10 kick-ass martial arts movies you can stream on Netflix now – CNET

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Can’t wait for “Marvel’s Iron Fist” to strike Netflix March 17, but not quite inspired to get up off the couch and hit your local martial arts studio? Here are my recommendations for films featuring literal ass-kickers, in no particular order, that you can stream now on Netflix in honor of the last Defender’s arrival.

Editors’ note: These picks reference the US version of Netflix. Alternative movie titles included where applicable.

‘The 36th Chamber of Shaolin’ (1978)

Aka: “Shaolin Master Killer” and “The Master Killer”

This influential revenge thriller is, arguably, the best film from Shaw Brothers, the powerhouse production studio that dominated Asian cinema during the ’60s and ’70s. An origin story about the legendary 18th-century monk vigilante San Te, “36th Chamber” is known for hellish and inventive training sequences you won’t find in modern martial arts schools for obvious legal reasons. But the film’s timeless political and philosophical depth are what make it special. “Kill Bill” fans may recognize lead actor Gordon Liu as Johnny Mo of the Crazy 88 yakuza gang in “Volume 1” and Pai Mei in “Volume 2.” (Tarantino admires Shaw Bros. Studio. In fact, Pai Mei was originally a villain from some of its movies.)

‘Ip Man’ (2008)

Bruce Lee’s combat prowess was the stuff of legends, so the guy who trained him must’ve been decent, right? The events in the titular “Ip Man” biopic series are heavily fictionalized, but the effects the film had on viewers were real: It inspired tons of people to take up Wing Chun and made Donnie Yen an international star, helping him land Hollywood roles in films like “Rogue One.” The entire trilogy is on Netflix and “Ip Man 2” is as excellent as the first. “Ip Man 3” has Mike Tyson, so interpret that how you want.


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