Total Recall: The 20 Greatest Fights Scenes Ever


The long-awaited showdown between Jackie Chan and Jet Li in The Forbidden Kingdom got us thinking; what are the greatest fights ever filmed? We sifted through quite a few battles, and came up with a list that celebrates the finest in hand-to-hand combat. Back to Article


Dark neo_wolf

Jose Hernandez

No Lee Vs Norris= Fail list

Apr 18 - 08:35 AM


Ryan Simpson

They forgot Rob Roy vs Archibald Cunningham in Rob Roy-- best sword fight ever put on film.

Apr 18 - 08:40 AM


Daniel Schulz

Although i do agree with most of the list, it is missing any fight from Kill Bill

Apr 18 - 09:10 AM


Daniel Schulz

Although i do agree with most of the list, it is missing any fight from Kill Bill

Apr 18 - 09:11 AM

spitting into the wind

ciaran kelly

NO ONG BAK, NO OLD BOY, NO KILL BILL????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????
I MEAN COME ON!!!!!!!!!!!
Bridget jones, charlies angels, they live!!!!
Who let the beaten, retarded step-child compile the list???

Apr 18 - 09:17 AM


Matanuki .


Apr 18 - 09:22 AM


Matanuki .


Apr 18 - 09:22 AM


Kindred Plagiarist

I have concocted an alternate list titled: The Top Ten Fight Scenes You've Never Seen Before.

10. The Warriors -The Warriors vs. The Baseball Furies- Nothing personifies the always underated The Warriors better than watching a dozen kids weilding bats, face-painted like Kiss getting their asses handed to them by like three guys with chaffed nipples.

9. Star Trek: The Original Series -Kirk vs. Gorn- The campiest fight in network television history. Watch in amazement as Gorn lifts mighty balls of styrofoam, keeps his head eerily still at all times, and makes Kirk run away like a total asshat.

8. Crippled Masters -The Piggyback of Death- Never look at the differently abled the same way again, for fear that if you do they'll beat you to death with THEIR ***!

7. Every Which Way but Loose -Eastwood vs. Tank Murdoch- Eastwood discovers that the only way to win is to lose, also he has this awesome burn in the begining.

6. Jackie Chan's First Strike -The Ladder Scene- Jackie Chan does some of the most simultaneously goofy and awesome **** to keep from getting his *** kicked you've ever seen.

5. Ong Bok: Thai Warrior -The Bar Fight- The Thai Warrior beats up a series of colorful characters which culminate in a rather large Australian who seems to have mastered the ancient and mysterios art of Breaking As Much **** On Your Oppenent As Possible. Let's watch!

4. Wheels on Meals -The Greatest Jackie Chan Seen You've Never Seen- Jackie goes all out in this truly spectacular performance.

3. Unforgiven -The Bar Shootout- Not technically a fight in the traditional sense (or else it would be first), but nonetheless a scene which serves as a climax to both the western that it's in, and the genre as a whole.

2. Old Boy -The Hallway Fight- How this wasn't on the list, i have no idea. This is certainly one of the greatest fight scenes in recent memory, if not in all of film history.

1. Lone Wolf and Cub: White Heaven in Hell -The Final Scene- The last scene in this series of 6 samurai flicks based on the world's greatest comic book sees Ogami Itto kill 104 enemies, bring him to 150 during the course of the film, and making him the record holder for most enemies personally dispatched. This story has influenced everyone from Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill) to the GZA (Liquid Swords). And while Itto does not find vengence here, he wanders for eternity knowing that he took on more than anybody else
-couldn't find a video-

Apr 18 - 09:36 AM

Vitamin M

Matthew Haynes

oh this is a list of examples of best fights...I thought I was going to see someone try to really make a best fight list instead of cheesing out and making a crap list like this. Rocky sucks.

Apr 18 - 09:39 AM


johnny silvestry

Nice to see Fist of Legend on the list. Also, not really a fight but a great beatdown is Ice-T vs Wesley Snipes in New Jack City, you can hear ppl in the background sayin "kick his ***".

Apr 18 - 09:48 AM


Andrew Toussaint

Aliens? Ripley vs. the Queen (the *****)

Apr 18 - 09:50 AM


Chris Turner

Half you morons suggesting other fight scenes forgot that this is a list of ONLY HAND TO HAND COMBAT, NO WEAPONS!!!! THAT INCLUDES LIGHTSABERS, GUNS, SWORDS, ETC!!

Apr 18 - 09:52 AM


Bodie Bro

Wow, I can't believe no one else is calling out this oversight: EVERY WHICH WAY BUT LOOSE.

