The Best Kung Fu Characters In Film

Over 100 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Kung Fu Characters In Film
Voting Rules
Only characters who know Kung Fu

While it's undeniable that kung fu movies are all about the action, the more depth there is behind the fighting, the more memorable the film. In fact, the best martial arts movies feature complicated characters that can do more than simply kick the crap out of someone or paralyze them with a single punch (though that's still pretty cool to watch).

Whether they're cunning, sarcastic, funny, or just plain cool, the best kung fu characters are always memorable enough to stick with you long after the film is over. Whether it's Neo learning to channel his inner warrior in The Matrix or Bruce Lee taking on a drug kingpin in Enter the Dragon, these warriors have what it takes to get the job done. Who’s your favorite kung fu fighter?

Vote up your favorite martial artist and see which character is the strongest of them all.

Most divisive: Liu Kang
Ranked by
  • Bruce Lee
    Enter the Dragon (1973)
    79 votes
    • Played By: Bruce Lee
    Lee is a fictional character from the 1973 film Enter the Dragon.
  • Wong Fei-hung

    Wong Fei-hung

    Legend of Drunken Master (1994)
    38 votes
    • Played By: Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Alan Tam, Zhao Wenzhuo
    Wong Fei-hung is a fictional character from the film Drunken Master and Drunken Master II.
  • Chen Zhen
    Fists of Fury, Fist of Legend, Legend of the Fist
    31 votes
    Chen Zhen is a fictional character created by Hong Kong writer Ni Kuang. The character first appeared in the 1972 film Fist of Fury and was portrayed by Bruce Lee. Since 1972, Chen Zhen has been the subject of films and television series, including remakes and adaptations of Fist of Fury. Many notable actors have portrayed Chen Zhen on screen after Bruce Lee, including Jet Li and Donnie Yen. Chen Zhen's story varies in the different remakes and adaptations, but almost each has an ending similar to the original Fist of Fury. Chen Zhen is believed to be based on Liu Zhensheng, a real-life student of Huo Yuanjia, a martial artist who lived in the late Qing dynasty.
  • Cheng Chao-an

    Cheng Chao-an

    The Big Boss (1971)
    15 votes
    • Played By: Bruce Lee
    Cheng Chao-an is a fictional character from the 1971 film The Big Boss, played by Bruce Lee. He is a young man who travels from China to the remote town of Pak Chong in Thailand to work with his expatriate cousins at an ice factory. Cheng and his co-workers are perplexed by the disappearance of several of the workers until he discovers that Hsiao Mi - the "big boss" of the title - is using the factory as a front to smuggle heroin. The character was also featured in the 1976 non-canon unofficial sequel, The Big Boss, Part II played by Bruce Le. In addition to this, several actors have portrayed Bruce Lee acting as the character.
  • The Bride
    Kill Bill Vol 1&2 (2003-2004)
    41 votes
    • Played By: Uma Thurman
    Beatrix Kiddo (primarily known as The Bride), codename Black Mamba, is a fictional character, the protagonist of the two-part movie Kill Bill directed by Quentin Tarantino. She is portrayed by Uma Thurman. Kiddo was selected by Empire magazine as one of "The 100 Greatest Movie Characters" of all time, and Entertainment Weekly named her as one of "The 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years."
  • The One-Armed Swordsman

    The One-Armed Swordsman

    Famous character from various Shaw Brothers movies
    24 votes
    • Played By: Wang Yu