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Hussmir's List of Best Fighting Movies to Watch

Posted in: By: Mubs Date: 24/01/14

Sometimes watching people beat each other up is funny. Sometimes it's entertaining. Sometimes it's the basis for an entire film. Stick 'em up and check out our favourite fight flicks!


Starring as a wonky-accented American in an underground Hong Kong battle royale, Jean-Claude Van Damme showcases a groundbreaking variety of fighting styles from around the world. Highlight? JCVD gets vicious after being blinded by enormous nutter Chong Li. I also recommend you check out more of Jean-Claude Van Damme's movies.


Unquestionably the most exciting martial-arts star alive, Muay Thai superhuman Tony Jaa arrived like a flying elbow-smash to skull to make everyone else look like lumpen pub brawlers. Ong-Bak is still his top trump: a balls-out genre actioner that ditches wire-fu, CG and personal safety for full-contact ultra-violence and gravity-defying balleticism. Elbows, knees and blows.

Enter The Dragon

Although Way Of The Dragon packs Bruce Lee's epic showdown with hairy Chuck Norris, this remains his most legendary fight film. Choreographing the action himself to revolutionising Hollywood's big-screen smackdowns, Lee smashes through an island full of martial-arts stars. Wait for the bit where he accidentally breaks actor Bob Walls' sternum with a running thrust-kick. Ouch.

Born To Fight

Think Ong-Bak meets Shaolin Soccer meets Delta Force. Directed by Ong-Bak action choreographer Panna Rittikrai, this insane Thai actioner sees a team of gymnasts, sportsmen and athletes using their skills to save a Bangkok village from a brutal militia. No exaggeration: there's nothing else like it. The final 40-minutes of balletic, slo-mo, full-contact skull-cracking has to be seen to be believed.


This. Is. SPARTA! Watchmen director Zack Snyder's abs-and-stabs actioner is one long cascade of blood-drunk fighting, as Gerard Butler's 300 Spartans take on videogame levels of invading marauders. Shot in stylised slo-mo against a greenscreen, the 360-degree scraps have rarely been matched for sheer ferocity.

Rocky IV

Rocky is a love story. Rocky II is a coming-of-age story. Rocky III is a bromance. Rocky V is rubbish. Rocky VI is an elegy. Rocky IV is a FIGHT film. Apollo Creed's savage destruction at the fists of Russian giant Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) sets up the most brutal slugfest of Rocky's career. Ding, ding.

The Karate Kid

Back in the 80s, kids everywhere went running to the nearest dojo and painting Asian people's fences when Mr Miagi taught Ralph Macchio to wax on, wax off the bullies at Cobra Kai. Three decades on, this kick-ass coming-of-age tale is daft, dated and impossible not to love.

Fist Of Legend

Remaking Bruce Lee's Fist Of Fury, Jet Li comes up with the most awesome film of his career. Every kinetic fight carries bone-snapping force in this classic story of Chinese versus Japanese combat. Executed with concussive agility by Li, master action-choreographer Yuen Woo-Ping's incredible work here won him gigs with The Wachowskis, Tarantino and Ang Lee.

Hard Times

A man who lets his fists do the talking, ol' stone face Charles Bronson gives one of his most iconic performances as a depression-era streetfighter slugging it out in illegal bare-knuckle brawls. This bruising, brutal film (the debut of The Warriors director Walter Hill) makes you feel every grubby, stinging, sweaty punch.

Legend Of The Drunken Master

Also known as Drunken Master II, this is Jackie Chan's masterpiece. Playing a man who's unstoppable when he's had a skinful of booze, Chan hits home an amazing combo of comedy, drama and kung fu. The climactic eight-minute sequence is one of the most astonishing pieces of fight choreography ever filmed.

Kill Bill. Vol. 1

Chewing up and spitting out most of the other films on this list, Quentin Tarantino unleashed this homage to kung fu and exploitation - culminating with Uma Thurman's back-from-the-dead Bride slicing up the Crazy 88 crew in a cartoon bloodbath. See also Vol. 2 for Thurman's eyeball-popping blitzkrieg with Daryl Hannah.

Sha Po Lang

Hong Kong police thriller turns ruthless all-star brawl-'em-up, as Sammo Hung (kung fu legend), Wu Jing (a wushu champ touted as the next Jet Li) and Donnie Yen (MMA innovator) uncork some sensationally fast, furious unarmed combat. Take a look at Yen's Flash Point, too: it climaxes with the greatest Mixed Martial Arts duel ever put on the big-screen.

Fight Club

"How much can you know about yourself if you've never had a fight?" Exactly. David Fincher's brilliant, brain-shuddering adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's novel sees white-collar wuss Edward Norton discover nihilistic alpha-male Brad Pitt and the bloody knuckled joy of destroying something beautiful. Don't talk about it. Watch it.

Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky

Oh Riki... The most mad-crazy cult fight movie of all time. Sent to prison after avenging his girlfriend's death, a young man with superhuman strength must fight for his life against the corrupt warden and his henchmen. Heads are crushed. Eyeballs are punctured. Ricky is nearly strangled with someone's intestines. Seek it out.

Fatal Contact

Inspired by Ong-Bak's full-contact-no-wires combat, this Hong Kong fight-'em-up makes up for what it lacks in story (everything) with relentless jaw-slamming fury. The scraps just keep coming, with action hero Jacky Wu unleashing an encyclopaedic variety of moves to stake a place on the Fight King podium. Makes anything in The Matrix look tame.

What are your favourite fighting movies? Please Comment below.

Also check out: Hussmir's Most Addictive Games Ever

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