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Dax's Top 47 Movie Fight Sequences | Land of the GIFS | We have a winner!

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I salute you, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the ring, where legends have been beating the crap out of each other for decades for YOUR entertainment.


kpE2WHQ.gif       --     Bloodsport (1988)


So while some of you may be working on and submitting your favorite movie lines of all time in the coming months, I came up with a top of my own to keep you guys entertained during that time as well!


So, there's something strangely captivating about watching people duke it out, which might explain the huge popularity of MMA and boxing tournaments. Movie fights are heavily choreographed though and have more in common with wrestling and professional dancing than competitive fighting.


But we enjoy epic action scenes, don't we? Take the T-800 absolutely devastating the police station in The Terminator, for example...


... well, it's all fake you know, because -- news flash -- movies are fake. But why should it matter? It's a great sequence and it looks amazing! Same goes for movie fights. We all know they're fake, but that's beside the point. What matters is that they're engaging, awesome, and that they serve a purpose!


I've always wanted to do a top in here, after seeing epic lists like "great movies you've never heard of" by baumer and Tele, so here I am with a totally different kind of top. This is the kind of top that younger me would have loved to have stumbled upon!


It just felt natural that this would be the subject I would tackle from the beginning.


xFSkQ6T.gif       --     SPL: Kill Zone (2005)


Why me?


I have been watching and enjoying martial arts movies since I was a kid. Along with my brother, we would go rent VHS tapes of Jackie Chan and Jet Li movies at the video rental store, and watch them. We may or may not have tried fighting a bit, thinking we were bad-ass (we weren't).


I have watched hundreds of martial arts films, as well as a number of random fighting clips and compilations from various movies on YouTube that I simply cannot count. That in addition to non-Martial Arts films with fight sequences in them, which are numerous indeed (basically every other blockbuster?), and I have watched a lot of fights. There are still a bunch of action/martial arts movies I wish to see as some of them can be quite hard to find.


It took more time than I initially thought to come up with this, but now I think I'm quite proud of the list I have!


The reason why I wanted to do this is because movie fighting is a complicated thing. In fact, the truth is that most movie fights suck.


It's not as simple as just telling actors "yo beat the crap out of each other" and calling it a day. You don't want the actors/stuntmen to get hurt, so it has be fake but look real for maximum impact... unless your name is Jackie Chan and it's all mostly real and people get hurt :qotd:


But looking real isn't always the goal either!


Regardless, great movie fight choreography depends on a lot of factors, namely the actor/martial artist, the director, the fight choreographer, the stunts team, the editor, the cinematographer, and the screenwriter, if it applies. For a great movie fight sequence to be born, all of the above have to do an outstanding job. You can have the best fighter ever suck on screen if the choreography is terrible or if the director doesn't know how to properly frame and edit the fighting. Or you can have the best directing and editing only for the fighting actor and stunt team to... simply not be good enough!


Thus, expect some surprises in this list, since so many factors come into play. Hell, even the music has a part to play!


LCA2xov.gif       --     Royal Warriors (1986)


About the list


Well first of all, a disclaimer:

There will be mild spoilers. I will try to spoil things as less as possible but really, if I wanna pique your interest and curiosity guys, I will have to spoil some things down the line. After all, many epic fight scenes tend to happen near the end of their movie!


Since only a select few movies in this top have been reviewed here on BOT, I will try to find a good balance between reviewing them myself, or borrowing reviews from elsewhere whenever I find one I enjoyed reading.


Now, as some of you may have guessed already, Chinese movies will be featured prominently in here. One only has to watch a few classic Hong Kong movies to see why that is. From the 1960's up until today, Hong Kong filmmakers have always had an eye for action (not just fighting), and this top aims to partly highlight that.


But Hong Kong aren't the only ones doing some amazing work of course. There are others, which I hope will surprise you.  ;)


There are American movies in this list of course, but mostly not the ones you would expect.


Hopefully this top helps you guys discover new awesome movies!


That's also why I am focusing on non-American movies as much as possible, since I know that BOT is more than 50% from North America. I guarantee you that you've never even heard of a majority of the movies in this list.


Plus, a number of them are currently available on Amazon Prime or iTunes, even some of the old or underground ones, often for a couple bucks. So they're not so out of reach!


Oh and I am running a little game along with this top by the way --


I will give a 1-month BOT gold subscription to the first person who correctly guesses the #1 movie fight sequence in this top.

1 fight sequence entry per person. Guess away! You have until I start the top 25.


I will reveal the winner at the same time the #1 fight sequence is revealed. Those who guessed correctly but not first might also win something, at my discretion :) Remember, you have to guess the correct sequence, not just the movie (Don't worry, I'll be lenient on that front).


