Coolest Fight Movies of All Time

Hi Evolve Family - it's Brett Gleason here again today. For today’s blog entry, we thought it would be fun to have the readers weigh in and vote for their favourite pugilistic movie (see the poll box on the right nav bar). Because there are so many, in the interest of time and space, I have narrowed down the selection. Below are the final nominees, handpicked from the seemingly endless result of Hollywood’s love affair with fighting. Some made the list on pure aesthetic merit, others because of their comedic value and plain cheesiness. Remember, the operative word is “coolest”, not necessarily “best”. So please, let the debate begin, vote for your favourite, and may the coolest flick win.

10) Bloodsport
This 1988 film features Jean-Claude Van Damme as an American soldier (with a Belgian accent?) named Frank Dux. Giving the outside world its first glimpse of “The Kumite”, this movie was almost prophetic in its anticipation of the first UFC far we’ve come.

9) The Streetfighter
“If you’ve got to fight, fight dirty” is the tagline for this 1974 butt-kicking cult-classic romp. If the “broom handle slapping a vinyl sofa” sound effects don’t have you tapping out early, the hideous dubbing will.

8) Kickboxer
The second (and last) Van Damme finalist on our list... Somehow the “Muscles from Brussels” lands yet another improbable role- this time as the brother of an American kick boxer (and yet again with a Belgian accent). Van Damme is out to avenge his brother who is left paralyzed after meeting the ferocious Tong Po. Kickboxer features the unforgettable, classic scene where the fighters’ hands are plunged into broken glass, spawning many later satirical versions featuring fighters brandishing fists adorned with Skittles and M&M’s.

7) Kill Bill Vol. 2
Kill Bill was a classic, and had some groundbreaking moments. But in the interest of “cool”, Vol. 2 makes the cut over the first instalment in the series, mostly due to the introduction of the Bride’s (Uma Thurman) ruthless teacher, Pai Mei (Gordon Liu). The dialog and interaction between Thurman and Gordon Liu is superb. Liu delivers an unforgettable performance and stereotypically personifies the mystique of the “traditional martial arts master” depicted in all previous examples of the genre.

6) The Karate Kid
Ralph Macchio should have been nominated for an Oscar on the sole basis that he was 23 years old when he was cast in 1984 as high school student Daniel Larusso. Shortly after the movie’s release, “Sweep the leg!” t-shirt sales skyrocket among American bullies.

5) Ong-Bak
Tony Jaa showcases Thai fighting tradition and makes short work of all challengers utilizing the full range of all of his weapons, including this impossible roundhouse knee that looks like it comes from somewhere behind his that’s awesome. Check out this video clip of Ong-Bak.

4) The Game of Death
No list like this would be complete without at least one of Bruce Lee’s legendary pictures. Although Enter the Dragon is by far the most well-known of his movies, The Game of Death was to be a showcase of Jeet Kun Do- Bruce Lee’s philosophy of martial arts. The filming was still incomplete when Lee passed on in 1973 and the film would not be released until 1978. The thought and metaphor contained in the film make it an important historical work for those interested in the evolution of martial arts and fighting as a sport. The movie is especially cool because Bruce Lee fights all-time NBA scoring champion, 7 foot 2 inches-tall, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

3) Raging Bull
Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Martin Scorsese...what more could you ask for? Based on the true story of the life of prize-fighter Jake LaMotta, the film has been cited by the American Film Institute as their #4 movie of all time. Robert De Niro captured the 1980 Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of LaMotta, putting on over 60lbs. in the process to play the aging version of the fighter, after he had hung up the gloves.

2) Rocky
Written by and starring Sylvester Stallone, Rocky was made on a budget of less than $1 Million in 28 days! The film went on to gross over $225 Million that year and capture the 1976 Best Picture Oscar. The rags-to-riches story of the loveable underdog seized the hearts and imaginations of audiences everywhere and spawned a mini industry producing 5 sequels over the last 30 years.

1) Fight Club
Please understand that by merely listing this film here, I’m breaking the first two rules..OK, I’ll risk it. This may not be the best film on the list, but it certainly may be the coolest. From David Fincher’s slinky groundbreaking camera work to the electric-jazz-techno tracks by The Dust Brothers, Fight Club oozes cool. It even stars Meatloaf!

There you have it! Please vote for your pick as the coolest fight movie of all time. Now if you’ll excuse me...I am Jack’s bloodshot eyes...I need to get some sleep. Cheers, BG

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