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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ultimate Geek Fu - Fight Scenes

By Al

"Prepare for the Fight Scene!" --Robin of Loxley, Men in Tights

What makes a good fight scene?

Fight scenes are everywhere. You have the overly choreographed and scripted acrobatics of professional wrestling and the UFC on the other end of the spectrum. There's the wire-work of Matrix and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and the "does his own stunts" death-defying antics of Jackie Chan. Swords flash by too fast to see in Blade (though the inspiration came from the Princess Bride--"I'm not left handed either.").

Sometimes an entire book or movie--or even a series--can lead up to a dynamite, knock-down drag-out battle between the forces of good and evil. Some of those scenes leave us breathless and worn out, almost as if we were taking part in the fight ourselves...while others will find us mumbling "meh" under our breath while reaching for the remote to find a rerun of Mortal Kombat Conquest.

So, then, what makes a good fight scene? Massive numbers of troops on either side, or mano-a-mano, up close and personal...? Absolute silence while the two seriously and relentlessly beat the snot out of each other, or testosterone-enhanced taunting and bragging to punctuate the violence? And what's the BEST fight scene?

Your nominees (and please, feel free to add to this list, it is by no means conclusive):
  • The Man in Black (aka the Dread Pirate Roberts aka Wesley) vs. Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride (This is the best sword fight ever recorded on film. If you think otherwise, you are absolutely, positively wrong.)
  • Anakin vs. Obi Wan, Revenge of the Sith
  • Neo vs. Agents Smith (The Burly Brawl), Matrix Revolutions
  • insert massive battle scene here, Lord of the Rings
  • Indiana Jones vs. the Swordsman, Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Bruce Leroy vs. Sho 'Nuf, The Last Dragon
  • Ash vs. his own possessed hand, Evil Dead 2
  • insert another massive battle scene here, Lord of the Rings
Of course, if it wasn't obvious from the list, nominations are also being accepted for the Worst Fight Scene in a book or movie, as well...

Let the arguments begin!

Editor's note: Henry added the sword fight from The Princess Bride and stated (correctly) it is the best sword fight ever captured on film. This may not be Al's opinion, but that's Al's problem.
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