Articles, Blog

Top 10 Movie Fight Scenes


>>CineFix Host: Say what you
will about action movies but there is something special about two
people trying to beat the [BLEEP] out of each other on screen. These are the top ten fight scenes of all time.>>[MUSIC]>>Trinity: Run Neo, run.>>[MUSIC]>>Trinity: What is he doing?>>Morpheus: He’s beginning to believe.>>CineFix Host: Starting us off at
number ten, the original Matrix. While you gotta love the Trinity fight,
and Morpheus’ Kung Fu lesson, nothing can quite beat the subway
standoff between Agent Smith and Neo.>From bullet time gunplay,
to knockout kung-fu brawling, this fight blended sci-fi special
effects with hand to hand choreography. To create an action format that
Hollywood had never seen before.>>Agent Smith: You’re empty.>>Neo: So are you.>>CineFix Host: And while the Wachowskis
deserved big praise for The Matrix, the credit for the fight scenes rightfully
belongs with a man named Yuen Woo-Ping. Known by his work if not his name, Yuen is one of the most influential
figures in Hong Kong action cinema. He’s helped launch the careers of greats
like Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Donnie Yen. And revolutionized action choreography
in both Hong Kong and Hollywood.>>[MUSIC]>>CineFix Host: When you
think of boxing scenes, it’s probably the iconic final bout
of Rocky that first comes to mind. And don’t get us wrong, the fighting in Rocky was awesome, in all
four original Rocky’s and Rocky Balboa. We don’t talk about Rocky V. But for our number nine slot,
we got to hand it to Raging Bull. Scorsese’s masterpiece portrait of boxer
Jake Lamotta gave us artful fight poems, more expressionistic and
subjective than real. But nothing hits quite as hard as
the final Sugar Ray Robinson fight. Scorsese reacted against the spectator
point of view cinematography of boxing films like Rocky,
by putting his camera in the ring. Choreographing cinematographer
Michael Chapman like a third fighter. As for De Niro,
he trained with the actual Jake LaMotta. Putting in months of work and
thousands of sparring rounds. He fought in three actual Brooklyn
boxing matches, two of which he won. LaMotta even told De Niro, he was even
good enough to make a career of it. Fortunately, for
us he stuck with acting, but not before treating us to one of the most
brutal boxing scenes of all time.>>[SOUND]
>>Boxing Announcer: [INAUDIBLE] his shot, how he can survive, nobody knows.>>CineFix Host: If you paid any
attention to action films recently, you may have noticed a trend for greedy, brutally real fight scenes
coming from places other than Hong Kong. Most recently The Raid, turned Americans on to the insanity
coming out of Indonesia. And left us with a final fight
between the brothers and Mad Dog that had us fooled for
the real thing. But our number eight looks back a little
further to another gritty final fight, with Ong Bak.>>[MUSIC]>>CineFix Host: The crazy
mix of acrobatics and martial arts electrified audiences. And introduce the world to action star
Tony Jaa, choreographer Prachya Pinkaew, and the art of Muay Thai itself. Tony Jaa’s, Muay Thai is all elbows and
knees, but in the best way possible. As he and his team completely avoided
wires and effects for his fights. And it all leads up to a full throttle
conclusion that see’s Jaa prove once and for all that, there’s more to
the martial arts than Kung Fu.>>[SOUND] [MUSIC]>>CineFix Host: Next up we’re
looking at Jason Bourne. And while he’s got some
killer moves in Identity and Supremacy, our number seven goes to his
fight with Dash, in The Bourne Ultimatum. You know any fight that keeps up its
intensity without any music is going to be vicious. And Jeff Imada is the man to thank for
this one. Choreographing it with
a combination of Filipino Kali and Jeet Kune Do,
Bruce Lee’s martial arts invention, that Imada learned from
train with Lee on Brandon. But it’s the ruthless efficiency and practical use of props that
makes this scene great. And while some people have
criticized the fight for relying too heavily on shaky cam, it only
