Accuracy vs. Iconic Fight Scene: The (potentially not-so) Final Showdown
WORDS BY ALIZA CHIN
I know what you’re thinking right now. Could I have picked an easier target? I mean it’s not like Hollywood is famous for accurate fight scenes anyway, so this should be like shooting fish in a barrel, right? Well, since Mythbusters have already proven that shooting fish in a barrel is surprisingly difficult, I think this sums up this task fairly well: going after the cream of the crop of movie fight scenes for their accuracy. Of course, for transparency’s sake, so that contestation will be relatively simple (unlike certain corporations), the rating system is as follows:
Points given for: accuracy
Points deducted for: inaccuracy, prolonged acrobatics
Fight scenes will start from a score of zero, and will be given or deducted points. Running commentary will also be provided for further entertainment. And no, I will not be giving points for how awesome the fight looks; only my (grudging) respect. Also, as always, beware of massive spoilers, violence, blood, and gore.
If you disagree, you are of course most welcome to battle it out with me at a time, place, and date of your convenience. Compensation for potential injuries caused, not included.*
So, without further ado, here are the top ten martial arts fight scenes (as stated by Filmschoolrejects, the most recent article I could find) and how they fare against the ultimate boss of accuracy:
10. Fist of Fury (Dojo Fight)
Dispatching the first guy in a Bruce Lee™ manner was fairly accurate, even though Bruce Lee’s back should not have been to him, and ideally he would have followed up the elbow with another move to make sure the volunteer was really down.
Second fight: Stances are good, and guards are up from everyone else, and later, Bruce Lee, because of course, he’s Bruce Lee. Technically, taking off the jacket can be seen as an intimidation tactic, but so is simply kicking everyone’s asses. I get that he’s proud of his body and all, but time and place Bruce Lee.
Charging in all at once could intimidate and potentially overwhelm the opponent, but at the same time, you’re more likely to hurt one another ala Julius Caesar’s assassins, so taking turns in attacking was actually accurate, and Bruce Lee’s retaliation by only attacking one at a time is true to form. There was no need for such a long pause after elbowing the attacker in the ribs though...twice. However, it was smart to go with the momentum of a kick to the back!
For the love of- where did those nunchucks come from? His ass? There was also no need to show off twice. Just kick their asses already.
The people on the ground writhing in pain/knocked out. That’s what happens when you face Bruce Lee. Taking off glasses before going toe to toe with a guy who beat up all your students? Safety first. Attacking without getting into a guarding stance first, and a sloppy stance, guard, AND attacks overall? Not so smart.
Bruce Lee don’t pause between attacks! I’m not sure whether a slap on the achilles tendon would cause the Master to fly either. At least he seemed a little disoriented from being kicked in the face at the very end.
09. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Michelle Yeoh v. Zhang Ziyi)
Opening stance is correct for Michelle Yeoh, but in the case of Zhang Ziyi, stop posing as a lightning rod.
YOU’VE TRAPPED YOUR OPPONENT’S SWORD ARM? Go ahead and just smack your opponent in the chest, it’s not like you can’t whack their sword arm and end things without a further mess. Also, where on earth did the second sword come from? Damn you low quality youtube rips.
It is impossible to trap a sword between two blades, because Zhang Ziyi can literally just...pull out without much consequence. You also can’t just toss someone in the air and get a quad twist in return, using only the power of the blade.
As Mythbusters has already proven to us; you can’t chop a blade, let alone two blades in half using another blade. You got ripped off Michelle Yeoh. Also, please don’t use a spear to push and trap someone down on a table; it does shit all.
The following choreography sequence, from the attacks, the blocks, the steps, and the use of all the weapons are all accurate...up until Michelle Yeoh picks up a weapon she cannot carry. It took her that long to realise? Nope.
How on earth did that sword not get broken after getting struck several times with a reinforced metal pipe? Since this is supposedly a fair fight, there will be no deductions for not going after your weaponless opponent for an easy win. You may be a thief Zhang Ziyi, but at least you’re fair. Use of acrobatics managed to prove both realistic and unrealistic, so no points either way; most rare indeed. Overall, nice use of environment and surrounding props to great advantage.
08. SPL (Donnie Yen v. Wu Jing)
Getting out a weapon to protect against another weapon is smart. Please don’t do fancy tricks with your knife while running; you will hurt yourself.Thank you for getting rid of unnecessary baggage though Donnie Yen, props to you.
How on earth did that tiny knife not shatter after being struck with a police baton? I’m being nice, so I’ll only count it as a one-off here. However to make up for that, the attack, evasion, and blocking patterns are all accurate, so yay! DONNIE YEN BLEEDS AFTER GETTING CUT! Such wow. Very accuracy.
Unfortunately, that is not the case for Wu Jing who would have had his ribs broken from the baton jab. Of course he is not affected whatsoever, because drama. Guarding poses are correct on both their parts though, and caution is a must when there’s weapons involved.
On the other hand, no one can survive that many strikes with a police baton. Leather jackets =/= body armour. Furthermore, I will not forgive a blow to the neck followed by several blows to the head which somehow, do not drop a human being. Conclusion: Wu Jing must be a dinosaur to withstand that blow. Blood splatter and the appearance of wounds is fairly accurate though. The self defence move executed by Donnie Yen is first class, so 100/10. However, not enough blood and gore.
