de Ask MDL, julho 1, 2019

Action film is a genre wherein physical action takes precedence in the storytelling. The film will often have continuous motion and action, including physical stunts, chases, fights, battles, and races. The story usually revolves around a hero that has a goal, but is facing incredible odds to obtain it. -

We are back with another theme, and we have a good one! A good action movie or drama produces a rush of blood, an indescribable thrill, and a strong sense of awe, often also making the viewer feel a very strong emotional connection to the character. Usually, the action revolves around the good fighting the evil, but some shows make things greyer, and it is hard to know who to root for! Martial Arts and Wuxia take up a special place in this genre. Indeed, many movies just use the story as a prompt to showcase elaborately choreographed fight sequences, which could range from the believable to the utterly unbelievable. Crime and political thrillers are other goldmines for the action buff.

Good action often involves an incredible amount of ingenuity but this is not always needed: combine one or more elements among gunfights, sharp pointy weapons, martial arts, cars, rooftops, horses etc. with a decent plot with heroes/heroines to root for, and one could have endless hours of excitement. A special mention also of all the action comedies out there, they have an almost universal appeal.

People who do not like the action genre might struggle to understand the why behind the phenomenon of basically watching people attack each other over extended periods of time (LOL). Yet, it relates at a very basic level to the joy of triumphing over overwhelming odds, the sense of justice, and just raw visual amazement at seemingly-impossible stunts. That is why we do not see the spectacular growth of the action genre over the past few decades in danger of stopping anytime soon. This month, we bring to you a choice selection of some of the best action out there. Hope you enjoy!

Our main group of protagonists decide to play a prank on the neighbouring school's bullies. Excellent script writing.

A guy fired from his job at a company, forms a ragtag team of people who work together to punish evildoers.

Naive cop joins the Yakuza undercover. Over the top yet so fun.

Numb to the stories debtors tell,  Ushijima just wants his money back, with interest of course. 
All 4 movies are my guilty pleasure.

Bonus: Apparently, this girl likes a little action in her movies. : )

Dramas: Bloody Monday, Bloody Monday 2, Clone Baby, Crisis: Kouan Kidou Sousatai Tokusou-han, Dias Police: Ihou Keisatsu, HiGH&LOW, HiGH&LOW SEASON 2, Kaitou Yamaneko, Kyou Kara Ore Wa!!, Ouroboros, Gokusen, Gokusen 2, Gokusen 3, Tokyo DOGS, Kurosagi, Lucky Seven, Bitter BloodBG: Personal Bodyguard

Movies: Karate Kill, Karate Girl, Ushijima the Loan Shark Part 2, Ushijima the Loan Shark Part 3, Kaiji, Ushijima the Loan Shark The Final, Confession of Murder, 20th Century Boys 1: Beginning of the End, Assassination Classroom, Assassination Classroom: Graduation, Battle Royale, Crows Zero, Crows Zero 2, Crows Explode, Dias Police: Dirty Yellow Boys, Grasshopper, HiGH&LOW The Movie, HiGH&LOW The Movie 2: END OF SKY, HiGH&LOW: The Red Rain, HiGH&LOW The Movie 3: FINAL MISSION, HiGH&LOW THE MIGHTY WARRIORS, Road To HiGH&LOW, Gantz, Gantz: Perfect Answer, Another Gantz, Kurosagi: The Movie, Waruboro, Kindaichi Shonen no Jikenbo: Kyuuketsuki Densetsu Satsujin Jiken, Platina Data, Mirai Nikki, Brain Man, Black Butler, The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji, The Mole Song: Hong Kong Crazy Uproar Song, Joker Game, Lupin IIIJojo's Bizarre Adventure - Diamond is Unbreakable


A former assassin tried to build her own family by faking her own death. But when the cartel she used to work for, found out that she's still alive, she was hunted down, and her family was killed.

A story about a general's daughter who was kidnapped and then raised as the kidnapper's own daughter. She will then be used to cause her real father's downfall.

