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I was watching Fight Club and Lethal Weapon 1 a few days ago, then this question hit me. Pardon the bad pun.

What are some of the top movie fights of all-time? What fight sequences just give you that charge? It doesn't necessarily have to be blood-bath, though, chances are, most will be, heh, but really, any "fight" goes here.

I'd have to say that the final fight between Mr. Joshua and Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon 1 ranks up there. It's just so well-done, and it looks stunning. I love the feel of it, with the fire hydrant spraying all over, mud soaking the ground, Murtaugh's house totally demolished from the police car, the sirens, the lights...everything about that fight is just impeccable. The lines leading up to it are wonderful, too.

"Whaddya say? Wanna shot at the title?"

John Carpenter's They Live has a great fight scene, as well. I'm a big fan of Keith David's work in general, and I've never been disappointed by any of his performances. I can't imagine anything better than he and Rowdy Roddy Piper beating the living sh-t out of each other in something like a 15-minute back-alley brawl. Again, the scene composition and storyboarding is amazing. Each shot is just so rough and you really [i]feel[/i] the impact.

Empire Strikes Back, Luke vs Vader. Lightsabers, "[spoiler]Luke...I am your father[/spoiler]," losing a hand, Jedi b-tchslap, [i]total[/i] Dark Side pwnage. Fantastic fight, and we finally get to see the big showdown. ^_^

Thoughts? What fight scenes do you all love to watch?

Hm, Something About Mary, Ben Stiller vs Puffy. I laughed until I cried.
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Guest lavalamp
I should probably be shot for this, but...

I remember when the ever-so-cheesy Street Fighter movie was released, the part where Chun-Li breaks her cuffs or whatever and goes dominatrix on M. Bison gave me the chills. I don't know why I liked it so much; now it just looks goofy.

I feel predictable in mentioning anything from either volume of Kill Bill, but I really liked the fight between [i]The Bride[/i] and [i]California Mountain Snake[/i].

I don't even want to go into Hong Kong cinema, as decisions on that turf are [b]so[/b] difficult. It goes without saying that there are some amazing sequences, though.
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Guest ScirosDarkblade
The best one-on-one fights you'll ever see are in Jackie Chan's "Gorgeous." They're simply insane.

The best two-on-one fight is at the end of Jackie Chan's "Who Am I?"

"The Last Samurai" has some really well done fights as well.

For the most part I find realistic and well-choreographed fights to be most impressive, given that they're not boring John Wayne right-hook-in-face fights. The two Jackie Chan movies I mentioned have some of the fastest and best choreography I've ever seen in a film, if not the best. Probably the best.
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[FONT=Arial][COLOR=Teal] I've noticed that in most action shootout movies, theres almost always a big shootout in a warehouse of some sort with people on the railing just so they can get shot off with funny heroic theme style music going off in the background.

Anyways, I really like the Chatue scene in the Matrix. Sure, the plot sucked for the entire movie. But the action was great! Neo just goin around beating super-natural ***, gotta love it.

The scene in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon were that girl takes on like the entire tavern was pretty awsome too. That movie had alot of good fight scenes in it, I remember when it came out how everyone was talking about how awsome the fighting was in it. [/COLOR][/FONT]
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Soem fo my fave movie fights are...


[b]Neo/Smith - The Matrix.

[/b]I loved this scene/these scenes, toward the twilight of the movie Neo has a showdown with agent Smith, his main nemesis throuought the movie. It really was the best climax the film could have. Throughout the Movie we see Neo just trying to comprehend this wacky new world that he's just been droped in, and at the end, coming to the all-important realisation [spoiler] that he is The One[/spoiler] which is the catalyst for the conclusion to this fight. Incredible, much more enjoyable than the 100 Smith fights.

[b]Luke/Vader - Return of the Jedi
[/b]
Siren's already pointed out ESB's Luke/Vader scene so I thought I'd comment on ROTJ.

