Poll Position: Cinematic Slugfests

Our poll position question for this week dumps all that touchy-feely chick-flick nonsense and gets down to discussing what really matters to guys in super-hero movies -- fisticuffs!


Discussion after the jump. And many thanks to good buddy John for coming up with the question when I was out of ideas. You rule!

What makes a good fight scene in a movie, anyway? And is a super-hero fight scene different from a regular one, and if so, how?

I have no clue, that's why I ain't no movie critic, I just draw pictures. So I'll just run through the ones I picked out, and hopefully everyone will be responsible and add good ones that I might've missed.

  • Batman vs. the Joker in a semi in "Dark Knight": This was just a great action movie sequence all the way around, from the semi flipping over to the Batmobile dodging cops on the way to the fight to the Bat-cycle to just everything about it. A fun, rollicking, rolling, dynamite action sequence. But was it particularly super-hero-ish? I dunno ... I could see the same sequence in a Jason Bourne movie or somesuch.
  • Bruce Wayne vs. The League of Shadows in "Batman Begins": Similar to the first option, this was a really good martial-arts sequence. Again, though, not particularly super-hero-ish, particularly given that Bruce hadn't yet donned the cowl.
  • Hulk vs. The Abomination in "The Incredible Hulk": Now this is the kind of fight you'd only see in a super-hero movie! Big mutated dudes picking up cars and smashing them in half over the head of yet another big mutated dude, it's gold, baby, GOLD! If the characters didn't look like rubber, this would be higher on my list, but as is ... meh.
  • Nightcrawler versus the Secret Service at the White House in "X-2": What's great about this sequence is that a) it totally sets the tone for the rest of the film, letting you know you're in for a crazy super-powered thrill ride like none other and b) it's a fantastic display of something only a super-hero could do. I still get pumped thinking about this one.
  • Spider-Man vs. Doc Ock on the train in "Spider-Man 2": Another excellent action sequence, with the computer graphics portions fitting exceptionally well into the live-action stuff (unlike with the Hulk). I love the way Spidey's zipping all around, trying to avoid the devastating punches, then has to try and save the train in his own unique fashion ... just really fun super-hero action.
  • Superman vs. the Phantom Zoners in "Superman: The Movie": Probably too old-school for most of the readers here, but this was THE super-hero fight sequence for a really long time. Particularly good was the underground clash between Superman and the big ugly guy, revealed entirely through the reactions of the normal people on the street, with manhole covers blowing, cars jumping, etc. Particularly BAD, however, was Superman throwing a big cellophane "S" logo ... what the hell was that all about?
  • Wolverine vs. Mystique on the Statue of Liberty in "X-Men": I don't recall this fight all that well, except for Wolverine using his claws to keep from falling off the Statue of Liberty's head. And Storm's bad accent.

So looking over the list as I have it, I'd probably have to go with ... Spider-Man vs. Doc Ock on the train. That was the most super-heroic of the given scenes; the rest could mostly have been in any action movie, or weren't really unique to the character, or had Halle Berry in the shot somewhere.

I forgot to add the "escape from the terrorists" in the gray armor from "Iron Man", but that was pretty awesome. And Superman rescuing that falling plane in "Superman Returns" was one of the best super-hero action scenes of all time, but it's not really a fight, so ... yeah.

Lay it on me, which would you choose, and why?

5 Responses to Poll Position: Cinematic Slugfests

  1. RitoruBushi says:

    Holy Brutal Beatdown, Batman! It looks like this is really a 50/50 vote on this one! I was about to vote for the Bruce Wayne vs. The League of Shadows, then I saw the Nightcrawler vs. the Secret Service. From a martial artist’s point of view, Bruce Wayne’s fight was more strategic and methodic than it was a “slugfest”. Nightcrawler hooped some major tail in the Oval Office, not even counting the can he opened up in the halls just to get to the president. I never saw the latest Hulk movie, so… yeah… Besides, Nightcrawler uses his Bamf power to the max when he’s serving up a beatdown, and does so with style! Hulk can crush a car between his thumb and index finger, but he’s just brutal force. Good to have for crowd control or an unstopable enemy, but for stealth, speed, and agility you can’t get better than Kurt Wagner! And this is coming from a serious Bruce Wayne’s Batman & Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern fan.

  2. Runt82 says:

    I’m with RitoruBushi on this one. Nightcrawler effin’ owned those secret service agents. The Batman fights were a close 2nd and 3rd, but Nightcrawler’s was a true superhero fight in the sense of the word.

    BAMF! *disappears*

  3. The Imp says:

    Nightcrawler, one of my all-time favorite characters FTW!

  4. Darth_Neko says:

    I have to agree with you guys, Nightcrawler f**king owned them weak secret service agents. But Superman 2 was amazing, That’s the reason I became a comic book nerd. I mean Come on, General Zod? His main goal is to make Kal-El (Superman) Kneel before the might and power that is Zod…and to get revenge for his imprisonment. I mean Jeez can you imagine what’s it’s like to be stuck in a small diamond with with Ursa and the huge sweaty hulk named Non for two decades with no bathroom or shower? I’ll tell ya, It doesn’t smell like fresh cut roses and flowers. lol

  5. William says:

    Oh. I thought you meant when Batman fights the League of Shadows at the end of the movie. So yeah. My vote is for that. Not the “throw a fire poker and run around the mountains” first battle.