Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

When Fight Scenes Fail

kick.jpg
kick3.jpg
kick2.jpg

The craft of stage fighting is a dark, mysterious art. With a combination of suggestion, camera tricks and acting, the best fight choreographers can produce knuckle-splitting action without actually damaging the cinema-filling looks of their lead.

As for the worst fight choreographers? We've selected some of the most glaring fight scene failures to grace our screens, forming a gag reel of comical tomfoolery. Settle back for some superb over-the-top action and acting straight out of the primary school annual production handbook.

_______________________________________________________

The Force Kick

You either love the Sarlacc scene from Return of the Jedi or you're wrong. Boba Fett meets an uncharacteristically clumsy death, Jabba does that tongue wiggle and Luke Skywalker pulls off... well, no one is quite sure.

Standing on the prow of a skiff, Luke faces off against one Jabba's guards. Rather than employing his newly returned lightsaber, he aims a kick at the helmeted henchmen. Despite failing to connect, the guard reacts like he's just been suckerpunched. While some (us) would say that this is clearly a case of unfortunate extras and bad camera placement, it's a popular opinion among Star Wars fanboys that Luke is actually deploying a 'Force Kick'. For which they deserve a force kick to the face.

_______________________________________________________

Black Widow's hair whip

Natasha Romanova: master of interrogation, espionage and hair combat. During her opening scene in Marvel Avengers Assemble, a vicious reverse headbutt never quite reaches its target yet still appears to breaks the poor chap's nose. Is it the result of some secret scalp weaponry? Does the guy simply hate the smell of her conditioner? Or were none of the crew watching what was going on behind her? Yeah, probably that.

_______________________________________________________

The Godfather brawl

So great is the beating that Carlo receives from brother-in-law Sonny, you can hear the punches raining down on him from across the street. So we figured it must be some sort of speed-of-sound mishap that results in us hearing a blow that Sonny never lands. Carlo (played by Gianni Russo) clearly remembers he's going to get hit at this point, he just can't remember which way the punch is coming from.

That said, this scene was still brutal enough to give Russo two cracked rips and a split elbow. Chances are we'd forget which way to flinch after a beating like that.

_______________________________________________________

Fear of Batman

Picture the scene - you've been sent out by your mildly psychotic boss to take down the armed-and-feisty Catwoman. Next thing you know, Batman shows up, reducing your mob to a heap of broken bones. Now, a brainless badguy would probably rush in and get his jaw broken - but not the thug in the upper-left-hand corner of the above gif. Here's a thug who knows that it's better to live to fight another day, quite simply throwing himself on the floor when the action gets too close. Smart fellow.

_______________________________________________________

Fear of Bane

Rising's street brawl between Gotham's policemen and Bane's army is an epic affair. A vast number of extras crack skulls, throw fists and make merry. Quite how it was choreographed is beyond us - "Can everyone just look like they're hitting each other?" was probably Nolan's request. In the case of the duo battling behind Bane's left shoulder, they don't pretend quite hard enough. It would probably look quite impressive if they were a few metres further back. As it is, it appears that they don't want to miss out on overhearing Bane and the Bat trash talk each other.

_______________________________________________________

JCVD, snake charmer

"Don't hunt what you can't kill" was the tagline for 1993's Hard Target. We're not sure what Jean-Claude Van Damme does to this snake, but he certainly doesn't punch it. Does he tame it? Does he make it faint from fear of the imminent beating? We think it's more likely that the guy in charge of animatronics told Damme that he really, really didn't want a broken snake.

_______________________________________________________

Step Brothers' speed-bagging

While the playground bust up of Will Ferrell's Step Brothers is clear about which side of the comic fight line it sits on, the speed-bagging of this small boy's head is confusing. We can only assume that Ferrell was either a) trying to make it obvious that he wasn't hitting a child, or b) he forget which side the camera was on.

_______________________________________________________

Arnie's power punch

We've spent the last 15 minutes trying to punch each other with the same force that Harry Tasker (Arnie) manages to achieve in the confined space of this scene. Not only does stop short of hitting the guy's forehead, the guy produces a terrifying amount of blood in a short space of time. May it stand as a lesson to any passenger looking to interfer with the driver while the vehicle is in motion.

_______________________________________________________

Star Trek's Gorn battle



Back in 1967, action scenes were choreographed to be camp, overacted and slow enough for the gentrified masses to keep up with. So nothing like an actual fight. This scene from the Arena episode of Star Trek has matured with the grace of a dead cat: Kirk faces off against a formidable Gorn, throwing punches and swings that appear to move through treacle. Everything about it is ridiculous.

(Images: YouTube)

Related

prison.jpg

10 Characters You Always See In Prison Movies

robot-and-frank-pic.jpg

The 10 best films you haven't seen on Netflix

main2.jpg

Hollywood action figures brought to life

action-hero-toolkit.jpg

The 'Action Hero Toolkit'

hendersons.jpg

12 films to remind you of your childhood on Netflix

615x330-in-del-toro-byrne-ctk32062.jpg

Bad Netflix reviews for great movies

Comments

More

The Shortlist guide to the 50 greatest songs of 2016

Your no-nonsense guide to this year's essential tunes

by Dave Fawbert
08 Dec 2016

The Rock and Zac Efron star in the first trailer for Baywatch

Slow-mo running included (obviously)

by Joe Ellison
08 Dec 2016

The art of getting hurt: an interview with a journeyman boxer

Sonny Whiting is a journeyman boxer: a man paid to make other fighters look good.

08 Dec 2016

Riz Ahmed: "I think change is coming, but it’s slow”

Formidably talented and unapologetically smart, Riz Ahmed is the kind of British movie star we can get behind

08 Dec 2016

Sling your eyes onto this new 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' teaser

Looks like Marvel Studios has another winner on its hands

by Chris Sayer
08 Dec 2016

Tom Hanks and Emma Watson explore the dark side of Silicon Valley

Imagine Tom Hanks in an extended episode of Black Mirror

by Emily Badiozzaman
07 Dec 2016

Cruz Beckham just released a Christmas song produced by Rodney Jerkins

The youngest Beckham son launches his music career

by Dave Fawbert
07 Dec 2016

The ultimate movie trailer mashup of 2016 will rock your world

Featuring the best bits from 2016's greatest cinematic moments

by Tom Fordy
06 Dec 2016

Westworld producers discuss the big questions from season one's finale

It's also been revealed the HBO show won’t be returning until 2018

by Joe Ellison
06 Dec 2016

This supercut of noises Chance the Rapper makes is Very Important

All together now: AIGH. IGH. AH. BUH-BUH. AIGH.

by Sam Diss
06 Dec 2016