreographer and film director, renowned as one of the most successful and influential figures in the world of Hong Kong action cinema. Today, we countdown the best fight scenes in his career. See if your favorite made the list!
Jet Li vs Donnie Yen
One of the film’s most refreshing features, however, was the inclusion of a complex villain in the form of Donnie Yen’s Charismatic Manchu military commander/imperial guard General Lan. Despite being pitted against our heroes, he is a man that is hard for the audience to despise when he’s telling his men not to hurt civilians or having a brief heart to heart with Wong on their country’s chaotic state. The climax, a memorable fight with Donnie Yen, is an absolute classic, with both giving their all. The speed and technique shown during the double-pole fight is staggering, and Yen’s moves with his cloth staff are gob-smacking.
Jet Li vs. Chin Siu Ho
Choreographed by Yuen Woo Ping. A really inventive fight showing old school kung fu from Siu Ho against modern kickboxing from Jet.
Neo Vs Morpheus
During a training sequence, after Neo has learned Kung fu, there is some drama with Morpheus as he tries to lead Neo through his newly discovered life. In this scene, Neo is proving to Morpheus that he can fight using Kung fu. The point of the training is to teach Neo that, if he is the One, he can learn to move faster than any one else in every way. At the end of the sequence, Neo essentially proves to Morpheus, not that he is the One, that he is faster then him.
Jet Li vs Iron Shirt Yim
Iron Shirt Yim enforces the Iron Shirt style which is a form of hard style martial art exercise for protecting the human body from impacts in a fight. This is one of the 72 arts of the Shaolin Temple. Some martial arts are based on the idea that a correctly trained body can withstand more damage than one that is untrained. Iron Shirt is said to be a series of exercises using many post stances, herbs, qigong and body movements to cause the body’s natural energy to reinforce its structural strength. To see Jet Li battle this stance is truely remarkable.
Jackie Chan vs Yan Ti San
Jackie fights and gets beaten up by Yan Ti San while in his underwear. It is an early example of the comedic kung fu style for which Jackie Chan became famous for.
Jackie Chan vs Jet Li
While both Jet Li and Jackie Chan, who are close friends, have long expressed a mutual desire to work together, it wasnt until “Forbidden Kingdom” that either had found an appropriate project that featured two strong roles and memorable fight sequences. The results were the highlight of the film.
Ziyi Zhang vs. Michelle Yeoh
The fight sequences are stunningly choreographed and the ‘flying’ looks spectacular. While a big thing has been made of Chow Yun Fat and Zhang Ziyi’s treetop battle, the one for me is between Michelle Yeoh’s Shu Lien and Ziyi’s Jen. Both instances, both in the courtyard and the dojo are, quite frankly, one of the most astounding displays of martial arts I have EVER been lucky enough to witness. While Bruce Lee can certainly do the real thing, and he is without doubt the original and best, Wo Ping’s sequencing of the fight scenes is truly revolutionary.
Donnie Yen vs. Rongguang Yu
One of the most prominent leading roles for Rongguang Yu as Iron Monkey…he displays fantastic movements and feel for fighting here in this rooftop fight even though he only had limited kung fu training.
Black Mamba and California Mountain Snake
In the new Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill Vol 2 there is an extraordinary catfight between Daryl Hannah and Uma Thurman. I hear that in real life, too, these two fine actresses have a positively poisonous dislike for each other, which certainly led to some tension when they were both in London for the film’s premiere. The two were furious when they found the movie company had booked them into the same hotel, the Dorchester. And when the time came for both to head off to the premiere in Leicester Square, Miss Thurman would not leave her room until she was told by Miss Hannah’s assistant that Daryl was downstairs waiting. I guess real life animosity creates a good fight scene.
These blind street musicians form such a common part of the pre-1949 Chinese cityscape that they can become “invisible” assassins. Played by Jia Kang Xi and Fung Hak On , with considerable experience in Peking Opera and Shaw Brothers films, the assassins recognize each master’s talent and devise a strategy to use the mystical powers of their zither to combat them. Eventually, the landlady’s “roar” gives her away as an additional “master.” Her yell sends the musicians’ ghostly warriors flying—disintegrating into skeletons.