Luke facign off against Vader in ROTJ was another great Star Wars fight. Father and son doing battle with each other, Vader serving the emperor and Luke trying to bring out what good is left in his father, While the Emperor watched on, seducing Luke to the "Imperial Dark Side" (he's already dark side in ROTJ)

It held alot of emotion for me, and still does. I haven't yet watched the DVD version of ROTJ, but plan on seeing it this weekend.

[b]Simba/Scar - The Lion King[/b]

One of the first darker fights I had seen, Simba coming back after a hiatus form the pride, to overthrow Scar, the brother of Mufasa who [spoiler] whacked Mufasa to claim the pride.[/spoiler]

The more I think about this fight, Scar wasn't really evil, lol. He was just a darker lion than the others and was doing what was instinctivley right. (aren't they lions? do nature documentarists scold a young alpha male for usurping the older off the throne?) Either way, Lion King's final fight between Scar and Simba was one of the more emotional of my childhood. And, today it could still kick Home on the Range's butt into next week!
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[size=1]Obviously, when you're talking about fight scenes, the first thing you think of is classic Chinese/Japanese black and white films. Every Bruce Lee fight I've ever seen has made me feel really, really sorry for the other guy. Jackie Chan has always been one of my favorites because in his fights, he's always grabbing random things from around him to kick the other guy's ***. And usually, it's pretty damn funny.

Of course, movies like Kill Bill and Matrix come to mind, as they both kind of redefined what people thought about and expected in fight scenes. Likewise, Star Wars seems to be on a whole different level - lightsabers, man. Lightsabers.

I don't know if war scenes are included, but let's talk about Braveheart for a second. I think that this was the movie that started the entire gore and guts war movie trend (Saving Private Ryan also comes to mind). I distinctly remember the part where [spoiler]the horse's legs get cut off,[/spoiler] even to this day.

Then, of course, there's Lord of the Rings. I can't think of another massive battle scene like that one at Helm's Deep that was done so incredibly well. Except for maybe the next huge battle at Pelennor Field, and again with the King of the Dead and his dead legions of creepy green ghosts.

I also liked the main battle in The Last Samurai, even though it made me cry like a baby.[/size]
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[color=#707875]I'd have to agree with what everyone here has said (except for Matrix's story sucking; you just need to pay a little attention ~_^).

Different movies tackle fights in different ways. Ironically, many of the action films that are fight-heavy (like Van Damme movies -- I don't know if I'm spelling his name correctly) are also the films with arguably the worst fights.

I'm a fan of anything by Jackie Chan, except for some of his American collaborations (like The Tuxedo). Project A and Policy Story are insanely cool, as is Drunken Master (which has one of the funniest and most imaginative fight sequences I've ever seen).

Kill Bill definitely deserves a mention. I think that it's one of the most impressive movies in recent times, in regard to fights. Tarantino's very specific choreography is amazing, especially considering that he isn't someone with a background in that type of work. The Crazy 88 fight was wonderful, as was the GoGo Yubari fight. Basically every fight was very cool. I'd also have to agree about the fight with Elle Driver; amazing stuff.

The Matrix should also be mentioned, of course, because it not only redefined special effects to a large degree, but it also had an enormous impact on the application of martial arts in cinema (particularly in western films -- and even some eastern films).

The fights in Reloaded and Revolutions were generally more impressive to me than the fights in the first film. The Burly Brawl (Neo vs many Smiths) was pretty amazing, save for the poor CG models. But the actual choreography, where Neo was fighting Smith doubles, was amazing and very complicated. If you look at how they did that, you'll find that it required an insane degree of precision. The Chateau fight was also great, in that it used just about every aspect of the three dimensional space, which almost no fights do.

And then there is Revolutions, which had two really great fights. The first being "Coat Check Chaos", which also made good use of the three dimensions (ie: having programs flip upside down and cling to the ceiling). And of course, the Super Burly Brawl (final battle) was awe-inspiring stuff. The sheer amount of detail and work involved in that was pretty impressive.

Other than that, for me it mostly comes down to the older 70's and 80's kung fu films. The Jackie Chan stuff is particularly amazing, but there are a number of other fantastic Chinese movies with brilliant kung fu sequences. Some of it is so complex that it will make your head spin. The fact that it doesn't rely on special effects makes it all the more incredible.

