Donnie Yen is a very interesting character in that he is a serious martial artist as well as a choreographer, but he’s also skilled in music and hip hop as well as break dancing. The guy is kind of an all-around skilled person that can’t really be pigeon-holed no matter his fame does in fact come from his martial arts prowess. Throughout many of his movies he is seen as one of the many that just can’t be beaten no matter that he does get beat up on occasion. He does have those actors that he seems to enjoy working with most and will appear with them quite often, but he’s managed to branch out over the years and include some very big names in the films that he’s appeared in. In many ways he’s continued to change things up throughout his career and at this point he is one of the many that are revered by more than one culture and seem to belong to them as well considering his influence across the board when it comes to martial arts films.
Here are some of his best films to this point.
5. Kill Zone
This movie is definitely layered since in the beginning Chan is the only survivor along with the young girl he adopts, though as he is deemed to be living on borrowed time thanks to a brain tumor that will eventually kill him another officer has to be brought in to handle the case he was on. Ma, taking the cue to go after the mob boss that is leaning heavily on Chan, tries to do so without using any illegal or questionable methods, but when Chan and a few other officers are seen to do so he simply does what he can to remedy the situation and goes after the big boss. It’s a decent film that features a very interesting plot.
4. Iron Monkey
One reason why martial arts stories are so popular in the US is that they’re full of mystic and unknown qualities that a lot of people seem to think are quite feasible as well as exciting. They do get the exciting part right and the action sequences in this film are amazing, but defying the laws of gravity and flying about as though they weigh nothing seems to be less than believable. But upon sitting back to simply enjoy the tale and not be bothered by the impossibilities is easy since this movie is a lot of fun and not to be taken too seriously when it comes to the action sequences, which are very well done and enjoyable in a fictional sense.
3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Chirrut Imwe is kind of a surprise that a lot of people were happy to see since this is the first time that someone such as he has showed up in a Star Wars movie. He’s not a Jedi, he’s not a Sith, but yet he listens to the Force as either might and acts accordingly. In his own way he’s someone that listens to the Force but can’t use it in the same was the Jedi, though his motives seem to be his own. He’s not against violence but he will use it in a way that is not quite lethal but is definitely capable of taking down any that stand in his way. His brief moment in the Star Wars lineup is something that was rather interesting and very appreciated.
2. Ip Man 2
There were a lot of liberties taken with the legend of Yip Man and quite honestly Donnie Yen has been rather respectful in his estimation of the factual character. He did say that he wouldn’t do another film such as this on Yip Man after the second one, but he did go on to do a part 3 and there looks to be a part 4 in the making, so perhaps the money was simply too good to pass up, or the fervor with which Yip Man was being covered in films has finally died down. In any case he plays a rather interesting role that does detail part of the real character’s life, but is still fictitious in many ways.
1. Flash Point
Ma is just a special kind of ruthless in how he goes after a trio of brothers that have been carving a path of intimidation and terror through the movie and don’t seem to care who they’re going to hurt. He’s the kind of detective that does his job but is also kind of brutal in how he deals with people from time to time since he does have a tendency to lose his temper. When he takes on the brothers once again though near the end he kills all but one with a sniper rifle and then deals with the remaining man in hand to hand combat, finally choking him into submission.
Donnie Yen is kind of amazing to be certain, and completely awesome without a doubt.