Bruce Lee's kung fu films are filled with memorable action scenes, but ten of them stand out the most. Here's Lee's best fight scene ranking.
Bruce Lee's kung fu skills helped craft some of the most iconic fight scenes of all time. Despite being the greatest martial arts star in film history, Lee appeared in only five films. But while his short stardom has provided only a handful of films, there's no shortage of noteworthy martial arts segments featuring the actor.
After years of bringing his martial arts talents to the small screen in America's The Green Hornet, Lee returned to Hong Kong, where he made a name for himself. There, Ang Lee starred in three kung fu films with Golden Harvest before filming his most famous film, Enter the Dragon, in Hollywood. Lee died in 1973, before the movie was released and his last feature, Game of Death, was not yet completed. But through the lens of each film -- including "Game of Death" -- offers not just one, but multiple samples of his martial prowess. Here is a ranking of the best fight scenes in all five of Bruce Lee's films.
12/12 10. Enter the Dragon: Bruce Lee vs. Robert Wall
Robert Wall, an American karate expert, had a long-standing friendship with Lee. The actor has appeared on the big screen twice, the first time in Way of the Raptors. The second time, at the beginning of Enter the Dragon, Lee had to prove himself against American martial artists. Wall's O'Hara is portrayed as a tough fighter until he fights Lee. While the fight was completely one-sided on Lee's side and is considered an easy victory for the hero, it's still considered one of the actor's most memorable action sequences, as its use of Lee's reflexive movement clearly shows His speed is just for show.
10/12 9. Fist of Fury: Bruce Lee vs. Katana-Wielding Karate Master
Bruce Lee's second kung fu movie had several of the actor's best kung fu fights. One of them is the duel between Bruce Lee's Chen Zhen and several karate masters. After a Japanese martial artist massacres fellow student Chen Zhen, the kung fu hero steps into a karate dojo and takes out the villain he believes to be responsible. This culminates in a brief but well-crafted sequence in which Lee confronts their leader, Yoshida, who is clearly over his head. The speed and fluidity of Lee's movements while dodging Yoshida's katana and executing The appearance of the final blow makes it one of the highlights of the film.
8/12 8. The Big Boss: Final Showdown
Lee's first martial arts film ends with a thrilling final showdown between protagonist and villain. Han Yingjie plays Xiaomi, a knife-wielding gangster whose weapons make him a formidable foe for Bruce Lee's Cheng Chaoan. Normally, Lee's character would have an easy time disarming an enemy, but taking Xiaomi's knife wasn't such an easy task. The confrontation between the two in "Big Boss" is a battle in which the main character has to overcome some real adversities in one person, not just one after the other like he does throughout the film destroy the opponent.
7/12 7. Fist of Fury: Final Showdown
Fist of Fury's final fight contains some of the best moves of Bruce Lee's career. At the end of the movie, Chen Zhen has to face two fighters with very different styles: Petrov played by Robert Baker and the villain Suzuki played by Hashimoto Riki. Petrov's reliance on brute force made him an interesting challenge for Lee, but a barrage of attacks was too much for him. Lee's signature high kick brings most of the entertainment here, and it's equally Effective against Suzuki, who was kicked to the neck with a jump kick.
6/12 6. Enter the Dragon: Bruce Lee vs. Han's Henchmen
The prelude to the final battle in Enter the Dragon may be the most brutal display of Bruce Lee's fighting prowess ever. His facial expressions and body language during the fight perfectly convey the rage his character feels while battling the many hired thugs. The scene where a shirtless Lee mercilessly kills Han's men -- one of whom is played by Jackie himself -- has long been a favorite of martial arts movie fans, and for good reason.
5/12 5. Fist of Fury: Bruce Lee Fights An Entire Karate Dojo
Not all of Fist of Fury's actions are driven by Chen Zhen's revenge campaign. Arguably the film's best showcase of Lee's skills comes in the first half of the film, when he single-handedly attacks an entire dojo full of karate students. While attacking the Japanese oppression of the Chinese people, Lee's character impressively fights off a group of attackers. This particular fight scene, which seamlessly connects a dozen fighters simultaneously, is a testament to the quality of Fist of Fury's choreography. Lee's smooth transition from one opponent to the next is real An otherworldly sight.
4/12 4. Enter the Dragon: Mirror Room Fight
Enter the Dragon brings Bruce Lee's battles with villains to the mirror room, ending its story in spectacular fashion. The villain played by Shi Jian is not as good as Bruce Lee in martial arts, but the film makes up for it with the mirror room, creating a unique battlefield for the two. Lee's hero has to use hallucinations to find his real enemy, which makes it a satisfying conclusion to the actor's greatest kung fu movie.
3/12 3. Way of the Dragon: Bruce Lee's Nunchucks Fight
Before using his famous nunchuck routine against Dan Inosanto in Game of Death, Bruce Lee used the nunchuk against a villainous gang in Rome in Way of the Dragon. In his second fight with the mob, Lee wields his nunchaku and displays impressive control over these difficult-to-handle weapons. A humorous moment of a criminal getting hurt trying to use them underscores how difficult it is to use them.
2/12 2. Game of Death: Bruce Lee vs. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Unfortunately, one of Bruce Lee's finest fights was in a film he never finished. In Game of Death, Lee played a Kung fu masters are called mantises. Played by NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Mantis is an enemy unlike anyone Lee has ever encountered in one of his films. For a 7-foot-2 basketball player, Abdul-Jabbar easily towered over Lee. The size difference played a big role in the fight, which lasted several minutes and was intense. The top-notch choreography seen in Lee's fight with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the reasons why so many see Game of Death as a movie, and it's probably Lee's best work.
1/12 1. Way of the Dragon: Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris
By casting world karate champion Chuck Norris as the Raptor Colt, Bruce Lee was able to stand out in every fight he had filmed before. The advantages of centering the fight scenes around two real-life martial arts experts (rather than one) are evident throughout the fight. Both sides were at their best as they battled each other in an epic battle that lasted nine minutes. The punches were visceral, Lee's speed was astonishing as ever, and Norris' raw power matched Lee's agility.