Which was alright, and far superior to Transporter 2, but not really up to the original's balls-out, non-stop mayhem. But it did get me thinking of some of my favourite fight scenes, and what made them so good.
Overall, I think the main elements of a good fight scene are:
- The match-up: has to be challenging, yet attainable. If the good guy's clearly much stronger, than there's no suspense. If she/he's clearly outmatched, then there's too much suspension of disbelief required when the good guy triumphs. And QUIT IT with the convenient placed sharp objects. Victory by impalement is SO 1995.
- Creativity: There are thousands of fight scenes put to film every year, according to a number I just made up. What makes this one different? How is it interesting? Does Jason Statham take his shirt off? are just some of the questions a good fight choreographer should ask.
- Visuals: It's the ultimate tease: the big set, the powerful stars, the dramatic tension, the impending carnage that you know is about to come to a climax...only to have the moment totally ruined by blurry, shaky camera work and incessant cuts which the director thinks makes his film look "gritty" and "realistic" but actually makes it look "blurry" and incomprehensible" and, in my cause, "nauseating". Instead of a big finish, I am left puking in the bathroom. F*** you, Jason Bourne.
5) The Fellowship vs. a bajillion orcs and a cave troll
There's plenty of action in all of the LOTR movies, but this scene to me has a much more immediate and dramatic feel, with the fellowship forced to come together in battle for the first (and (SPOILER) last time), forging bonds of heart and strength and steel against the terrors of the infinite darkness that...juuuuust kidding, I love that cave troll.
4) Nicholas Angel and Danny Butterman vs. the Sanford Neighborhood Watch Alliance
If you haven't seen this movie yet, go. Now. No, seriously, go. I'l wait. [whistles]
If you have, then take a few minutes to enjoy this unparelled scene of gunplay and mindless violence that manages to be both an excellent action scene while parodying action scenes.
(This one can't be embedded - watch here)
3) The Bride vs. the Crazy 88
I knew this was one for me when the media reports first picked up that parts of the film had to be shown in black in white, because there was too much blood. AWESOME. It's 15 minutes of pure, visceral eye-candy, with multiple bad-ass women and 88 wild and crazy guys who get sliced and diced like it's discount day at RonCo.
Check it out here.
2) Neo, Trinity and many, many guns vs. hapless security guys, a SWAT team and various office building architectural features.
My friend Megan and I actually saw The Matrix three times at the Roxy, and the second two times were exclusively for this scene, which we affectionately dubbed "sexy gunfights in leather!". We would even chant it in hushed voices as the scene neared, something I'm sure the other patrons really appreciated.
1) The Transporter - Jason Statham and a vat of oil vs. a dozen bad guys
Cheesy, soft-core innuendo aside - this is actually an excellent scene, with intricate choreography, plenty of creativity, and beautiful shots. Of Jason Statham's toned and oiled-up abs...olute knowledge of martial arts techniques. Er, yeah. That's the ticket!