takes one quick look behind the scenes to realize that these actors
are hardly taking it easy.>>CineFix Host: Love it or hate it
wire fu is one of the most dividing subjects when it comes to fight scenes,
and when it’s bad it’s awful. But when it’s used to elevate brilliant
martial artists instead of substituting for them, it can be absolutely incredible. The pole fight from Iron Monkey, the
bamboo fight from House of Flying Daggers, but what better martial artist
to elevate than Jet Li in Hero. If you haven’t seen Hero, is Hong Kong’s
biggest budget film to date, and for good reason. Each set piece fight is a story told
between Jet Lee’s nameless and the King. Each story with it’s own
eye candy color scheme. There’s red, yellow, blue, green, white. But our number six goes to the gray fight.>>Speaker 7: [FOREIGN]>>[SOUND]>>CineFix Host: Director Yimou Zhang and choreographer Ching Siu-tung bring us
one of the most incredible examples of weapon work ever shot on film. The only catch is that the entire
fight takes place inside their minds. The two fighters battle viciously
with sword and spear back and forth, vying meditatively for
the upper hand. But when the music stops, the imagined fight resolves itself
in just one fateful strike.>>[NOISE]
>>Speaker 8: Aah!>>CineFix Host: Next up,
at number five, Kill Bill. While Volume 2 has a great fight
between the Bride and Elle Driver, we’ve gotta hand it to the slaughter
that is the Crazy 88 battle in Volume 1. Although an honorable mention goes to the
Gogo Yubari fight immediately before it. Tarantino’s loving send up of the 70s
Kung Fu flick is all kinds of awesome and the Crazy 88 fight is campy
in all the best ways.>From the eye pluck,
to the sound as they run up the stairs, to the very notion of the Bride
fighting so many bad guys at once. But the fighting itself is top notch and that’s thanks again to Yuen Woo-Ping’s
world class choreography. If you notice the glaring absence in our
list of incredible wuxia wire fu mentions, it’s probably because we
picked it as our number four. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The one hundred foot high
bamboo fight is gorgeous, but the face off that lead up to it,
is even better. Moving from Kill Bill’s one kick
ass chick to two others, and a another entry from legendary
choreographer Yuen Woo-Ping, we’ve gotta be talking about the fight
between Ziyi Zhang and Michelle Yeoh. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon saw Ang Lee bring wuxia
action to the Hollywood mainstream. Breaking records for foreign film
earnings, foreign film Oscar nominations, and the only martial arts film to
ever be nominated for Best Picture. And watching this fight scene,
it’s not hard to see why. Michelle Yeoh throws everything she has at
Ziyi Zhang and her Green Destiny sword, which cuts down Yeoh’s attempts and every
weapon imaginable in rapid succession. But ultimately, Yeoh’s superior
abilities overcome Zhang’s Weapons, leaving us with one of the best
wuxia fights of all time.>>[SOUND] [MUSIC]>>CineFix Host: Counting down our top
three, there’s only room left for legends. And while you probably have some good
guesses, our number three goes to a legendary fighter who isn’t so
well known in America. We’re talking about Donnie Yen. If you know him it’s probably from
Ip Man where he beats on fellow masters, northern challengers, Japanese generals,
and even ten black belts at a time. Or you might know him as Jet Li’s
opponent from our previously mentioned number six best fight ever hero. Or their other incredible face off
in Once Upon A Time In China 2. You could remember him from
his work in Iron Monkey. Or his turn as a villain
in Shanghai Knights. And you might even recognize him
from a small role in Blade 2. But you probably haven’t seen
the incredible work he does in his breakout film, Killzone SPL. The final fight sees him and his mix
martial arts style squaring off against Hong Kong action choreography
legend Sammo Hung. But that’s not our pick either. Our pick goes to the fight