Also, I felt that some of the fights in the Mortal Kombat movie (the first one, at least), were pretty good. Certainly nothing that competes with Kill Bill or The Matrix, but still probably above your average Jean Claude movie (and therefore probably worthy of some note).[/color]
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[size=1]So I'm suddenly obligated to bring up [i]The Princess Bride.[/i] I don't claim to know a darn thing about movies--action movie or fight-tastic movies especially--and I wouldn't know a world-class fight scene if it hit me in the nose. [/size]

[size=1]But this is one of my all-time favorite movies, so I get to talk about it at every possible opportunity. ^_^[/size]

[size=1]Point one: Inigo and the Man in Black. It's delightful. Here you have the two greatest swordsmen in the world, fighting to the death. (Well, sort of. ^_~) Inigo's been instructed to kill the Man in Black, but finds himself reluctant to do so--they have a nice conversation, discuss some family history, and finally get down to business.[/size]

[size=1]"You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you."[/size]

[size=1]"You seem a decent fellow. I hate to die."[/size]

[size=1]Tell me that's not awesome, and I will laugh at you. [/size]

[size=1]It still cracks me up how gentlemanly they are to each other. The run around the ruins, fighting and discussing technique. "You are using [some particular] defense against me, eh?" "I thought it fitting, considering the rocky terrain."[/size]


[size=1]I mean, come on. Cooldom.[/size]


[size=1]Plus you have the exciting twist in the middle. (It [i]is[/i] exciting. I've seen the movie more times than I can count, and I still get excited here.) [/size]

[size=1]"I must admit it, you are better than I am."[/size]

[size=1]"Then why are you smiling?"[/size]

[size=1]"Because I know something you don't know."[/size]

[size=1]"And what is that?"[/size]

[size=1][spoiler]"[i]I[/i] am not left-handed."[/spoiler] [/size]

[size=1]*happy fangirl sound*[/size]

[size=1]Heh. Skipping over the Battle of Wits and the fireswamp, etc., we eventually get to point number two: [b]Inigo vs. Count Rugen.[/b][/size]

[size=1]I mean, come [i]on[/i]. Talk about your great movie moments.[/size]

[size=1]Inigo has been waiting for [i]twenty years[/i] to find this guy. Training, studying, searching. "It's been twenty years, and I am starting to lose confidence." (Fun quote: "I just work for Vizzini to pay the bills. There's not a lot of money in revenge.")[/size]

[size=1]And he finds him. Slaughters everyone who comes charging at him, and faces Rugen.[/size]

[size=1]"'Ello. My name in Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. [i]Prepare to die.[/i]" [/size]

[size=1]And Rugen [spoiler][i]runs[/i].[/spoiler][/size]

[size=1]Awesome moment, heh.[/size]

[size=1]And then, of course, you have the chase, the locked door, the run down the staircase, Rugen's nasty unsportingness, and, of course, Inigo's chillworthy victory.[/size]

[size=1]How is this not the greatest movie ever?[/size]
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Guest Midnight Rush
The Showdown at the House of the Blue Leaves is the best fight scene I have ever seen. Forty-odd Yakuza swords(wo)men and a grand Lady of the Sword vs. one pissed off American chick....gotta love it.

The way it starts out is kick ***...the whole car buildup scenes with the awesome music, then the Sophie Fatale thing...and then finally the Bride saying, "O-ren Ishii!"

I get chills down my spine everytime.

Then after she kills the peons, the club's owner's wife is slipping on all the blood, and there are limbless people everywhere...pure excellence.

Followed by... Bride v. O-ren, in which, as always, my favorite character gets killed. But the music in the back and the choreographing are just superlative!
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I was just reading this, and the fact that the [spoiler]father[/spoiler] thing was spoilered out is hilarious.

The fact that everyone doesn't know that already boggles my mind. I spoilered out my post not to be hypocritical, but because I wasn't sure if that was an issue that has been discussed before about Star Wars "spoilers" and how those people living under a rock did actually plan to see the movies eventually and didn't want them "ruined" for themselves...

