Best 15 Jet Li Movies of All Time

Jet Li, born Li Lianjie, is a retired Wushu champion, actor, producer, action choreographer, and martial artist from Beijing. Shaolin Temple, a martial arts action film from 1982, marked Li’s acting debut. Li resumed his acting career as an action specialist. He’s appeared in critically praised films such as Fist of Legend, Hero, and others. Many critics praised his performance as Wong Fei-hung in the award-winning Once Upon a Time in China, and he was recast in the sequels. Another significant appearance was as a villain in Lethal Weapon 4. He was cast as Romeo in Romeo Must Die.

Li returned to China in 2007 for his role in Warlords after making mediocre but critically acclaimed martial arts films. Later the same month, he began work on The Forbidden Kingdom, a collaboration film with action actor and martial artist Jackie Chan. Li also appeared as the Dragon Emperor alongside Brendan Fraser in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Li reappeared in 2010’s Expendables and repeated his role in the action film series sequels, co-starring with Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, and others.

Best 15 Jet Li Movies of All Time

  1. Fearless (2006)

    Director: Ronny Yu

    Writers: Chris Chow, Richard Epcar(dubbed version), Chi-long To

    Stars: Jet Li, Li Sun, Yong Dong

    Genres: Action, Biography, Drama

(2006) on IMDb


    Directed by Ronny Yu, the 2006 Chinese martial arts film hits the top of the list for many reasons. A roller coaster of emotions with the right amount of drama and action. The movie starts with Huo Yuanjia, a famous and well-reputed Chinese martial artist who has defeated three Westerner fighters back to back and is waiting for his fourth and final match to begin.

    Memories of his father rush through his mind before cutting into a flashback. Huo’s father, an equally reputed martial art fighter, was known for showcasing honor and humility in the ring. Humbleness cost Huo’s father to lose a match that he could have easily won if he did not hold back at the last moment. Huo felt humiliated after his father’s defeat and started training to restore his family’s honor.

    The man managed to defeat countless opponents before becoming known across China. Unlike his father, Huo was ruthless and showed no mercy to his opponents. In a dispute between one of his followers and rival Master Qin Lei, Huo decided to confront Qin, ending in Qin’s death. Qin’s godson avenged his death by murdering Huo’s mother and daughter. Qin’s godson committed suicide after confessing it to Huo.

    Huo got depressed and drowned in guilt after learning that it was initially his follower’s fault for insulting Qin’s’ mistress. Wandering the lands aimlessly for months, Huo decided to drown himself in a river but was saved by Granny Sun. With proper guidance, Huo learned the value of compassion and mercy and returned to Tianjin. There he challenged an American wrestler, Hercules O’Brien, after reuniting with his old pals.

    The match ended with Hercules declaring Huo as the victor after the latter saved the former from getting impaled by nails during the match. Fearing that Huo’s popularized victory would spark anti-foreign sentiments, the foreign committee of commerce arranged a 4 vs 1 survival match to suppress Huo. Before the fight, Huo became good friends with Tanaka, another well-known master from Japan. In the present day, Huo, representing his country, s about to face Tanaka as his last opponent. The first round ends in a draw.

    During the interval, a Japanese diplomat poisons Huo without Tanaka’s knowledge. During the match, Huo struggles as he gradually loses his strength in hand-to-hand combat. He collapses and spurts out blood but requests to continue because he will die either way. Huo lands a final blow but returns to make it non-fatal before he collapses and dies. Tanaka insults the disgraceful behavior of the Japanese diplomat before exiting, much to the latter’s shock.

  2. Hero(2002)

    Director: Yimou Zhang

    Writers: Feng Li(screenplay), Yimou Zhang(screenplay), Bin Wang(screenplay)

    Stars: Jet Li, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung

    Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, History

(2002) on IMDb


    Directed and co-produced by Zhang Yimou, Hero tells the story of an assassin during the Warring States Period of ancient China. During the Warring States period in ancient China, Nameless, a Qin prefect, arrives at the Capital of Qin to meet the monarch. The king has survived multiple assassination attempts by the assassins Long Sky, Flying Snow, and Broken Sword.

    The king allows Nameless to maintain ten paces distance and asks the latter to explain the deaths of the three assassins he claims to have killed. Nameless first kills Long Sky before moving on to Flying Snow and Broken Sword, hiding in a school surrounded by the Qin army. The king does not believe Nameless’s story after he portrays Sword as a disloyal man who Snow killed in retaliation.

    In the king’s version, the assassins were trusted partners the last time they tried to assassinate him, and Sword, an honorable man, would never betray Snow. According to the king’s hypothesis, Nameless encounters Snow and Sword, telling them how he mastered the technique of killing anyone within a 10-pace distance. Snow encounters Nameless in front of the Qin army and loses against the latter in front of the helpless Sword.