We are now entering the ring.


sScWCfE.gif       --     Iron Monkey (1993)


Let the fighting... begin!


Edited by Daxtreme
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Complete List (formatting optimized for desktop)



1.            Taiwan                               Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)              Ziyi Zhang vs Michelle Yeoh | Final Fight

2.            Hong Kong                        SPL: Kill Zone (2005)                                           Donnie Yen vs Jing Wu  

3.            Hong Kong                        In the Line of Duty 4 (1989)                                  Donnie Yen & Cynthia Khan vs the Bad Guys | Final Fight Sequence       

4.            Thailand                            Ong Bak (2003)                                                    Tony Jaa vs The Bar                    

5.            Hong Kong                        Wheels on Meals (1984)                                      Jackie Chan vs Benny 'The Jet' Urquidez | Final fight Sequence

6.            Hong Kong/China              Hero (2002)                                                         Jet Li vs Donnie Yen

7.            Hong Kong                        Drunken Master II (1994)                                     Jackie Chan vs Ken Lo | Final Fight

8.            Indonesia                         The Raid (2011)                                                    Iko Uwais & Donny Alamsyah vs Yayan Ruhian

9.            Hong Kong                        Dragons Forever (1988)                                      Jackie Chan vs Benny 'The Jet' Urquidez | Final fight sequence

10.          USA/Hong Kong               Enter the Dragon (1973)                                      Bruce Lee vs the whole factory

11.          Hong Kong                       Yes, Madam! (1985)                                             Michelle Yeoh & Cynthia Rothrock vs Dick Wei & Fat Chung

12.          Hong Kong                       Ip Man (2008)                                                       Donnie Yen vs 10 black belts

13.          Thailand                           Ong Bak 2 (2008)                                                 Tony Jaa vs the world - Final fight sequence

14.          Hong Kong                       Twinkle, Twinkle, Lucky Stars (1985)                   Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao, Andy Lau vs Dick Wei & thugs | Warehouse fight

15.          Hong Kong                       Magnificent Warriors (1987)                                 Michelle Yeoh "distracting" an army

16.          USA                                  Ninja II - Shadow of a Tear (2013)                       Scott Adkins vs Kane Kosugi

17.          Hong Kong                      The Millionaires Express (1986)                           Battle Royale Fight Sequence

18.          Hong Kong                       Fatal Contact (2006)                                           Jing Wu vs Paul Smith, Kenji Tanigaki, and Andy On | Street Fighters sequence

19.          Thailand                          The Protector (2005)                                            Tony Jaa | Restaurant single take sequence

20.          Hong Kong                       Iron Angels (1987)                                              Moon Lee vs Yukari Ôshima | feat. Elaine Lui

21.          South Korea                    Oldboy (2003)                                                      Min-sik Choi vs thugs (Hallway scene)

22.          Hong Kong                      Once Upon a Time in China II (1992)                  Jet Li vs Donnie Yen

23.          Japan                               Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends (2014)        Takeru Satoh vs Ryunosuke Kamiki | Final fight

24.          Hong Kong                      Police Story (1985)                                              Jackie Chan | Mall sequence

25.          USA                                 The Matrix Reloaded (2003)                                 Keanu Reeves | Chateau fight sequence

26.          Hong Kong                      Rumble in the Bronx (1995)                                 Jackie Chan | Warehouse Fight Sequence

27.          Indonesia                        The Raid 2 (2014)                                                 Iko Uwais vs Cecep Arif Rahman | Kitchen Fight

28.          Hong Kong                      Iron Monkey (1993)                                              Sze-Man Tsang + Jean Wang vs Fai Lee & disciples

29.          Hong Kong                      The Iceman Cometh (1989)                                 Yuen Biao vs Yuen Wah | Final Fight

30.          Hong Kong                      Flash Point (2007)                                                Donnie Yen vs Collin Chou

31.          Thailand                          Bangkok Knockout (2010)                                    Someguy vs Someguy#2

32.          Hong Kong                      Police Story 2 (1988)                                            Jackie Chan vs Keung-Kuen Lai | Final Fight

33.          USA                                 Close Range (2015)                                              Scott Adkins | Opening fight sequence

34.          Hong Kong                      My Rebellious Son (1982)                                    Alexander Fu Sheng vs Mimmo Gasbarri

35.          Hong Kong                      SPL Kill Zone 2 (2015)                                         Tony Jaa vs Jing Wu vs The Prison | feat. Jin Zhang

36.          Hong Kong                      Royal Warriors / In the Line of Duty (1986)          Michelle Yeoh vs Ying Bai