As far as fights go...there are a bajillion awesome fights out there. There's story driven epic fights like Luke vs. Vader, etc etc, and then there's those awesome fights with Jackie Chan and stuff.
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[QUOTE=Midnight Rush]
Then after she kills the peons, the club's owner's wife is slipping on all the blood, and there are limbless people everywhere...pure excellence.
[/QUOTE]
[color=#707875]She was the proprietor, not the proprietor's wife. ~_^

But yeah, that whole scene was very good. In my opinion, some specific shots from that fight are going to be well-known and remembered for many years to come (like The Bride running up the bannister, and The Bride swinging down on the bamboo). I think that is how we might judge the overall impact of the movie in years to come, as in, a lot of people will recognize those scenes.[/color]
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Guest ScirosDarkblade
I didn't really read all of the above posts, but has anyone mentioned Equilibrium? That film has some of the best action scenes I've seen in a long time. As BS-ish as the premise of the combat system in the film is, it looks really cool. The choreography in that movie is very impressive, and Christian Bale pulls it off quite well. I can't wait to see what he does in Batman Begins.

And I noticed James was ripping on Van Damme, heh. Well, while his films aren't very good for the most part ("not very good" being an understatement), his technique is very, very good. Kickboxer, Bloodsport, Lionheart, and Double Impact have some sweet moments because Van Damme's kicks are just [i]that[/i] awesome. The only other martial artist I've seen in films (besides Bruce Lee, of course) who has a technique that refined is Jet Li. Jackie Chan, as great as he is (as a martial artist he IS better, as an actor he is better, as a writer/director/choreographer/stuntman/everything he is better), doesn't have the kicking technique that Van Damme does. Which is why I still enjoy watching the fights in his older films. If you ask me they're 100 times more impressive than MK.
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[QUOTE=AnujSuper9]I was just reading this, and the fact that the [spoiler]father[/spoiler] thing was spoilered out is hilarious.

The fact that everyone doesn't know that already boggles my mind. I spoilered out my post not to be hypocritical, but because I wasn't sure if that was an issue that has been discussed before about Star Wars "spoilers" and how those people living under a rock did actually plan to see the movies eventually and didn't want them "ruined" for themselves...[/QUOTE]
Just a quick thing about that, heh. When you figure that during filming of Empire Strikes Back, apart from Lucas, Kirshner, and one or two other members of the production staff, nobody else was aware of the truth. Mark Hamill was told only a few minutes before the scene was shot, as was David Prowse (who played Vader). Literally, Lucas or Kirshner took Hamill aside a minute or two before that shot, saying, "Okay, Mark, up until this point, this is what you've been hearing, but this is what he's really going to say..."

That's how it went, lol, so, if the actual actors had no idea, I don't think it's all that outrageous to believe that some people don't know. Plus, it's a pretty huge plot twist, and I know Manic likes us to Spoiler tag stuff like that, so that's why.

Hot Shots! Part Deux is sitting here next to me. Lloyd Bridges rocks, and his fight at the end with Saddam Hussein is hilarious. I love how many different movies they mock there...Star Wars, Terminator, even a bizarre twist on Peter Pan, it seems (the shadows fighting, while the President and Saddam chug some Gatorade). Great fight, simply because it's just so ridiculous. ^_^
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[quote name='Siren']Just a quick thing about that, heh. When you figure that during filming of Empire Strikes Back, apart from Lucas, Kirshner, and one or two other members of the production staff, nobody else was aware of the truth. Mark Hamill was told only a few minutes before the scene was shot, as was David Prowse (who played Vader). Literally, Lucas or Kirshner took Hamill aside a minute or two before that shot, saying, "Okay, Mark, up until this point, this is what you've been hearing, but this is what he's really going to say..."[/quote]
If that's true, that's (albeit cool) a terrible way to direct. It's one of the most important scenes in the star wars history and not giving them time to properly prepare is terrible. Thank God they're all awesome actors. :D

