The best Michelle Yeoh movies (so far!)
On the eve of the Oscars 2023, where Michelle Yeoh is poised to take home an Academy Award, here are some of the best Michelle Yeoh movies on blu ray available on the Terracotta store.
Born in Ipoh, Malaysia, Michelle Yeoh moved to the UK aged 15, and was on track to be become a professional ballet dancer until she sustained an unfortunate injury. She moved instead into choreography.
Following her crowning as Miss Malaysia and her appearance in the Miss World contest, she was spotted for a Hong Kong Guy Laroche TV advert with Jackie Chan which then led to her debut acting role in The Owl vs Bumbo starring George Lam and Sammo Hung.
Another small role in Twinkle, Twinkle, Lucky Stars (as a judo teacher fighting Sammo Hung), set her up for her first lead role in Yes Madam! (1985) which put her on the map as a bona fide action star, and kick started the In The Line of Duty Series.
In Yes, Madam! (using her screen alias Michelle Khan) she is paired with Cynthia Rothrock as a couple of tough-as-nails police inspectors investigating the murder of a British agent. The result was a kick-ass action movie with two strong female leads, way before the Girl Power movement rose to prominence in the 90s.
Capitalising on this success, the sequel Royal Warriors was released a year later, with equally fast paced action scenes and stunts performed by Michelle Yeoh herself. The "royal" in this title is taken from the official title of the police force in Hong Kong, "The Royal Hong Kong Police Force" and the Cantonese title for the In The Line of Duty series roughly translates as "The Royal Female Officer".
The next film, Magnificent Warriors (1987) is a slightly more light-hearted, but still action-packed, departure into an Indiana Jones style action adventure, starring alongside Richard Ng from Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars.
Michelle Yeoh is reunited again with Jackie Chan in 1992 in Supercop (part 3 of the Police Story trilogy) which features an extremely memorable stunt scene where she rides a motorbike onto the roof of a moving train, all performed by herself.
This pre-empted another iconic image of Michelle Yeoh as an actress who plays strong female counterpart to an established alpha male lead - on the motorbike with Pierce Brosnan's James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies.
By the time Ang Lee made Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in 2000, Michelle Yeoh was taking on much calmer roles, playing the part of an elder fighter Yu Shu Lien, in contrast to the younger more impetuous Zhang Ziyi's Jen Yu.
Hollywood came calling again with Crazy Rich Asians where she plays the matriarch role, and two Marvel roles (Aleta Ogord in Guardians of the Galaxy storyline as Ying Nan, the aunt of Shang Chi).
It is a fitting book-end to this article to end with Everything Everywhere All At Once for which her portrayal of an ordinary woman thrust into the multi-verse has already won her many awards this award season in the run up to the Oscars:
Michelle Yeoh's screen career started with a TV advert alongside Jackie Chan, the very actor who turned down the lead role for Everything Everywhere All At Once, which allowed Michelle Yeoh to be recast from her supporting role she originally had, into the lead role which she shaped with a truly iconic performance in the fifth decade of her acting career.
We'll be cheering for her on Oscar night!
Where can you buy Everything Everywhere All At Once blu ray UK? Try the Terracotta store, the online Asian cinema blu ray store.