Philo Beddoe vs. Tank Murdock. HUGE miss, fellas.

Just my .02, but with all the great fight scenes to choose from, do we really need to pick scenes that have been CGI'd up like Matrix and Angels?

Apr 18 - 10:48 AM


Antonio M. Garcia

This list is complete Blashpemy becuase........

No epic lightsaber battle, more specifically, Obi-Wan Kenobi VS Anakin Skywalker in Episode III?

Fans waited over 20 years to see that duel play out, and when it hit theaters, the fight scene delivered. It was violent, brutal, exhausting, crafty, technical, etc....

That should be on the list moreso than any of those crappy fight scenes.

Apr 18 - 10:57 AM


Robert Nicholson

Tony Jaa against Mad Dog in Ong Bak is none too shabby

Apr 18 - 10:58 AM


sputnik 99

Hey RT (If you guys are even still reading these comments, cause most of them are MEAN) I think you guys opened a Pandora's Box of frustration with this list. It's dangerous to play with people's emotions, and fight scenes sure draw on our emotions.

I think your list is more "Iconic" than "Best". As some other people have stated I think you should change the title, and posibly take a vote from RT fans on what should be on the "Best Fights Ever" list, weapons and all.

I know what fight I would vote for, and I'm sure other readers do, too.

Apr 18 - 11:06 AM


Matt Atchity

Hey Sputnick,

(Still reading the comments - the flames go with the territory)

You raise a good point, and one could definitely call this an "iconic" list. Using the word "best" is admittedly very provacative, and pretty subjective for that matter. But we also ended up coming to the conclusion that the most iconic fight scenes have to be placed high, simply because of their impact on pop culture. So, in some respects, the more people recognize a particular fight, the more impact it's probably had, and that gets considered in the qualitative analysis.

But that's not the only consideration, otherwise the scene from The Protector doesn't get to #2. The stunning level of martial and technical mastery that's demonstrated in that scene make up for the fact that not a lot of people have seen the film. But show the average person that clip and they just gape. By contrast, some of the fight scenes we considered don't hold up as well when you take them out of context - the final scene from Martial Club, for instance. From a martial arts standpoint, it's pretty technically impressive, but it just didn't quite make the cut.

Ultimately we had to make some really tough decisions to cap the list at 20. For instance, "the no weapons" rule DQs the Oldboy corridor scene, anything from the Star Wars trilogy, Gladiator, the Kill Bill fights (we DQ'd the Beatrix/Elle scene because they both have swords), even though those are all awesome fights. When we do a list of great sword fights, a lot of those will come up. (The Matrix and Charlie's Angels fights stay in because all parties end up unarmed very early in each fight).

Also, I realize I'm probably just feeding the flames here, but we did consider that Bruce Lee/Chuck Norris fight, but it's really not that great. Chuck pretty much gets his *** handed to him, and we kept out some of the other seriously one-sided beatdowns, such as Norton/Leto in Fight Club, or Lee/Ohara in Enter the Dragon.

We spent a long time looking at a lot of fight scenes, and but for one exception, we really did consider all of the fights that people have been bringing up (we probably should have expanded the "honorable mention" list).
But as I see the passion here, I'm thinking we'll do a countdown of the 50 or 100 greatest fights at some point (probably in the fall), and let the community help determine the rankings.

Apr 18 - 12:41 PM


Dave B

that's absolutely true. In fact, loads of HK and manderin movies blow every one of these away - I'm not sure what RT was going for here. Campy fights? Funny Fights? Epic Fights? There's still much better out there than they've listed.

Apr 18 - 11:10 AM

Tyler Hanley

Tyler Hanley

This list is severely lacking. First off, the end fight between Lee and Han in "Enter the Dragon" should be #2 (at least), yet somehow doesn't even make the list (although Hugh Grant and Colin Firth do????). The fight scene between Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris in "Return of the Dragon" is also phenomenal. And where are scenes with Steven Seagal or Jean-Claude Van Damme?

Apr 18 - 11:10 AM


Dave B

agreed. A fun list but...sorry, you can't put Chan on there one second and Hugh Grant the next without decending into absurdity.

Apr 18 - 11:28 AM


Eric Stewart

No Crouching Tiger? No Kill Bill? No Enter the Dragon? Yeah, where the **** is Anakin vs Obi Wan?

Apr 18 - 12:10 PM


Dana Cole

C'mon now, What about Cool Hand Luke?

Apr 18 - 12:25 PM

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