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I must admit to being a bit of a martial arts movie nut. I have actually studied various forms over the years but never excelled to great heights. As far as the movies go, I have been a true fan watching everything from the older Hong Kong kung Fu films to the more modern crime-fighting films by guys like Steven Segal or even Jason Statham. To be a true fan of the Martial Arts film it’s good to look back a bit. In the 1970’s some of the best Kung Fu films were coming out of Hong Kong films like Five Fingers Of Death in 1972 and Master Of The Flying Guillotine in 1976. Plus, the best Martial Artist ever to live, Bruce Lee, made his best movies that decade from The Way Of The Dragon to Enter The Dragon and beyond. 1978, though, it was a fantastic year for Martial Arts films. The Five Deadly Venoms, The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin, and one of the best MA films ever made, Drunken Master, were all released that year. I’ve been throwing movie titles at you so without going on too much more, over the next 20-some-odd years more excellent Kung Fu films were made, both in Hong Kong and America. In the 80’s and 90’s the Chinese were releasing films like Iron Monkey, while Chuck Norris and Steven Segal were doing their own thing here. At the turn of the Millennium I wondered if it would continue and it did almost right away.
The following is a list of the 6 best films of this genre, in my opinion, since the year 2000. I must forewarn you that if you intend to watch any of these you may have to contend with subtitles unless the DVD edition that you use provides dubs. I also want to note that I selected these, not only for the excellence of fighting, but the direction, cinematography, wire-work, and overall design. See what you think.

#6 – Bodyguards and Assassins (2009)

Director: Teddy Chan
Writers: Junli Guo, Tin Nam Chun

The film is a piece of Chinese history. I takes place in 1905, when the arch-revolutionist Sun Yat-Sen makes an important secret visit to Hong Kong. He is to meet with other leaders of the Tongmenghui to discuss plans for overthrowing the Qing dynasty. When locals find out that assassins have been sent to kill him, they put together a group of students, businessmen and even townspeople to act as protection for him from the time he gets off the boat through the meeting until he leaves. I’m not sure how historically accurate the film is, but it is well filmed and packed with action.

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