[QUOTE]That's how it went, lol, so, if the actual actors had no idea, I don't think it's all that outrageous to believe that some people don't know. Plus, it's a pretty huge plot twist, and I know Manic likes us to Spoiler tag stuff like that, so that's why.[/QUOTE]
Well, it is a pretty big spoiler, but honestly, the people now are reasonably honed in on plot twists and things for it to be quite apparent and evident what the "twist" here would be. It is quite predictable, even if it is fantastic. But anyways, that's why I said it was funny, not because the spoiler was unnecessary, but because the idea that people don't know that by now is crazy...especially with the re-release of the movies on DVD....I imagine within the next couple months, the people that haven't seen it, will.
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Quick Off-Topic Film Lesson.

[quote name='AnujSuper9']If that's true, that's (albeit cool) a terrible way to direct. It's one of the most important scenes in the star wars history and not giving them time to properly prepare is terrible. Thank God they're all awesome actors. :D[/quote]
Ah, but think about where their characters are at that point in the Saga. Yes, they're all fantastic actors and play their parts very well, but what better way to elicit Luke's reaction of shock, horror and dread at the news, than to keep it a secret from both Luke and Hamill the entire time, up until that scene is shot? It's actually a very brilliant way to direct, when you think about it. By keeping that from them, the reaction of Hamill's is totally, and completely shock and surprise. There is no acting there. That's how it actually hit him, more or less. The "NOOOOO!" was added, I'm sure, but...the reaction is natural.

I highly recommend that you check out the recently released DVDs. That whole story behind that scene is totally true, and it's rightly considered one of the greatest filmmaking techniques in history.

And this technique isn't exclusive to Star Wars, either.

If you were to look into the history of The Fly (1958), you'll see that in order to capture the true shock of Helene Delambre (played by Patricia Owens), the filmmakers withheld the actual creature until the very end. When that hood is pulled off in the Finale of the film...that's the first time the actors saw it, and Patricia Owens' reaction is a real one; she's actually deathly afraid of insects.

Keeping a secret under wraps isn't unheard of, at all. For John Carpenter's The Thing, absolutely no publicity stills were allowed to be taken, and reference and progress photos were kept to a bare minimum, to help authenticate the reactions of both the actors and the audience.

[quote]Well, it is a pretty big spoiler, but honestly, the people now are reasonably honed in on plot twists and things for it to be quite apparent and evident what the "twist" here would be. It is quite predictable, even if it is fantastic. But anyways, that's why I said it was funny, not because the spoiler was unnecessary, but because the idea that people don't know that by now is crazy...especially with the re-release of the movies on DVD....I imagine within the next couple months, the people that haven't seen it, will.[/QUOTE]
If someone is a Star Wars virgin, they would not have been able to predict that twist. Even someone who is very well trained/experienced in film theory wouldn't pick up on it until that scene. That's why we Spoiler it. Because it's a Spoiler, regardless of who has or has not seen it. OB is not only viewed by OBers, after all. There are Guests viewing the threads. Spoilering is a good idea, and I think Manic actually made a Sticky thread about it up near the top of the Movie Forum.

Better safe than sorry, you know?
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[quote name='Siren']I highly recommend that you check out the recently released DVDs. That whole story behind that scene is totally true, and it's rightly considered one of the greatest filmmaking techniques in history.[/quote]
Yes, thinking of it that way is also true. I was just thinking about it...how much different would the rest of the movie had been if Luke (Hamill) knew that [spoiler]Vader was his father[/spoiler] when they were still back on Tatooine shooting the scene where Obi-Wan was telling him about his Father, or the scene on Dagobah before going to Cloud City with Obi-Wan and Yoda. Yes, it was perhaps a really good tactic coupled with the fact that they are great actors. I suppose we can also assume that the actors did have a sentimental attachment to the characters also, because without any sentimental attachment, something like that probably wouldn't have worked either.

And I do have the DVDs and I like them very much. :D
Haven't watched all of the extras yet though.

