Top 10 Unconventional Weapons in a Fight Scene
I love a good fight scene – always have, always will. The great ones are excellently choreographed and imaginative, incorporating the surroundings as well as the performers themselves. There are always moments, however, when a scene goes to the next level – when an actor uses items that would not be considered weapons to attack his or her enemy. They can be prominently featured throughout the entire scene or can last a few seconds, but my reaction never changes. Here are my ten favorites below.
10. Old Boy: Hammer Time
The list starts in Korea, with the fantastic revenge story Old Boy. In this particular scene, the main character willingly takes on about 25 enemies armed only with a hammer. Not only is this a really cool fight scene, but it is also all in one continuous shot. This is an incredible achievement, considering all the elements that go into a well-choreographed fight scene.
9. Transporter 2: Putting Out the Fire
The Transporter movies are great fun to watch. Are they examples of world-class film-making? Not by any means. But they are greatly entertaining, and they helped put Jason Statham in the spotlight as an action star. That said, my favorite part of the second entry occurs when Statham’s Frank Martin infiltrates the enemy compound, only to be caught almost immediately. That’s when he sees his opportunity to use an adjacent fire hose to do some damage. Is it realistic or even physically possible? Who knows, I’m not a Mythbuster. But it sure is fun to watch.
8. Ip Man: Bamboozled
Apart from being a beautifully shot film, Ip Man tells the semi-biographical story of a kung-fu champion who lives through the invasion of China by the Japanese in 1935. Through this, Donnie Yen‘s titular character becomes the leader and hero of his people. In this particular scene, a gang of miscreants has decided to raid a local cotton mill, and Ip Man doles out some justice with the help of a nearly comically oversized bamboo pole. I can almost feel the sting in my ears. The fun starts at about 2:57 below.
7. The Protector: Elephant Man Redux
Tony Jaa plays a man tasked with protecting a sacred elephant. When it is stolen early in the film, he travels to Australia to track it down, only to become entangled in a larger problem. Near the end of the film, he faces down with a handful of enormous body-builder fighters he can barely make a dent in. That’s when he does the only logical thing a person in his position would do: tie elephant bones to his arms and pummel his enemies. The whole fight scene below is great, but the boning (giggle) starts at 3:32.
6. Kiss of the Dragon: Chopstick Tracheotomy
Continuing the theme of small people hitting big people, Jet Li‘s character comes face to face with a pretty big dude, who gets dispatched surprisingly quickly. The main baddie’s right-hand man approaches the scene with a machine gun, working over the entire area. He hits a gas line, and after the resulting explosion, goes in to assure success. That’s when he learns one of the lesser-known uses for chopsticks. Fast-forward to about 1:30 for this one. And an honorable mention goes to the billiard ball.
5. The Bourne Identity: Edward Ballpoint-Hand
Matt Damon‘s Jason Bourne is a force to be reckoned with. When backed into a corner, he will grab anything within arm’s reach with which to attack an enemy. This series is filled with examples of Bourne using unconventional weapons, but the scene, where an enemy assassin crashes into his apartment in France, is what convinced me of Damon’s ability to be an action star. In particular the part at 1:18 garnered a very visceral and memorable reaction from me.
4. Shaun of the Dead: The Queen’s Billiards
Not all fight scenes have to be serious in order to be inventive and entertaining. Take, for example, this scene in Edgar Wright‘s fabulous Shaun of the Dead. Towards the end of the film, the gang, led by Simon Pegg‘s Shaun, is trapped inside of the pub The Winchester. When the pub’s proprietor attacks, the gang scrambles to action, debating on how best to dispatch their undead foe. Shaun takes the lead, grabbing a pool cue for each of his friends, and they attack. The fun here is that this sequence is set to the tune of Queen’s song “Can’t Stop Me Now.” Wright always has a keen eye for detail, which is evident as the attack is timed perfectly to the beat of the song.
3. The Raid: Redemption: Time to Replace the Bulb
As one of the best action flicks to be released in the past few years, The Raid: Redemption found ways to innovate on the premise of a SWAT team invading a building full of criminals to take in the ringleader. At this point in the movie, the main character, played by Iko Uwais, has made it nearly to the top when he spots his brother being beaten by the scrappy little Mad Dog. What follows is a grueling battle between Mad Dog and the two brothers. It culminates as a broken fluorescent light is used to turn the tables on the foe. You should really watch the whole scene – in fact, the whole movie – but the part in question occurs around the 5:55 mark.
2. A History of Violence: Coffee’s Ready
Director David Cronenberg has made a transition from his early work as master of the so-called Body Horror genre, with works like Videodrome (one of my absolute favorites) and Scanners (what a headache!), into more mainstream dramas. But that doesn’t mean he forgot how to be brutal. Take the diner scene early on in A History of Violence. As Viggo Mortensen‘s Tom Stall is preparing to close his small town diner for the night, two thugs enter and threaten Stall’s well-being. The result? A deftly served cup of hot coffee. What strikes me about this scene is how short it is. Its quickness seems to lend the air of realism to it. The whole scene below lasts less than 3 minutes but is every bit as brutal as other scenes twice as long. It also ranked highly for me personally due to my love for coffee and experience as a barista. Fast forward to about 2:10 if you take your coffee black.
1. The Bourne Ultimatum: Book Lovers Unite!
I have always said to beware of English majors, for they carry veritable tomes around with them at all times, and people should not underestimate what that does to a person’s strength. While Damon’s Bourne may not be a particularly well-read man, he does know how to use a good book. Bourne’s use of the book only lasts a few seconds (right around 2:00), but it very nearly had me cheering in the theater. If only it were that easy to gain the knowledge inside the book…
Well, that’s it, friends and family. Did I miss anything? Let me know if there are other scenes I should have considered for the list. Thanks for reading!