Top 5 Fight Scenes by YWP

[04/01/12] 

We love kung fu films and the man who's trained most of Hollywood’s stars is Hong Kong legend, Yuen Woo-Ping. One of the most influential filmmakers in history, he’s directed or choreographed nearly every major kung fu scene in the past 30 years, including THAT scene in The Matrix.

His C.V. is outstanding. He essentially launched the careers of Jet Li, Donnie Yen, and Jackie Chan so we’re paying homage to his greatest scenes and films, as chosen by him. The Matrix doesn't even make the cut:

 

The Entire Movie of "Drunken Master" (1978) Directed by Yuen Woo Ping (YWP)

"In Drunken Master, we tried some new ideas by putting kung-fu and comedy together. At the time many action movies were too focused on violence and bloody combat. I wanted to make the fighting comic without losing the intensity and the sense of danger. It was an experiment that eventually became a trend."

 

Wong Fei-Hung (Jet Li) Versus Commander Lan (Donnie Yen), from "Once Upon a Time in China II" (1992) Directed by Tsui Hark

YWP: "The fight between a traditional bamboo stick and a "wet cloth-stick" in Once Upon A Time In China II was very memorable and innovative. It features the notion of utilizing common objects in daily life as weapons. Visually it is also very fun to watch."

 

Chen Zhen (Jet Li) Versus The Entire Japanese Dojo, from "Fist of Legend" (1994) Directed by Gordon Chan

YWP: "Jet Li's portrayal of Chen Zhen is different from Bruce Lee's approach for the same character. Bruce Lee is a master martial artist; his style is straightforward, practical and classic. My design for Jet Li was more modern and visually interesting.”

 

Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh) Versus Jen Yu (Zhang Ziyi), from "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (2000) Directed by Ang Lee

YWP: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon contains diverse fighting styles. Some are more realistic and some are more poetic. Each of them serves a narrative purpose. In fact, I also greatly enjoy those poetic ones, like the bamboo-top fights, which aren't common in my past movies.”

  

Iron Monkey (Yu Rongguang) and Wong Kei-Ying (Donnie Yen) Versus Hin Hung (Yen Shi-Kwan), from "Iron Monkey" (1993) Directed by Yuen Woo Ping

YWP: "Donnie Yen is very good at his footwork so in Iron Monkey I intentionally focused on his kicks. Normally I prefer choreographing one-on-one fights but Donnie and Yu Rongguang are both experienced martial artists. Directing Iron Monkey was a heart-warming experience, and as a whole, the movie gave me the chance to focus on actions as well as emotions.

 


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