Finest Tony Leung Films to Watch After Shang-Chi

Who knew the best approach to clear up the MCU’s drawback with uninteresting villains was to simply solid probably the most magnetic performers of the final 30 years? In Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Xu Wenwu instantly enters the pantheon of nice comedian ebook film antagonists because of the inimitable skills of Tony Leung, who brings a potent mix of quiet vulnerability and simmering depth to the superhero Kung-fu movie. Regardless of an acclaimed profession stretching again to the late-80s, the sheer scale of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the vary of its goal demographic does imply that, as astounding as it might appear, Shang-Chi would be the first time some folks expertise Tony Leung. However as an alternative of Shaming The Youths, we prefer to see it as a studying alternative. A delicate push, with out judgment, into an astonishing filmography: If Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the primary movie you’ve got seen Tony Leung in, and also you’re very understandably feeling a sure sort of approach about it, watch these movies subsequent.

Remember, these 5 examples are the tip of the iceberg, however they do cowl a variety of the person’s many skills, from mind-blowing Wuxia motion hero to achingly intimate romantic lead.

RELATED: How ‘Shang-Chi’ Creates the MCU’s First Precise Motion Star

Arduous Boiled

Picture by way of Golden Princess Movie Manufacturing

After an extended stint on TV and garnering popularity of the 1989 historic drama A Metropolis of Disappointment, Leung exploded because of Arduous Boiled. In all equity, there are only a few issues that don’t explode in Arduous Boiled, director John Woo‘s farewell to the Hong Kong movie trade and arguably his gun-fu masterpiece. Chow Yun-fat—finishing his “I Am the Coolest Motherf*cker Alive” trilogy after A Higher Tomorrow and The Killer—stars as “Tequila” Yuen, a tenacious gun-slinging cop hell-bent on taking down the weapon-running operation led by Johnny Wong (Anthony Wong). The case brings Tequila up in opposition to Alan (Leung), an undercover officer so embedded within the Triads he can barely keep in mind who he’s anymore. The motion in Arduous Boiled is, to not put too superb some extent on it, completely balls-out insane, however no one choreographs mayhem like Woo. There’s by no means a single wasted squib, bullet casing, or sugar glass pane, not even throughout the 40 straight minutes of gunfire that ends the movie. Woo creates symphonies. However Arduous Boiled additionally would not get sufficient credit score as an incredible instance of the at-odds buddy cop style. As soon as they begin working collectively, Chow Yun-fat and Tony Leung have unimaginable chemistry as two guys who form of hate one another working in excellent tandem throughout a disaster, and it gives a big coronary heart on the heart of all that bloodshed.

In The Temper For Love

Good lord, the pining that occurs on this movie. The depth of the pining alone may energy a metropolis grid for a number of months. Probably the most acknowledged of Leung’s seven movies with director Wong Kar-wai, Within the Temper for Love is an aching romance informed nearly totally by physique language and issues left unsaid. Journalist Chow Mo-wan (Leung) and secretary Su Li-shen (Maggie Cheung) transfer into the identical residence constructing and rapidly uncover their spouses are having an affair with one another. As they bond over the shared betrayal, Chow and Su notice they, too, are falling for one another, however the recent scars of their spouses’ unfaithfulness hold them from appearing on it. Director Wong captures this unrequited love in masterful body after body, accentuating the 2 sensible, near-silent lead performances in a approach that feels like screaming. You might watch this factor on mute and nonetheless know these two folks yearn for one another. It is simply such a stunning film on each degree—costume designer William Chang‘s parade of jaw-dropping outfits for Cheung is sufficient to knock you on the ground—that earned Leung an exceedingly well-deserved Finest Actor on the 2000 Cannes Movie Pageant.


