IT'S NO SECRET THAT "HONG KONG MOVIE" has stopped meaning “badly-dubbed Kung Fu flick” and now means “Hollywood wishes it could make an action movie this good.” But it’s still hard to tell good from awful at the video store. Here are top choices from the top names:

Supercop The ultimate Jackie Chan comedy-action extravaganza, with tough gal Michelle Yeoh keeping up with him stunt for amazing stunt.

Hardboiled John Woo was the first HK director to get a Hollywood invite; check out his Peckinpah-like mastery of action and buddy-buddy sentiment in this Die Hardish thriller starring the charismatic Chow Yun Fat.

Wing Chun Before her feminist action heroine turn in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Michelle Yeoh wielded a mean tofu here under director Yuen Wo Ping (who stunt-directed Crouching Tiger and another little picture called The Matrix).

Once Upon a Time in China 2 In Hong Kong, sequels are often made with more care than the cranked-out originals—as in Jet Li’s second go as the legendary real-life country doctor, buttkicker and Chinese patriot Wong Fei Hong, directed by the tireless Tsui Hark (Time and Tide).

Chungking Express
Director Wong Kar Wai is the poet among these warriors; though a drug runner figures in the plot, this is mainly an ultra-stylish, quirkily funny tribute to the intensity of young love, set against the Blade Runner-like HK cityscape.


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