Americans Loved Wuxia Films in the ’00s

Hero - Zhang Yimou

I noticed something while perusing the Auteurs’ recent list of the top grossing foreign-language films of the ’00s that filled me with delight: five of the top ten films were wuxia or martial arts films.

  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (#1, 2000)
  • Hero (#2, 2002)
  • Fearless (#5, 2006)
  • Kung Fu Hustle (#6, 2004)
  • Iron Monkey (#8, 1993)

Other martial arts films that made the list were The Protector, (#12, 2005) and House of Flying Daggers, (#15, 2004). And I suppose one could make a case for Brotherhood of the Wolf, (#14, 2001).

Observant readers will note that Iron Monkey was initially released in 1993, when it came out in Hong Kong. However, it received a Quentin Tarantino-backed American theatrical release in 2001, thus qualifying it for the list.

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