Inspired by real-life events. Convicts are temporarily released from prison as contract killers, to carry out political executions. 

(First Season)

A policeman assumes the identity of his twin brother in order to continue to carry out his mission.


Movies: Buy Bust, Extra Service, Jack EM Popoy: The Puliscredibles, Riding in Tandem, Metro Manila

Drama: Cain and Abel, Asintado, The Blood Sisters, Wildflower

Set in 1980s Taiwan, after the end of military dictatorship, Monga centers around the troubled lives of five youths. The narrator of the story, Mosquito, is invited to be a part of a gang after a silly fight over a chicken leg. Mosquito has grown up without a father and has never had any real friends, so after Monk, Dragon and the others take him under their wings, he discovers an irresistible world of friendship and brotherhood. However, Mosquito soon discovers that in this violent world things aren't always what they seem. When a group of mainlanders attempt to take over Monga, the fragile balance over the district's turf is threatened, friendship is tested, and loyalty is questioned.

Tsao, the emperor's first eunuch, has successfully bested General Yu, his political opponent. The general was beheaded but his remaining children have been exiled out of China. As the children are being escorted to the western border of the Chinese empire, Tsao plots to have the children killed. Tsao's secret police lie in ambush at the desolate Dragon Gate Inn. Martial arts expert Hsiao shows up at the inn, wanting to meet the innkeeper. Unknown to the secret police is that the innkeeper, Wu Ning, was one of the general's lieutenants and has summoned Hsiao to help the children. A brother-sister martial-artist team (children of another Yu lieutenant) also show up to help. These four race to find Yu's children and lead them to safety.

Ku, a well-meaning but unambitious scholar and painter, lives with his mother near an abandoned fort, reputed to be haunted. One night, while investigating strange noises he meets the beautiful Yang who is living there. She is being pursued by agents of an imperial noble who have murdered her family. Ku finds himself caught up in her struggle to survive, and many fierce battles take place before all is resolved.

Not just a rare Taiwanese Wuxia production, it is one of the biggest action epics of its time.

A laundry shop secretly provides a service other than doing laundry. The beautiful shop owner A-Gu enlists a group of contract killers in the disguise of laundry servicemen. One of these professionals, “No.1, Chingtian Street”, is haunted by the ghosts of his victims. He seeks help from Lin Hsiang, a psychic introduced by A-Gu. It turns out Lin Hsiang is the only one that can also see the ghosts troubling “No.1, Chingtian Street.” She tries to help him get rid of the ghosts, but the laundry shop hides secrets more than she bargained for. And what “No.1, Chingtian Street” runs from is not the ghosts of others but the ghosts from his past.  


Dramas: Black & WhiteWind and CloudThe OutsidersHIStory 3: TrappedSanctuaryThe Outsiders II, Infernal LoverThe Masked LoverPandamen

Movies: The Assassin, The Treasure Hunter, Born Invincible, 60 Second Assassin, One Armed Swordsman Against Nine Killers

Deu, a beautiful but rough girl, gets kidnapped by a mysterious organization. At that moment, a man named Sanim helps Deu escape from her abductors. This changes Deu's life.

Wayu is an orphan who was raised by a man who taught him to become an assassin. He was always alone until he met Pavarin, an artist. Pavarin's father, Tanatat, is a rich businessman. No one knows that he is also the bad guy who sells drugs. Wayu is hired by Tanatat to kill his enemies. Wayu and Pavarin fall in love, but their love is forbidden by Pavarin's father.  

Five kids fled from a mafia who abused them as beggars. They ended up meeting the great kung fu master who adopted them and taught them how to fight. Now, the kids are grownups and become the magnificent five kung fu fighters who have only one mission: to seek revenge from the mafia who destroyed their lives.

Fahsai is heartbroken after her ex-boyfriend cheated on her. In order to avoid him, Fahsai's friend takes her on a trip to Japan. While she is there, Fahsai is held at gunpoint by a Hong Kong mafia named Daniel Wong. The man was shot, and needs a place to stay overnight so he orders Fahsai to take him to her hotel room. And that's how their story begins.


