Hello movie fans! It's your friendly neighbourhood Tony here with another dangerously daring list! Today the topic is the BEST MOVIE DUELS between fierce foes! The only rule is that TWO enter the field of battle and ONE leaves! No weapons are out of bounds, and everything is on the line! Prepare for the fight of your lives! Oh, and HERE'S SOME MUSIC to get you in the mood! Now, draw your weapon and let's do this! Watch out for SPOILERS!!!!
#6: Rob Roy vs. Archibald Cunningham (Rob Roy)
The 1995 film Rob Roy tells the tale of the eponymous man, Rob Roy MacGregor, the head of his Scottish clan. Rob wants only to provide for his starving clan, so he borrows a sum of money from a Duke, but a devious and villainous aristocrat Archibald Cunningham, steals the money and murders the man who carries it. From here, Cunningham and MacGregor become entangled in a bloody feud, with Cunningham raping MacGregor's wife, killing members of his clan, and brutalizing his livestock. Rob Roy eventually brings Cunningham's crimes to light and challenges him to an honorable duel in the hopes of restoring his clan and dispatching an evildoer. Archie, on the other hand, is simply looking forward to murdering Rob Roy. This duel is notable because it is a very harrowing one. Archibald Cunningham has the upper hand throughout the fight, slashing and cutting Rob Roy to pieces and wearing him down with nimble footwork and some swift sword strokes, even bringing the Scottish clansmen to his knees. With his last ounces of strength, Rob Roy grabs Cunningham's sword and slices Cunningham nearly in two! There is no music to underscore the fight, which only increases the tension and makes the fight feel more organic. Props to Liam Neeson and Tim Roth for convincing acting throughout the film, and especially in this excellent duel.
#5: Sam Flynn vs. Rinzler/Tron (Tron: Legacy)
Tron: Legacy has some of the coolest looking CGI effects in recent movie history, and a killer soundtrack to boot, but this fight (as well as the light cycle sequence and a few notable others) stands out as one of the highlights of the film. Sam Flynn, the grown-up son of the first film's protagonist Kevin Flynn, has entered The Grid to find his father, only to end up in a similar situation to that of his dad over two decades prior. Sam is mistaken for a Program and is forced into the arena to battle other Programs to the death, or in their terms, "de-rezzed". One battle in particular is extremely harrowing as Sam must duel with Rinzler, the corrupted form of the once-benevolent Tron. Armed with only a memory disc, Sam duels inside a glass cage with shifting gravity and is quickly outmatched by the deadly Program. Just before Rinzler can deliver the killing blow, he sees a drop of blood and recognizes Sam as a "User", someone from the physical world, and spares him. It may be short, but this fight is very cool and eye-catching. Sam's sarcasm, the techno Daft Punk background score, and the constantly-shifting environment create a very deadly and entertaining duel.
#4: Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris (Way of the Dragon)
Few things in life are better than watching Bruce Lee kick some ass with Jeet Kune Do, ESPECIALLY when his opponent is the cult action film star Chuck Norris! In Way of the Dragon, Bruce's character Tang is sent to Rome to help defend a restaurant owner and his daughter from mobsters, and he battles against all manner of assassins throughout the movie, wielding nothing more than a pair of nunchaku and his optimized fighting body. At the climax of the film, an American martial artist named Colt (played by Chuck Norris) is hired to kill Tang, resulting in a very cool martial arts battle in the Colosseum of Rome! This 70's-style sequence is entertaining and brutal, and the action is extremely even for a while, until Tang gets the upper hand and disables Colt while a tiny kitten witnesses the duel. Tang offers mercy, but Chuck Norris bows to NOBODY and refuses. He is finished off quickly, and thus ends the battle. Full of cool cinematography tricks including Point-Of-View shots and other cinematic techniques, the action is fast and intense! This is a prime example of Bruce Lee's sheer talent and dedication to his craft, and a must-see for any fan of the Hong Kong movie scene!
#3: Daniel Larusso vs. Johnny Lawrence (The Karate Kid)
If you're a movie fan, chances are you've seen the epic story of The Karate Kid, and there's a reason why this movie is so widely recognizable and acclaimed! Daniel is a weak high school kid who is brutally bullied and beat down by Johnny Lawrence and his Cobra Kai Dojo cronies until Daniel is rescued by a aging karate master, Mr. Miyagi. Over the course of the film, Miyagi trains Daniel to defend himself and master the ways of karate, eventually leading him to enter the All Valley Karate Championship and challenge the very people who were his tormentors. In the semi-final round, one of the Cobra Kai kids is disqualified when he intentionally attacks Daniel's leg, spraining it and weakening the boy severely. In the finals, the injured Daniel faces off against Johnny Lawrence, but with one usable leg he is at a massive disadvantage! His only chance is to use the Crane Kick, a one-legged attack, and in the last fight, he unleashes the technique, smashing Johnny's smug face and winning Daniel the tournament and Johnny's respect. This scene is excellent because Daniel finally redeems himself and defends his honor. If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and check out the inspirational The Karate Kid RIGHT NOW!
#2: Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader (Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back)
The Star Wars saga has numerous lightsaber battles, and TONS of great duels to choose from, but for me, The Empire Strikes Back has the definitive duel that stands atop the rest! Fledgling Jedi Luke Skywalker is in the midst of his training with Yoda when he suddenly experiences a vision of his friends being killed at Cloud City, and he hastily abandons his training to take on the infinitely more experienced and deadly Darth Vader in single combat. Vader has already planned for this, however, and wants to freeze Luke in carbonite and present him to the evil Emperor Palpatine in order to convert him to the Dark Side of the Force. Luke arrives at the city and is lured into the Carbon Freezing Chamber where Vader awaits, and the battle begins in the dimly-lit room. From the very beginning, we can see that Luke is hopelessly outmatched, and as the fight progresses throughout the bowels of the station, Vader toys with him and tries to convert him to the Dark Side. This duel is great for a number of reasons. First, the score by John Williams is on point as usual, and accents the intensity expertly. Second, the choreography is great, and displays the massive gap in skills between Luke and Vader. Third, it ends with one of the coolest plot twists in cinematic history! This sequence alone makes The Empire Strikes Back arguably the best in the Star Wars saga, and one of the best movies in history.
#1: Westley/Dread Pirate Roberts vs. Inigo Montoya (The Princess Bride)
Finally we've reached the BEST DUEL IN FILM HISTORY! The Princess Bride is a fantastic fantasy about a young man named Westley who is on the trail of his kidnapped lover, Princess Buttercup. On his journey, he must fight against three dangerous adversaries to catch up to the princess. His first challenger is Inigo Montoya, fencing extraordinaire! The pair share a brief chat before their duel, and Inigo shares a story about his quest for revenge against the man who murdered his father. Then, after finding each other agreeable, they begin the duel. This scene is one of the best examples of choreography and direction in the business. The skirmish traverses different terrains, and both fighters have extensive knowledge of the art of fencing, bantering about their fighting moves as they go along. Each fighter reveals tricks throughout the battle as the moves become increasingly intricate and quick, and anyone can see how much training went into this battle. The accompanying score actually is synced up with the sword strokes, and the dialogue is funny and entertaining throughout. After some acrobatic displays, Inigo is disarmed and defeated by Westley, who knocks him out and continues his pursuit, but not before giving us one of the most amazing feats of swordplay to marvel at! Simultaneously comedic and vastly exciting, this fencing match is the greatest duel in movie history!
That's it for today folks, and I hope you enjoyed it! Feel free to check me out at moviepilot.com/TonyAnnounces for more exciting movie content, and as always, have a KILLER day!