So you’re walking down a street–shopping perhaps–and it’s Saturday so every human being in the entire world is on the same street as you needing to buy snoods and cravats and stuff, and you are being pushed and shoved and possibly even starting to lose your temper. But it’s okay, because you pop your iPod earphones in, let your eyes glaze over into daydream mode and suddenly all those people in the way are merely opponents in the landscape of your fighting mind. You imagine sliding, shifting and kung fu-ing your way through them like a badass hero! But you wouldn’t be able to choreograph these imaginary fights if you hadn’t been subjected to years and years of awesome fight scenes in film. So in the name of creating new material for some time-wasting daydreams, we present to you (in no particular order) our list of awesome fight scenes.
#13 – Troy
Achilles vs Really Large Dude
In a film that was at best average, this was an awesome scene; Brad Pitt’s So-Much-Sexiness-In-Your-Face-Achilles fells a man in one swift move and it’s pretty damn cool. In fact, at the time of watching this scene in the darkened cinema, our faces may have remained impassive but our minds were going OMFG THAT IS SO COOL! HE PIERCED HIS HEART FROM HIS FUCKING SHOULDER! AHH! WE WANT TO KILL SOMEONE THAT WAY, PREFERABLY THE GUY CHECKING HIS PHONE RIGHT NOW, WHY IS HE CHECKING HIS PHONE? WHO IS HE TEXTING? DID HE NOT JUST SEE THAT MOVE???!!
Achilles vs Hector
And just as an extra, it is worth watching the heart wrenching fight between Hector and Achilles, POOR HECTOR!
#12 – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Jen vs Shu Lien
Pretty much every fight scene in this movie is going to blow your mind, but our favourite is the one between Jen and Shu Lien. There’s tension, there’s comedy and there’s so, so many weapons. The stunning and complex choreography was designed by the famous martial arts choreographer Yuen Woo-Ping, who has been an advisor for four–list ’em–FOUR films on this here list. Yuen Woo-Ping, you so crazy, we think we want to have your baby.
#11 – X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Deadpool vs Entire Drug Cartel
Ugh, we know, we know, Wolverine is a terrible, terrible film, but this scene is easily the best thing about it. Unfortunately, it happens in the first half hour of the film and it is all downhill from there. This fight sequence left you wishing that the film you had paid for was called Deadpool instead of Wolverine. WHY HAVEN’T THEY MADE A DEADPOOL FILM YET?
Oh Ryan Reynolds, we love you so, so much.
#10 – Serenity
River Tam vs Entire Bar
Arghh! Don’t get us started on the subject of Firefly because this will turn into a whole different article (WE HATE YOU FOX NETWORK FOR CANCELLING ONE OF THE GREATEST SCI-FI SHOWS OF ALL TIME!) but luckily for the world, Joss Whedon managed to get funding for his Firefly love child: Serenity, which meant that faithful fans finally got to see classically trained ballerina Summer Glau (River Tam) get to grips with some serious ass-kicking choreography, and what results is pretty freaking awesome.
#9 – The Matrix
Neo vs Morpheus
So, so many to choose from… there’s the lobby scene with all the guns, the fight with all those Hugo Weavings, but somehow, we feel like those scenes don’t get the blood going quite as much as the scene where Neo has just discovered he knows kung fu, and wants to give his skills a test run. From the frankly charming performance of Keanu Reeves here, to the constant smile hovering around Laurence Fishburne’s smug Morpheus mouth, this fight is a lot of fun to watch, AND it introduced the western world to–WE’RE NOT WORTHY, WE’RE NOT WORTHY–Yuen Woo-Ping.
#8 – Grosse Point Blank
Martin Q. Blank vs Assassin Dude
Slick choreography, great soundtrack, legs that go on forever (we heart you John Cusack!) and death by motherfucking pen. WHAT MORE DO YOU PEOPLE WANT?
#7 – The Princess Bride
Inigo Montoya vs The Dread Pirate Roberts/Westley
If only we could all be so hilariously glib as Carey Elwes was as the indomitable, indefatigable Dread Pirate Roberts. Starting as you (probably) are on Inigo’s side, it doesn’t take long before you don’t know who you are rooting for, what your name is, or why do-rag masks, jack boots and tights are suddenly the sexiest items of clothing you have ever seen.
#6 – Kill Bill Vol. 1
O-Ren Ishii vs The Bride
Another film with so much awesome violence to choose from, and whilst we love the Bride going up against the Crazy 88, it is the bizarre, beautiful quietness of the culminating fight between the two warrior women of the movie which is the more compelling of the two. Plus, you totes get to see brain.
#5 – Snatch
Mickey vs Good Night Anderson
Oh Brad Pitt you little mucker you, always getting into scraps! From Fight Club to Mr and Mrs. Smith, you just can’t stop punching people, and we’d be worried, but you’re so damn good at it. When we at Best for Film finally decided on Snatch, it was so tempting to put in the fight scene with Gorgeous George–where One-Punch Mickey lives up to his name–but the best fight scene in the movie, is the one where Mickey almost loses against Good Night Anderson. Beautifully edited with some painful close ups, this fight scene is both exciting and incredibly tense.
#4 – The Court Jester
Hubert Hawkins vs Sir Ravenhurst
We could not in all good conscience leave out Danny Kaye’s superb turn in the hilarious, amazing sword fight at the end of the brilliant Court Jester. The hapless Hawkins must fight Basil Rathbone’s devious Sir Ravenhurst (the RRRATCATCHER!) and is perhaps both the best and the worst fight scene you will ever witness. With poor Hawkins under the witch Griselda’s spell, he switches back and forth from dashing sword maestro to bumbling fool with the click of a finger. We DARE you not to laugh.
And as a side note — did you spot Angela Lansbury?!
#3 – The Forbidden Kingdom
Lu Yan vs The Silent Monk
There were so many Jackie Chan movies to choose from. So, so many. Too many. We got lost in an infinite YouTube loop of never-ending videos. So we settled on this fight, not because it was the best, but because who could resist watching two of cinema’s martial arts legends go head to head (toe to toe?) in this exhilarating and very funny fight? NO ONE, THAT’S WHO.
#2 – The Last of the Mohicans
Uncas vs Magua/Hawkeye vs Nameless Extras/Magua vs Chingachgook
One of our favourite movies growing up (yes, we at Best for Film are like a symbiotic unit of thought robots), and one of the sequences we replay constantly in our minds when we are working out at the gym (because it is just THAT cool). This penultimate scene packs an emotional Uzi to the face as the audience watches Uncas race to save his lady love from the clutches of the twisted Magua. One of the most gripping, moving fight sequences of all time. Now, if you haven’t watched Last of the Mohicans, WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU? DON’T WATCH THIS CLIP, GO OUT IMMEDIATELY AND BUY THIS MOVIE!
#1 – Bridget Jones’ Diary
Mark Darcy vs Daniel Cleaver
The last for a reason, unlucky fight 13 is the only fight on this list to actually resemble anything like a real fight. The hilarious and painfully accurate stumbling of Hugh Grant’s Daniel Cleaver and Colin Firth’s Mark Darcy is an absolute joy to watch. Our particular favourite moment is when the two grown men are both pushing against each other’s faces. GO FIRTHY, GO!
If you disagree with everything we have said–which let’s face it, you will–please comment viciously below.