    Moon willingly gives her master’s weapon to Nameless and requests him to keep Sword’s and Snow’s weapons together just the way they were in life. After hearing the king mention his technique, Nameless agreed to it and revealed the truth. Where three years ago, Sword had the opportunity to kill the king, but he let him live, for he envisioned the unity of the whole of China was only possible under the king’s reign.

    The king is overwhelmed upon hearing this and no longer considers Nameless to be hostile. Snow upon learning about Sword’s success in siding Nameless with his vision kills the motionless Sword while he shows his true feelings for her. Filled with grief and guilt, Snow commits suicide. Nameless dies an honorary and heroic death upon the king’s order so that China could unite by using him as an example.

  3. Fist of Legend (1994)

    Director: Gordon Chan

    Writers: Gordon Chan(screenplay), Kwong-Kim Yip(screenplay), Lam Kay Toa(screenplay)

    Stars: Jet Li, Shinobu Nakayama, Siu-Ho Chin

    Genres: Action, Drama

     Fist of Legend
(1994) on IMDb

    Fist of Legend

    Directed by Gordon Chan and action-choreographed by Yuen Woo-ping, Fist of Legend is a remake of Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury. The film is set in the Shanghai International Settlement in 1937 at the beginning of the Second World War. Chen Zhen is in class at Kyoto University when thugs from the Black Dragon Clan barge try to push him out because he is Chinese.

    Chen’s presence is defended by Mitsuko, one of Chen’s classmates in a love relationship with him, and Chen’s professor and classmates. The thugs become aggressive, but Chen easily overcomes them with a variety of controlled Chin Na methods. After hearing the dreadful news, Chen is heartbroken and promptly departs Kyoto for Shanghai. Chen returns to Jingwu School and discovers that his master’s son, Huo Ting’en, has been appointed as the new master. Chen travels to the Japanese dojo the next day to challenge Akutagawa, who graciously accepts.

    Meanwhile, Akutagawa meets Imperial Japanese Army General G Fujita after feeling his match against Huo Yuanjia was manipulated, which he finds dishonorable. Following a violent disagreement, Fujita murders Akutagawa by breaking his back in front of the Japanese embassy and then blames Chen. Several bribed witnesses give misleading and contradictory stories of the murder, but the court refuses to take testimony from any Chinese defense witnesses because of Chen’s bias.

    Mitsuko appears in court and claims Chen is innocent because he spent the night with her, and the judge accepts her false testimony because she is Japanese. Huo takes advantage of the opportunity to settle his grudge toward Chen by challenging him to a battle. Although Chen defeats Huo, he still chooses to leave with Mitsuko. Locals attack Chen and Mitsuko, forcing them to seek refuge in an abandoned cabin near Huo Yuanjia’s tomb.

    Funakoshi challenges Chen to about, which results in a tie and the conclusion that Chen will be unbeatable if he learns to adapt to his opponent’s moves. Huo Ting’en visits Chena a few days later and apologizes for his prior actions, explaining that Jingwu School now accepts Chen and Mitsuko’s relationship. The next day, Chen and Huo approach Fujita at his dojo, where Fujita shoots a Jingwu traitor who played a role in Huo Yuanjia’s death.

    Huo Ting’en then confronts Fujita, who appears to be extremely powerful and resilient, and sustains serious injuries. Huo pushes Chen out of the line of the katana but gets stabbed in the arm, forcing Chen to kill Fujita. Japanese soldiers encircle them and prepare to shoot. The Japanese envoy, a pacifist opposed to his country’s burgeoning militarism, arrives and instructs his forces to stand down. Chen declares his willingness to assume responsibility for Fujita’s death to prevent conflict, winning the ambassador’s esteem even more.

  4. Once Upon a Time in China II (1992)

    Director: Hark Tsui

    Writers: Tin-suen Chan, Tan Cheung, Hark Tsui

    Stars: Jet Li, Rosamund Kwan, Siu Chung Mok

    Genres: Action, Adventure, Biography, History, Romance

     Once Upon a Time in China II
(1992) on IMDb

    Once Upon a Time in China II

    Another of Jet Li’s Cantonese martial arts films, Once Upon a Time in China is the second installment of the titular film series directed by Tsui Hark. Wong Fei-hung takes the train from Foshan to Canton to attend a medical convention. When 13th Aunt attempts to photograph them, the cult nearly kidnaps her, but Wong arrives, battles the cult members, and saves her.

    Wong delivers an acupuncture lecture during the seminar, and Sun Wen, a Western-trained Chinese doctor, assists him in interpreting for the mostly non-Chinese audience. Wong realizes Canton is no longer safe and attempts to return to Foshan with his two new colleagues. When Wong seeks the help of the local government for the pupils, he is faced by a military officer, Nap-lan, who engages in a battle with him to test his talents.

