10 Best Movies Like ‘Shang-Chi’ (That Are Not Marvel)

Best Movies Like 'Shang-Chi'
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If you were captivated by ‘Shang-Chi,’ you’re not alone. But what if I told you that there are other movies out there that can give you the same adrenaline rush? Beyond the Marvel realm, there exists a treasure trove of films with comparable vibes, themes, and breathtaking action. Dive in with me as we explore the best movies like ‘Shang-Chi’ that stand tall, even without the Marvel emblem.

1. ‘Kill Bill: Volume 1’ (2003) & ‘Kill Bill: Volume 2’ (2004)

Kill Bill

What it’s about: ‘Kill Bill: Volume 1 & 2’ are written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. They follow the story of a former assassin, known as The Bride, who awakens from a coma and seeks vengeance on her ex-colleagues and her former boss, Bill, who betrayed and tried to kill her.

Why it’s like ‘Shang-Chi’: Much like ‘Shang-Chi,’ ‘Kill Bill’ dives deep into martial arts combat and a personal journey of redemption. The fluid fight choreography, memorable characters, and rich storyline make it resonate with fans of epic martial arts cinema.

2. ‘The Raid: Redemption’ (2011) & ‘The Raid 2’ (2014)

The Raid

What it’s about: ‘The Raid: Redemption’ and its sequel ‘The Raid 2’ are Indonesian action films directed by Gareth Evans. They depict the tale of Rama, a police officer who faces off against dangerous criminals in a building and later delves into the world of Jakarta’s criminal underworld.

Why it’s like ‘Shang-Chi’: The ‘Raid’ movies are renowned for their exhilarating, fast-paced hand-to-hand combat scenes, resembling the dynamic action we see in ‘Shang-Chi.’ Both films present protagonists fighting against overwhelming odds, surrounded by enemies.

3. ‘Mulan’ (2020)

Mulan (2020)

What it’s about: ‘Mulan’ (2020) is a live-action adaptation of Disney’s 1998 animated film. It tells the story of Mulan, a young woman who disguises herself as a man to take her ailing father’s place in the army and defend China from Northern invaders.

Why it’s like ‘Shang-Chi’: ‘Mulan’ blends Chinese folklore, martial arts, and an emotional family-centered plot, similar to the themes found in ‘Shang-Chi.’ The portrayal of a strong lead, challenging tradition, and destiny, is a shared narrative between the two.

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4. ‘Ip Man’ (series)

Ip Man

What it’s about: The ‘Ip Man’ series, directed by Wilson Yip and starring Donnie Yen, is a semi-biographical account of the life of Ip Man, a grandmaster of the martial art Wing Chun and the teacher of Bruce Lee.

Why it’s like ‘Shang-Chi’: Both ‘Shang-Chi’ and the ‘Ip Man’ series celebrate traditional martial arts. ‘Ip Man’ showcases the grace, discipline, and power of Wing Chun, while also delving into the protagonist’s life struggles and challenges, much like ‘Shang-Chi’s’ journey of self-discovery.

5. ‘House of Flying Daggers’ (2004)

House of Flying Daggers

What it’s about: ‘House of Flying Daggers (2004)’ is directed by Zhang Yimou. It’s a romantic wuxia film that revolves around two police officers who pursue a mysterious blind dancer believed to be a member of a revolutionary faction, the Flying Daggers.

Why it’s like ‘Shang-Chi’: ‘House of Flying Daggers’ presents a mesmerizing blend of love, betrayal, and martial arts. The visually stunning sequences, intricate plots, and central themes of loyalty and identity mirror some of the elements we adore in ‘Shang-Chi.’

6. ‘Enter the Dragon’ (1973)

Enter the Dragon (1973)

What it’s about: ‘Enter the Dragon (1973)’ is directed by Robert Clouse and features the legendary Bruce Lee. The movie focuses on a martial artist named Lee, who an intelligence agency recruits to infiltrate a remote island owned by a mysterious businessman suspected of hosting an illegal opium trade.

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Why it’s like ‘Shang-Chi’: ‘Enter the Dragon’ is a foundational piece in martial arts cinema. With its dynamic fight choreography, themes of honor, and protagonist battling against a secretive villain, it shares many elements with ‘Shang-Chi’s’ narrative.

7. ‘The Old Guard’ (2020)

The Old Guard (2020)

What it’s about: ‘The Old Guard (2020)’ is directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood. This action-packed movie follows a team of immortal mercenaries led by Andy (played by Charlize Theron) as they discover a new immortal and fight to protect their secret from being exposed.

Why it’s like ‘Shang-Chi’: Both films touch on themes of legacy, hidden identities, and powerful groups with ancient origins. The high-octane action sequences and the journey of understanding one’s own power are parallels between ‘Shang-Chi’ and ‘The Old Guard.’

8. ‘Mortal Kombat’ (2021)

Mortal Kombat (2021)

What it’s about: ‘Mortal Kombat (2021)’ is based on the iconic video game series. Directed by Simon McQuoid, the film delves into the story of Earth’s chosen warriors who are summoned to battle the enemies from the Outworld in a high-stakes tournament for the universe’s survival.

Why it’s like ‘Shang-Chi’: Martial arts, mystic realms, and battles for the fate of the world are central to both movies, the rich lore, intense action scenes, and diverse set of characters make ‘Mortal Kombat’ reminiscent of ‘Shang-Chi’s’ appeal.

9. ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ (2000)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

What it’s about: ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)’ is a wuxia drama directed by Ang Lee. It tells the story of two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword and a notorious fugitive. Along the way, they are led to the discovery of hidden truths and deeply guarded secrets.

Why it’s like ‘Shang-Chi’: The film is rich in traditional Chinese culture and martial arts mastery and explores themes of love, honor, and duty. The ethereal fight sequences, deep character explorations, and stunning visuals in ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ echo the spirit and atmosphere of ‘Shang-Chi.’

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10. ‘The Last Airbender’ (2010)

The Last Airbender (2010)

What it’s about: ‘The Last Airbender (2010)’ is directed by M. Night Shyamalan and is based on the animated series “Avatar: The Last Airbender”. It follows Aang, a young avatar who must master all four elements and stop the Fire Nation from waging war against the other nations.

Why it’s like ‘Shang-Chi’: Both ‘The Last Airbender’ and ‘Shang-Chi’ are tales of young heroes coming to terms with their destinies, grappling with immense responsibilities, and navigating complex family ties. The fusion of martial arts with elemental magic in ‘The Last Airbender’ mirrors the blend of combat and mysticism in ‘Shang-Chi.’

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