Asian cinema has always been influential, even when we don’t realize it. Sure, the glitz and glamor of Hollywood might seem like the end all be all of film, but Asian cinema has been doing just fine, thank you very much! Many of us will probably have heard of some of the classic Asian action movies from the past thirty years – A Better Tomorrow, Hard Boiled, and City on Fire, just to name just a few.
But there has been a slew of mightily impressive Asian action movies released over the past decade that you’ve probably never seen. These are movies that you really should check out, and they have had a significant impact on Asian and American cinema. Here are a few of the best that you should look up on Netflix right away!
Hard Revenge Milly (2009)
This Japanese action/crime fest is incredibly violent, and one of the best action movies you’ve never heard of. This bonkers movie follows the character of Milly, who goes on a rampage of bloody revenge after her family is murdered, and she is left for dead. With a partly mechanized body, she cuts a swathe through post-apocalyptic Japan in this movie which is actually two shorts combined into one feature-length offering. Milly is silly, over the top, and wonderfully executed (pun intended).
Deadman Inferno (2015)
Another offering from Japan, Deadman Inferno is a wonderfully named Japanese zombie-action-comedy flick. This is a must-see film for any zombie fans out there, and it’s as fast-paced as it is ridiculous. The movie features plenty of yakuza action, not to mention knife fights, chases, and flailing limbs. It’s a wonderful ride, and one of the best uses of just under two hours you can possibly find.
Cambodian cinema hasn’t really made any kind of noticeable ripple in the film world, but that could be about to change now. Jailbreak is a Cambodian action movie that follows a special task force who must fight their way out of a prison that was taken over by criminals. Imagine The Raid, but set in Cambodia rather than Indonesia, and with a prison, not a high-rise. This is the movie Cambodia has been crying out for, and it has certainly given their film industry a boost.
Wolf Warrior II (2017)
Another wonderfully named action flick, this Chinese film is perhaps the slickest movie on our list. It features a retired, heroic soldier who is forced back into action to protect African aid workers from rebels and arms dealers. It might surprise you to know that Wolf Warrior II is one of the highest grossing movies of all time, and made over $800 million at the global box office. Get this movie on your shortlist as soon as you can.
These are just a handful of the best Asian action movies you’ve never heard of. They are all films that showcase the stylish nature of Asian cinema, and the wealth of promise the industry holds for action fans. Make sure you give these a watch, as they will help to expand your knowledge and enjoyment of Asian cinema.