A while ago, I did my Top 5 favorite kungfu scenes, and some people were like: “what about Bruce Lee or Jet Li versus the Japanese dojo?” Well, I classified those as brawls, as in one guy versus a shitload of people, so I excluded them from the list. But now that I’m listing brawls, let’s put them in this list, ya?
So without too much bullshit, let’s get to the brawls.
#5 – Tony Jaa’s spiral of death (The Protector)
The action in this scene is alright… but it’s just that: alright. It’s a bit too stop-start for my liking, and half the time the camera’s not showing you what’s going on. But the reason it makes this list is because it’s all in one fucking take. That’s a lotta continuous stunt work right there!
#4 – The Burly Brawl (The Matrix Reloaded)
This one’s a classic, because it’s Neo fighting an army of one – like 100 Smiths. You really don’t see something like this in any other movie. The problem with it is that it’s too CG reliant. I mean, it’s definitely CG reliant in that you need CG to generate so many Hugo Weavings, but at the same time too many stunts are so obviously CG that it kinda just dumbs it down a few notches for me. That, and it’s a bit too floaty for my liking.
#3 – Uma Thurman vs The Crazy 88s (Kill Bill)
This brawl is epic for so many reasons. Limbs get hacked off. Tarantino does his cinematography magic with some really visually stunning shots and set pieces. There are soooooo many of those yakuza guys. And the music is cool too. You just can’t go wrong with it, really!
#2 – Bruce Lee vs the Japanese dojo (The Chinese Connection)
Okay people are definitely going to protest this one going into second. But you know what? It just gets a little bit silly when the nunchucks come out. At that point, the fight just gets a bit too uneven. Besides, his kicks and punches were fast enough in the beginning… it really didn’t look like he needed to pull those bad boys out and started smacking heads with them.
#1 – Jet Li vs the Japanese dojo (Fist of Legend)
Why did I pick the remake over the original? Well, because it’s better choreographed with more awesome kicks and shit being thrown around. I’m not saying that Jet Li is faster than Bruce Lee, but more shit happens in this one than the original. Even the bad guys fight better, and there appears to be more of them here. So yeah, this one is just all kinds of awesome.