right before it, between Yen and Wu Jing,
that Yen both fought in and choreographed. Many fights on this list took days or
even weeks to stage and shoot, not including the weeks or months it might
have taken to learn the choreography. But this fight from SPL was filmed in only
one night and was largely improvised. Intimately familiar with each others
fighting styles, having trained in martial arts together, the two competed on
set over who could hit the other first. With Yin allegedly breaking three of
his batons over Wu Jing’s forearms. The result is a fight that doesn’t
just look like a string of impressive dance moves, but
two fighters sizing each other up. Working hard and reacting,
leading to one of the most kinetic and dangerous flurries of action
ever captured on screen.>>[NOISE]
>>Speaker 9: What the?>>CineFix Host: With two spots
left at least one of them has to go to Jackie Chan. Now we could fill this entire top
ten with Jackie Chan fights and still feel like we’ve left some out, but
for our number two there can be only one. But how to choose. There’s the early Jackie Chan,
just discovering his new brand of action comedy, as choreographed by Yuen Woo-ping,
like Drunken Master. Or the brutal one-on-one
duel staged by Sammo Hung, in movies like Wheels On Meals and
Dragons Forever. Of course, Chan is best known for his
invented use of props with his stunt team, like in the ladder fight
from First Strike, or the warehouse fight from
Rumble in the Bronx. But our number two goes to
the final factory fight from Jackie Chan’s masterpiece,
The Legend of the Drunken Master.>>[SOUND]
>>Wong Fei-hung: What the hell is that?>>Speaker 11: What does it mean
when there’s a picture of a skull?>>Wong Fei-hung: Good stuff!>>[MUSIC]>>CineFix Host: The fight goes on for
over ten minutes, and includes Jackie’s signature comedy
fighting, ridiculous use of flaming props, and most hilariously,
his drunken boxing style. Which sees him gaining strength from
booze like some kind of alcoholic Popeye. This scene was choreographed and
directed by Jackie himself, after firing another legendary choreographer
Lau Kar-leung, for being too traditional. And we’re kinda glad he did, because this fight stands as the most
iconic fight in the career of hundreds, thanks to Jackie’s incredible skills and
limitless creativity.>>[SOUND]
>>Lee: You have offended my family and
you have offended a Shaolin temple.>>CineFix Host: And finally, at number
one, who else could we pick but Bruce Lee? Without the master himself,
we probably wouldn’t even have this list. Bruce Lee is responsible not only for originally introducing Hong Kong action
movies to American audiences, but for elevating the style to a new
level in inspiring today’s greats. He took on a whole dojo in Fist of Fury,
fought Kareem Abdul Jabbar in Game of Death, and
even Chuck Norris in Way of the Dragon. But our number one is Bruce Lee’s fight
against every Hong Kong kung fu extra ever, in Enter the Dragon.>>[SOUND]
>>CineFix Host: Not only is this fight a perfect example of
Bruce Lee’s landmark kicking, his nunchuck skills, and
his ridiculously ripped abs, but it’s also one of
Jackie Chan’s earliest roles. And well Lee’s choreography
certainly isn’t as intricate or as polished as his successors, there’s a
trademark lethality to his every move that makes them look like they
could actually kill you. And they probably could. Lee is famous for knocking over men
twice his size with a one-inch punch, fighting any person on set who would
walk up to him with a challenge, and inventing his own martial art. He’s truly one of the greatest artist
martial artists of all time, and we have him to thank for a tradition
of incredibly talented fighters kicking the crap out of each other for
our entertainment.>>[NOISE]
>>CineFix Host: So what do you think? What are some of your favorite
fights that we left out? Did you think some of our picks
were less than impressive? Let us know in the comments below, and subscribe to Cinefix for
more IndieWire movie list.>>[MUSIC]

