Wanting again on 2018, one factor turns into instantly clear – we lovers of motion and journey had one hell of a yr on the films! What’s additionally clear is that, for these of us with a specific candy tooth for martial arts motion, we had a blast like only a few moviegoers did. Whether or not it concerned taking a drive to the native multiplex or pulling up the newest action-packed hit to reach on streaming platforms, 2018 handled us to 12 months of bare-knuckled, hot-blooded, martial arts-laden journey!
We’ve already run our countdown of 2018’s Prime 10 Martial Arts Films, together with the Prime 10 Martial Arts Fights of 2018, however now, the time has come to look forward. And we will plainly see that 2019 has a smorgasbord of goodies for motion aficionados to look ahead to. This yr is about to hit us with superhuman warriors delivered to life with movement seize, the subsequent rodeo of the world’s most deadly murderer, the return of the famed mentor of Bruce Lee, together with the long-awaited realization of Bruce’s pet challenge, and an absolute cavalcade of warrior ladies!
Nevertheless, earlier than we proceed any additional, a fast aspect word – martial arts followers are accustomed to our style being just a little on the unpredictable aspect than most with regards to launch dates, whether or not on account of logistical points or the character of overseas imports. So, earlier than diving proper in, listed here are some holdovers from final yr’s record that didn’t make landfall for many of us final yr, however which ought to achieve this this yr!
However first, a number of 2018 holdovers…
“Junglee”, “Huge Brother“, “Enter the Fats Dragon”, “Grasp Z: The Ip Man Legacy“, “Kung Fu Huge League“, “Invincible Dragon” and “Triple Menace” (and in terms of THIS one, realistically, it’s nonetheless within the primary spot. Nevertheless, now that the discharge date of “Triple Menace” is about, we will go forward and try the opposite contenders for 2019!)
The yr’s wanting superb already, simply from final yr’s holdovers! Assume you’re prepared for what the remainder of 2019 has in retailer? Then maintain tight, readers – right here (in descending order and with trailers the place out there) are KFK’s Prime 15 Most Anticipated Martial Arts Films for 2019!
- As soon as Upon a Time in Hollywood
- Challenge X-Traction
- Kingsman: The Nice Recreation
- Commando three
- Quick and Livid Presents: Hobbs and Shaw
- Into the Badlands: Season Three (half two)
- Alita: Battle Angel
- John Wick: Chapter three – Parabellum
- Wu Assassins
You recognize you’re in for a wild experience of surreal knocking on the fourth-wall when Quentin Tarantino’s within the director’s chair. Set within the hustle and bustle of 1969 Hollywood, the movie will reportedly comply with the exploits of Rick Dalton and Cliff Sales space, performed by Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, and their makes an attempt to interrupt into the enterprise, set towards the backdrop of the Manson Household murders. Tarantino beforehand ventured into martial arts filmmaking together with his 2003-2004 two-parter of bladed bloodletting, “Kill Invoice”. Nevertheless, what makes “As soon as Upon a Time in Hollywood” an actual wild card for martial arts followers is the presence of Mike Moh of “Road Fighter: Murderer’s Fist” fame within the position of Bruce Lee. With the homicide of Sharon Tate by the hands of the Manson household, Bruce naturally matches into the backdrop of the story. He famously served as battle choreographer on Tate’s 1968 movie “The Wrecking Crew” and even attended her funeral, so it’ll be enjoyable to see what Tarantino cooks up for Bruce on this True Hollywood Story. Enjoyable reality – Mike Moh had beforehand been a candidate to painting Bruce in 2017’s “Delivery of the Dragon”, although Philip Ng would finally assume the position. Hey, who ever stated alternatives don’t knock twice!
Pop quiz, scorching shot – Have you ever ever seen a zombie film set in medieval Korea, with feudal warriors battling hordes of blood-thirsty undead with slashing swords and swift kicks? Neither had we! And that’s precisely what the South Korean zombie actioner “Rampant” has in retailer for followers. The movie dropped final fall in Asia, however audiences within the English-speaking world will quickly have the prospect to see it for themselves, with Properly Go USA releasing the movie in North America on the finish of February. That’s actually all that’s wanted for this entry – typically, a wildly artistic, excessive idea premise is lots sufficient to get butts in seats. Deliver in your legion of the undead, “Rampant”!
Ever because the debut of “John Wick” in 2014, we’ve seen an ever-growing development of stunt individuals transitioning into directing, with that movie’s personal administrators, David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, being two of probably the most excessive profile examples. Nevertheless, we will additionally embrace stunt vet Jesse Johnson in that listing, as nicely. He’d already made the leap to directing within the early 2000’s with indie efforts like “Pit Fighter” whereas persevering with to work as a stunt skilled. Nevertheless, he’s actually dug into the deep finish of motion filmmaking within the final two years with “Savage Canine”, “Accident Man”, “The Debt Collector”, and the aforementioned “Triple Menace”. With all of these exemplary credit to his identify, Jesse is about to direct as soon as extra with the upcoming “Avengement”. Whereas there’s not a lot information in the mean time, the movie will reportedly centre on a British murderer, performed by Scott Adkins, on a mission of vengeance towards some bitter enemies from his previous, making the title a becoming one, certainly. The movie may also mark the fifth collaboration of Scott Adkins and Jesse Johnson (or the sixth, when you rely Scott’s minor look in “Pit Fighter”), and with the previous outcomes that’s yielded, “Avengement” is definitely one to be careful for!
Right here it’s, eventually, the yr’s compulsory Jackie Chan journey! As he’s gotten older, and his physique having gone by means of an ever-increasing quantity of wear-and-tear, Jackie’s made a transparent effort to reinvent himself. He’s nonetheless kicking applicable quantities of butt and doing his personal stunts wherever potential, however he’s transitioned in recent times right into a extra Clint Eastwood-esque persona, resembling in 2017’s “The Foreigner” (although he nonetheless hasn’t forsaken his comedic roots, as seen within the likes of “Kung Fu Yoga” and “The LEGO Ninjago Film”.)
With Scott Waugh’s “Undertaking X-Traction”, he’s decidedly leaning extra closely into the previous, because the movie will see him teamed with WWE legend John Cena. The duo painting a pair of Particular Forces troopers tasked with transporting a gaggle of Iraqi civilians alongside Baghdad’s “Freeway of Dying” and into the security of the Inexperienced Zone.
Together with his pro-wrestling background and “G.I. Joe”-like facial options, military-oriented roles match John Cena like a glove, as seen beforehand in final yr’s “Bumblebee” and the 90-minute lengthy explosion that’s “The Marine”. For Jackie, nevertheless, the heated battle of a warfare zone is totally new territory, however his current efforts to point out off his versatility have made for maybe probably the most fascinating chapter of his decades-long profession. On prime of that, Cena’s fairly an adept comic in his personal proper, as seen in his stints internet hosting the Nickelodeon Child’s Selection Awards, and his efficiency in final yr’s “Blockers”. Even teaming him up with a grizzled Jackie Chan is sure to yield a bit levity!
The “Kingsman” franchise frankly has as a lot of a tenuous relationship with actuality as “Austin Powers”, and that’s simply what makes it so endearing. Based mostly on the acclaimed graphic novel collection, “Kingsman: The Secret Service” dropped in 2015 as a loving, albeit completely R-rated, send-up of the James Bond franchise, it delivered the identical magic once more with its 2017 sequel, “Kingsman: The Golden Circle”. Each movies married the over-the-top madness of the Sean Connery/Roger Moore period of the Bond franchise with the patently absurd violence of an “Itchy and Scratchy” cartoon, and handled audiences to such surreal sights as feminine assassins crusing by way of the air on bladed metallic legs. The “Kingsman” collection is, to place it merely, “Looney Tunes” for grown-ups, with a great deal of martial arts motion simply this aspect of the bonkers antics of “Kung Fu Hustle”. Not a lot is understood about “The Nice Recreation” in the mean time, apart from the truth that it’s a prequel depicting the founding of the “Kingsman” group. In any case, two chapters into the “Kingsman” franchise, KFK is down for extra!
