What makes a movie sword fight good?

Hong Kong cinema broke me. Since my first exposure to Bruce Lee, I've never been able to look at American action films the same way. Outside of the gun-wielding protagonists that populate Western media, American action heroes can't fight. To phrase it more accurately, the choreography and cinematography employed in American action films fail to accentuate how skilled their protagonists are purported to be. Hong Kong cinema makes no such mistake.

When a fight breaks out in a Jackie Chan or Michelle Yeoh action movie, the filmmakers approach the sequence with as much care as any other aspect of the film. On the other hand, American films generally aim for functional fight scenes that only exist to bridge one sequence to the next.

If what I'm talking about seems vague or even pretentious, I invite you to check out the video linked above. The YouTube channel Accented Cinema, which focuses on Asian films and filmmakers, dissects Western and Eastern swordplay differences in films.