37.          USA                                 Undisputed 3: Redemption (2010)                        Scott Adkins vs Marko Zaror

38.          Hong Kong                      Fist of Fury / The Chinese Connection (1972)      Bruce Lee vs a whole Dojo

39.          Hong Kong                      She Shoots Straight / Lethal Lady (1990)             Joyce Godenzi vs Agnes Aurelio

40.          USA                                 The Matrix (1999)                                                  Keanu Reeves vs Hugo Weaving

41.          Hong Kong                      Fist of Legend (1994)                                            Jet Li vs Siu-Ho Chin

42.          USA                                 Bloodsport (1988)                                                  Jean-Claude Van Damme vs Bolo Yeung

43.          Hong Kong                      The Way of the Dragon (1972)                              Bruce Lee vs Chuck Norris

44.          USA                                 Raging Bull (1980)                                                 Robert De Niro vs Johnny Barnes

45.          Hong Kong                      Fists and Guts (1980)                                            Gordon Liu vs Lieh Lo

46.          Thailand                          Chocolate (2008)                                                    JeeJa Yanin | Final Fight Sequence

47.          China/Hong Kong           Fearless (2006)                                                      Jet Li vs 4 champions | Ending tournament sequence



Honorable Mentions


Come Drink With Me (1966)

Return of the Five Deadly Venoms (1978)

Fists of the White Lotus (1980)

Saving Private Ryan (1998) - Knife fight

Kill Bill (2003-2004)

Buster Keaton

The Mortal Kombat Theme Song




By the way, you can check the availability of all the movies in this top on trakt.tv, it tells you whether it's on Amazon Prime, Netflix, iTunes, etc. Very useful!




Edited by Daxtreme
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Sorry I did not respond to you earlier yesterday. I have pinned this topic for you and we will keep it here for a while. I will respond in a little bit more detail when I get home from work tonight.

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Hey Daxtreme what are some of the best martial arts movies of all time? I've love this shit but I haven't watched much, the Raid and the Raid 2 are some of my most favourite films.

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Stay tuned to find out ;) It's not always about the martial arts though!


My primary grading criteria are -- in descending order -- the quality of the choreography and fight, the overall look, flow, and feel of the scene, the stunts, and the novelty the sequence offers.


Obviously, to evaluate the choreography I need to be able to see it. It's really hard for me to see what's going on in fight sequences with lots of shaky cams and quick cuts, so they won't score big.

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1 minute ago, Daxtreme said:

Stay tuned to find out ;) It's not always about the martial arts though!


My primary grading criteria are -- in descending order -- the quality of the choreography and fight, the overall look, flow, and feel of the scene, the stunts, and the novelty the sequence offers.


Obviously, to evaluate the choreography I need to be able to see it. It's really hard for me to see what's going on in fight sequences with lots of shaky cams and quick cuts, so they won't score big.

Yes in hindsight asking you what your favourite martial arts films would give away how this thread. I'll be staying tuned I've spent countless hours googling "best fight scenes" on youtube.


I'll google some films to watch for now!

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1 hour ago, Pandamia! said:

Greatest fight sequence of all-time



Can't wait for your name change in 2020, look forward to @'n Pandora

Edited by IronJimbo
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Tagging some regulars who might be interested.


After all, guess wisely and be awarded a free 1-month BOT Gold account!! ;)


@Telemachos @Nova @MrPink @grim22 @Porthos @Isle of Pasta @DeeCee @WrathOfHan @commendable @Jandrew @Cmasterclay @AndyLL @franfar @Mattrek @Water Bottle @#ED @Chewy @4815162342 @CJohn @EmpireCity @Empire @Fancyarcher @filmlover @TalismanRing @Blankments @Jack Nevada @Proxima Olive @ecstasy @kayumanggi @Sam @The Futurist @Noctis @Dexter of Suburbia @redfirebird2008 @RichWS @ddddeeee @K1stpierre @Ozymandias @a2knet @druv10 @Jay Hollywood @The Stingray @MovieMan89 @Lordmandeep @Claire of Themyscira @tribefan695 @DAJK @Gopher @Spidey Freak @Jake Gittes @A Roc in Time @chasmmi @Vanilla @Impact @Totem @Master Scottb @JJ-8 @SchumacherFTW @Tower @tawasal @captainwondyful @JamesCameronScholar @Premium George @slambros @Tree @75Live @MrGamer @misafeco @Thematrixfilm @UNDERDOG @Goffe @Dexter @Rorschach @angeldelmito @MrWhite @xxoo @narniadis @ThiagoMaia


