While our section on books was meant to enlighten and enrich your experience upon relocating to Hong Kong, this section is meant to entertain and excite. Hong Kong has Asia’s most vibrant film industry and has a genre all its own. It has generated huge international stars and blockbuster movies. Below is a selection of some of Hong Kong’s biggest movies.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Directed By Ang Lee (2003)
Starring Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh
Ang Lee created a visual masterpiece with incredible fight scenes, amazing costumes and a plot that is complex and engaging. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was a genre busting milestone that wove action and poetic love together amdst spellbinding cinematography
Directed by John Woo (1992)
Starring Chow Yun Fat and Tony Leung
If you decide to watch this movie just remember going in that the plot and narrative are simply the canvas on which the action is painted. And action there is. Never ending, jaw dropping mile a minute mind blowing action.
A Touch of Zen
Directed by King Hu (1971)
Starring Ying Bai and Billy Chan
Hu’s seminal work, A Touch of Zen is a supernatural Kung Fu fest akin to a Bruce Lee style Ghostbusters with Imperial Agents fighting ghosts and spirits. King Hu was the first director from Hong Kong to make it big on the global stage.
Once Upon a Time in China
Directed by Tsui Hark (1991)
Starring Jet Li
The first film in the Once Upon a Time in China epic series which stars Jet li as legendary folk hero Wong Fei-hung.
Directed by Yuen Woo-ping (1978)
Starring Jackie Chan
This is one of Jackie Chan’s first movies and is a defining moment for the Hong Kong movie industry.
A Better Tomorrow
Directed by John Woo (1986)
Starring Chow Yun Fat
This action packed gun filled Triad tale of brotherly hate broke all Hong Kong bos office records when it was released in 1986. Though John Woo has had bigger hits in the west, A Better Tomorrow was his breakthrough and some say his best.
Days of Being Wild
Directed by Wong Kar-wai (1990)
Starring Leslie Cheung and Maggie Cheung
Today Wong Kar-wai is a darling of Cannes. It was Days of Being Wild that launched his career however. This introspective drama about a man’s search for his birth mother is a real tear jerker and established his style for later films.
A Chinese Ghost Story
Directed by Ching Siu-tung (1987)
Starring Leslie Cheung and Joey Wang
A Chinese Ghost Story is a masterpiece of special effects with sword battles, ghosts, ghouls and of course a classic love affair.
A Chinese Odyssey (Parts 1 & 2)
Directed by Jeff Lau (1995)
Starring Stephen Chow
A blend of action, romance and comedy made this film a cult classic and one of Hong Kong’s most popular films; so popular in fact that much of its language has been incorporated into modern use.
Directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak (2002)
Starring Andy Lau and Tony Leung
Hong Kong loves movies about undercover cops and the Triads and there are certainly no shortage of movies to that effect. Infernal Affairs reworked the genre into gripping thriller that was remade by Martin Scorceses as The Departed.
Directed by Johnnie To (2005)
Election is Hong Kong’s beautifully crafted answer to the Godfather with explosive action and Triads galore.
Directed by Corey Yuen (2002)
Starring Qi Shu and Wei Zhao
So Close is a slick action thriller with great Kung Fu and CGI. If you are looking for a bit of fun with sexy heroes and good fights, this is the movie for you.
Bullet in the Head
Directed by John Woo (1990)
Starring Tony Leung and Jacky Cheung
Woo mixes in a bit of drama between all the shooting and blood in Bullet in the Head. The action scenes are still amazing and heart pounding. Some call this movie John Woo’s Apocalypse Now.
Directed By John Woo (1990)
Starring Chow Yun Fat and Danny Lee
Considered one of John Woos best films, the Killer has characters you care about combined with all the action you can take including one of the most epic shoot outs in movie history.
New Legend of Shaolin
Directed by Jing Wong and Corey Yuen
Starring Jet Li
Don’t be tempted to pick up the American rerelease of the movie under the title Legend of the Red Dragon which was poorly edited. New Legend of Shaolin has a wacky sense of hour combined with some excellent kung-fu.