Netflix has a lot of kung fu, and almost all of it is great. I say almost because some of it is very terrible, such as Protector 2. Recently added to Netflix's roster and starring Muay Thai superstar Tony Jaa, the Protector 2 is the culmination of terrible CGI choices and a half-assed plot. Luckily, Netflix has much better to choose from.
Despite his recent cinematic blunders, Jaa (pictured above absolutely destroying that angry gentleman) actually introduced me to martial arts movies more than a decade ago when I bought a bootlegged copy of Ong-Bak before it made its way to the States. Fighting the entire Bangkok underworld without the help of wires or computer graphics, Jaa pushed me to look for other titles out there with similarly awe-inspiring fight choreography. This led me to Bruce Lee's excellent The Big Boss and his subsequent films The Chinese Connection and The Way of the Dragon, Jet Li's quirky sci-fi/kung fu hybrid The One (among other future films), and even Stephen Chow's tongue-in-cheek takes on the genre as well as absolute classics like Jackie Chan's The Legend of Drunken Master and recent greats like Donnie Yen's Ip Man. Luckily, I don't have to fish around in discount bins at midwestern anime conventions anymore. Now, I can just stream them.
No doubt Netflix has a few glaring blind spots. There's a considerable lack of Gordon Liu films (Kill Bill doesn't count), especially 36th Chamber of Shaolin. There are hardly any Shaw Brothers films. The David Carradine TV series, you know, actually named Kung Fu is completely missing. And Chan's Snake in the Eagle's Shadow or Rumble in the Bronx would also be nice additions. I mean, just watch him kick this poor guy across a Bronx convenience store, and see the greatness you're missing.
Netflix is just a starter's guide to martial arts movies new and old, but good enough to get you headed in the right direction. And if you know more kung fu films I should be watching, please provide animated GIF evidence of awesomeness in the comments.