Netflix announced last year that the streaming service would be rolling out original feature-length theatrical releases. The first was Beasts of No Nation, which clearly did well, with the film’s star Idris Elba taking home a SAG Award for Best Supporting Actor and the film itself garnering critical acclaim.
What’s up next? Netflix will be premiering the sequel to the 2000 film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, entitled Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny today (February 26). The original film’s director Ang Lee will sit this one out, with martial arts filmmaker Woo-Ping Yeun taking over directing duties. Michelle Yeoh reprises her role as Yu Shu Lien. In the sequel, Lien is tasked with keeping the late warrior Li Mu Bai’s sword safe.
If this has piqued your interest in martial arts films, here are 10 more you can find on Netflix:
1. The Way of the Dragon
The Way of the Dragon was Bruce Lee‘s second to last film before his unexpected death in 1973. The 1972 release follows Lee as he makes his way to Italy to visit with family. Upon arrival he learns his family’s restaurant is being pressured by local gangsters. Luckily for the restauranteurs, Lee, who goes by Dragon in the film, is highly skilled in taking care of bad guys. Lee’s last film, Enter the Dragon, was released in 1973.
2. The Shaolin Temple
Jet Li makes his film debut in the 1982 release of The Shaolin Temple. Li takes on the role of Jue Yuan. Yuan and his father are enslaved at a work camp in China. After his father is murdered, Yuan makes his escape from the camp. He is wounded and on the verge of death, but claws his way to the Shaolin Temple. The monks nurse him back to health and teach him kung fu.
3. The Legend
Jet Li returns in the 1993 film The Legend. Li takes on the role of Fong Sai-yuk. He fancies a young girl by the name of Ting-ting (Michelle Reis). In an attempt to win her favor, he enters a martial arts competition her father has set up.
4. Fist of Legend
At first glance, you might think this is a sequel to The Legend based on the similar titles, but it’s actually a remake of Bruce Lee’s 1972 film Fist of Fury. 1994’s Fist of Legend stars Li as Chen Zhen. Zhen is in Japan studying martial arts when he receives word that his former teacher has been killed during competition. He returns home to China to challenge his teacher’s killer.
5. The Legend of Drunken Master
Jackie Chan stars in the 1994 film The Legend of Drunken Master as Wong Fei-hung. Wong’s father is a passivist and wants his son to follow in his ways. Wong is such a skilled fighter that it’d be a waste for a master to sit home and twiddle his thumbs. He’s even better when he has a little bit of “liquid courage” in his system.
6. The Blind Swordsman: Zatōichi
Takeshi Kitano wrote, directed and starred in the 2003 martial arts film as Zatōichi, the blind swordsman. Zatōichi comes to the aid of residents of a small town who are being harassed by local gang members. This character has been seen in Japanase films and TV series in different incarnations since the early 1960s.
7. Red Cliff
2008’s Red Cliff depicts a historical battle fought in China’s Three Kingdoms period (220-280 A.D.). Tony Leung stars as Zhou Yu, a military general serving under warlord Sun Quan (Chen Chang). Director John Woo spoke to MovieWeb about his retelling of the events that led to the Han dynasty.
8. Ip Man
2008’s Ip Man is the first in a trilogy, followed by 2010’s Ip Man 2 and 2015’s Ip Man 3. The biographical series celebrates Wing Chun master Yip Man. He had a number of students who went on to become masters themselves, including Bruce Lee.
2011’s Dragon follows a papermaker who falls into some trouble. When his employer is cornered by a swordsman, he jumps into action. It leaves people asking, “How did he defeat a trained killer?” The film stars Donnie Yen, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Wei Tang.
10. Once Upon a Time in Shanghai
The 2014 film Once Upon a Time in Shanghai follows a young man (Philip Ng) who moves from his village to the large Chinese city of Shanghai looking for opportunity. But it results in a battle of the wills (and fists). The film also stars Andy On and Sammo Hung.
Are you swirling around your living room doing high kicks now? We won’t tell …Read More