Dramas: The Crown Princess, Paragit Ruk Series: Yeut Fah Ha Pigat Ruk, Pope Rak, Leh Lub Salub Rarng, Roy Ruk Hak Liam Tawan, Game Maya, Cubic, Nang Rai Sai Lab, Tawan Deard, Rahut Torachon, Yok Luerd Mungkorn

Movies: Chocolate, Friends Never Die, Ong Bak, The Bodyguard, Tom Yum Goong, Yamada: The Samurai of Ayothaya, Bang Rajan, BKO: Bangkok Knockout, Muay Thai Chaiya, Chai Lai

Ip Man is a 2008 Hong Kong semi biographical martial arts film very loosely based on the life of Yip Man, a grandmaster of the martial art Wing Chun and master of Bruce Lee.

 Set in 1930's Foshan, China, an area known for its martial arts prowess, Ip Man lives the regal life of a prosperous martial arts master. He devotes the majority of his time to honing his skills in the art of Wing Chung, while living blissfully with his wife and child in a mansion like home. But Ip Man's world gets turned upside down by the outbreak of the second Sino-Japanese War and the subsequent invasion of China by the Japanese Imperial Army. 
This successful film spawned four sequels.

Lee gets invited to a martial arts tournament held on a private island by Han, a Shaolin student who is now involved in drug trafficking and prostitution. Lee is then asked to go on an undercover mission during this tournament to investigate what is happening in Han's Island.

This is an iconic movie that truly made Bruce Lee into a legend.

The plot centers on a young and mischievous Wong Fei-hung, who runs into a series of troubles, from beating up the wrong people, to making inappropriate advances on a woman. His father decides to punish him for his behaviour by making him train harder in martial arts. Wong's father arranges for Beggar So to train his son in martial arts. Beggar So forces Wong into his brutal and rigorous training program. Soon Wong proceeds to learn Beggar So's secret style of martial arts, a form of Drunken Boxing called "The Eight Drunken Immortals", named after the eight mythological figures that the fighting style emulates.

This is a historical piece that centers around a single town. During the Qing dynasty, a cruel young warlord represses anyone lower than him. A group of villagers stand up to fight back with a single man as the leader. This movie was a big hit and has many popular actors, such as Eddie Peng, Louis Koo, and Ching Wan Lau.


Dramas: Line WalkerLine Walker: The PreludeSergeant TabloidOn the First BeatThe FourTiger CubsHighs and LowsThe Proud TwinsBurning Flame, Lethal Weapons of Love and Passion, E.U. (Emergency Unit)The AcademyTwin of BrothersGun Metal GreyBurning Flame II,  Burning Flame IIILives of Omission

Movies: The 36th Chamber of ShaolinManhunt, Kung Fu HustleInsanity, Line WalkerThe Bodyguard from BeijingOnce Upon a Time in China, The Big Boss, Fist of FuryIp Man 2: Legend of Grandmaster, Ip Man: The Legend is BornIp Man: The Final FightIp Man 3City Hunter, Drunken Master IIFive Deadly Venoms, Game of DeathWay of the DragonRumble in the BronxShanghai Noon, Gorgeous, Return to the 36th ChamberWheels on MealsMy Lucky StarsThe MythThe Lost Bladesman, 7 GrandmastersRaining in The Mountain

Set in the Qing Dynasty during the 43rd year (1779) of the reign of the Qianlong Emperor, martial arts master Li Mu Bai is about to retire and enter a life of meditation, though he quietly longs to avenge the death of his master, who was killed by Jade Fox. He gives his sword, a fabled 400-year-old weapon known as Green Destiny, to his friend, fellow martial arts wizard, and secret love Yu Shu Lien, so that she may deliver it to Sir Te. Upon arrival in Peking, Yu happens upon Jen, a vivacious, willful politician's daughter. That night, a mysterious masked thief swipes Green Destiny, with Yu in hot pursuit -- resulting in the first of several martial arts action set pieces during the film. 

