There are so many great fight scenes in films that I could exclusively dedicate this blog to them. It’s time to move on to a new series of posts. Just because I’ve not mentioned a battle here doesn’t mean it’s not a favorite. But I have a big list of them, and have to stop somewhere. Onward!
Battle: Rob Roy must find a way to defeat Cunningham in a sword fight
Film: Rob Roy (1995)
Tim Roth’s character in Rob Roy is so reprehensible that this final sword fight can’t arrive soon enough. When it does arrive, however, it’s something to savor.
Battle: Godzilla takes on a new monster…. or does he?
Film: Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)
The number of monsters and super-soldiers fighting in Final Wars is ridiculous. But the award has to go to Godzilla and Monster X. The energy effects are the best in the series, and Monster X has quite a secret. It morphs into Ghidorah. Well, Kaiser Ghidorah, as I’m told. Whatever the name, this giant monster battle is great. See it!
Battle: Rocky and Drago beat each other senseless
Film: Rocky IV
You can’t get much more 80’s than Rocky IV. From the music to the protagonists, it’s impossible to remove the film from its original decade. It does have one hell of a final fight, though. As usual, Rocky takes more punishment than humanly possible. But it’s Dolph Lundgren’s crop-topped Drago that puts it over the top for me. Nearly impossible to not bob back and forth while watching this.
Battle: El Mariachi takes on a bar filled with gun-toting henchmen
Film: Desperado (1995)
Robert Rodriguez directs Antonio Banderas in this brutal and humorous gunfight, which culminates in a John Woo-inspired standoff between El Mariachi and the last killer standing. Out of bullets, each desperately searches for a weapon containing ammunition, each one coming up empty, until Banderas breaks the man’s neck instead. One of my favorite action movies of the Nineties.
Stelios and Astinos work in tandem, mowing though hordes of enemies in slow-motion
If nothing else, 300 is one of the most visually stunning films of the last decade. It’s also one long best-of fight scene. After much thought, I give a nod to Stelios and Astinos, two young Greeks slicing their way through the enemy ranks in a slow-motion sequence. The way they work in tandem is the best part.
Battle: Ripley jumps into a cargo loader, and faces off against the baddest alien ever
Film: Aliens (1986)
The most iconic scene in the Alien franchise, Ripley’s fight with the alien queen is brutal and frightening. Bishop is in pieces, Newt is in danger, and Ripley has had enough. “Get away from her, you bitch!”
Battle: Kham battles his way to a restaurant atop a multi-floored building
Film: The Protector (Tom-Yum Goong) (2005)
Not my favorite Tony Jaa film, but definitely one of my favorite battles. More of a stunt experiment than a fight, this amazing sequence is a single steady-cam shot, lasting about four minutes. Tony Jaa, in the role of Kham, jumps, kicks, hits, and climbs his way to the top of a massive building, beating down everyone in his path. Don’t miss it!
Battle: Ash faces off against his own possessed hand
Film: Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)
Bruce Campbell goes above and beyond in this classic comedic horror scene, which takes place in a small kitchen. His possessed hand does everything it can to kill him, but in the end it’s Bruce that gets the upper hand… by losing one. My favorite moment- when his hand knocks him out, and attempts to pull his body across the floor to a meat cleaver. The hands-eye view is great!