Donnie Yen’s mixed martial arts films ranked from worst to best


How to do Donnie YenMMA-based movies ranked from worst to best? Donnie Yen has been a staple of Hong Kong action films since the 1980s with low budget hits like In the performance of their duties IV and Tiger Cage, and he eventually rose to global stardom with his portrayal of Bruce Lee’s Wing Chun kung fu mentor in the Ip man series. Right before that, the yen was already on the rise internationally, and it all started with mixed martial arts, or MMA.

Fan of MMA, the yen was the spearhead of its use in Asian action films, basing the action of the years 2005 Sha Po Lang and 2007 Breaking point around the integrated mix of MMA combat disciplines. Fast forward to 2013, and the world again saw what Yen could do as both an action star and fight choreographer in the MMA action settings with the film. Special identifier. After all that, the yen boarding John Wick: Chapter 4 can only be described as an appropriate crescendo.

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Yen’s in-depth martial arts knowledge and charisma, from tough guys to wise mentors, has helped him create some of the best battles in modern martial arts movies. Yen’s work in MMA-based films has helped the genre evolve and – as Bruce Lee himself has championed – Yen’s work has helped film fights adapt and flow as some water. Here are Donnie Yen’s MMA movies ranked from worst to best.

3. Special identity document

Donnie Yen and Ke Lo in a vertical special ID photo

Donnie Yen’s third MMA-based action film, Special identifier, comes decidedly in third place as well, but still largely delivers what fans of Yen’s innovation in Hong Kong action films adore. Yen plays undercover detective Chen Zilong, determined to infiltrate a Hong Kong Triad gang under the leadership of Xiong, played by Collin Chou, well known as Seraph in the first two. Matrix suites. His investigation leads him to get closer to an old friend of his and current Triad executor, Andy On’s Sunny, with his cover inevitably blown. Sunny’s role was originally intended for Vincent Zhao, and it’s likely that Special identifier Would have ended up looking very different if the typically stoic Zhao had played the film’s main antagonist rather than the looser On. Andy We didn’t have the biggest career launch with the ridiculous 2001 superhero movie Black Mask 2: city of masks, but he found his rhythm playing arrogant and rebellious antagonists in movies like True legend and Once upon a time in Shanghai, and he’s the most entertaining character in Special identifier like a charismatic gangster with a sharp tongue.

Donnie Yen’s mastery of MMA film remains clear, with Special identifier Kick-off with a match between him and Jackie Chan Drunk Master II enemy (and former bodyguard) Ken Lo. Chen Zilong’s battle with dozens of knife-wielding triads is also one of Yen’s best fights with multiple opponents, and harbors the movie’s best joke when Chen displays his contempt for his enemies unable to reach him from behind a window. of the kitchen. The culminating smackdown of the Yen and On Viaduct is also a dignified and brutal finale, involving a wrecked car teetering by the side of the road, and worth the price of admission to Special identifier, especially with the added touch of Sunny’s wallet sticking out of his jacket at one point.

2. Sha Po Lang (Kill Zone)

Image by Donnie Yen in Sha Po Lang

Donnie Yen MMA film trifecta took off and took no prisoners with 2005 Sha Po Lang (renamed Killing zone in the West). Yen portrays Hong Kong cop Ma Kwun, who is tasked with defeating Sammo Hung crime boss Wong Po. Yen being a longtime MMA fan, the action scenes of Sha Po Lang were conceived as an eclectic mix of disciplines, with fights starting with strikes, descending into grappling and swinging between the two in an action style that has frankly never been seen before in Hong Kong films. Wu Jing, then in full swing, which would cause a sensation with the Wolf warrior movies (especially Wolf warrior 2), also steals the show as Knife Assassin Jack; him and Yen going mad in a stick-to-knife alley fight is all Hong Kong action movie fans live for. This very sequence would later be intelligently reversed in the 2015 Spiritual Sequel. SPL 2: Time for consequences, with Wu Jing now a hero and wielding a baton against his blade-throwing foe.

Sha Po Lang also delivered on the Donnie Yen vs. Sammo Hung showdown that Hong Kong moviegoers have been waiting for ages. Hung is ice cold like Wong Po, but in the midst of his duel and Ma, Sha Po Lang Also humanizes it a bit when Ma momentarily loosens her grip around Po’s neck, allowing her to talk to his wife on a cell phone. Sha Po Lang doesn’t exactly end on a happy note, but it did show Donnie Yen’s predilection for game-changing and raising the bar for martial arts in action movies – a fairly regular occurrence in his impressive career.

RELATED: SPL (Kill Zone): Martial Arts Movies Ranked, Worst To Best

1. Flash point

Donnie Yen Knee Shot In Flash Point Photo

A year before he finally conquered the world in the first Ip man, Donnie Yen brought MMA action to its absolute heyday by Breaking point. Yen’s base model playing a Hong Kong cop chasing gangsters and crime bosses in his MMA movies holds true in Breaking point, with Yen now playing Detective Ma Jun and being on the trail of gangster brothers Archer, Tony and Tiger, respectively played by Ray Lui, Collin Chou, and Shi Yan Neng (credited as Xing Yu). Many initially mistakenly took Breaking point be a prequel to Sha Po Lang, Yen once again plays a character named Ma and both take place in the late 90s before British rule over Hong Kong ended, but Breaking point quickly made it clear that Yen’s MMA films were an anthology linked by their common approach to action scenes. And of the three, none hit harder than Breaking point.

Orchestrated by frequent Yen collaborators Kenji Tanigaki and John Salvitti, Breaking pointThe action scenes are rough ballets of blood, fists, suffocation, sweat and pain. The movie insists Ma’s bad temper is his Achilles heel, and his market battle with Tiger sees all he held onto ultimately so unleashed that one could almost end up pitying the gangster. who just threw a child on concrete. What really did Breaking point mandatory viewing for action fans was the final battle between Ma and Tony. Yen and Chou’s graceful kicks and agility are counterbalanced by the ferocity of the fight itself, and the audible grip of Yen’s grappling techniques and the final of Breaking point quite simply makes for an unforgettable cinematic moment on every level. With Breaking point, Donnie Yen helped cement MMA in Asian action movies, and he’s still the best Donnie Yen MMA movie to this day, but with its talent for surpassing itself, Breaking point to be dethroned one day is not excluded.

NEXT: Ip Man: The Worst To Best Ranked Martial Arts Movie Series

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