As a lifetime martial artist and superhero fan, one of my favorite things is to analyze the fight scenes from the movies and TV shows. I was surprised at how much background you can get with some research. Anyways, I am doing this series as a direct response to the outstanding article written by Christian Juarez (you should follow him if you get what I'm doing here.) His presentation, Top 6 Fight Scenes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (So Far), was great! I look forward to discussing these scenes with you...
There have been some brilliant fight sequences in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the burgeoning DCEU. I am going to try to break things down for you using what knowledge I have accumulated in nearly 25 years of training and having completed ten black belt tests in three different styles to date. I will do my best to understand the technology and super powers involved in the altercations as well as the REAL martial arts skill sets that are being presented. The discussion of the verifiability (is that a word?) of the tech and, of course, the efficiency of the fighting is all on the table for debate. I want to hear your thoughts. There is no right, and no wrong, just, what is on the screen for us to interpret. I look forward to a great discussion with the MoviePilot crew.
The first fight that I am going to look at is the initial encounter between Captain America and The Winter Soldier in the eponymous movie. It was a great fight scene, and could possibly, not be the best fight scene in the movie. In later incarnations of my "Super Hero Fight Club", you may see Cap in the elevator, or Cap v. TWS final showdown.
Let us review:
Here is the blow by blow:
Starting at 1:38 with that iconic overhand left! This is bound to be the Winter Soldiers best weapon, and, of course , the shield is Cap's best. Well, the shield held up, so far so good. Buck follows with an ill advised front drop kick that leaves them both scrambling...
The Winter Soldier has a plethora of automatic weapons and handguns at his disposal but Cap rebounds with a vaulting downward 45 degree round kick to disarm the last of TWS's automatics only to find that he has a handgun cleared for firing. Lucky for Cap, THE SHIELD! #amiright #dontleavemehangin
An exchange of blows leaves the Winter Soldier holding Cap's shield which he then tries to cut Cap in half with, by throwing it, and it turns out that he does not have control over it like Cap does.
Now, the knife fight is some, well played, intense action. They show some close up shots of TWS swinging a dagger wildly as Cap tries to fight back with his third hand (first hand holds the weapon [TWS]; second hand blocks or passes the weapon [Cap]; third hand is the one Cap is striking with, in this case). Then the camera goes wider to show some spectacular, on the money, passing of the blade and Cap actually knocks it flying (with a comical "smack" sound effect). Unfortunately for our hero, Bucky catches it mid air and Cap is out of position, executing some very sketchy knife technique that would likely get you and me cut and/or killed, but they played it well, as the intensity went up, the tactics became more desperate. Cap started to try and grab, which isn't going to work if the other chap knows how to handle the blade (sorry Krav Maga). For the big finish Cap, luckily, lands a big old right hand that sends TWS reeling and then that BIG, spinning, side kick followed by a brutal running/ flying knee straight outta Muay Thai.
At this point, the Winter Soldier is still fighting back, but taking on water big time. Cap drops him on the planet by using a text book dropping shoulder throw, just as we teach it in the Counterpoint Tactical System. He is still fighting back though, and that bionic left arm comes in awfully handy (tee hee) as he tosses Cap like a rag doll.
The big finish has some basic boxing followed by the most disappointing action in the fight. Cap does a high cross black to the ice pick grip knife , DON'T EVER DO THAT. They did it strictly for the effect of ripping the van with the knife, a disappointing directorial/ choreography choice.
Anyways, Cap catches up with him by using a standard wrestling suplex maneuver dropping his best friend on his spine. This is followed by Cap getting his shield back and a terrific exchange with Cap using his shield as the weapon it was meant to be. A nice horizontal cut with the edge of the shield does damage to that left arm prosthetic that makes the Winter Soldier so dangerous. Then he hammers his head with a backhanded uppercut shot that had to ring ole Bucks' ears. So much so, that a spinning face grab (not a thing) sends him flying and, of course, the mask is off (and the Winter Soldier can now breathe at the actual altitude). C'mon, you thought the same thing...
That's one minute and 20 seconds of shit hot intensity book-ended by Black Widows' shit hot hotness (and her two cents in the fight game). Thanks for breaking them up Falcon, geez.
The best sequence:
This was the knife defense by Cap for sure (starts at 2:07). So often, as someone who trains with these weapons, I see fantasy type knife fighting. We can thank Filipino Martial Arts for upping Hollywoods game, and all of ours, really.
The best individual technique:
Captain America dropping his bff Bucky with that "dropping shoulder throw" was perfectly executed (2:23). #takedowncity
The worst individual technique:
Well, as I said before, that high crossed wrists block is a complete no-no (2:40). TWS simply could have used the knife as a hook and pull/cut BOTH of Cap's wrists and inflict serious damage.
Who won? Why?
This may be cop out, but, as it was their first encounter and they both survived without getting killed, or taken, I'm gonna say WE, the audience won! It was a great scene, the Winter Soldier stunt double and choreographer was James Young and the Captain America stunt double/ fighter was Sam Hargrave they both did a spectacular job.
Overall, they used this fight to really show that Steve Rogers has been training, seriously hard, since he' got out of the ice. They clearly demonstrated that he has the better technique and is the better fighter, but the Winter Soldier has that craaaazy arm as an equalizer. Thanks to the Russo brother's for this great action.
So what do you think?
Remember the first rule of Super Hero Fight Club is you MUST talk about Super Hero Fight Club!