Posted by Joby Bongco @BookofJoby
Martial arts instructor, walker stalker, movie lover, Disney fanatic, pop culture junkie, MMA enthusiast and all around nerd
Joby Bongco

We can all agree that fight sequences in movies are pretty awesome. The stunt choreography and coordination are some of the most entertaining parts to any action movie. But there is one thing that every on-screen fight needs: a suspended belief in reality. What does that mean exactly? Well.... take this classic scene from Mortal Kombat:

In a lot of cases, the choreography of a fight is made to have a lot of flashy moves. Often times those techniques are either incredibly difficult to pull off or just plain illogical to attempt, but, they do make for an exciting fight.

Of course there are some outliers to everything. Case in point, the most well known kick in cinema history: the crane kick.

Given this has a bit more flare than what's actually needed, the kick is pretty useful in real life. In essence, "the crane kick" is nothing more than a jumping snap kick (for non-martial artists - an attack where a person leaps off one foot and kicks upward with the same leg). While it's not the most used technique from a sports standpoint, there have been some devastating "crane kicks." Anyone remember Lyoto Machida's knock out over Randy Couture?

With this in mind, here are some of Hollywood's most ridiculous fight moves!

1. Head Scissor Takedowns

So.... how did the guy on the ground get knocked down?
So.... how did the guy on the ground get knocked down?

I don't think there has been a single movie where Black Widow does not show a variation of this move. As cool as this move seems and looks on screen, the application and execution of the technique is incredibly difficult. Yes, some forms of martial arts do actually teach this a feasible technique, but there are many other tactics a person can use that will a) be much more accurate, b) expend a lot less energy, and c) protect the user if the opponent decides to counter. Side note: it's also safe to assume (about 90% of the time) you can rule out an attack if it is a signature move in WWE.

2. "Gymnastic" Attacks

Watch Captain!
Watch Captain!

Gymnastics is not known to be a contact sport so the fact that film makers insist on using these moves over and over again is beyond me. Whether it is a back flip over a charging opponent, a cartwheel to pick up a sword while kicking a man in the face, or dive rolling under an attack, all of it is just impractical. Committing yourself full-force into one move can either land you in a bad spot or something can go seriously wrong in the process. Just take this example of someone trying to flip over an opponent's guard.....


3. Fancy Kicks

Missed it by that much.....
Missed it by that much.....

Speaking of impractical moves, whatever happened to the concept of "sticking to the basics?" Even in movies, some basics like push kicks can be pretty entertaining and incredibly effective. But insisting on implementing spinning back kicks, two-legged drop kicks or kicking multiple enemies in the face with one fluid motion is a bit much. A good feint will be just as effective in catching someone off guard than an unorthodox attack. Also, faking someone out can add some humor into the fight scene (just watch a Jackie Chan movie for an example).

4. Suplex/Big Throws

Through a table?! Maybe this is WWE...
Through a table?! Maybe this is WWE...

More often than not, big powerhouse takedown moves like a suplex will expend a lot of energy. Sure, it can be very dynamic and possibly deal a big amount of damage. But even with a huge hit like that, it may not be the end-all-be-all move. Just watch this classic fight between Fedor Emelianko and Kevin Randleman.

Even the core concept of taking an opponent down on the street is not the smartest move. There can be a lot of other factors to consider like broken glass or sharp objects on the floor, falling off/over/onto obstacles or even the opponent having comrades that will jump in while you're on the ground. Not a good position for you to be in.

5. Throwing Away Weapons

Yes, the video above is satire, but the idea still stands!

I can't remember how many times I've seen movies where the hero acquires some sort of weapon, uses it to take out a henchman or three and then drops it to fight another guy. Why not just use it on everyone else? But you see it everywhere in different ways: throwing knives and not retrieving them, discarding a broken weapon or getting rid of an unloaded/empty gun.

Weapons can arguably equalize any fight. Take the tale of David Vs. Goliath. Small man with weapon takes down the giant. Another example, and one of my personal favorites, is from In Bruges when Colin Farrell has a gun with blanks. Even without bullets, it can still do a hell of a lot of damage...

Don't get me wrong, some of my favorite movies have insane fight scenes and I do enjoy the vast majority of them. Sometimes a bit of ridiculousness and impossibility can be extremely entertaining (Fast and the Furious anyone?). But on the other hand, when I'm watching a highly trained person do something plain illogical, it really throws me off sometimes. Kind of like when you see someone run in a straight line when being shot at from behind. Seriously.... SERPENTINE YOU IDIOT!


What ridiculous fight move grinds your gears?