Archives for posts with tag: martial arts films

A Chinese film partially bankrolled by Russians in which oppressed people are saved by the power of love. Sorry about the spoiler, but the plot of “Iron Mask” (2020) isn’t very important. Nor is the title (There’s a guy in a mask, but he’s not even the main character. The original title, which has something to do with a dragon, apparently didn’t translate well from Russian to English.). Anyway, this is an Olden Times action/adventure film bursting with choreographed fight scenes worthy of Jackie Chan, who is a producer and co-stars. Arnold Schwarzenegger – bless him – plays an English prison warden.

I once watched a bunch of local kids perform choreographed martial arts moves to a medley of Michael Jackson songs. I was struck by the power and beauty that the music revealed. Seriously. “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000) takes that concept (minus Mr. Jackson), mixes Asian mysticism with the plot structure and cinematography of a cowboy movie, and creates a sublime result. For the most part, the acting is as emotionless as the subtitles. But in most subtitle movies I don’t really care, because I’m looking at words, not faces. The preposterously beautiful martial arts scenes are another matter entirely.