Five Movies with Great Fight Sequences
In honor of the recent release of “The Kingsman: The Golden Circle”, the CineNation crew picked a few of their favorite fight sequences.
The original Kingsman: Secret Service was known for it’s innovative and action-packed fight scenes. So, it was no surprise that Kingsman: The Golden Circle is also full of exciting fight scenes. In honor of the recent release of Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the CineNation writers thought it would be a good idea to talk about some of their favorite movies with fight scenes. Some of these picks might be a little surprising.
Kill Bill Vol. 1
A glorious SHAWSCOPE vision boasting characters created by Quentin & Uma during their days of genre mindmelding on the set of Pulp Fiction, the fights in either volume of KILL BILL have the same viciousness as their 60’s & 70’s counterparts. Quentin Tarantino’s pop-refentia mode is at its loudest in this revenge-couplet, if only for the RZA’s iconic score, Robert Richardson’s playful cinematography, Sally Menke’s crash-cut velocity, and Uma’s steely performance as The Bride — that’s all technical, decanted into the bloodied saucer of innocence robbed.
“Bill, it’s your baby,” precedes the film’s first instance of violence: high-contrast black & white, a brutal headshot as prologue. Beaten down and shot at her own wedding, The Bride awakes from her trauma-induced coma to find her baby gone. An arc of revenge climbing Bill’s assassin-lackey ranks culminates in Vol 1 against The Crazy 88. A madcap onslaught, wave after wave of Yakuza teens faces down the woman avenging her child.
And if their youth is forgotten between the frenzied decapitations, The Bride reminds us, spanking one young scrub back home to his parents. Maternal fury and years of training combine in KILL BILL Vol 1 to highlight Q & U’s genre opus in swift Satori Hanzo cuts: Strength against the impossible, against the unjust, via picturesque carnage.
By Alex Bauer
I am a John Carpenter “homer”; I enjoy his films and his views on filmmaking.
When I first watched They Live, the film oozed of “cool”. Roddy Piper and Keith David were badasses; the lines were fantastic; the action engaging. It is a Carpenter film everyone should enjoy.
They Live’s greatest legacy is its fight scene. Why is it great? In typical Carpenter fashion: it is simple. There is no overbearing music, no weapons and no crazy stunts. The fight, which takes place in an alley between the two main characters, is a simple fist fight that is grueling and exciting. Piper, who was a WWF wrestler at the time, excels at making this simple fist fight look and feel much more intense. (Which should not be surprising seeing his wrestling career). Along with Piper’s showmanship is Keith David holding his own. He’s a great equal to Piper, delivering blows that surprise and hurt Piper.
The fight in They Live happens early on and sets a wonderful tone for the rest of the flick. Don’t believe me? Just watch.
If you’ve been living under a rock, then you won’t know anything about the hyped graphic novel turned major motion picture Atomic Blonde. Our favorite South African Charlize Theron plays Lorraine Broughton, a top-level MI6 field agent and all around badass. Now, tbh I wasn’t super pumped about the film when I heard about it. I mean, yeah, it looked cool, but what’s another spy film? UNTIL I SAW THE FIGHT SCENES. GIRL.
Now lemme tell you something. These scenes are a combination of two wonderful things: authentic and feminine. First off, Charlize did her own stunts. She was kicking ass IRL and proving that in this day-in-age, acting is a sport. This amps up the quality of the shot, because the crew isn’t having to shoot around the stunt double’s face or give the illusion that more action is happening. The focus on the fighting, and you can see that she’s really giving it to these bad dudes. There’s even a 10-minute stairwell scene that embodies this “real life” attitude that the film brings. The director wanted to simulate how a real fight would go, even thinking about adrenaline levels and bruising.
Secondly, she is all lady power. We haven’t seen many female “James Bond” types, but I say she goes beyond 007. She is truly a spy, not motivated by revenge or the death of a loved one. She is all female and doesn’t shy away from that. Hollywood is starting to accept that women are capable of these roles, and Atomic Blonde is leading the way. One of the promo scenes that got this film on the radar was when she hacks away at two bad guys with her high heeled shoe, an irony that shouldn’t be lost on anyone. The epitome of femininity and what “handicaps” women (I can barely stand in high heels for more than a couple of hours) this shoe is a deadly weapon that emphasizes that Lorraine shouldn’t be underestimated. This scene, and more importantly the fighting in this film, is a middle finger any naysayers of female leads.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
By Dan LeVine
Anchorman 2, like many sequels, attempts to recreate the magic of its predecessor by treading familiar ground. The Legend Continues is not as good as the original, but it is certainly not as bad as most other comedy sequels. One area where it shines is in its attempt to heighten the ridiculousness of the mid-movie anchorman fight scene. But to talk about this fight scene, let us first reexamine its predecessor.
The original Anchorman film charmed audiences with its absurdity and unexpected situations. One of these odd scenes featured Will Ferrell’s crew in a stand-off with Vince Vaughn’s evening news team. Then three other news teams show up, including guest appearances from Ben Stiller and Luke Wilson. And then…the fight happens. People get limbs chopped off, get lit on fire and even get trapped in a net thrown on them by two men riding horses. It’s utter chaos. The scene ends with a hard cut to Ferrell’s Ron Burgandy in an office, hours later, commenting, “Wow. That escalated quickly.” The inexplicable plot holes and unexpected comic violence in a movie about news anchors all work well with the movie’s unique sense of humor.
The sequel’s fight scene takes ridiculousness and celebrity cameos to the next level. Featuring James Marsden, Sacha Baron Cohen, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Jim Carrey, Marion Cotillard, Liam Neeson, Greg Kinnear, Kirsten Dunst, John C. Reilly, Will Smith, Kanye West and Harrison Ford, the battle between news anchors rages on over insanely complicated classical music piece being played by Ron Burgandy’s son at a recital. If that’s not enough, the scene features a minotaur, a ghost, a weapon from the future, astral projection, one of the abovementioned celebrities turning into a werewolf, a sex panther gun and…probably more.
Well-choreographed, hilariously animated and played with 100% genuity by the actors, the scene perfectly captures the spirit of Anchorman. Only a movie in this franchise could pull off a scene like this and leave the audience thinking, “Yes, of course this would happen.”
Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a big fan of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I’ll usually see anything with the man in it. But, I’ll admit that not all of his films have been good (I’m looking at you Baywatch). To me, though, The Rock’s most underrated film, and in my opinion his best, is Peter Berg’s The Rundown. The film was Johnson’s second leading role and because of that it is one of least seen films, but if you are a fan of The Rock then this is a must watch.
I know The Scorpion King was Johnson’s first starring role, but The Rundown is the true film that introduces us to The Rock as we know him today. One of the reasons why it is Johnson’s best is because the film has a great blend of comedy and action. He is able to show off his comedic chops, his action skills, and his star charisma. In this opening sequence, I feel like we get to see The Rock all three of those. You even have a little cameo of Arnold Schwarzenegger symbolically passing the torch to The Rock. Even though the rest of the movie takes place in the jungles of Brazil, this scene is a great introduction to both Johnson’s character and Johnson’s beginnings as a movie star. I couldn’t tell you the number of times I’ve just watched this scene on Youtube. I mean, I really love this damn scene and I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. But, the Missy Elliot/ACDC mash-up pushes this scene to great heights.