@grey ghost @Kalo @Water Bottle @titanic2187 @Jason @CoolEric258 @Chaz @RandomCat @Jayhawk @Johnny Tran @ProtoMan @xequalsy @DAR @Amadeus @Wrath @vc2002 @John Marston @Ethan Hunt @TwoMisfits @fabiopazzo2 @ZattMurdock @Rebeccas @Hunt for the Wilderpasta @terrestrial 


Tagging some additional regulars in the China forums whom I think could be interested in such a top, since Chinese movies will be well represented in here:


@HouseOfTheSun @fmpro @NCsoft @feasby007 @firedeep @ymblcza @Deep Wang @ZeeSoh @Gavin Feng @Valonqar @Zakiyyah6 @TigerPaw @Litio @bangbingchan @RRA @Barnack @Jaybee @stephanos13 @peludo @efialtes76 @POTUS @justvision @fastclock


Feel free to tag other members if you think they would enjoy this list :) It should end up in the Speakeasy eventually so be sure to follow or drop by in there if this top seems interesting to you!

I might have went overboard with the tags -- if I tagged you and you're not interested, feel free to simply ignore this thread :hahaha:

(I think you'll enjoy it though)


Tonight I'll try to find some time to get started with the honorable mentions and other side mentions before we begin!

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2 hours ago, Brainbug said:

My favourite fight scene. Its just breathtaking, i could watch it over and over again.



Damn, this was gonna be my #1 guess - you have awesome taste b/c I also love this movie and the fight scenes:)...

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Im gonna have to rack my brains up for this but I think we’ll see plent of Matrix gifs in here. 


Btw if you want some absolutely hilarious action scenes then go see some of the South Indian movies. They’re hilarious 

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What better way to start this off than with...


Bonus: The worst Martial Arts movie I've ever seen


Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)







Directed by: John R. Leonetti

Fight Choreography: I'm think I'm doing them a favor not mentioning their name here.

Starring: Robin Shou, Talisa Soto, James Remar

Worldwide Box office: $51,376,861 (domestic: $35,927,406)


Synopsis: A group of martial arts warriors have only six days to save the Earth from an extra-dimensional invasion.

My rating for this movie:




Mortal Kombat (1995) grossed $122,195,920 worldwide on a $20M budget, and thus was a considerable success with audiences. It's also become quite the cult classic as it's a fun but flawed flick brimming with heart and cool moments. I like Mortal Kombat, it's awesome!


This one is different though.




Terrible dialogue, terrible story, probably top 5 worst CGI of all-time, actors being replaced, and most of all, terrible fight direction... what went right in this movie?


Answer: Nothing.


Except, well, if you're a fan of "So bad it's good" movies, then you can't go wrong with this one! Pop some beer, recline your chair, and enjoy, because that's the only way I'd consider watching this movie. :ph34r:


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Mortal Kombat Annihilation is fucking atrocitus. The special effects are terrible, the performances are mostly laughable, the action is godawful, and for my money it's still the worst video game movie ever. The first Mortal Kombat film wasn't some masterpiece of cinema, but compared to this it's The Godfather.


At least it gave us this hilarious scene, though. 



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In regards to great fight scenes, a recent favorite is this from John Wick. It's all sorts of awesome, and the fight choreography is excellent. 




Edited by Fancyarcher
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Honorable Mention


Come Drink With Me (1966)





Hong Kong (Mandarin)




Directed by: King Hu

Fight Choreography: Ying-Chieh Han

Starring: Pei-Pei Chang

Box office: N/A


Synopsis: A group of bandits kidnaps the governor's son and demands their imprisoned leader to be set free in exchange.


If you're interested in King Hu's filmography, I would recommend watching A Touch of Zen (1971) instead, a 3-hours wuxia epic that won the Cannes Palme d'Or back then and was recently restored to blu-ray. It looks sensational. Hauntingly beautiful. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest Chinese filmmakers of all-time.


As for this movie, it paved the way for what martial arts/action sequences would later become. It's an important movie in the history of fight choreography, since in a way, we wouldn't have the later, totally kick-ass Hong Kong action movies we got without this one.


It stars Pei-Pei Chang in one of the earliest female action kick-ass roles in Chinese cinema that's highly reminiscent of Meiko Kaji in Lady Snowblood, the movie that inspired Kill Bill (Got to see that one via recommendation from Tele!)


Watching everyone think she's a man, and then realizing their mistake after the reveal is quite funny. Pei-Pei Chang would later be cast in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) as a direct nod to this movie. In fact, a few sequences in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon are callbacks to this movie, like the bar fight.


An action movie that's 52-years old has bound to look ridiculous in some sequences. Watch this with an open mind.


One thing though -- the period piece set design and on-location filming of gorgeous Chinese lush forests is quite the sight to see.



Edited by Daxtreme
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