Sun Honglei and Louis Koo headline 'Drug War' from Hong Kong action maestro Johnnie To

Johnnie To’s ‘Drug War’ on Amazon Prime

Drug War (2012) relocates Hong Kong director / producer Johnnie To, the most rigorous and disciplined (and the most socially observant and politically savvy) of Asian crime movie auteurs, to the Chinese mainland. He trades the urban overcrowding and overheated capitalism of Hong Kong for the open plains and lonely highways of Tianjin but otherwise […]

Shu Qi in Hou Hsiou-Hsien's rapturous wuxia 'The Assassin'

Hou Hsiou-Hsien’s ‘The Assassin’ on Amazon Prime and Hulu

The Assassin (China, 2015) is a martial arts drama as cinematic poem. Chinese filmmaker Hou Hsiou-Hsien won the Best Director Award at Cannes for his direction, which reimagines the genre from a spectacle of action and choreography and acrobatic skill to a vision of stillness and tension. The first film from Hou in eight years, […]

Donnie Yen is legendary martial artist ‘Ip Man’ on Netflix

Hong Kong martial arts star Donnie Yen plays the legendary Ip Man (Hong Kong, 2008), teacher and grandmaster of Wing Chun, in this biographical drama (one in a long line of such tributes) based on the master’s life during the Japanese occupation of China. Yen is a superb screen fighter with an often bland presence. […]

Wong Kar-Wai’s ‘The Grandmaster’ on Netflix

Ip Man was the martial arts master who became a hero during World War II and a respected teacher who mentored, among others, Bruce Lee. And there’s been a cottage industry in Ip Man films in the last decade, most famously with Donnie Yen in the lead as the modest, unassuming master martial artist. The […]

Jackie Chan in the Hong Kong action film from Leo Zhang

‘Bleeding Steel’ – Jackie Chan is still in action on Amazon Prime Video

Now well over 60 years old, Jackie Chan remains a charismatic actor with some impressive moves that he puts on display in Bleeding Steel (China, 2017), a colorful but awfully silly science fiction action thriller from writer/director Leo Zhang. Jackie plays a Special Forces officer whose duty takes him from his dying young daughter to […]

Donnie Yen and Andy Lau in the Hong Kong crime drama from Wong Jing

Donny Yen and Andy Lau are ‘Chasing the Dragon’ on Netflix

Directed by the insanely prolific Hong Kong action veteran Wong Jing, Chasing the Dragon (China, 2017) is the filmmaker’s crime epic, a historical drama that charts the rise and fall of two notorious gangsters who thrived in the rampant corruption enabled by Britain’s colonial rule of Hong Kong in the 1960s. The title is slang […]

Jackie Chan stars in the China / India co-production directed by Stanley Tong

Jackie Chan in ‘Kung Fu Yoga’ on Netflix

For Kung Fu Yoga (China, 2017), Jackie Chan returns to the Indiana Jones-inspired adventure comedy of his 1986 hit Armour of God, albeit as an older, more modest archaeologist adventurer, for this co-production between China and India. Jackie is Professor Jack Chan, ostensibly the same character he played in The Myth, who is lured back […]