This list was hard to whittle down to only ten, but we managed to do it. The following are our top ten greatest movie fighters of all time (and in no particular order). The names were selected based on their ability to sell a good movie fight scene; genuine lifelong martial arts and combat training, and hand to hand combat skills – even though some of the mentions also have weapons training – we focused purely on their ability to throw down with their bare hands on, and off screen. Without further adue, here is Hard Knocks’ Top 10 Movie Fighters of All Time!
1. Donnie Yen
Arguably the most current, and widely know movie fighter today, Donnie Yen is a man possessed. With movies like Ip Man, Flashpoint, and Special ID, Donnie Yen amazes with blinding hand speed, viciously real looking kicks, and on screen charisma that is comparable to Bruce Lee. What’s even more impressive is that the man just turned 52 this year, and doesn’t seem to be slowing down with his ass kicking abilities.
Movie Suggestion: Flashpoint, Ip Man.
2. Scott Adkins
Known for his role as Uri Boyka in the Undisputed movies, Scott Adkins is unbiased in selecting his roles as hero or villain. He’s been training in martial arts since the age of 13, specifically taekwondo and kickboxing. Adkins impresses with his leg dexterity and kicking ability, as well as how agile and acrobatic he is when filming fight scenes.
Movie Suggestion: Undisputed II & III, Ninja 2.
3. Jackie Chan
Although he is slowing down with age, Jackie Chan is the most widely known kung fu fighter on this list. From East to West, he is known and loved worldwide for his unique blend of high-level martial arts skills, and ability to mix physical comedy into his fight scenes. He may also be the greatest fighter on this list to use props, and perform his own death defying stunts that leave viewers in awe time after time. I think it’s safe to say that we have all anecdotally heard a legendary Jackie Chan stunt story at least once in our lives.
Movie Suggestion: The Legend of Drunken Master/ Drunken Master II, Rumble in the Bronx.
4. Sylvester Stallone
Responsible for creating the greatest movie boxer of all time, Sylvester Stallone was literally inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2011. Need I say more. He created the most legendary fictional boxer in film history, Rocky Balboa. On top of his ability to write inspirational screenplays and scripts that will leave you with goosebumps, Sly has been an avid boxer himself since the 70’s. YouTube any inspirational/motivational video right now, and 9 times of 10 you will hear a Rocky Balboa monologue in there somewhere.
Movie Suggestion: Rocky IV, well all Rocky films to be honest.
5. Jean Claude Van Damme
Dubbed “The Muscles From Brussels”, JCVD was a legend back in the day and still has a cult following of fans today. He’s known for his merely perfect man splits, and legs that function like arms when he throws kicks. Of course we can’t fail to mention his famous Bloodsport scream that is known by fans and haters alike.
Movie Suggestion: Bloodsport, Kickboxer, and that epic Volvo commercial.