The 27 Best Fight Scenes of the 21st Century
So Far, Ranked
COLLIDER by Haleigh Foutch February 8, 2017
- Kill Bill Vol. 1 – The Bride vs. Gogo Yubari and the Crazy 88
Choreographed by: Yuen Woo-ping and Tetsuro Shimaguchi
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Ok, so this might be a little of a cheat. Technically, I’m pretty sure these are considered two separate fight scenes, but since one leads directly into the other, I’m going to be indulgent and slap ‘em together. Because truly, they are both remarkable, but they are best when seen together. This ain’t just one of the greats of the 21st century; it’s one of the best fight scenes of all time. Quentin Tarantino is an impossible filmmaker to pigeonhole, but it would certainly be a stretch to say he’s an action director, and yet with his Kill Bill films, he channeled a lifetime’s worth of love for Kung Fu into a loving homage that samples so liberally, it earns a flavor all it’s own.
Every single fight in Kill Bill Vol. 1 is pretty much a masterpiece. Tarantino recruited legendary martial arts choreographer Yuen Woo-ping and sword fight choreographer Tetsuro Shimaguchi, for the film and the results are the kind that go down in movie history. The Bride vs. Vernita Green is a pulverizing punch-fest. The Bride vs. O-Ren Ishii is an elegant and refined Katana duel. But the fight with Gogo Yubari and the subsequent battle with the Crazy 88 is so iconic, it’s probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the movie. The sequences are vicious and wildly violent, with spurts of blood and bone shattering contact, but they are also incredibly playful. And the powerhouse duo of Uma Thurman, who sells ever dramatic beat trough the madness, and her stunt double Zoe Bell, who makes her look like a superhuman force of nature, deliver each moment to perfection.
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