07. The Raid (Final Fight)
Why would you want to fight two people at once? That’s just being cocky. Although, the teamwork between the two brothers is nice, and taking care to fight them one on one, as well as using them to block the other is a smart move on ‘Mad Dog’s’ part. However, the dude who was tied up earlier is moving remarkably well after being used as a human punching bag. Not to mention, it would hurt to make fists, so he really could be using open hand attacks to reduce further injury. Once again, kicks to the ribs and head shoulders should take someone down for the count, in all three cases. To be fair, the brothers are shown needing time to recover, and the eventual portrayal of exhaustion is nicely done through the changes in fighting style. There really should be a tad bit more blood, but I’ll let it pass. Above all, excellent use of environment, but how anyone can survive a piece of glass in the neck, and still live, let alone fight is a question for the times.
06. Drunken Master 2 (Jackie Chan v. Ken Lo)
Sigh Jackie Chan, why? Everything was accurate; stances, blocks, attacks, it was going so well! You physically can’t punch someone while bending over backwards because gravity is a heartless bitch!
The dude who loves to stick his leggy out real far, gotta stretch yourself so you don’t hurt yourself mirite? Good use of teamwork too; they’ll need it when they inevitably get their asses kicked in true Jackie Chan slapstick fashion.
Why are all the inaccuracies happening? Getting struck with a burning metal rod that sets things on fire and still remain standing...yeah. To be fair, he does get hurt after getting tossed onto a bed of burning coals (clothes kept on because pg-rating)!
Story time: drunken fist is actually real, so no deductions for Jackie Chan becoming a boss after getting shit-faced. In fact, kudos for using alcohol to set a guy alight. However, that same point immediately gets lost because of the quad twist that happens when Jackie gets tossed - not thrown - on the ground. Sigh, and after that nice combination attack too.
Just how many quad twists are they attempting? Jackie Chan, please go into pairs figure skating. Most of the fight itself was theoretically possible, so in the sake of fairness, I’ll give it a blanket positive on stances, attacks, and blocks...apart from the part where Jackie dribbles the guy around his arms and chest; while funny, it’s not possible.
05. Ong Bak 2 (Final Fight)
I have no words. It’s...I can’t.
04. Fist of Legend (Final Fight)
You shouldn’t enter a fight with a flying attack because you have little control in the air. Props however, go to Ting-En for switching up tactics. That many kicks in the head should have at least left a mark though. On the other hand, Ting-En atleast showed signs of injury, so it evens out for now.
Nice stances and guards, and continuous attacks but ftlog don’t stop a moving object with a kick, even though use of props and follow up attack was good! Also, #thankswirework. Blocking is what you would expect, but in reality they could be moving around more to avoid the kick altogether.
How is the Japanese guy still not bleeding or even bruised? At least we’re doing the evasion route, so props for being flexible!
HE FINALLY BLEEDS!
Jet Li can be affected by injuries but throat jabs don’t work? Puh-lease. Nice attack planning though! PROPS AGAIN FOR BEING FLEXIBLE IN TACTICS!!!! Popping a joint back in hurts; as shown, and he really should not be using it again that fast! Ideally, once your opponent is on the ground, you don’t let them back up, but they needed to extend the fight for pay-off purposes.
FINALLY THEY BOTH SHOW EFFECTS OF THE FIGHT!!!
AND THIS IS WHY YOU NEVER TURN YOUR BACK ON AN OPPONENT! A belt is actually useful for long-range attacks, even though I doubt Jet Li would be able to show off, given that he was gasping for breath a moment ago.
03. The Raid 2 (Final Fight)
Very good stances and starting positions. In reality, assassin would not have held back. Annnnd now we’re talking with the non-stop sparring with accurate moves! They are however, remarkably unaffected by injuries it seems. Seriously, getting tapped in the sternum hurts! Also, who gets kicked several times in the head, hit in the neck and ribs, and is still able to shake it off? This isn’t Mortal Combat! However, it is a good use of the environment and what’s available, so there’s that too. Plus the buildup of blood appears accurate….I’m pretty certain someone who just got their leg sliced by a pair of karambits won’t be able to put their weight on said leg, let alone move. To be fair, he is shown to be affected by it afterwards, so I’ll chalk it up to adrenaline. Fatigue and exhaustion is nicely shown, so easy points right there.
How are they both still conscious after having their heads kicked and smashed into so many hard surfaces, and that much blood loss? Adrenaline doesn’t last forever. To be fair, the blood at the finale is extremely accurate, but come on, neither of them should be standing after this.
02. Wheels on Meals (Jackie Chan v. Benny Urquidez)
First off, there was a distinct lack of acrobatics here, which is always a plus in my book. A complete turnabout from no. 5; with a looooooooooot of accuracy! So, once more a blanket positive on stances, blocks, attacks which utilised almost every part of the body, and use of available furniture, because it was just that good. Also, realistic stripping. However, a point will be deducted for the stretching, because cramps are a thing that exist.
01. Flash Point (Donnie Yen v. Collin Chou)
Fighting technique? Good shit, mhmmm, that’s some good shit right there! 100/10, good shit. Apart from the triple kick that is. That is theoretically impossible to do because of a little thing called physics. Once you’ve kicked your opponent twice while in the air, chances are that they would have moved too far away for you to get a third kick in. Also, no offence Donnie Yen, but getting the back of your head smacked against a metal rail = death. So, please don’t try again. Apart from these two instances, everything else was pretty much as accurate as you can get; stances, evasion tactics, and literal down to earth fighting skills, and good use of multiple styles of martial arts. Just don’t try this at home.
*Please don’t actually engage in battle with me. I am dying from coursework and will show no mercy
P.S. thanks Dad, for suffering with me