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    Nap-lan impressed by Wong’s skills still declines his plea for the students. Wong encounters Sun Wen again in the consulate and discovers that Sun and his companion, Lu Haodong, are part of an underground movement plotting to topple the Qing dynasty and establish a republic in China. Wong and Lu are then forced to journey to the White Lotus Sect’s headquarters to confront the cult’s leader, Priest Gao.

    Wong beats Gao in a one-on-one fight after fighting with cult members, engages him in one-on-one combat, and accidentally kills him by impaling him on the sharp end of a statue’s finger, showing that he was wearing body armor. While Wong battles Nap-lan to buy time, Lu and Leung burn the book to keep it out of the hands of the Qing authority. Wong and Leung attempt to flee, but are apprehended by Nap-lan. The movie ends with Wong, at the piers, tossing the fabric from the staff to Sun Wen who reveals it to be a flag designed by Lu.

  5. Once upon a Time in China (1991)

    Director: Hark Tsui

    Writers: Hark Tsui(screenplay), Kai-Chi Yuen(screenplay), Yiu-Ming Leung(screenplay)

    Stars: Jet Li, Rosamund Kwan, Biao Yuen

    Genres: Action, Adventure, History

     Once Upon a Time in China
(1991) on IMDb

    Once upon a Time in China

    Prequel to 1992’s Once Upon a Time in China II and the first installment of the martial arts action film series, the movie portrays the adventure of Cantonese folk hero Wong Fei-hung (Jet Li). The film is set in Foshan, China during the Qing era in the late nineteenth century. Liu remarks on China’s perilous predicament before handing Wong a hand fan inscribed with all of the unequal treaties struck between China and other countries.

    Wong is a martial arts instructor with the Foshan militia. Leung Foon arrives in Foshan with an opera troop to put on shows. While Wong sees the Governor of Foshan in a restaurant, a fight between the gang and the local militia breaks out. When the thugs realize they are no match for Wong, they run. The Governor accuses Wong of causing the commotion and disbands and arrests the militiamen. Wong confronts and defeats the Shaho Gang’s leader, but the authorities free him since no one wants to support Wong by testifying in court.

    In retaliation, the Shaho Gang lays fire to Po-chi-lam one night, after which they flee and seek refuge under Jackson, an American official. In exchange for protection from the authorities, the Shaho Gang assists Jackson in running his underground human trafficking network by capturing Chinese women to be sold as prostitutes in America. The Shaho Gang and Jackson’s men ambush Wong and the Governor as they are watching an opera performance and attempt to assassinate the Governor and kill Wong.

    Wong encounters an escaped Chinese laborer from America who tells him about how he and his fellow laborers were treated in America while tending to the injured at his clinic. Just then, Yim arrives at Po-chi-lam and insists on fighting Wong to prove he is the superior fighter. After being defeated by Wong, Yim leaves with Leung Foon, who was fired from the opera troupe but eventually joined the Shaho Gang instead – despite Leung’s severe objections to Yim working with the gang.

    The prison guards release Wong and his apprentices out of respect for him. Yim arrives just as Wong is ready to board Jackson’s ship, intending to restart his battle with Wong, and is tragically shot by Jackson’s soldiers. He warns Wong with his last breath that “martial arts have no hope against weapons.” At the critical moment, Jackson holds the Governor at gunpoint, but Wong kills Jackson by flicking an unused bullet into Jackson’s forehead, saving the Governor. Wong accepts Leung as his fourth apprentice at the film’s end, and they pose for a group shot in Po-chi-lam.

  6. Unleashed/ Danny the Dog (2005)

    Director: Louis Leterrier

    Writer: Luc Besson

    Stars: Jet Li, Bob Hoskins, Morgan Freeman

    Genres: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller

(2005) on IMDb

    Danny the Dog

    Written and Co-produced by Luc Besson and directed by Louis Leterrier, Unleashed is a 2005 action thriller film starring Jet Li alongside Morgan Freeman, Kerry Condon, and others. Bart, a ruthless loan shark from Glasgow, employs his bodyguard, Danny, to severely assault non-compliant customers.

    Danny is raised and taught to be an attack dog by Bart, who uses a metal collar around his neck to control him; once the collar is removed, Danny transforms into a competent fighter who mercilessly attacks his prey. As the collar trick with Danny begins to fail to owe to its inherent limitations, a crime lord approaches Bart with a business proposal, promising Bart a large sum of money in exchange for Danny winning and surviving death matches performed in an underground fighting ring. Sam, a blind piano tuner, drives him home.