[QUOTE]Better safe than sorry, you know?[/QUOTE]
Yeah, sure. Why not?
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I have to mention [i]The One[/i], starring Jet Li. That fight scene at the end was just awesome. We've got two super-fighters, both played by Jet Li (I think. I'm not quite sure how they did that fight), ducking it out with incredible martial arts moves. And it lasts for a long time, too.

I also have to mention a scene near the end of Equilibrium, where the main character (I forget his name) enters a large room filled with soldiers (or cops, or whatever they're supposed to be). He tosses two full clips into the room, then pulls out his two guns and starts shooting. When he empties his clips, he does a quick reload. He' been alking through the room this whole time, and when he empties his second pari of clips, he's by the clips he threw. he ejects the empty clips, rolls, and brings his guns down perfectly on the full clips. More shooting, then he kicks a dead soldier's gun up and empties it into the reamining soldiers. Just awesome.
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[COLOR=Navy][SIZE=1]I have to say my all time favorite movie fight has to be from my all time favorite movie Fight Club.

When Edward Norton's character fights himself in his bosses office and his inner monologue says "For some reason I thought back to my first fight with Tyler" all the way to when the security guards barge in on him on his knee's nose busted open and he says "Oh thank you god, please dont hit me anymore" everytime I see that scene I cant help but getting a huge grin on my face.[/SIZE][/COLOR]
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[size=1][color=purple]Yeah, most of the best fight scenes I've ever watched came from Jackie Chan. :3

BUT, my favorite ones--well, ones that I get a kick out of most--are the ones from The Terminator III. W00T!!! I dunno if you could call it a "fight scene", but it's just awesome when two psychotic robots/androids are going at each other in the most awesomest of ways (ok, I'm at a lack for more descriptive words now 9_9)--

--chasing each other down in big-a** trucks and car crane things through neighborhoods and freeways is a lot more fun than kicks and punches. And when the Terminator leaps from the side of the road and lands on the roof the car that Arnold dude and the guy and girl were in (argh, I can't believe I forgot all their names!!), it turns its arm into some buzz-saw, and starts tearing through the metal.

And when it wasn't able to use its "primary weapon" anymore (damaged), which made me laugh crazily, it busted out some wicked flamethrower. But the BEST out of all this was near the end, [spoiler]when Arnold took some self-destructive device out of his chest, activated it, and rammed it into the Terminator's throat, then simply said, "You are terminated", as they were being crushed under the exit/entrance's door, after he had prevented the Terminator from killing the main guy and his future wife.[/spoiler]

Hahaha. There's just something satisfying about hard-hitting, simple fights that include human actors, in the role of being actual machines, that say little, at par with each other (usually one running from the other), and with hardly any expressions on their faces, and pretty much using whatever they can to go at each other--from trucks and semis to metal pipes and car doors. They just [i]fight.[/i] No blabbing, no "discussions" or stupid strategy lessons--just FIGHTING. ;)

(Which is what Naruto needs a LOT less of, but that's for another time.) [/color][/size]
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[quote name='ScirosDarkblade']I didn't really read all of the above posts, but has anyone mentioned Equilibrium? That film has some of the best action scenes I've seen in a long time. As BS-ish as the premise of the combat system in the film is, it looks really cool. The choreography in that movie is very impressive, and Christian Bale pulls it off quite well. I can't wait to see what he does in Batman Begins.[/quote][i]Word.[/i]

Equilibrium was a great movie, even though the plot wasn't all that original (it reeks of The Giver, Farenheight 451, and 1984). I think their combat system is actually fairly plausible, given that people have no emotion and therefore no reason to back out of their training just because it is tiring; they know, logically, that it will be a better choice in the end. And it makes for some awesome fight scenes, even though Christian Bale's character seemed a little too invincible.

Also, The One had some supremely kickass fights in it. I think a major contributer to that was the music, which can really make or break a fight scene.

[i]Of coure[/i] The Matrix trilogy (and The Animatrix, to be sure) had some awe-inspiring fight scenes. I especially liked the Neo-Seraph fight and the Neo-Smith real life fight.
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