After binge-watching some fight scenes (and falling into YouTube purgatory) I compiled a list of the twelve I thought were the best. Picking out just ten was impossible so if you think of some note-worthy scenes I left out please let me know in the comment section! Here we go!
#12 - Ip Man 2: Ip Man (Donnie Yen) vs the Three Masters
Coming out of the gate at number twelve is Ip Man, who, for those who are unaware instructed Bruce Lee. In the sequel, Ip Man is preparing to open a school for martial arts, but before he can he must defeat the Three Masters in combat. I like this scene because it takes place on a table top not even five feet wide. Rules are simple: if you fall, you lose.
#11 - Undisputed II: Iceman (Michael Jai White) vs. Boyka (Scott Adkins)
Michael Jai White and Scott Adkins, in my opinion, are underrated as an action stars so this one is kind of a two-fer. Both are accomplished martial artists and have showcased their talents in several films. In this film, they play prisoners forced to fight for underworld mob bosses. If you haven't seen this film series you should check it out.
#10 - Kiss of the Dragon: Jet Li vs. a swarm of angry French dudes
I love Bruce Lee, but I grew up watching Jet Li. This is my favorite fight of his from Kiss of the Dragon. It's awesomeness speaks for itself.
#9 - Onk Bak: Ting (Tony Jaa) vs. Big Bear (Nick Kara)
Ong Bak is the reason Muay Thai is my favorite style of martial arts. Tony Jaa is an artist of pain. His knees and elbows are the paint, and brush and your face, should you be unfortunate enough, is the canvas. About 0:49 is the point where Big Bear learned he f****d up.
#8 - Mortal Kombat: Scorpion vs. Johnny Cage
My gamer buddies will agree that we all slobbered at the mouth awaiting this movie's release, and had an absolute joy-gasm watching Scorpion beat the nut-punch out of Johnny Cage. Yes the plot is weak but...IT'S SCORPION. There's a fire-breathing skull under that mask, didn't you know? You're welcome.
#7 - Rush Hour: Lee (Jackie Chan) vs. everyone in this bar
I like watching Jackie Chan because not only is he a badass with his body, he can use anything within reach to beat you senseless. In this successful comedy, Lee, a newcomer to America, makes an unwise gaffe and quickly learns a lesson in American political correctness.
#6 - X-Men 2: Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) vs. Lady Deathstrike (Kelly Hu)
What's better than one adamant-clawed mutant? Two! Logan meets his match in Yuriko, a.k.a. Lady Deathstrike. I love watching females serve smackdowns and this is by far one of the most entertaining. She gleefully skewers him over and over, and if not for his lucky break at the end, I'm pretty sure she would have won.
#5 - The Matrix: Neo (Keanu Reeves) vs. Mr. Smith (Hugo Weaving)
The Matrix was a milestone in cinematic history--raising the bar for all films to come. The climatic battle between Neo and the stoic Mr. Smith, while abundant with special effects, still had you on the edge of your seat hoping Neo would wake up from the total ownage he received.
#4 - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh) vs. Jen Yu (Zhang Ziyi)
Cat fights are the best, and two lethal ladies going at it is destined for greatness. To sum up this scene, Jen Yu steals a legendary sword. Yu Shu Lien demands she return it. Jen Yu says "no." Yu Shu Lien says "well now, I'm gonna thwack you with this smorgasbord of sharp objects."
#3 - Shinobi: Heart Under Blade: Chikuma (Mitsuki Koga) and Yashamaru (Tak Sakaguchi)
This may be a little known movie to the masses, but I was lucky enough to have watched it years ago. It was hard to pick out one fight that was the best because they are all awesome, but these two characters stood out the most. The movie is about two warring ninja clans, and the following scene is a demonstration of the best fighters from each clan.
#2 - Game of Death: Bruce Lee vs. Danny Inosanto
This film was never completed, and some may disagree with me that this is Lee's best fight scene ever. But I chose this because it's just great to watch. Lee marks this guy's forehead with an "x" so fast you can't even see it when it happens. He playfully taunts him with his signature howling, smiling while he whacks him silly with a pair of nunchaku. You may also notice, his outfit (and the setting of the fight) is the inspiration of a more modern, blonde warrior.
#1 - Raging Phoenix: Deu (Jeeja Yanin) vs London (Jindasing Roongtawan)
The top spot (for me anyway) goes to none other than Jeeja Yanin, who is also sometimes referred to as the female Tony Jaa. If you've never seen this talented young woman you don't know what you've been missing. I first saw her in Chocolate and saw this film shortly after. Chocolate had a better plot, but the end scene in this film was worth sitting through Raging Phoenix. Roongtawan (who looks scary as hell) proves to be a worthy opponent, pulling no punches as they trade blows.
So that's my list! Let me know what you think below! Thanks for reading!