    Sam and his stepdaughter Victoria cure Danny’s injuries and gladly welcome him into their family. After a few weeks, Sam informs Danny that he and Victoria are returning to New York. He invites Danny, informing him that they consider him family, and Danny gladly accepts. Bart denies knowing her and replaces Danny’s collar before taking him to the combat ring.

    Danny refuses to fight, claiming he no longer wants to hurt anyone, causing a furious Bart to force him into the pit. Danny, on the other hand, slips out and searches through Bart’s old photographs, discovering one of a woman who resembles Danny’s mother. Danny confronts Bart aggressively, demanding explanations, but Bart merely explains that his mother is a prostitute who is no longer alive.

    Danny manages to escape from Bart the following day and returns to Sam and Victoria, telling them where he was and what he learned. When Bart tells Danny that he will always be an animal, Sam responds by slamming a flowerpot on his head, knocking him unconscious. Sam, Danny, and Victoria hug. Danny subsequently joins Sam at a piano recital at Carnegie Hall, where Victoria is preparing to perform. Danny tears a delighted tear as he realizes Victoria is playing the same instrument his mother did years ago.

  7. The Warlords (2007)

    Directors: Peter Ho-Sun Chan, Wai-Man Yip(co-director)

    Writers: Tin-Nam Chun(screenplay), Junli Guo(screenplay), Jiping He(screenplay)

    Stars: Jet Li, Andy Lau, Takeshi Kaneshiro

    Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, History, Romance, War

     The Warlords
(2007) on IMDb

    The Warlords

    Directed by Peter Chan, The Warlords is an epic action drama film starring Jet Li alongside Andy Lau and others. During the Taiping Rebellion in the 1860s, there was a struggle between loyalists and rebels, during which all loyalists except Qingyun, the general, are killed after being abandoned by the forces of a competing loyalist commander.

    Qingyun visits a neighboring village where the residents, led by two men named Erhu and Wuyang, engage in banditry. Qingyun begins an affair with Erhu’s wife Liansheng during this period. Because the villagers are destitute and famished, Qingyun persuades them to fight as an independent loyalist war band against the rebels to take rebel loot and supplies for themselves.

    Erhu and Wuyang are suspicious of Qingyun, so the three take a blood pledge, promising to care for each other as brothers under the threat of death. Because the villagers are destitute and famished, Qingyun persuades them to fight as an independent loyalist war band against the rebels to take rebel loot and supplies for themselves.

    Erhu and Wuyang are suspicious of Qingyun, so the three take a blood pledge, promising to care for each other as brothers under the threat of death. The war-band war band had a string of successes, with Qingyun enforcing the order. Erhu tries to assassinate the enemy commander by infiltrating the city in disguise. Erhu considers deserting, but Qingyun persuades him that what happened to soldiers at Suzhou was in the interests of expediency to capture Nanjing and rescue millions of civilians/non-combatants whose lives are at risk if a rival commander reaches Nanjing first.

    Nanjing is quickly captured, and Qingyun is appointed governor of Nanjing as a reward for his great achievement. Qingyun continues to push his social agenda, demanding three years of tax remission from the Dowager Empress to help his province recover from the war. While awaiting his inauguration, Qingyun attempts to become acquaintances with other aristocracy members and the bureaucracy.

    Wuyang uncovers the conspiracy but believes it is motivated by Qingyun’s feelings for Liansheng. Wuyang murders Liansheng but is unable to persuade Qingyun to cancel the assassination. Wuyang, still unaware that Erhu had pushed Qingyun’s hand, attempts to murder Qingyun during his inauguration but is unable to overpower him. At this juncture, a government soldier arrives on a rooftop behind Qingyun and shoots him in the back, concealing his shots with the cannon fire set up for the inauguration. The government then accuses Wuyang of murder and prepares to execute him.

  8. The Legend/ The Legend of Fong Sai-Yuk (1993)

    Director: Corey Yuen

    Writers: Kin Chung Chan, Susan Godfrey(english adaptation), Jeffrey Lau

    Stars: Jet Li, Josephine Siao, Michelle Reis

    Genres: Action, Comedy, History

     The Legend
(1993) on IMDb

    The Legend

    Directed by Corey Yuen and produced by Jet Li himself, The Legend is a Hong-Kong action comedy film portraying the adventures of Chinese folk hero Fong Sai-Yuk. During a track and field tournament, the arrogant and ambitious Fong Sai-yuk meets the lovely Lui Ting-ting and falls in love with her. Lui organizes a martial arts competition in which interested men can compete for their daughter’s hand in marriage.