Placing a cease to the illicit actions of elephant poachers gained’t be Vidyut Jammwal’s solely rodeo in 2019 (though “Junglee” definitely seems to be fairly candy itself). Bollywood’s ‘King of Kalari’ may even step again into his signature position within the upcoming “Commando three”. Vidyut made fairly a splash in 2013’s “Commando: A One Man Military”, tackling the position of Indian tremendous soldier, Karan Singh Dogra, and continued to up his recreation with the movie’s 2017 sequel “Commando 2: The Black Cash Path”. The primary ten minutes of “Commando 2” alone is among the greatest opening motion set items of the final half decade, and in every chapter of the “Commando” franchise, the convenience with which Vidyut’s carried the movie has been exceeded solely by his infectious charisma and distinctive physicality. No trailer or plot synopsis (but) so keep tuned for now, right here’s Vidyut channeling Tony Jaa whereas showcasing the top results of many years’ of Kalaripayattu coaching within the first two movies. And for the document, a team-up between these two significantly must occur!
Ex-Particular Forces operative Carl Rizk, performed by Scott Adkins, thought he’d discovered some peace and quiet in his new life in a small Oregon city. Nevertheless, he quickly finds the clock is ticking when his two youngsters are kidnapped and a mysterious voice on the telephone sends him on a wild mission to take out three totally different teams of criminals. That’s “Siezed” in a nutshell, and from the synopsis, it definitely seems like a pulse-pounder of motion and suspense set towards a ticking-clock state of affairs. Apart from that, “Siezed” additionally reunites Scott Adkins with acclaimed filmmaker Isaac Florentine. Contemplating that theirs is a working relationship that gave us The Most Full Fighter within the World (together with two “Ninja” films, “Shut Vary”, and “Particular Forces”), we’d advocate penciling “Siezed” into your calendar for 2019!
Has there ever been one other motion film franchise (or actually, a franchise of any style) the place one can infer from its newest trailer that it’s clearly Jumped the Shark….and it’s truly a COMPLIMENT to level that out? 2001’s “The Quick and the Livid” kicked the collection off primarily as “Level Break’ with street-racing”, and it kind of stayed in its lane (no pun meant) till 2011’s “Quick 5”. From that time on, the “Quick and Livid” collection morphed right into a cocktail of more and more over-the-top stunts and borderline superheroic plotlines, and grew into the sort of popcorn spectacle that had solely beforehand been thought attainable in a pretend trailer from 1993’s “Final Motion Hero”. It additionally would see the pairing of two adversaries with The Rock’s Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw. Starting as enemies in 2015’s “Livid 7” (which itself confirmed simply how a lot coronary heart this collection has in its emotional tribute to the late Paul Walker), Hobbs and Shaw would develop into reluctant allies in 2017’s “The Destiny of the Livid”, with their buddy-chemistry resulting in their eponymous spin-off. Simply whenever you assume the “Quick and Livid” films can’t get any crazier, alongside comes Idris Elba in a mechanized battle go well with, making him formidable sufficient that even The Rock and The Stath collectively is probably not sufficient to cease him. However, whether or not it’s throwing down in an workplace setting or a jail riot, Hobbs and Shaw have delivered the products once they’ve gone mano-a-mano, so seeing them be a part of forces, and beneath the course of stunt veteran David Leitch, no much less, is for certain to be as out of this world because the “Quick and Livid” franchise itself!