Picture by way of Beijing New Image Movie

Hero is, for all intents and functions, a Jet Li movie, and he actually is sort of good because the anonymous lead character of director Zhang Yimou‘s historic motion epic. However Hero can also be proof that you just can’t put Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung in a tragic romance plot and anticipate audiences to deal with the rest. The movie takes its storytelling cues from Akira Kurosawa’s basic Rashomon, providing up an unreliable, constantly-changing account of how Li’s unnamed protagonist bested the three deadliest assassins in 227 BC China—first, Lengthy Sky (Donnie Yen), then lovers Damaged Sword (Leung) and Falling Snow (Cheung)—in his quest to get an viewers with the King of Qin (Chen Daoming). Hero is sort of merely probably the most beautiful-looking motion motion pictures ever made, every section of the movie taking over a singular coloration palette that overwhelms all the pieces from costuming to set design. The scene in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings during which Leung’s Wenwu first meets Ying Li (Fala Chen) on the entrance to Ta Lo owes a complete lot to Hero, particularly in its mix of coloration and in the way in which the central “battle” really appears like probably the most sleek, sensual dance you’ve got ever seen. That is Hero starting to finish.

Lust, Warning

Picture by way of Focus Options

Okay, perhaps in case you are an precise little one who first noticed Tony Leung in Shang-Chi, perhaps do not soar proper into the extraordinarily NC-17 Lust, Warning. All I do know is that many, many individuals who skilled the facility of this man’s rolled-up gown shirt sleeves in Shang-Chi would have an interest to know he starred on this erotic espionage thriller from director Ang Lee, one which went on to win the Golden Lion on the 2007 Venice Movie Pageant. Divided into two elements, 1938 Hong Kong and 1942 Shanghai, Lee’s movie follows a College of Hong Kong scholar, Wong Chia Chi (Tang Wei) who turns into embroiled in a plot to assassinate Mr. Yee (Leung), a particular agent within the Japanese occupying forces in China. Because the years cross, the deception turns much more private and much more charged, the strains between lies, love, and attraction blur into one another. Lust, Warning is a graphic, sometimes uncomfortable film, however it’s by no means gratuitous. Lee is simply telling an exceedingly advanced story about human connection, bodily or in any other case, bolstered by two astonishing lead performances.

The Grandmaster

Picture by way of Lark Movies Distribution

The latest collaboration between Leung and Wong Kar-wai sees the duo taking over the early lifetime of Ip Man, the legendary Wing Chun grasp who pioneered a type of Kung fu and impressed generations of scholars, together with Bruce Lee. Whereas Donnie Yen‘s tackle Ip Man throughout 4 movies might be extra recognizable, The Grandmaster is a much more tragic, meditative affair, digging far deeper into the nice misfortune’s of the person’s life; his household’s descent into homelessness and hunger throughout the Second Sino-Japanese Struggle, the border-closing between Hong Kong and Northern China that separated him from his spouse (Tune Hye-kyo) perpetually, the unrequited love with one of many solely folks to ever beat him in a duel, Gong Er (Zhang Ziyi). (When you could not inform, Tony Leung form of cornered the market on tragic unrequited love and we thank him for it.) Leung’s lead efficiency showcases his expertise for intense stillness, a quietness value a thousand phrases, usually telling Ip Man’s whole story behind his eyes. It is that very same quietness that makes the downright explosive bouts of motion peppered all through the movie hit all that more durable. Wong Kar-wai will get to focus his eye for a singular body on the motion choreography of Woo-Ping Yuen, an innovator of wire-fu whose work was not solely integral to the early careers of Jackie Chan, Donnie Yen, and Michelle Yeoh, however who additionally introduced the fashion to American audiences with The Matrix, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Kill Invoice. Contemplating the large expertise concerned would not make it any much less irritating that The Grandmaster is the one Wong Kar-wai movie to be acknowledged by the Oscars, however sizzling rattling did it deserve these Finest Cinematography and Finest Costume Design nods.

KEEP READING: Kung Fu and Wuxia Films to Watch if You Love ‘Shang-Chi’

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