    Fong enters the competition at the prompting of his friends and defeats Siu-wan. Miu Tsui-fa, Fong’s mother, enters the event disguised as a man to assist her son to restore his lost pride. After that personal meeting, Siu-wan develops romantic feelings for Miu, although Miu is a woman in disguise. To avoid shame for his mother, Fong marries Ting-ting on behalf of his “brother” and is imprisoned in his father-in-law’s residence. Miu persuades Lui to let her son return home.

    Fong learns that his father is a member of the Red Flower Club, a secret society attempting to destabilize the ruling Qing empire. The Governor demands that Fong Tak hand over the society’s membership list, but he refuses. To avoid the authorities, Fong and his parents hide in their in-laws’ house, but the Governor visits Lui’s house and recognizes them.

    Fong Tak is captured in the ensuing skirmish, while Siu-wan dies from a gunshot wound. The Governor publicly executes Fong Tak to entice Fong Sai-yuk into a trap. Fong lies to his mother about his father’s rescue and decides to save him alone without informing her. To save his father, he attempts to assault the execution site and battles with the Governor. They beat the Governor and his troops and liberated Fong Tak. Fong Sai-yuk eventually becomes Chan’s godson and joins his godfather on their journey as they ride towards the horizon.

  9. The Legend of Fong Sai-Yuk 2 (1993)

    Director: Corey Yuen

    Writers: Kin Chung Chan(screenplay), Jeffrey Lau(screenplay)

    Stars: Jet Li, Josephine Siao, Adam Cheng

    Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, History

     The Legend of Fong Sai-Yuk 2
(1993) on IMDb

    The Legend of Fong Sai-Yuk 2

    The Legend of Fong Sai-yuk 2 is an action comedy martial arts film sequel to its first award-winning installment of the film series. Fong Sai-yuk and his wife, Ting-ting, are now full members of the Red Flower Society, a secret society attempting to destabilize the Qing Empire. The ruthless Yu Chun-hoi, Chan’s deputy, stands in Fong’s way and tries to harm him.

    Although Chan is committed to the goal of society, he is concerned that once the members find his true identity, they will abandon him. Chan dispatches Fong and others to intercept the rain and retrieve the proof, but Fong is distracted by a damsel in peril and instead focuses on saving her. Suen On-yee, the ruler’s daughter, is the woman Fong saved earlier. Chan intends for Fong to seduce Suen On-yee and steal the red box from her.

    Meanwhile, Suen On-yee falls in love with Fong and marries true love. The viceroy, however, is aware of Fong’s actual intentions in the marriage and dispatches men to seize him. Fong returns to the Red Flower Society with the red box but lies about his mission failure because he does not want Yu Chun-hoi to steal the evidence and use it to slander Chan.

    Meanwhile, Yu incites the society’s members to revolt against Chan and seize control. You then dispatch his men to assassinate Fong to quiet him. Fong manages to flee, but Yu captures his mother. Fong confronts Yu and, after a fierce fight, kills him. He frees his godfather from prison and restores him to leadership.

  10. The Defender/ The Bodyguard from Beijing(1994)

    Director: Corey Yuen

    Writers: Gordon Chan(screenplay), Kin Chung Chan(screenplay)

    Stars: Jet Li, Christy Chung, Kent Cheng

    Genres: Action, Crime, Thriller

     The Defender
(1994) on IMDb

    The Bodyguard from Beijing

    Another movie produced under Corey Yuen’s direction, The Bodyguard From Bejing, is a Hong Kong action film starring Jet Li alongside Christy Chung, Sing Ngai, and others. Allan, a professional bodyguard stationed in Beijing, has saved several dignitaries from assassination.

    James, a wealthy Hong Kong businessman, hires him to safeguard his gorgeous girlfriend Michelle Leung, the lone surviving witness to a murder. Allan meets two fairly inept plainclothes police officers in charge of the girl’s safety, Fat Po and Ken at her home in Hong Kong.

    While traveling, they are attacked by hitmen who try to assassinate Michelle but are foiled by Allan’s scheme of using a decoy VIP car driven by Fat Po and the girl traveling in the trailing van. One of the assassins who disguised as a police officer and was killed by Allan during the shoot-out is Killer Wong’s younger brother, a former Chinese soldier who fought alongside his brother. Wong threatens Allan with revenge.

    Meanwhile, Michelle expresses her undeniable attraction to Allan after using her transmitter to cause him to storm the bedroom and defend her. Allan employs his pistol and martial arts talents to eliminate all of the assailants until just Wong remains. He and Wong have a long struggle that is worsened by leaking gas that threatens to knock both of them out. Wong eventually recovers a pistol and kidnaps the girl.

    James unexpectedly offers to bribe Wong to persuade him not to shoot, but Wong refuses. When an opportunity presents itself as the assassin backs away, Allan covers Michelle with his body and fires two rounds. He manages to pull a bayonet from his chest and toss it towards Wong’s neck, killing him. James takes his girlfriend to the airport, who struggles with the authorities to see Allan for one last time but to no avail. She cries out his name as his car drives back to the mainland.

