Recently on Scary Monsters, Super Geeks Internet Radio Show, I reviewed Everything, Everywhere at once starring Michelle Yeoh. I’ve made a list of some of Michelle Yeoh’s best films and shows. Like every week it’s not a complete list just a selection and not in particular order.
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
She was Pierce Bronson’s ‘Bond Girl’ and one hell of an ass kicking Chinese super spy Wai Lin who goes onto to help James Bond defeat Carver (played by Jonathan Pryce) who is attempting to kick-off military conflict . We can clearly say she outshines 007 when it comes looking after herself on the action front. This film was also her big stepping stone into Hollywood as it was her first foray into Western cinema. There is gossip Yeoh also wanted to do her own stunts something she did in another film on this list which made the male lead a little jealous.
Crouch Tiger, Hidden Tiger (2000)
To anyone who didn’t see her in James Bond, Ang Lee’s arthouse martial arts film was her breakthrough Western role. She starred alongside Chow Yun Fat whom himself was slowly breaking into western/Hollywood Cinema himself at the time. This film tells the story of 2 warriors searching for the powerful mythical Green Sword, which Master Li (Yun-Fat) originally has and entrusts Shu Lien (Yeoh). The highlight of this film is the fight scenes considered some of the best scene in film history. The film heaped critical appraise winning Yeoh many nominations
Police Story 3: Supercop (1993)
Also known just as Supercop, it’s part of Jackie Chan’s Police Story trilogy with Chan performing some of his best and most dangerous stunts in his filmography. After the film gets over the slightly complexed storyline the film starts to shine and Yeoh and Chan chemistry is electric as the pair go undercover to take down a drug cartel. As I mentioned earlier Chan wasn’t totally happy Michelle Yeoh also performed her own stunts some. He made at sexist comment who believed women’s only place was in the kitchen. The one stunt that made Chan look like an amateur was Yeoh jumps onto a moving train from a motorcycle. Yeoh said she ‘felt invincible’ .
Yes, Madam (1985)
Many Hollywood cinephiles don’t realise Yeoh before she broke into Western cinema she was already one of the best female martial arts actors in Hong Kong Cinema. Even after her Hollywood breakthrough she was still making many Hong Kong based films. Starring alongside another female Martial Arts legend Cynthia Rothrock the pair play cops tracking villains who have murdered and stolen a film which has incriminating info on it. It’s one of Yeoh’s earliest roles and her and Rothrock are considered as the actors who kicked off the Hong Kong action cinema sub genre ‘Girls with guns’ .
Danny Boyle’s sci-fi which had an impressive cast that included Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans, Rose Byrne, Benedict Wong, Hiroyuki Sanada and of course Michelle Yeoh. She is part of a crew of a spaceship to try rekindle the flame of an dying star, the sun. It looks an impossible task and they receive a distress beacon that make things a lot more difficult. Yeoh, who portrays the spiritual botanist, onboard the ship.
Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
Jon.M Chu’s all Asian cast romantic comedy showcased Yeoh had comedic chops. The film was praised for the narrative as well as tone. The story of Rachael (Constance Wu) a Chinese American teacher who is marrying longtime boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding). Whilst in Singapore she learns a lot more about Nick she didn’t know. Yeoh plays Nick’s overbearing Mother Eleanor who is bitter, overprotective to mutual respect for her incoming daughter in law. The film earned the actress a deserving oscar nomination in what is considered one of her best performances.
The Lady (2011)
We now know Michelle Yeoh can kick butt, jump onto moving trains and has comedic chops in this one she showcases she is also a tour de force with a role with drama and emotion. Her performance as Nobel Peace Prize winner , Burmese nonviolent political leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Luc Besson’s sweeping biopic isn’t just about her struggles in her home country whilst under house arrest, but a tale of love with her Oxford born husband Michael Aris (David Thewlis). Both her and Thewlis rightly so praised for their performances.
Star Trek Discovery (2017 to date)
Okay this is Television, streaming series Star Trek spin-off series. I know this series critically it has been ripped to shreds and considered one big Jared Leto. If you need one reason to watch it’s Michelle Yeoh. She does play 2 characters she plays Captain Philippa Georgiou, who is the lead character Michael Burnham’s mentor. However something with pararrel universe happens in the first ever episode to Georgiou only to turn as Empress Georgiou, if you know your Star Trek Parallel universe episodes you’ll have a clue about her character. Ruthless and tyrannical but will she change?
Notable other films
Shang Chi And The Legends Of The Ten Rings (Ying- Nan) aunt of the titular character and teaches him some skills.
The rest of the films here are a mixture of one from her Hong Kong Cinema days or films from independent cinema I haven’t seen but know they are considered some of her best roles…
Wing Chun (1994)
Tai Chi Master (1993)
Royal Warriors (1986)
The Soong Sisters (1997)
Far North (2007)
Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy (2018)
The Heroic Trio (1993)