Because He Needs Love...Donnie Yen

26.11.12 ShaSha LaPerf 5 Comments

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So many people know about Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Chow Yun-fat, and of course Bruce Lee, so I needed to give some love for Donnie Yen. Like the rest, Donnie is an actor/martial artist. However he hasn't really appeared in a lot of movies in the US, though his HK filmography stretched pretty far. So let's get on to Donnie Yen! Just a note, this post is video heavy and the videos may contain some movie spoilers because they're loaded with lots of people getting a beat down Yen style.

Here's the standard Wiki stuff. Donnie Yen was born in China in 1963. He spent a few years living in Boston and is fluent in English. Yen began to learn martial arts through T'ai Chi at an early age. He spent about two years training with the Beijing Wushu Team. Besides Wushu and T'ai chi, Yen is also skilled in Muay Thai, Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Justu, Wing Chun, and Taekwondo. Ten also has skills in parkour and break dancing.

Yen first got into the movie scene as a stuntman for the film Shaolin Drunkard in 1983. About a year later he got the starring role in the film Drunken Tai Chi. His first film to receive and American release is Iron Monkey. Although the movie itself was released in 1993, the film's American release wasn't until 2000. Let's all watch him kick ass in this scene:



I haven't seen Iron Monkey yet. Remind me to add this to my Netflix queue. Yen's first official Hollywood role came in a sequel in the Highlander franchise. In the 2000 film, Highlander: Endgame, Yen played the role of Jin Ke as well as took charge on the martial arts choreography. Let's watch him kick more ass:


Yen also appeared in the second Blade movie, which was total crap so I don't wanna spend time talking about it. Seriously it was really terrible. So was Blade III for that matter, awful awful shit. Okay enough with the Blade rant, LOL. Well actually I couldn't find scenes of Yen in Blade. Wiki says he played a character named Snowman, but I don't remember this character at all.

Moving on. Yen's biggest American movie role would probably be in Shanghai Knights, the 2003 sequel to Shanghai Noon. Yen played the villianous Wu Chow, which pit him against Jackie Chan's character. Let's watch him kick ass with Jackie Chan!



I tried to find a much better version of this scene but outside of posting the whole movie (LOL which is posted on YouTube), this was the best I could find. Also...Chan basically got owned until the end...but it's his movie so...

Outside of those three films, Yen hasn't done more work in the states. According to him, he says it's not due to a lack of offers. In a recent article on Comingsoon.net, Yen says he was offered a role in Expendables 2, and explained why he turned it down:
"They wanted me to be in 'Expendables 2' but I just didn't feel the role clicked. I was flattered that I was approached by the producers but I just didn't see the role they asked me to do being that intriguing. I didn't really want to do it but I'm open for anything. Doing a movie is a stressful thing. You spend months of you life focusing into that one project and I want to make sure I do something I really like or I'm really passionate about."
Given Jet Li's seriously diminished role in the film, I doubt they would've made use of Yen's awesomeness anyway.

Although Yen hasn't made much of name for himself in American movies, he's definitely done so with his HK films. In 2002 he appeared in the film Hero along with Jet Li. Let's watch him kick ass with Jet Li!



Seriously if you haven't seen Hero, it makes me has a sad. Just the cinematography and use of color alone in the film is pretty amazing. Also it's a movie with a bunch of hot Asian people kicking ass...what other reason do you need, LOL?

Moving on. One of Yen's most recent and probably biggest roles would have to be Ip Man which was released in 2008. Ip Man tells the story of Bruce Lee's Wing Chun master,Yip Man, with Yen in the lead role (there is also a prequel to the films, but Yen was not a part of that movie). Let's watch Yen kick Japanese karate ass!



I loved both Ip Man movies those Shen thinks the second Ip Man movie is a rip off of Rocky IV (and I think there were some similarities to Jet Li's Fearless). Still if you don't want to see Ip Man 2, the first film is loaded with awesomeness and should be watched. Yen is working on another Ip Man movie, and is somewhat conflicted on if he wants to take on the role, Yip Man, the more well-known Bruce Lee, or either role at all. According to an interview with the Huffington Post, he says
Yen said, “"I have mixed feelings on that, if I do Bruce Lee … in my heart I feel I might be the best person to play that role, but what am I? Bruce Lee or Ip Man? I kind of passed that idea. As much as I would like to play Bruce Lee, I was quite sure that I wanted to leave Bruce Lee as it is instead of spoiling it."
Bruce Lee was only briefly mentioned in the previous movies and the third movie would put a bit more focus on both perople. Either way I'm sure I'll be all into this one!

Yen has done some more modern day movies as well. Flash Point, which was actually released a year before Ip Man has him in the role of a badass cops taking on some gangsters. What makes this movie interesting is that it's loaded with MMA style movies. In fact you can watch Yen training as the credit roll. Let's watch him kick ass MMA style!



Flash Point wasn't the best plotted movie, but it's still pretty entertaining and has some good fight scenes.

Yen isn't all serious all the time. In 2011 and 2012 he appeared in the films All's Well, Ends Well, a set of romantic comedies involving make-up artists. Let's watch Donnie Yen kick ass with foundation!


That's just the trailer. This movie looks pretty random, but I'll definitely keep an eye out for it on Netflix on some Asian movie torrent site, LOL.

And speaking of trailers, here's my last Yen kicking ass video. This one is a traile for the movie Dragon. The movie was screened at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. Yen gets to kick ass with Takeshi Kaneshiro who's known for being good-looking. LOL oh yeah he's done movies too. Actually he's been in some pretty big ones like Red Cliff and House of Flying Daggers. Let's watch them trailer ass kicking!


The movie is getting a limited American released on November 30th. As for recent Hong Kong movies, he'll be appearing in the film The Monkey King which is set to be released on July 4, 2013. The Monkey King legend is pretty popular in Chinese culture and has been done several times. LOL hell even the anime Dragon Ball makes obvious references to it, and that (VERY DISAPPOINTING) Forbidden Kingdom film with Jackie Chan and Jet Li referenced it as well. This new version will also star Chow Yun-fat, Peter Ho, and Kelly Chen. So it will be interesting to see how this one turns out.

So that's it for Donnie Yen. If y'all have an free time and a Netflix account, I say check out his movies. You won't be disappointed...like I was with Forbidden Kingdom and Blade II. Ugh, maybe I need to go watch Iron Monkey right to get the stink of those two movies off my mind...

5 comments:

  1. Yaaaaay for Donnie Yen! He is definitely one of my favorites and a lot of people go who? When you mention him, especially if they don't watch foreign films, which is sad. :(

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  2. Ohhh~! Even though I never knew his name, it looks like I've seen him a lot more than I thought I have! :) Thanks for introducing (reintroducing?) him to me! :) I'll be looking some of these films up! Been awhile since I've seen a martial arts flick in awhile anyway!

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  3. It seems like martial arts movies in general are losing ground nowadays. Of course they're still big in Asia but internationally they don't seem to hold the hype they did. I do think that mixed martial arts is becoming more popular thought and MMA stars are in movies now--thought I haven't really seen any Asian ones yet. I too knew Donnie by face but not by name until I saw IP Man.

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  4. Donnie definitely deserve some love. I never understood why never had a huge career here, since he actually lived in the US for a long while and probably can speak English fluently.

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  5. Adore him!! I'll watch anything he is in...I first saw him in IP Man. He is so sexy and love watching him fight. My fiance is Asian. Bruce Lee ruined me for anything but, years back.Likely one of the few upper Midwest gals that had a kung fun movie addiction...Great post! Thanks for posting.

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