  11. Tai Chi Master (1993)

    Director: Woo-Ping Yuen

    Writer: Kwong-Kim Yip(screenplay)

    Stars: Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh, Siu-Ho Chin

    Genres: Action, Comedy, Drama, Thriller

     Tai Chi Master
(1993) on IMDb

    Tai Chi Master

    Directed by Yuen Woo-ping, Tai Chi master is a Hong Kong martial arts film. Junbao and Tienbo are two monks who grow up in a Shaolin Temple and spend most of their time causing mischief. Both are rusticated after Tienbo nearly killed another student who tried to cheat in a sparring match.

    Their sympathetic teacher assists them in their escape, and they receive final teachings regarding the probable courses of their various personalities, with a specific warning issued to Tienbo. Junbao and Tienbo then venture out into the world to find their way. Miss Li is fighting against a gang from who she stole money to return it to a helpless shopkeeper.

    Junbao rushes to her help and overcomes the gang just as Army reinforcements arrive to break up the fight, forcing the trio to flee to avoid detention. Tienbo realizes he aspires to be wealthy and powerful because of the governor, but Miss Li warns him that the governor has the guts of a viper. Junbao saves Siu-lin by keeping off the governor’s sister’s bodyguards and flees.

    The following day, while Junbao and Tienbo are earning money with their incredible martial art talents, the governor’s second-in-command notices them and is impressed by Tienbos ability. He offers Tienbo employment within the army, which he gladly accepts. However, Junbao hesitantly refuses to accompany Tienbo, and therefore the two brothers split ways.

    Later, other soldiers hit the tavern to gather taxes, but Junbao and the rebels drive them off and slaughter them one by one. One soldier escapes and heads towards the military camp to notify them about the rebels, with Junbao hot on his tail. Tienbo kills the soldier just before the military campsite before he notifies the remainder of the military about the rebels’ position

  12. Swordsman II (1992)

    Director: Siu-Tung Ching

    Writers: Louis Cha(novel “Proud Smiling Wanderer”), Tin-suen Chan, Elsa Tang

    Stars: Jet Li, Brigitte Lin, Michelle Reis

    Genres: Action, Fantasy

     Swordsman II
(1992) on IMDb

    Swordsman II

    Loosely adapted from a Cantonese novel, Swordsman II is a wuxia film directed by Ching Siu-tung. Linghu Chong, Yue Lingshan, and Mount Hua Sect members intend to leave Jiangsu. They discover that Dongfang Bubai has taken control of the Sun Moon Holy Cult and secretly organized a rebellion against the Ming Empire to govern China.

    Dongfang Bubai has castrated himself to learn the Sunflower Manual’s talents, and his appearance has become more feminine, even though he is now a great martial artist. Linghu Chong meets Dongfang Bubai by chance and misidentifies him as a lovely young woman, falling in love with «her».

    Dongfang Bubai knocks unconscious Linghu Chong and imprisons him in an underground jail while he is not looking. Linghu Chong meets Ren Woxing, Ren Yingying’s father and the former Sun Moon Holy Cult leader, by chance in prison. Dongfang tracks down and kills his Mount Hua Sect colleagues one night, while Linghu Chong is distracted by Dongfang Bubai’s lover Shishi.

  13. Shaolin Temple (1982)

    Director: Hsin-Yen Chang

    Writers: Hau Sit(screenplay by), Shau-Chang Lu(screenplay by)

    Stars: Jet Li, Hai Yu, Chenghui Yu

    Genres: Action, Drama

     Shaolin Temple
(1982) on IMDb

    Shaolin Temple

    Based on and depicting the insides of the Shaolin Monastery, Shaolin Temple is a Chinese-Hong kong martial arts movie directed by Chang Hsin. The film takes place in Medieval China during the transition period between the Sui and Tang Dynasties. Jue Yuan, a novice, bows before the Abbot inside the Shaolin Temple.

    Several years ago, during the Sui Dynasty’s final rebellions, the warlord Wang Shichong ruled from Luoyang and deceitfully placed himself as Emperor of the East Capitol. he’s responsible for fortifying his riverbank defenses against rival warlords on the other bank, near the Shaolin Temple. An older martial art master and his son, Jue Yuan, are among the rebels.

    After defending another prisoner sooner or later, Jue Yuan’s father attracts the Emperor’s attention, who attacks and personally murders him. Jue Yuan seeks vengeance, but the Emperor injures him severely, causing Jue Yuan to escape to the Shaolin Temple. When Jue Yuan arrives, the Sifu instructs the monks on Kung Fu. Jue Yuan is being nursed back to health by the Sifu and his students. Jue Yuan joins the monks in carrying water from the river to the temple after he heals, which is martial art fitness.

