We’ll be kicking off once again with fight of the year, a category dedicated to honoring all the best melee scuffles of the year. These fights may be conducted with fists or with hand held weapons of some kind, and while guns can be present they may not be the main instrument of the encounter.
- Olyphant Vs. Crazy Doctor- The Crazies: I’m of the opinion that action scenes can come from some unlikely places, including horror movies. This is a short, but efficient little fight in which a zombified doctor comes at our hero (Tim Olyphant) with a bone saw and he’s forced to dodge these lethal strikes. Needless to say, the fight ends with a pool of someone’s blood and a macabre little piece of physical comedy.
- Mickey Ward vs. Alfonso Sanchez- The Fighter: There are three major boxing matches in The Fighter, and for these purposes I’m going to have to choose the second one, firstly because it’s more important to the plot, secondly because it’s more suspenseful, and finally because it has a surprise ending that would be hard to believe if it weren’t entirely true. Like all of the fights in the movie, the picture has been softened in order to mirror early nineties HBO boxing broadcasts.
- Distorted Gravity Fight- Inception: You’re in the second level of a dream (which looks like a high end hotel), the car you’re all in is in free fall and gravity is going crazy all while security is closing in, there’s nothing left to do but go hand to hand. If that description doesn’t make sense to you then you obviously haven’t experienced Inception. This fight scene was filmed in a large rotating set, we’ve seen sets like that in movies like The Fly, but we’ve never seen a full speed fight scene in an environment like that before.
- Pilgrim Vs. Lucas Lee- Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: It’s no secret that I found Scott Pilgrim obnoxious, but there’s no denying that it did have creative fight sequences even if they got old fast. The thing is a lot of them are sort of non-fights: one is a musical duel (don’t ask), one of them mostly comes down to a joke about veganism, and so on. The one fight that really seemed to put some emphasis on choreography was the second fight against a skateboarder/actor who sicks a bunch of stunt doubles on Scott. It ends quick but it looks pretty good for a while.
- Discs- Tron Legacy: I suppose that the fact that this scene involves throwing things technically makes it a bit less of a melee than this category usually accommodates, but it certainly isn’t a shootout and the gladiatorial nature of it basically makes it a fight and a cool one at that. Held in a series of glass domes, this fight features a unique blend of aerial dodging and darting, and finally ends in a fall down into the arena. Discs aren’t quite lightsabers, but they’ll do.