100 Comments

  1. Michael Taylor Author

    "Remo Williams" trying to fight his instructor & not being able to touch him (savvy instructors like this do exist, but they are rare).

    Reply
  2. ThwartMorten Author

    I think 10 is way too short a list for this subject. A scene from Fist of Legend should've been included and that long 'one shot' staircase fight scene from Atomic Blonde should've been included. And while there is only and will ever only be one Bruce Lee, the fight scenes in his movies has been out done by a great margin many, many times simply because movie fight choreography, direction and filming has improved so much since his movies. That in no way takes away from his awesomeness. Bruce Lees abilities were well ahead of fight scene choreography but the scenes themselves are not at the level of fight scenes in modern movies.

    Reply
  3. jadavix Author

    The Matrix
    Raging Bull
    Ong Bak
    The Bourne Ultimatum
    Hero
    Kill Bill
    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
    Killzone SPL
    The Legend of Drunken Master
    Enter the Dragon

    Reply
  4. Veavictis Asmadi Author

    I am SO disappointed about your number 1 pick! Whatever he has done for the genre, his fights aren't that exciting and as you said yourself they are less well crafted. Just look at the scenes you picked for this video clip and compare it to the others.

    Reply
  5. OlympicLeprechaun Author

    I know people will roll their eyes but regardless of how one might feel about the movie itself I would include the warehouse fight in Batman v. Superman. Even people who hated the movie praised that sequence. Batman's reputation is that of one of the greatest hand to hand combatants on Earth but this was the first time on film it was truly showcased.

    Reply
  6. Eleştiren Adam Yılmaz Author

    Hands down! Matrix series always have best fight scenes. Good fight scenes just not good careography plus good sound good cinematograpy good acting good music and good script.

    Reply
  7. Ajith Munisinghe Author

    What about matrix 2 fight scenes. Though you consider matrix 1 you don't have to forget there is a second film.
    Matrix 2 was a master piece.

    Reply
  8. Tyler MacGregor Author

    I think some time should’ve been spent talking about some of the more simplistically choreographed, down to earth, gritty fight scenes in film. That final scrap between Hugh Glass and Fitzgerald in The Revenant comes to mind, or any number of fight scenes from the Indiana Jones trilogy.

    Reply
  9. flyingzone Author

    Donnie Yen is actually Chinese-American and he has a HUGE cult following. No one who truly loves martial art movies doesn't know who he is.

    Reply
  10. Brandon Patacsil Author

    You left out the final fight scene from 2004 Kung Fu Hustle. Steven Chow made an amazing homage to the legends before him, all while including great comedy, and amazing action

    Reply
  11. YourUltimateGod Author

    Some of those fights aren't very iconic done by Camera theateratics and angle shots. Great fights scenes are doing by Single one motion camera shot scenes not a wobly change of camera shots from different angle shots

    Reply
  12. Andy Aitken Author

    It’s obvious to me that Cinefix hasn’t watched a lot of martial arts movies. To have a top ten is doing a disservice to the art as there are hundreds of great fights in movies.

    Reply
  13. TheoneGodfather Author

    I so badly wanted the fight from The Raid to be here. It kinda was. I personally didn't like the crazy 88 fight but did like all the others in the movie.

    Reply
  14. Daniel Ryslink Author

    Matrix with its endless, pointless strike exchanges between invulnerable characters actually made fight scenes boring. It resembled two old ladies talking about weather, only more sleep-inducing. Also, failure to mention the infamous hammer fight from Oldboy means the list is flawed.

    Reply
  15. Larry The TRUTH Author

    Best fight scene me and the toilet after a White Castle Burger. Epic abuse and reaming of my anus on the part of white castle 😳🤦🏽‍♂️

    Reply
  16. Crashburn 32 Author

    What?? They picked the absolute wrong fight scene in Bourne, where Bourne loses much of the fight before choking the guy out. The fight scene in Identity was so much better. Bourne disarmed the guy of his machine gun, beat him with a rolled up magazine, stabbed him repeatedly with a pen, then dislocated his right arm and right leg. Then the guy threw himself out the window.
    It was not only the best Bourne series fight, but should be higher on this list.

    Reply
  17. Curlieq55 Author

    I love Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon for so many reasons. Incredible fight scenes, powerful romance, compelling stories (two, simultaneously). I watched it four times in 24 hours. That’s one film I would have liked to see on the big screen.

    Reply
  18. Manwitha Machinegun Author

    This is more like "top list of fight scenes in mainstream martial arts movies"… There's much better fight scenes than a lot of these in much lesser known movies.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *