Happy New Year! I hope that you all had a lovely Christmas and rang in the new year as best you could! With a bit of time off work and college I wanted to get back to doing what I do best: writing listicles based off of movies I have seen far too many times.
The beauty of cinema is that there are so many genres to choose from. I am easy to please and would watch any type of movie but it is often dictated by my mood and location. I am more likely to watch a slow burning drama full of dialogue in the cinema on my own with no distractions. I will probably watch a comedy or action movie at home in front of the television where I know I can get up, go make something to eat or play on my phone without missing too much vital information.
My favourite genre of film, show or book for that matter, is the fantasy or historical genre full of epic battles and fight scenes. The visuals are always fantastic and you are guaranteed to see some brilliant fight choreography.
So, in no particular order, here are some of my favourite fight/battle scenes in cinema.
The Battle of Helm’s Deep
Starting off with an absolute banger, the battle of Helm’s Deep is probably my favourite battle scene in film history. In The Two Towers the battle itself is interspersed with scenes of Merry and Pippin trying to rouse the Ents to join the battle, seemingly to no avail. As a youngster first watching the movie this frustrated me to no end. All I wanted to see was Orcs and Uruk-Hai being slain by Aragorn and Legolas. Now, as a mature adult, I see the benefit of the slower scenes, allowing context and normality to resume before more glorious bloodshed!
The battle itself is 40 minutes long so I won’t post the whole thing but please enjoy the above clip to get you in the mood for the rest of the list.
Battle of the Pelennor Fields
Let’s keep this Lord of the Rings train going. Although my personal favourite battle of the trilogy is the aforementioned battle of Helm’s Deep, this battle in the Return of the King just has it all.
First of all you have the siege of Minas Tirith where the Orcs seem to have the upper hand. Ringwraiths fly around the White City on Nazguls while massive boulders tear through the city walls. All seems lost until Théoden and Rohan appear on the horizon to answer Gondor’s call for aid.
Despite the forces of good coming together, the powers of Sauron and the Men of the West seem too great. Oliphaunts rip the Riders of Rohan apart on the battlefield and the Witch King of Angmar targets Théoden who has been thrown from his horse.
One of the best scenes in the trilogy happens next, with Éowyn revealing herself as a warrior and killing the unkillable Wraith. Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas then appear flanked by the Army of the Dead, ending the battle once and for all and once again saving the race of Men.
The Last Duel
Ridley Scott’s historical drama tells the story of Marguerite de Carrouges, wife of Sir Jean de Carrouges, who accuses Jacques Le Gris of rape. King Charles VI declares that the two soldiers are to fight to the death to decide the outcome of the court case. If Jean wins, Le Gris is guilty and his death is justified. If Jacques wins, however, Marguerite is sentence to burn for her crimes, leaving her newborn child an orphan and their name in ruins.
The movie itself is told in three parts from the perspective of Jean, Jacques and eventually Marguerite. It is a clever film that received very little marketing but is available on Disney + if anybody wants to see it.
The duel at the end is one of the finest pieces of fight choreography I have ever seen in cinema. The camera work is fantastic, keeping up with every blow and parry while not being shaky. Despite the serious matter of the film I left thinking more about the fight itself.
Duel of the Fates
OK, not everybody is a fan of the Star Wars prequels but you cannot deny that the lightsaber duels throughout are miles better than in the original trilogy. Also, for those of us who grew up with the prequels, they will always hold a special place in our heart. Kind of like Tobey Maguire’s Spiderman movies.
The duel at the end of The Phantom Menace absolutely blew my mind as a child. Even now, watching it back, it is still one of those duels that makes you smile at the flamboyant flips and moves that the actors get to perform.
It has been a long time since I watched this MMA drama that centres around two brothers vying for prize money and redemption. Joel Edgerton, one of the most versatile actors of his generation, stars alongside Tom Hardy in this impressive family affair. Hardy dishes up some impressive knockouts while Edgerton grinds out some close wins, but the final fight between the two is definitely the best fight.
Check back tomorrow for some of my other favourite battle scenes of all time 🙂