Though some of us are hardcore film buffs who are very conventional in their approach and some just look at it as a source of entertainment, we all agree on one thing. There’s nothing better than watching an action flick on a Saturday night with some popcorn and a few friends. Now, we may again have contrasting views on what quality action is. I believe quality action keeps in mind of these three things : Production design, because come on would you want to watch two drunk men slogging it out in a dimly lit room with plates and glasses? Or two drunk men dancing along the stairs of a bar and then clashing midway through the air with plenty of light focusing on them? Acting, because action involves emotions like pain, fear, excitement or anger and it depends on the actors to convey these emotions primarily through their body language. Importance or originality, as a movie lover who’s got 1000s of films to watch I prefer watching something substantial, something that stands out from the rest and gently splatters its own flair in the process, invoking something unforgettable in our minds.
Now, no matter how good giant robots or flashy cars or heavy weapons look on-screen, you can’t deny the fact that it all comes down to a man on man fight to decide the future of the story. And we all love some gritty one on one combats involving our favorite stars flaunting their special moves or lines during these sequences. So if you do agree with all the things mentioned above, here’s a list of top movie fight scenes ever.
1. ‘Eastern Promises’: Bath house scene
Not many people are familiar with David Cronenberg, and many more who are aren’t familiar with his best work, ‘Eastern Promises’. Though ‘The Fly’, ‘Scanners’ and ‘Videodrome’ are genre classics and are technical milestones in filmmaking, they still fall short in front of the 2007 crime film which stars Viggo Mortensen in a career best performance, Naomi Watts and Vincent Cassel.
Talking about the fight scene. Roger Ebert said “At a time when movie fight scenes are as routine as the dances in musicals, Nikolai engages in a fight in this film that sets the same kind of standard that ‘The French Connection’ set for chases. Years from now, it will be referred to as a benchmark”. Ebert was wrong about one thing, it didn’t really take years. The bath-house scene is the finest fight scene you’ll ever see in a movie. With a serene long shot of Mortensen in a premeditated state, his constant demeanor, the first move is made by the two assailants and he is forced to fight them unarmed, in a physically naked state. Draped in remorseless ink, there’s a certain viciousness about him that traps his assailants in cold red blood against the beautiful offsetting white tiles, his grit getting the better of their knives. The decision to go full frontal is a pretty challenging one and the only expression of grimace on Mortensen’s face is that of his character’s. Flawless!
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