    He struggles but is aided by a stunning shepherd girl named Bai Wu Xia, who may be a Kung Fu expert. Jue Yuan becomes friends with Sifu and his equally mischievous students. Jue Yuan discovers that the Sifu is Bai Wu Xia’s father and they fled the Emperor’s forces nine years ago, arriving at the Shaolin Temple. He eventually gains remarkable fighting skills, but while sparring, he sees the Emperor and nearly kills his partner.

    He’s barred from practicing a martial art and flees the Shaolin Temple. Jue Yuan attempts but fails to assassinate the Emperor and is forced to go away. He returns to the Shaolin Temple, embarrassed. His Sifu permits him to restart his Northern Shaolin martial art instruction. Jue Yuan practices Northern Shaolin Kung Fu for over a year and becomes an expert. Li Shimin, who the Emperor is seeking, enters Shaolin someday.

    The Shaolin monks put up a show of assisting the Emperor in pursuing Li Shimin so he could flee. Jue Yuan and Bai Wu Xia assist Li Shimin, slipping past the Emperor’s patrols in disguise. The Abbot begs the Emperor for compassion and confesses responsibility. Jue Yuan and Ba Wu Xia make their way back to the Shaolin Temple. The Emperor’s army takes over the surface walls and grounds, killing all the monks.

    The Sifu is wounded. He dies after pleading with Jue Yuan to safeguard Shaolin and uphold justice. When the Emperor learns that Li Shimin and his army are approaching his own East Capital, he orders that the siege of the Shaolin Temple be abandoned in favor of a journey to the East Capital. Jue Yuan and the warrior monks pursue the Emperor, eventually joining the battle at the destroyed East Capital, where the Emperor murdered Jue Yuan’s father.

    Jue Yuan and the Emperor fight on the banks of the vast river. The war for the East Capital is won when Jue Yuan assassinates the Emperor. Jue Yuan later returns to Shaolin Temple, where the new Abbot asks if he can keep the vow not to murder. Jue Yuan swears that he wouldn’t kill unless it’s necessary to uphold morality, which Abbot accepts.

    Jue Yuan continues to swear his vows, but when it involves celibacy, he’s conflicted another time. He spreads his palms to look at a jade amulet, remembering how Bai Wu Xia gave it to him as a mark of her devotion. He glances up to search Bai Wu Xia, who has crept inside the sanctum’s side wing and is observing him. Jue Yuan was ordained as a Shaolin monk. Jue Yuan also becomes the Shaolin Temple’s Kung Fu Sifu, guiding the monks through their training.

  14. Martial Arts of Shaolin (1986)

    Director: Chia-Liang Liu

    Writers: Yang-Ping Shi(screenplay), Yeung-Ping Sze

    Stars: Jet Li, Jianqiang Hu, Qiuyan Huang

    Genres: Action, Comedy, Drama

     Martial Arts of Shaolin
(1986) on IMDb

    Martial Arts of Shaolin

    During the Qing period of China, Lin Zhi-Ming, a young monk, prepares to be one of the Northern Shaolin school’s best fighters, impressing his seniors and peers. Despite being a committed Shaolin student, Zhi-ming incorporates a habit of breaking several of the monastery’s prohibitions, like smuggling meat onto temple grounds or teaching the school’s secrets to outsiders.

    On one such occasion, Zhi-Ming meets a number of the local youth, whom he has unofficially accepted as his disciples; however, during the meeting, two of the youngsters reveal that they were chosen to perform Lion dancing on the birthday of the tyrannical magistrate He Suo, who was liable for Zhi- Ming’s family’s deaths.

    Meanwhile, in Southern China, Sima Yan, the niece of the Southern Shaolin school’s teacher Fa Ren, learns of He Suo’s birthday celebrations within the capital and decides to lead off a voyage to assassinate the magistrate to revenge her family’s death. Master Fa Ren quickly learns of Sima Yan’s abduction and enlists pupil Chao Wei, a detailed friend of Sima Yan’s, to help her during her assignment within the capital.

    However, as Zhi-Ming prepares to stab He Suo together with his Lion dance, he’s prevented by Si-ma Yan and her compatriots, who try and assassinate He Suo with disguised bows during a performance. After He Suo dodges the arrows, the plan goes astray, and a giant brawl erupts, with Zhi-Ming, Si-ma Yan, and Chao Wei all fleeing He Suo’s thugs.

    Despite being injured during the escape attempt, Si-ma Yan and Chao Wei unwillingly cooperate with Zhi-Ming to avoid Suo’s wrath, who has blocked all routes visiting the South, where Si-ma Yan and Chao Wei expect to return to Southern Shaolin. The trio eventually avoids the checkpoints founded by He Suo’s men, but after resting for the night, Si-ma Yan shows Zhi-Ming a silver anklet that was the only remembrance he has of his past life.

