What makes a fight scene great? At this point (given all the fast-paced, mind-numbing action that is out there), it’s about showing the audience something they haven’t seen before. And the most important measure of a cinematic brawl’s effectiveness is the viewer’s reaction. We want to be hanging on for dear life as characters fight for their lives. Maybe this resonants with some feral aspect of our programming—survival of the fittest. Or maybe we’re just an aggressive bucket of apes. Regardless, a great fight scene is immersive; character development is thrown in a colosseum filled with horses, chariots, and gladiators shitting themselves as Deadpool mocks them from afar. Topple surprise with a little more spectacle, a dash of sentiment, some shock and awe—you have one badass brawl. Here are quite possibly the greatest and most innovative fight scenes ever produced on film.
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