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More specifically, five martial arts movies made outside of Hong Kong and China that you should check out.

Up until recently, whenever someone mentioned a martial arts movie, you usually would assume that it was made in Hong Kong and probably starring some of the big stars that have become household names all over the world. But, after the success of Ong Bak out of Thailand, many other countries are trying their hand at bottling some of that lightning in the form of their own martial arts films. I still have a lot to see, but here are some of my initial recommendations for martial arts movies outside of HK.

dg_poster_email_cleanTitle: Death Grip

Release Date: 2012

Country of Origin: USA

Starring: Eric Jacobus, Nathan Hoskins, Johnny Yong Bosch, Rebecca Ahn

Summary: Kenny Zemacus, a man in the midst of turning his life around, takes in his high-functioning autistic brother, Mark Zemacus, who has been in a care home for the past 15 years. After bringing him along to a catering gig at a museum, Mark unknowingly throws them both into heist that involves a priceless object, the Coin of Judas. Kenny must get both he and Mark out of this mess alive while being pursued by a satanic cult.


Title: The Raid: Redemption

Release Date: 2011

Country of Origin: Indonesia

Starring: Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Donny Alamsyah, Yayan Ruhian

Summary: Rama is part of a special police force tasked with taking over and securing a major drug lord stronghold in the form of an abandoned tenement building. Floor by floor, they must capture and arrest every member of the gang and arrest the head honcho.

City of Violence

Title: The City of Violence

Release Date: 2006

Country of Origin: South Korea

Starring: Jung Doo-hong, Ryu Seung-wan, Lee Beom-soo

Summary: Four friends meet after 20 years under a most unfortunate circumstance: to attend the funeral of a good friend. Tae Soo and Seok-hwan head up their own investigation to find out who really killed their childhood friend and bring them to justice the only way they know how.


Title: Raging Phoenix

Release Date: 2009

Country of Origin: Thailand

Starring: Jeeja Yanin, Kazu Patrick Tang

Summary: An underground operation is underway to abduct young women in the city and Dae almost became a statistic. Saved by four masters of drunken martial arts, she convinces them to teach her their style in order to infiltrate and save the women taken by the Jaguar Gang.


Title: Arahan

Release Date: 2004

Country of Origin: South Korea

Starring: Ryu Seung-beom, Yoon So-Yi

Summary: Rookie cop Sang-hwan runs into Eui Jin while trying to arrest a thief on a motorcycle. Injured in the attempt, Eui Jin takes Sang-hwan to her family where he is introduced to six Masters of Tao. Believing that he possess a powerful Qi that will allow him to become a great warrior, they train him in an effort to protect a key from falling into the hands of Heuk-woon, who wants to use it to rule the world.