    Chao Wei and Sima Yan comply with depart, but Zhi-ming is brought before the abbot of Northern Shaolin and condemned to three years in solitary prison, together with another Shaolin Monk facing 9 years. After telling the monk about Si-ma Yan, Zhi-Ming is suggested to depart the temple and live a secular life, but Zhi-Ming acknowledges that Shaolin is all he knows and doesn’t want to travel.

    Zhi-Ming expresses his desire to briefly leave Shaolin to talk with Si-ma Yan after understanding he cannot devote himself to her. Zhi-ming confesses to Chao Wei that he has the identical ankle band as Si-ma Yan after arriving in Southern Shaolin.

    After narrowly evading Master Shi Ren, who had come on an escort mission from the Abbot, Zhi-Ming and Chao Wei make their thanks to the most road, only to search out Fa Ren severely wounded, and alert the duo that Si-ma Yan had been caught by He Suo and brought by boat. Meanwhile, He Suo tells Si-ma Yan that he intends to draw in both Zhi-ming and Chao Wei so that he may personally kill all three.

    Zhi-ming and Chao Wei blockade the river and fight He Suo’s thugs after uncovering He Suo’s boat before the Northern and Southern Shaolin temples arrive to assist the duo to save Si-ma Yan. With their task completed, Zhi-ming returns to Northern Shaolin, but not before returning the anklet to Chao Wei. Despite his initial opposition, Chao Wei is shown clutching the bracelet by Si-ma Yan and claims ownership, to which Zhi-ming extends his best wishes before departing with the monks back to Northern Shaolin.

  15. Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)

    Director: Richard Donner

    Writers: Shane Black(characters), Jonathan Lemkin(story), Alfred Gough(story)

    Stars: Jet Li, Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci

    Genres: Action, Crime, Thriller

     Lethal Weapon 4
(1998) on IMDb

    Lethal Weapon 4

    Lorna Cole is expecting a child with LAPD Sergeant Martin Riggs; they are not married, but both are considering it. Rianne Murtaugh, the daughter of LAPD Sergeant Roger Murtaugh, is also expecting. The Police Chief promotes Riggs and Murtaugh to captains due to difficulties with the department’s insurance provider over their activities as sergeants.

    Murtaugh discovers Hong and his family hiding from US Immigration agents to avoid deportation during the subsequent investigation. Murtaugh provides them refuge in his home, and their families, along with Riggs and Cole, form an immediate friendship.

    Riggs learns through Lorna that Murtaugh’s yet-to-be-born grandson by Rianne is fathered by Detective Lee Butters, which Murtaugh cannot bear because he did not want his daughter to marry a cop and that Murtaugh still does not know who is the father because the family has kept it hidden from him.

    The cops’ continued investigation of the smuggling organization leads them to Uncle Benny Chan, a mafia lord who operates out of a Chinatown restaurant. They are introduced to Wah Sing Ku, a high-ranking Triad negotiator. When the officers show no probable cause, Chan kicks them out of his business.

    Chan and Ku take steps to eliminate everyone involved in their plot. Ku transports Hong to his uncle’s warehouse, where he has been engraving plates for a counterfeiting enterprise for Ku and Chan in exchange for family transportation. With Getz as a distraction, the officers visit Chan at his dentist’s office to interrogate him with laughing gas for more information, but they cannot obtain any leads, and Riggs and Butters inadvertently divulge the family secret to Murtaugh.

    Ku attempts to flee with his brother, but Murtaugh shoots and kills him. Riggs and Murtaugh track Ku down to a pier and engage him in a vicious fistfight. Murtaugh pierces Ku’s stomach with the rebar before being knocked out, at which point the pier falls, sending Riggs and Ku into the water. Riggs can finish off Ku with a Kalashnikov assault rifle, while Murtaugh recovers in time to save Riggs from a piece of concrete that had stuck him underwater.


Here were the top 15 action-packed movies starring Jet Li. Asian actors are known for turning down roles/  characters and/or plots that do not intrigue them, Jet Li is one of them. Streaming through the entertainment industry, Jet Li has made a place for himself as an excellent wuxia and kung fu action sequence choreographer. The infamous actor has been capable enough to be recognized all across the globe after starring alongside other great Western action stars. His movies are perfect for action-craving fans with sometimes a comedic twist.

Kierra Rowsey
Kierra Rowsey

Kierra Rowsey is a freelance TV, Film and anime critic for over 12 years, living in Arkansas with her husband and three kids. She graduated from NYU College of Arts & Science in 2008.

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