Modern martial arts films without special effects

As time goes by, these are getting harder and harder to find. Even Jackie Chan, the gold standard, has started using CG. Tony Jaa’s career was stalled by the financial problems of Ong Bak 2-3, and Donnie Yen is iffy at best. JC and Jet Li are also getting too old.

So, what modern (since say 2005) martial arts movies are still being made without wires or special effects?

I don’t know but Ong Bak 2 was ludicrously awesome. And this:

makes me all kinds of excited for Ong Bak 3.

Sadly, the production has met with all kinds of problems. :frowning:

It’s out now though, maybe I’ll pick it up.

Dang, that reminds me I’ve got Ong Bak 3 on my DVR (yay for the free preview showings on HDNET Movies), but I still haven’t seen Ong Bak 2 yet (and it’s on Netflix Instant so I’ve got no excuse). I’ve got to get to those.

been said before by many people in many places, but the fight scenes in the bourne series, even with the shaky-cam, are awesome and “real”.

I’d grade it maybe a C overall, B+ or A- for a hollywood project. Matt Damon doesn’t have the physical gifts necessary to reach the bar set by say Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jaa, etc. Even at 50, Jet Li in say Unleashed was far more impressive.

Doesn’t he grab the body of a bad-guy and use him to cushion his fall as he jumps down a four-story stair well? If that was done without special effects, they should give the stuntman Matt Damons paycheck.

Say what you want about the remake of Karate Kid, but I’m pretty sure all those martial arts were real (albeit involving major use of stunt doubles).

I am by no means an expert on martial arts movies, but Chocolate seemed mostly real, except for a few parts. Certainly if you watch the blooper-reel credits, you’ll see that they were kicking and punching hard enough to hurt when a few blows don’t get pulled quite right, and the big scaffolding chase had some nasty falls in it that show that the actors weren’t all wired up.

Redbelt certainly qualifies.

Ip Man, though it used some wire work, was very subdued and a fantastic movie. Donnie Yen has still got it.

Yeah, I really liked Ip Man. I thought about naming it, but didn’t because of said wire work. I’m looking forward to watching the sequel.

I watched Ong Bak 2 and 3 over the weekend:

2 was pretty cool. I didn’t realize it wouldn’t follow the same character from the first movie, but that didn’t bother me–I liked that it was set before modern times. The fight scenes looked good, especially his test fights against the masters. The elephant scenes were a little corny, but original and fun. Also, his battle against the big baddies near the end was awesome.

3 was kind of a mess. It picks up where 2 leaves off, but they really ramped up the mystical/magical aspects that were just a small part of 2. I’m still not really sure what was going on with the crow and the king. And it was pretty dark and dreary, not really much fun to watch. There seemed to be a lot less fighting and more time spent on the main character brooding and fighting his inner demons.

Wow–I just watched *Chocolate *and the fight scenes are pretty awesome! Really nice choreography and interesting settings for the fights, like the above-mentioned scaffolding/sign chase. The meatpacking plant fight kicked ass, too. All the fight choreography reminded me very much of Jackie Chan’s work from 15-20 years ago.

(and just now reading a little more about this movie, apparently some scenes were originally filmed as direct move-for-move homages to some Jackie Chan and Jet Li fight scenes, and were going to be shown side-by-side on screen with the originals, but licensing issues forced them to redo or re-edit those scenes.)

Anyway, fun movie and I was impressed with the abilities of the lead actress.

Does ROCKY BALBOA count?

Batman Begins?

High Kick Girl released 2009 is an underrated gem. No wires, and the actors did all of their own stunt work with a lot of hard contact in the fights. It’s erratic in its directing and editing, but has some amazingly brilliant fight work.

I loved that movie. Cheezie, but also fun and funny as heck. And they made a big thing in their trailer about how the actors really really were beating the snot out of each other.