I don’t know about you, but I am experiencing superhero burnout at the moment. I don’t think I can see any more costumes for a while, so I am decidedly taking a break from the genre, unless, of course, they make a Nightwing or Wildcat movie, that is. So what is there to watch for action?

Well, now is a good time to return to the martial arts genre, since there are a great crop of movies available on Netflix. There are epics, gritty street stories, and everything in between. For this list, I was looking for variety, so hopefully everyone can find something they will like. Well, without further ado, here is the list!

5 Martial Arts Movies on Netflix

The Bodyguard is definitely the most unique movie on this list. A girl whose father is mixed up with gangsters gets the ultimate protector in the form of martial arts film legend Sammo Hung (who also directed). The only catch is that though he was once an officer in the Security Bureau with highly skilled martial arts technique, he is now starting to show signs of dementia.

There is some great action with Sammo Hung exhibiting his unique style, but it is the creeping assault on the mind of the main character, and his relationship with the little girl he protects, that give the movie tremendous emotional weight. You will be rooting for Sammo more than ever in this one, and enjoying every incredible skirmish knowing how much is at stake. Fair warning though, you may shed a tear over this one no matter how tough you are.

It could have been called “Undisputed 4”, since this is the 4th movie in the series, but it doesn’t really matter if you have seen the previous ones or not. You can dive right into this one and you will still enjoy it. In this movie Boyka (Scott Adkins), the fighter from the brutal Russian prison system, kills an opponent in the ring, and then after some soul searching decides to fight for redemption. Scott Adkins displays amazing martial arts technique, as usual, and I would be hard-pressed to think of a way to jam any more martial arts action into this movie.

After seeing Boyka:Undisputed you’ll want to watch the other movies in the series and more movies with Scott Adkins, which I highly recommend you do anyway. Scott Adkins has a quite a few movies available on Netflix right now, so check them out.

A killer is going after masters of: Fists, legs, grappling, weapons and internal energy (Qi). Who can stop him? Hmm, I bet Donnie Yen can. Donnie Yen plays a Kung Fu teacher that killed an opponent in a duel and goes to prison. While in prison, he learns of the killer, and offers to help the police catch him. It is a very interesting idea, and provides some really unique fight scenes.

There are some great set pieces, including one at the very beginning while Donnie Yen is in prison, that are worth watching more than once. Donnie Yen has made some incredible movies, so if you are only aware of the Ip Man films, be sure and check out this one and his others. My personal favorite from Donnie Yen is Flashpoint, but it isn’t currently on Netflix, (it is on Hulu) so until then, check out this one and you won’t be disappointed.

This movie provides a refreshing twist on the martial arts genre by having a virtually all female cast. The plot is pretty darn similar to a martial arts classic: Bloodsport. There is an annual kumite with fighters of different disciplines, but they are all women this time. The action is great and the characters are interesting.

Amy Johnston is great as the main character, Jane, who goes to compete in the deadly kumite and to find out the truth about an old family mystery. Kathy Wu also stands out as the vengeful character “Wai” looking to settle her score with the very Zen “Shu.” Mayling Ng is scary and intimidating as the villainous “Svietta.” The fights are entertaining, and there are a lot of intriguing subplots. Check it out and hopefully we will see more from the cast in other martial arts films.

Michael Jai White plays John “Falcon” Chapman, an ex-soldier coping with severe post-traumatic stress. When his sister, played by Laila Ali, is attacked in Brazil “The Falcon” goes on the hunt for her attackers and uncovers a human trafficking ring being run by the Yakuza. Michael Jai White always delivers, and this movie is no exception. The fight scenes have crisp action that is not as flashy as it is practical, for a movie, that is. There is a great epic duel at the end, and I really enjoyed the unique choice of weapons in some of the scenes. Well worth watching as are most movies by Michael Jai White.

Honorable Mentions: The Final Master (2015)

There are some honorable mentions that though they didn’t make the list are certainly worth seeing: The Final Master (2015) is a unique movie in that the fighting is almost exclusively done with butterfly knives and other edged weapons. It has some unique weaponry that you rarely see in a movie, and a great epic battle at the end. The story can be a little confusing at times, but the action choreography is great. Rise of the Legend with Eddie Peng and Sammo Hung has great cinematography and action all rolled up in one. It is visually striking (pun completely intended) and the fight scenes are choreographed very well, and there are a lot of them.

The list is not ranked, so dive in anywhere. In fact, there were some great martial arts movies that I had to leave off the list, for the sake of length, so investigate the martial arts section on Netflix and don’t be afraid to give something new a try. You may discover some gems of your own.

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