The story of the warrior lady is a development that crosses cultural limitations around the globe, and it’s grown into one of many defining tendencies of common tradition in the present day (as you’ll see elsewhere on this very record). As one can clearly infer from the trailer, the Vietnamese martial arts thriller “Furie” is based on the essential emotion of maternal intuition, with our heroine battling to rescue her kidnapped daughter from a gang of South East Asian arms sellers. Veronica Ngo has come a great distance from 2007’s “The Insurgent” and 2010’s “Conflict”, the place regardless of missing in formal coaching, she greater than held her personal alongside her much more skilled co-stars. You’d definitely by no means guess she spent the final two weeks of manufacturing on the previous together with her foot damaged and in a forged. In any case, “Furie” marries a great deal of unimaginable motion with a premise that would’ve come proper out of “Max Mad: Fury Street”, with the trailer above seemingly indicating a couple of vehicular stunts of a comparable caliber. For lovers of motion, “Furie” seems to be like an absolute blast!
Season Three of AMC’s martial arts drama “Into the Badlands” took an unusually giant break after wrapping up the primary eight episodes of its sixteen-episode third season. Certainly, with a niche of just about a full yr earlier than the latter eight episodes are set to air, one might arguably say they successfully type the present’s fourth season. Nevertheless you rely, these upcoming eight episodes will sadly show to be present’s final, with “Into the Badlands” set to finish its run after they’ve aired. Parting will definitely be such candy sorrow for “Into the Badlands”, because the present has not solely re-imagined the Chinese language basic “Journey to the West” as a post-apocalyptic journey, but in addition delivered a few of the greatest martial arts motion ever seen on the small display. “Into the Badlands” could also be coming to an finish, however after three seasons of wuxia motion rivaling something you’d see on the large display, it’s had one hell of a great run. “Into the Badlands” returns to AMC for its ultimate eight episodes on March 24th. Martial arts followers can be suggested to mark the date for what is certain to be one critically grand finale!
Speak about good issues coming to those that wait…it’s definitely commonplace for artistic supplies, whether or not books or screenplays, to lastly be absolutely produced years after the passing of the unique writer. Within the case Cinemax’s upcoming collection “Warrior”, it’s produced posthumously by about 4 and a half many years. On prime of that, the progenitor of the idea on which the collection is predicated is none aside from Bruce Lee! It’s been an extended, very long time coming, however “Warrior” is lastly set to reach this yr and comply with the adventures of Chinese language immigrant, Ah Sahm, performed by Andrew Koji, who arrives in San Francisco’s Chinatown proper at first of the Tong Wars. It’ll most definitely be nothing lower than fascinating to see Bruce’s imaginative and prescient for “Warrior” delivered to life eventually, and the truth that it’s lastly arriving now simply goes to point out that, many years after his demise, Bruce Lee’s iconic, legendary star continues to rise driving influence within the martial arts world in addition to in widespread tradition in equal measure!
Making the theatrical rounds as we converse, female-led motion films are all the fashion lately, however they’ve additionally grow to be commonplace sufficient that one can’t stand out from the pack on that attribute alone. Thankfully, that’s simply considered one of many issues “Alita: Battle Angel” has going for it. Based mostly on Yukito Kishiro’s acclaimed manga and anime collection “Gunnm”, “Alita: Battle Angel” is the long-gestating pet undertaking of James Cameron. And, to be blunt, the trailers and advertising supplies for the movie have been completely breathtaking in bringing us into the post-apocalyptic way forward for the Twenty-Sixth Century. The movie can also be the newest within the rising development of actors giving complete performances by way of movement seize, with Rosa Salazar donning a mo-cap go well with to deliver the cybernetic warrior Alita to life. Whether or not you’re already a fan of Alita’s adventures within the anime and manga that spawned her, or simply in search of successful of sci-fi and journey earlier than the summer time film season kicks in, “Alita: Battle Angel” is an absolute should. Even higher, with its use of mo-cap to convey Alita to life, the movie seems to be pushing the boundaries of superhuman martial arts motion to the subsequent degree, as you possibly can clearly see under!
