Tab Top 5: Movie Fight Scenes
In The Tab’s new film feature, our team of critics pick the top five of anything in the wonderful world of film. This week CHLOE MASHITER goes head to head against Varsity and picks her Top 5 Movie Fight Scenes.
This week we’re counting down the best scraps ever projected onto the big screen in a rundown of unbeatable beatings that Chuck Norris himself would be proud of. Ironic really, seeing as we’re going toe to toe with Varsity on this one, who included the little-seen, independent drama Star Wars in their list. Some common favourites might be conspicuously absent but style over substance will only get our contenders so far (yes, I’m talking to you, Matrix trilogy). Seconds out, ding ding…
5) Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson vs Necro Butcher in The Wrestler
Despite wrestling’s well-known theatrics, it’s hard not to succumb to constant flinching when Randy and Necro use everything from smashed glass to barbed wire in their hardcore match. As though compensating for their skin-tight lyrca leggings, the two wrestlers attempt to out-man each other, forgoing aids like fists for more original tools like staple guns. A fork to the face is a particularly painful moment and with the slow, drawn-out pace, there’s nothing to do but dwell on the damage being done. There’s something genuinely gritty and grimy about this brawl, making it possibly the only time a wrestling match can be watched with a straight face.
Throw a punch: Blood, sweat and tights
Throw in the towel: Mickey Rourke’s face doesn’t need any more damage
4) Saul and Dale vs Red in Pineapple Express
For a fight that involves everything except the kitchen sink (though bathroom sink’s a ready alternative), look no further. The three-way rampage round Red’s house is a joy to watch, from Saul being battered by a dustbuster to Red futilely punching Dale in the ass. Within minutes Red’s house is trashed, as are the competitor’s genitals, in a fight that shuns slick one-liners and choreography for realistic mayhem. A brilliantly clumsy confrontation, never was three guys grappling and groaning together quite so cool.
Throw a punch: Fighting just got (more) fun
Throw in the towel: Proof that doing drugs isn’t good for your body
3) Edward Norton vs himself in Fight Club
Let’s face it, there’s nothing quite like watching someone punch seven shades of shit out of their own face. Norton’s unnamed character shows admirable commitment to his faux fight, knocking himself through tables and hurling himself into walls with the passion of a true masochist. Every painful impact is met with bare bewilderment from Norton’s onlooking boss who watches as he’s beaten black and blue by the invisible man. However, getting a years’ pay in exchange for his injuries, it’s clear Norton wins this one.
Throw a punch: Most evenly-matched fight ever
Throw in the towel: Stop hitting yourself!
2 ) Jarrod vs Eric in Eagle Vs Shark
Very few fights inspire equal measures of giggles and guilt, but our number two manages it. After countless days of preparation, geeky, insecure Jarrod is finally ready to face down childhood bully Eric and brings some nunchucks along for moral support. Whilst the fight consists of a brief battering and some ground-ward grappling, it’s the split second beforehand that’s really glorious – the moment that Jarrod decides to completely disregard Eric’s wheelchair and launches himself towards him, nunchucks first. What follows is a hilariously awkward scrap, in which it becomes evident that Jarrod’s training was all in vain.
Throw a punch: New Zealanders wielding nunchucks.
Throw in the towel: Genuinely senseless violence.
1) Borat vs Azamat in Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Angered by Azamat’s ‘hand party’ over his beloved Pamela Anderson, Borat initiates the most audacious and disturbing fight ever filmed. Not for the squeamish, the blatant absence of clothes and censoring means that this often looks less like a fight and more like specialist Kazakh porn – to say it was a little homoerotic would be like saying Lady Gaga is ‘a bit weird’. The realism of the fight is its selling point, down to the fist-bitingly awkward lift scene where the naked brawlers share two meters squared with several hapless Americans.
Throw a punch: Fat naked men aren’t hilarious… NAAAAAT!
Throw in the towel: Slightly-too-bare knuckle fighting
And the worst…
Kim, Zoe and Abernathy vs Mike in Death Proof
The thoroughly anti-climatic conclusion to Death Proof is made all the more disappointing by the respectable build-up and the fact that Tarantino made this film. The maker of Kill Bill ended this flick with three women almost petulantly kicking Kurt Russell’s face in – failing to even show much of the aggressive action. This is, in a sense, the great film fight that never was – what should’ve been a supercharged showdown was as violent as Strictly Come Dancing.
Throw a punch: …The feminist message?
Throw in the towel: There are more impressive fights outside Cindies.
You may agree with our choices, or you may be seething at how ignorant and uncultured we are. Either way, feel free to post your suggestions below, cos we love a good ruffle of our proverbial feathers.