A hero gets surrounded by a handful of bad guys. Fast as lightning, they’re kung fu fighting. Don’t get me wrong, I love kung fu fighting. I like people getting hurt. I really enjoy people getting kicked in the face, the kidneys, the testicles, the vaginas. I also like watching mixed martial arts, boxing matches, kickboxers, and poor quality street fight videos. In the world of ass-kickery, I have spent many hours studying. There are many ways to kick ass and even more ways to get your ass kicked.
Why then, in movies, when two foes come face to face, more than 85% of the time it’s a flurry of fancy kicks and karate chops. Some sort of Asian inspired martial art comes into play on both sides. It’s fine if we’re dealing with a bunch of ninjas or Shaolin monks. But we’re not. Usually we’re dealing with an ex-Army Ranger, a Russian mob member, or just some random group of street thugs. I don’t think their Tae Kwon Do green belts from the sixth grade are going to be this effective.
When there are literally dozens of fighting styles in the world, why are we stuck with the same ol’ kick kick chop? When a movie does decide to mix it up, they play it up, and we get a tournament fighting movie or something like that. Not everyone in the world knows how to throw a high flying kick. I mean, just watch some street fighting video and you’ll see that the average person throws a wild, floppy punch and if he tries a kick, he usually falls on his ass. If we assume that the person we’re dealing with has been in a few altercations, maybe he’s taken the time to learn something. But your average street fighter won’t throw any kick above knee level, self-defense classes don’t teach head kicks, and all this high flying stuff is getting old.
Some movies are trying to go in the right direction with more realistic combat, but to them that usually means just adding in stuff like headbutts or throwing books at people. This looks cool, so do traditional martial arts. But it’s just a little tired. This isn’t 1984. Ninjas are kind of less cool. Crazy martial arts are losing their following. MMA is hot (though I don’t want to see everyone doing jiu jitsu either) but the real deal is realism. Make it gritty. Throw in some haymakers, some seriously hard ass kickings. Back off the spin kicks and add in the low front kick or the hammer fist to the face. I like variety in my asskickings and every time I see more of the same Kung Fu lite in film, I double round-house split kick my boiling point.
What’s your favorite movie fight scene?