The List: Top 10 Favorite Fight Scenes in Movies

AAAAWWWWSSSOOOOMMMMEEEE!!!!  Action movies are a staple of cinema.  They’ve been around forever.  Look back in the history of film and you will always find some form of an action movie.

A huge dislike of mine from “modern action films” is the whole idea of the “shakey cam”.  This whole style of shooting is really robbing the viewer of an awesome fight sequence.  It is a style of film making that, for the director, you either know how to do it and you do it WELL, or you don’t know and you flat out suck.  However, this post is all about my top 10 fight scenes from movies.  These will range from U.S. action movies, to martial arts films, to sci-fi…nothing is off the table.

#10: Liu Kang vs. Reptile (Mortal Kombat)

As bad as Mortal Kombat is…I still enjoy it.  And this is the best fight scene in the film.  The music added in with great fighting made this scene a great pleasure to watch.  Too bad this movie led to Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.

#9: Tang Long vs. Colt (Way of the Dragon)

BRUCE LEE vs. CHUCK NORRIS!!!  This fight was brought up in an interview with Chuck Norris, who was the reigning martial arts champion at the time, when he was asked who would win in a fight, Bruce Lee or him???  His response was it wouldn’t be a fair fight, because he’s a professional competitor and Lee is an actor.  But he would be interested to find out.  When Norris stopped competing in the ring, he was called by Lee and asked if he would want to be in his new movie he was directing.  Norris accepted and this was the result…Way of the Dragon!!!

#8: Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader (Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back)

STAR WARS!!!  EVEN BETTER…THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK!!!  And none of that bullshit for the prequels…this is the best fight scene from the best movie!!!  There’s nothing pretty about it.  It’s just a throwdown between Luke and Vader.  The best part is that you know Vader is just toying with Luke the entire time.  Luke puts up his best, but its all for nothing in the end…expect he did find out Vader was his father.  So much emotion is at play in this scene, and there’s no stupid jumping around or crazy twirls with the lightsabers.  They really just trade blows with each other, but it is far superior to any lightsaber fight in any of the prequel films.

#7: Gino Felino vs. The Entire Bar (Out for Justice)

This entire scene is just plain fun!!!  I love the way Steven Seagal just fucks everybody up.  I enjoy this scene more than any normal person, but my friends understand why I do!!!  My favorite scene from my favorite Steven Seagal movie, Out for Justice.

#6: Daniel LaRusso vs. Chozen (The Karate Kid Part II)

The final fight scene from the 1986 film The Karate Kid Part II.  The best in the series, this fight was very impressive.  Daniel has been continuing his training with Miyagi in Okinawa and comes across the wrong person, Chozen.  A fight to the death between the two takes place.  Daniel has to fight a far superior opponent and the price of losing is his life.  Pulling a victory out of his ass, Daniel is able to save his love interest, Kumiko, and prove there is only one Karate Kid!!!  I just really enjoy how raw this fight is.  They both study Karate, but they are far from masters.  And a plus…NO SHAKY CAM!!!

#5: Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh vs. Wah Sing Ku (Lethal Weapon 4)

This is the final fight scene in the 1998 film Lethal Weapon 4.  The amazing thing about this fight to me is how intense and raw it feels.  No stupid crazy wire tricks, no CG shots, and no shaky cam.  The rain adds so much depth to this scene as well.  You can see the pain on their faces and really feel for the characters.  I also like how it shows that just because you know martial arts, that doesn’t mean you are invincible.  Riggs and Murtaugh really hold their own against Wah Sing Ku.  Even Murtaugh, being as old as he is, gets in some awesome shots.  And classic Riggs…use everything as a weapon…even your own head.  This was the USA’s introduction to Jet Li, who up until now had only done Chinese films.  With this being the last Lethal Weapon film in the series, it was the perfect way to end it…with the ultimate fighting machine and the most dangerous enemy that Riggs and Murtaugh have ever come across.

#4: Kham vs. Gangster Thugs (Tom-Yum-Goong aka The Protector)

This fight scene takes place in about the middle of the 2005 film Tom-Yum-Goong, which was known as The Protector is the United States.  In this scene, the star Tony Jaa as Kham breaks into a gangster’s house of operations and climbs the staircase to the top where the gangster is.  Again, no shaky cam.  I don’t understand why American films feel the need to stick the shaky came into all of there fight scenes recently.  It’s just everywhere and it’s unnecessary.  There are two EXTREMELY impressive things about this fight scene.  First thing is that all of the stunts are done by the actors, even Tony Jaa.  So when he kicks someone, it’s the star of the movie kicking someone.  There are other action actors that do all of their own stunts, namely Jackie Chan and Jet Li.  Now the other impressive thing about this scene is that this entire action sequence is one long shot.  Watch the video and notice there are no cutaways and no edits.  It’s one long fight!!!  I was blown away by this movie the first time I saw it, but this scene in particular is the one that just knocked me out of my chair.

#3: Ip Man vs. Hung Chun-nam (Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster)

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a video to post up but there is one on facebook.  Just copy and paste the url to enjoy this fight scene.

This fight scene is from the 2010 Chinese Martial Arts film Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster, and it features 2 of the world’s BEST martial artists in the same fight!!!  Donnie Yen as Ip Man (the teacher and master of Bruce Lee), and the legendary Sammo Hung as Hung Chun-nam fight on a fucking table!!!  I was stunned by this fight scene.  Notice it’s all in one spot.  The two men barely even move half the time.  To see a fight scene like this and compare it to a fight scene done today by an American filmmaker (like Neo vs. Morpheus in The Matrix) and there really is no comparison.  By the way, I’m one of those people that can’t stand the martial arts in The Matrix.  I’ll explain why in another post maybe.  But this is true Wing Chun and Hung Ga at its greatest by two masters of the art!!!

#2: Liu Siu-jian vs. The Twins (Kiss of the Dragon)

This fight scene is from the 2001 film Kiss of the Dragon starring Jet Li.  Another fight scene with Jet Li, but this one is just too good to not bring up.  At this point in his career, Jet Li had done Romeo Must Die and The One for the American audience.  He had received a lot of criticism the American people for his fight scenes using a lot of wire work and CGI, unlike the other big Chinese martial artist in the U.S., Jackie Chan.  Well, Kiss of the Dragon, was his response to being called a “fake”.  Most of the action sequences did not use wire work or CGI.  Two scenes used CGI enhancements and one scene involved wire work.  In particular, this fight scene required one stunt with wire work involving one of the twins, Cyril Raffaelli (the smaller twin), only to add clarity to his kicks, because he was moving too fast for the camera.  This fight scene was also slowed down due to Li and Raffaelli moving too fast to be captured clearly at normal recording speed!!!  All three men, doing their own stunts, kicking ass!!!  That’s why this fight scene is number two!!!


Wait for it…

Wait for it…

#1: Frank Dux vs. Chong Li (Bloodsport)

In my eyes, this will always be the ultimate fight scene.  So much emotion goes into this epic throwdown.  Jean-Claude Van Damme tore it up in his first starring role as martial artist Frank Dux in his story of being the first westerner to win The Kumite!!!  I LOVE BLOODSPORT!!!  It is one of my favorite movies of all time!!!  I really don’t know how to describe the awesomeness I feel when I watch this movie, particularly this fight scene.  Dux gets off some amazing moves, but Chong Li strikes back with the heavy hitting.  Once Dux calms himself down and remembers his training, he is able to pull out a victory with a series of the best looking jumping-spinning-split-cresent kicks I’ve ever seen.  Truly EPIC in my eyes.

~ by Matt Whitfield on May 7, 2011.

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