Yen is one of Hong Kong's top action stars. Yen has displayed skill in an array of martial arts, being well-versed in Tai Chi, Boxing, Kickboxing, Jeet Kune Do, Hapkido, Taekwondo, Karate, Muay Thai, Wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Wing Chun, and Wushu. One of the most popular film stars in Asia of the early 2000s, Yen is consistently one of the highest paid actors in Asia. Yen earned HK$220 million (US$28.4 million) from four films and six advertisements in 2013.
Yen is credited by many for contributing to the popularisation of Wing Chun in China. He played Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man in the 2008 film Ip Man, which was a box office success. This has led to an increase in the number of people taking up Wing Chun, leading to hundreds of new Wing Chun schools being opened up in mainland China and other parts of Asia. Ip Chun, the eldest son of Ip Man, even mentioned that he is grateful to Yen for making his family's art popular and allowing his father's legacy to be remembered. He has also gained international recognition for playing Chirrut Îmwe in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) and Xiang in xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017).