6.6/10
281
7 user 2 critic

The Art of Action: Martial Arts in Motion Picture (2002)

A look at the history of martial arts films from their chinese roots to the present, presented by Samuel L. Jackson.

Director:

(as Keith Clarke)

Writer:

Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

There is no plot in this film. It is a collection of the best fighting scenes from the martial arts films (i.e. Bruce Lee and others).

Director: Sandra Weintraub
Stars: John Saxon, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Chris Casamassa
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Seven years after the apparent death of Chen Zhen, who was shot after discovering who was responsible for his teacher's death (Huo Yuanjia) in Japanese-occupied Shanghai. A mysterious ... See full summary »

Director: Wai-Keung Lau
Stars: Donnie Yen, Alex Ahlstrom, Qi Shu
Basic (2003)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A DEA agent investigates the disappearance of a legendary Army ranger drill sergeant and several of his cadets during a training exercise gone severely awry.

Director: John McTiernan
Stars: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Connie Nielsen
The Way Back I (2010)
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Siberian gulag escapees travel 4,000 miles by foot to freedom in India.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Colin Farrell
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself - Interviewee
...
Himself - Interviewee
...
Herself - Interviewee
Raymond Chow ...
Himself - Interviewee
...
Himself
...
Latrell Walker in Exit Wounds (archive footage)
...
Himself - Interviewee
...
Himself - Narrator
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself - Interviewee
...
Himself - Interviewee (archive footage)
...
Himself - Interviewee
...
Himself - Interviewee
Chia-Liang Liu ...
Himself - Interviewee
Hoi Mang ...
Himself - Interviewee
Edit

Storyline

A look at the history of martial arts films from their chinese roots to the present, presented by Samuel L. Jackson.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

June 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Arte Marcial no Cinema  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Bruce Lee: To me - okay? - to me, ultimately martial art means honestly expressing yourself. That is very difficult to do.
See more »

Connections

Features Shrek (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Nice But No Knockout
8 March 2006 | by (Little Rock) – See all my reviews

The Art of Action (2002) is one of the better documentaries on martial arts movies but is certainly not as good as it could be. It features many interesting interviews from legends of the genre including Sammo Hung, John Woo, Lau-kar Lung, David Carradine and even producer Raymond Chow. One of the best aspects of this documentary is that it includes numerous film clips and other rare footage, all nicely remastered and shown in the original widescreen format. Samuel L. Jackson was perhaps not the best choice for narrating the film but does a solid job.

The Art of Action is a nice introduction to the martial arts genre but is vastly incomplete. A nice history of the origins of martial arts film is given, from the Peking Opera influence through the Wong Fei Hung years. The film unbelievably glances over the genre's glory days of the 1970's and 1980's. Rather than exploring many of the legendary and popular films of the kung fu era, the documentary focus on a few (2 maybe) select films and actors. A chapter is given to Bruce Lee which provides some insight into his films and his impact on the genre. In a rare and interesting TV interview, a charismatic Bruce Lee explains his fighting philosophy. A chapter is also dedicated to Jackie Chan which discusses his career from his beginnings in the Peking Opera school to some of his more recent successes in the U.S. Not much time is given to the great Sammo Hung. Jet Li and legendary choreographer Yuen Wo Ping are also briefly mentioned. Some analysis was given to the career of director John Woo but was a little disappointing. They mentioned only in passing his classic Hong Kong bullet ballets and only showed clips from "Face Off" and "Mission Impossible 2." Much of the remainder of the film focused on modern movies, especially "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon." The film dwells on it for over 6 minutes! The documentary wastes a lot of time by mentioning contemporary films influenced by the martial arts genre like "Charlie's Angels," "the Matrix" and even "Shrek". Inexplicably there is no mention of Steven Segal, Jean-Claude Van Damme or Chuck Norris and their real martial arts influenced Hollywood films.

The Art of Action covers a lot of ground in only 90 minutes and does not get to go into much detail. Many classic films and legendary performers are not even mentioned in this documentary. There is no mention of actors like Hwang Jang Lee, Sonny Chiba, Dorian Tan, Alexander Fu Sheng or John Liu. There is also no mention of the independent film companies like Seasonal Films. The film was co-written by Keith Clarke and Christopher Sliney. The writing was not real strong and probably could have been done better by Richard Meyers or Bey Logan.

As a huge fan of the martial arts genre I was a little disappointed in the Art of Action. I felt it was incomplete and deficient in telling the whole story of the martial arts genre. It gives a nice history and background to the genre but does not focus on the all the great films that made it a worldwide phenomena. The Art of Action is a nice introduction to the genre for novice fans but may be disappointing for die hard fans seeking more in-depth analysis.

Film clips/Rare footage: 8/10

Depth/Analysis: 6/10

Overall: 7/10


11 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Wu Sha Martialscience

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?