Once we final left the world’s deadliest murderer, John Wick, he was a marked man on the run after violating the sacred guidelines of The Continental. Together with his beloved canine by his aspect, John has one hour earlier than each murderer in New York Metropolis declares open season on him for the $14 million bounty on his head. However, in fact, everyone knows that even probably the most expert of contract killers ought to in all probability assume twice earlier than happening the hunt for previous “Baba Yaga”. As soon as once more helmed by returning director and stunt veteran Chad Stahelski, the third chapter within the “John Wick” saga carries the subtitle “Parabellum” – Latin, for “Put together for Conflict”. And after blindsiding the world with two of one of the best motion movies of the final decade, “John Wick: Chapter three” clearly goals to do exactly that. Boasting the longest operating time of the franchise, not solely is “Parabellum” massively upping the stakes and the scope of the collection, nevertheless it’s additionally recruited an enormous cavalry of motion film heavy hitters – specifically, Mark Dacascos, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tiger Chen, Yayan Ruhian, and Cecep Arif Rahman. With that sort of motion film royalty now bearing membership playing cards to The Continental, “Parabellum” most assuredly has the talents to pay the payments!
For martial arts motion lovers, Netflix has been completely smashing it these previous couple of years. Certainly, Netflix has arguably been outright spoiling us since final fall, between the respective second and third seasons of “Iron Fist” and “Daredevil”, together with “The Night time Comes for Us” and “Revenger” (and that’s with out even mentioning their forthcoming live-action reboot of “Avatar: The Final Airbender”). Now, Netflix is getting ready to tug out all of the stops for his or her subsequent unique collection, the upcoming “Wu Assassins”. The collection will give attention to a younger man named Kai Jin, performed by Iko Uwais, who discovers he’s the subsequent incarnation of the supernatural warrior referred to as the “Wu Murderer”. After teaming up with an area police detective, Kai Jin finds himself tasked with cleansing up the streets of San Francisco’s Chinatown whereas looking for an historic triad relic. As you’ll be able to see from the synopsis, the collection will function a mix of Asian mythology and martial arts mysticism with supernatural parts. Moreover, Iko can also be joined by an ensemble that features, however just isn’t restricted to, Byron Mann, Mark Dacascos, Juju Chan, and Lewis Tan. With regards to martial arts leisure, Netflix has been on a serious profitable streak, and with a motley crew like that on board, there’s no purpose to assume that it gained’t proceed with “Wu Assassins”!
…and in at #1 is….
Ip Man four
When “Ip Man” debuted all the best way again in 2008, did anybody ever anticipate it might spawn one of many biggest martial arts film collection of all time? Maybe not. Is anybody complaining that it has? Not in your life, Jack! After three earlier instalments within the collection (and one spin-off dedicated to the escape character of “Ip Man three”, “Grasp Z”), Donnie Yen is again in his iconic position of the famed Grandmaster of Wing Chun, and the mentor of the legendary Bruce Lee. Little is understood in the intervening time about what Ip Man’s newest journey will entail, except for reuniting him together with his most well-known pupil as he establishes a Wing Chun faculty in Seattle. Nevertheless, as has develop into commonplace with the “Ip Man” franchise, it’s the gweilo adversary of our hero that additionally piques our collective curiosity. “Ip Man 2” introduced within the late Darren Shahlavi (RIP), whereas the third instalment noticed our hero rock n’ roll with Mike Tyson. For “Ip Man four”, it’s none aside from Scott Adkins who’s set to be the gweilo that may convey the difficulty our hero in his fourth journey. The world might have missed out on Scott and Donnie sharing the display for the primary time when the latter sat out “The Expendables 2”, however as superior as that may’ve been to see, it’s lastly coming to cross in Donnie’s most iconic position. Higher late than by no means!
And there we’ve got it people, KFK’s Prime 15 Most Anticipated Martial Arts Films of 2019! Keep tuned as we’ll have extra on every entry on the record as they make landfall all year long. Did any of your decisions make the record, which contenders are you wanting ahead to probably the most? Tell us your ideas within the feedback under; Like, share and be a part of within the dialog on Fb and comply with us on Twitter & Instagram. (Surf the wave of this upcoming FU-nami of smashing nice martial arts motion insanity this yr with extra Prime 10’s, extra giveaways and extra unique specials, subscribe for movies too!)