Once upon a time, in the city of Uranopolis, there lived the Winged Tribe, a race capable of flying. But after losing a battle to humans, they gradually lost their ability to fly. Xue Lie, a royal descendant from the Winged Tribe, begins a search for the magical Naga Pearls in order to destroy the Human Tribe and avenge the death of his people. When Ni the thief, Gali the human prince, and Hei Yu the constable accidentally lay hands on a mysterious box containing the Naga Pearls, they find themselves hunted down by Xue Lie. After they have lost the pearls to Xue Lie eventually, they decide to team up and rush back to Uranopolis to thwart his evil plans.

 The story takes place during the chaotic times of Wei, where innocent citizens are often kidnapped and turned into slaves. Slave girl, Chu Qiao was thrown into a forest along with other slaves and becomes the next hunting target for the rich lords. She is saved by the Prince of Yanbei, Yan Xun. Afterwards, she is brought into a powerful family of Yu Wen and witnesses their bloody power struggle. Seeing this, she swears to take her younger sisters and flee from the situation. However, she catches the attention of Yu Wen Yue and undergoes strict training while building a sense of companionship with Yan Xun. The drama focuses on Chu Qiao's life beliefs and her struggle to survive in a cruel and unfair world.

Set three years after Dragon Inn, innkeeper Jade has disappeared and a new inn has risen from the ashes – one that’s staffed by marauders masquerading as law-abiding citizens, who hope to unearth the fabled lost city buried in the desert.

Legend has it that every sixty years, a storm will reveal the location of a place buried with its lost treasures. The infamous Dragon Inn is the rumoured location where the buried city lays under. Now with the storm approaching, a motley crew of different folks gathers at the Dragon Inn with their own hidden agendas. 


Dramas: Rakshasa Street

Movies: Hero, Looking For Jackie, The Forbidden Kingdom, House of Flying DaggersSword MasterBadges of FuryReign of AssassinsCrouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny

Cha Tae Shik runs a pawnshop, and the only happy thing in his otherwise mundane life is a little girl, So Mi, who is also his neighbour. So Mi's mother is a drug addict and gets involved with some gangsters when she steals drugs from them and hides them in Tae Shik's shop. This results in the gangsters kidnapping So Mi and her mother, and they blackmail Tae Shik into bringing the drug to them. Thus Tae Shik sets out on a rescue mission to save So Mi.

When I ask my friends who do not watch Korean dramas or movies, if they have ever watched anything from South Korea, the answer is always Old Boy.
The story revolves around Oh Dae Su, a man who gets kidnapped, and finds out that he has been falsely accused of his wife's murder. 15 years later, he is suddenly set free. He, then begins his search for his captor, to find out why they did what they did, and to seek revenge while trying to look for his lost daughter.

A book is published right after the statute of limitation for a horrendous serial killing expires. As the author claims to be the killer and garners public interest, the then police officer of the case, Detective Choi and Ji Soo, mother of a victim set out to look for the writer. The story takes an unexpected turn when another man who claims to be the killer comes up.

Starring Lee Joon Gi, this action-packed drama revolves around Tae San, a former gangster who is framed for murder when he was scheduled to save his daughter's life by donating his bone marrow. Now a fugitive, he tries to find out who is behind his false conviction, and save his daughter in time as well.


DramasCruel City, Healer, Live, Life on Mars, Mr. Sunshine, Six Flying Dragons, The Fiery Priest, The Bridal Mask, Lawless Attorney, Time between Dog and Wolf, IRISDescendants of the SunMan to Man

Movies: A Taxi Driver, Train to Busan, Midnight Runners, Secretly, Greatly, Memoir of a Murderer, VeteranI Saw The Devil

Hope you enjoyed the article!

If we missed any great action movie or drama, drop a comment!

Until next time!