Since the beginning of the 21st century, the popularity of mixed martial arts (MMA) has skyrocketed. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) under Dana White’s leadership has become a household name in nearly every country in the world. As the name implies,’martial arts’ is a form of art, and more people are beginning to see it for what it truly is: art. While at times cruel and violent, it is also uplifting and encouraging. A number of films have been made about the sport due to the rising popularity of the subject matter.
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While movies are fun, so too are martial arts films. It’s always a good time at the movies when a movie succeeds in fusing the two together. Films about mixed martial arts are listed below. In order to compile the list, MMA isn’t the only factor. Films with ‘MMA ass kicking,’ or scenes using martial arts, are also included. The following is a list of the best MMA movies ever made. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime are all good options for watching some of these best MMA films. UFC fans will enjoy these action films.
10. The Philly Kid (2002)
After 10 years in prison, a former NCAA champion wrestler is released and decides to take part in a series of cage battles to save the life of a friend who is being threatened by loan sharks. The protagonist, played by Wes Chatham, does a respectable job, especially when confined to a cage. The story suffers because the picture is riddled with clichés and lacks substance. The film’s success is mostly due to the presence of credible action scenes and competent acting performances. Ian Honeyman’s score is another highlight of the picture.
9. Blood & Bones (2009)
At its core, Blood and Bone is a story about an ex-con attempting to honor his commitment to a deceased buddy by taking the underground combat scene by storm. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Michael Jai White is one of the greatest baddies in martial arts cinema history. As one might expect from a movie starring Bob Sapp and Kimbo Slice (as well as Maurice Smith), the action is heart-pounding. The action sequences are rapid and well-choreographed, and the overall effect is stylish and intense. If you enjoy violent, gut-wrenching action movies, this will be your idea of ‘entertainment.’
8. The Raid (2011)
Action film The Raidis was written, directed, and edited by Welsh filmmaker Gareth Evans in Indonesia in 2011. I mean it when I say this is an intense film from beginning to end; I’m not joking. Jakarta’s most brutal drug lord is the target of an elite squad’s mission to penetrate a high-rise building in the middle of the city.
The film’s fight scenes are so well choreographed that they would impress even a seasoned fighter. The fights’ athleticism and timing are flawless, not to mention the fact that several of them are shot in long takes. In contrast to the previous films on this list, the characters are not restrained by a cage or a competition. Concrete walls serve as the cage, and the goal is to defeat as many opponents as possible while ensuring one’s own survival. The film’s fast-paced editing and gorgeous photography keep the action pounding. To be sure, there isn’t much character development, but I think the action makes up for it.
7. The Hammer (2010)
It’s a must-see for anyone who is a fan of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Deaf wrestler and former UFC fighter Matt Hammil is the inspiration for the film, which chronicles the story of his rise to fame as a deaf wrestler. Despite the fact that this is more of a “wrestling” video than an MMA one, the man in question did go on to compete in the world’s largest MMA event. Wrestling is included since it is a component of mixed martial arts (MMA).
A familiar face from ‘There Will Be Blood’, Russell Harvard, plays Hammil in the new film directed by David Fincher. Once again, Harvard does an excellent job of portraying the character he portrays and keeping the audience engaged. For a film targeted at people with disabilities like Hammil’s, the sound design is superb and the subtitles have a strong emotional impact.
6. Fighting (2009)
In 2009, Channing Tatum and Terrence Howard starred in the sport/action film Fighting. As Tatum’s character (Shawn) gets into a street fight, Howard’s character (Harvey) gets a kick out of it. Harvey takes Shawn under his wing and prepares him for combat. Unlike most of the other films on this list, the bouts in this one take place behind closed doors, sponsored by wealthy individuals who wager that “their guy” will beat the crap out of “the other guy”.
Despite the normal action cliché issues, the film manages to keep the audience engrossed in the film thanks to its tremendous character depth. Bold enough to focus on the characters, unlike other martial arts films, this film succeeds. The film’s supporting actress, Zulay Henaoas, stands out.
5. Here Comes the Boom (2012)
‘Here comes the boom’ is mostly a comedy picture, but practically everything else has something to do with MMA. To save his failing high school from eliminating “extra curricular activities,” Kevin James plays a biology teacher who takes up MMA in order to make money.
Recurring names like Bruce Buffer and Herb Dean, Joe Rogan and Wanderlei Silva, as well as some newcomers, will please UFC fans.
Even if the humor is forced and the premise is likeable, Kevin James and his character make this film hard to detest. James’s persona is likable, and he and his co-workers’ relationship always makes you smile. Bas Rutten, surprise, is the film’s standout character.
4. Bloodsport (1988)
As a martial artist in the United States military, Frank Dux is a member of a combat team that is competing in a martial arts tournament (Kumite) in Hong Kong. In a tournament where fights to the death are possible, secrecy and violence are the norm. A number of Jean Claude Van Damme films, including “Bloodsport,” increased the actor’s reputation in the world of filmmaking. The picture, which cost just $2 million to produce, was a big box office hit, earning over $65 million worldwide. Since its release, the picture has gained a cult following.
Cliche narrative and lack of creativity are the film’s downfalls. The film’s terrible acting is also difficult to ignore. However, the film’s well-executed battle scenes are a positive addition. After starring in Bloodsport, Jean-Claude Van Damme became a household name and went on to have a successful acting career. He deserves special recognition as Bolo Yeung, the vicious boxer. To my horror, he never fails to scare me.
3. Never Back Down (2008)
‘Never Back Down’ has a fitness scene, a fight, and a soundtrack that makes you want to get up and start fighting.
Due to his terrible behavior, a high school action film character is continuously on the move in this picture. He refuses to be bullied at his new school, where the cool kids are invariably the bullies. Intrigued by mixed martial arts, he takes it up immediately. The rest of the picture is a bit predictable, but at its best, it’s a good time.
Cam Gigandet, who plays the bully in the film, gives a solid performance. A well-executed fight sequence is accompanied by a well-chosen soundtrack, as was previously remarked.
2. Undisputed II: Last Man Standing (2006)
Undisputed 2 is a rare sequel that outdoes its predecessor in every way possible. The Undisputed series reached a new level of intensity when Scott Adkins took the lead role. Film follows Michael Jai White’s character (from the prequel), who has been imprisoned in Russia and learns about illegal martial art fights that take place nearby. Yuri Boyka (Adkins’ character), the competition’s clear champion, develops a breach with Jai White’s character.
All of the film’s most remarkable aspects revolve around its breathtakingly choreographed battle sequences. Both White and Adkins’ innate talents are put to good use. With Isaac Florentine’s precision and attention to detail, every battle scenario is an absolute joy to witness. Cliche speech and plot twists may be found throughout the picture.
1. Warrior (2011)
Warrior, a 2011 film about two brothers forced to fight in a cage due to life’s circumstances, is one of my favorite movies of all time. Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton portray the brothers, while Gavin O’Connor directs. A former marine, Tommy (Hardy), and a physics instructor named Brendan (Edgerton) are the two protagonists in this film. In high school, both brothers competed in wrestling and boxing. A recovered alcoholic, Nick Nolte plays the father of the two brothers in the film. Each and every one of the film’s actors is deserving of praise. With their distinct roles, Hardy and Edgerton are both highly intriguing and forceful. This year’s Oscar nomination for best supporting actor went to Nick Nolte.
Both the cinematography and the action scenes are well-done. Warrior has a lot to offer in terms of character development and story. First half of the film focuses on one or two stories/characters, while the second half brings them together in a climax. As the film progresses, the third act becomes more dramatic and suspenseful.