Films like Oldboy and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood have memorable battle scenes, but there are plenty of others.
There’s a battle sequence in almost every movie, from The Raid series to Bridget Jones’ Diary, so don’t be surprised if you see one. Making a good fight scene requires a great grasp of tension and an editor who understands the rhythm and pacing of stylized violence. There are other advantages to having the performers themselves conduct their own stunts, rather than relying on a cast of stuntmen and women.
Since there have been so many formulaic fight sequences, the ones that are well-directed tend to stand out from the others. The best battle scenes in film history may be found in these flicks.
1. Cliff Booth & Brandy V. The Manson Murderers In Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Graphic violence is a trademark of Quentin Tarantino’s work. His latest film, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, is a departure from the norm, with only a struggle over a cut tire in the first and second acts and some on-screen make-believe. For his grand conclusion, Tarantino unleashed an entire movie’s worth of violence in one ferocious blowout. When Tarantino killed Hitler in Inglourious Basterds, it was only a matter of time before once again altering history with Once Upon A Time in Hollywood.
It’s better that the Manson murderers go to Rick Dalton’s house instead of Sharon Tate’s, because Cliff Booth and his pitbull Brandy give speedy vigilante punishment to Vanilla Fudge’s “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” instead of Sharon Tate and her companions.
2. Chaney V. Street In Hard Times
In Walter Hill’s directorial debut, Hard Times, Charles Bronson provided one of his most memorable performances. He plays Chaney, a bare-knuckle boxer who impresses a hustler named Speed with his unstoppable fighting style.
Having racked up a string of victories in New Orleans, Chaney finally finds an opponent who can challenge him in the final showdown. Street’s athleticism makes him a formidable opponent for Chaney’s physical strength.
3. Rocky Balboa V. Apollo Creed In Rocky II
Both Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed’s fights in Rocky III are cinematic classics. A love tale is defined above all by the last bout in Rocky, when Creed defeats Rocky and he doesn’t care because Adrian remains by his side. During the rematch in Rocky II, Stallone again defies the audience’s expectations. It’s not a slow-motion K.O. for Rocky this time, but he’s still victorious.
Rocky and Apollo are both fatigued after a few rounds of fighting. In order for Rocky to win the fight, Apollo had to pass out from tiredness. For him, winning the fight by knockout was an act of sheer will and perseverance.
4. Yu Shu Lien V. Jen Yu In Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’s martial arts segments made it an international hit; the characters’ acrobatic, ballet-like combat technique made it stand out.
The movie’s highlight is the duel between Michelle Yeoh’s Yu Shu Lien and Zhang Ziyi’s Jen Yu. Lien is constantly switching weapons in order to keep up with Yu’s Green Destiny sword’s precision. The two engaged in a physical and verbal brawl throughout the altercation.
5. Indiana Jones V. The Mechanic In Raiders Of The Lost Ark
Roach was hired by George Lucas to portray a few beefy villains in the Indiana Jones movies after being turned down for the role of Darth Vader. He was a humorous physical threat to Harrison Ford because of his massive size as a professional wrestler.
Roach appeared in Raiders of the Lost Ark as a Nazi plane mechanic. Indy fights the mechanic on the airstrip while Marion takes out the pilot. The archeologist on the prowl for “fame and fortune” is dealt a crushing defeat. When Indy sees the plane’s revolving propellers arriving behind the mechanic as he prepares to give the final fatal blow, he cowers. After he’s been drenched with propeller spray, the plane’s mechanic is unable to save himself.
6. Nikolai V. The Chechens In Eastern Promises
Eastern Promises’ bathhouse brawl is a shocking example of extreme violence. Semyon leads Nikolai to a bathhouse in the expectation that the Chechens will mistake him for Kirill and kill him, since they don’t know what Kirill looks like.
But as the Chechens attack Nikolai with linoleum knives, he tries to defend himself. A few times, he’s stabbed, but he still manages to murder both of them, thwarting Semyon’s goals.
7. Lee V. Han In Enter The Dragon
As a result of Lee defeating Han’s goons in Enter the Dragon, Lee confronts Han in his private museum, where the two trade blows. The two fight to the death in a dramatic finale.
In a hall of mirrors, Lee can’t know which Han is genuine until he breaks all of them. In the end, he murders him.
8. John Nada V. Frank Armitage In They Live
The alleyway brawl in John Carpenter’s They Live is often cited as one of the best combat scenes ever filmed. Roddy Piper and Keith David were determined not to hand over the reins to a stunt team for the scene in which John Nada and Frank Armitage battle over a set of sunglasses that allow wearers to view the world as it truly is.
Because of the intensity of the battle between Piper and David on the day of the film, Carpenter opted to leave it uncut at 5.5 minutes long, even though it was originally planned to be just 20 seconds long.
9. James Bond V. Red Grant In From Russia With Love
The SPECTRE assassin Red Grant, played by Jaws’ grizzled antihero Robert Shaw, confronts 007 aboard the Orient Express midway through From Russia with Love, the second Bond film. This is one of the most startlingly vicious battle scenes in the entire franchise, after Bond disarms him by using one of Q’s devices.
Terence Young’s management of tension and Sean Connery’s excellent portrayal of a Bond who is afraid for his life despite his suit of narrative armor make this horrifically violent sequence remain shocking after more than half a century.
10. Oh Dae-su V. Everyone In The Hallway In Oldboy
Park Chan-revenge wook’s thriller classic Oldboy has a stunning hallway fight sequence. On every rewatch, fans are shocked by Oh Dae-heroics su’s against a horde of thugs. It’s not something you can get used to.
Only when Oh Dae-su is stabbed does the production use CGI, while the rest of the action was shot in 17 takes over three days (Choi Min-sik was committed to the role, but not enough to take an actual knife in his back).