14 Movie Fight Scenes That Would Have Ended Earlier If The Bad Guys Didn't Wait Their Turn To Fight

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Vote up the fight scenes where the bad guys should have come up with a better plan.

There's nothing that stands out quite like a long fight scene in which the bad guys take on the hero one at a time. It's just not plausible! There's a decent handful of nonsensical things we accept in movies and TV, but taking turns during fight scenes is one of the most conspicuous. For some, it's just an accepted convention of the genre; for others, it's an irritating action movie faux pas. Either way, it occurs more often than you might think.

While waiting on the sidelines until an opponent has defeated one of your buddies - or several of them in a row - doesn't make much sense, it continues to happen in films time and time again. We've compiled a list of some of the best long movie fight scenes that could have ended much sooner if the bad guys didn't follow this unwritten rule.


  • The Bride Vs. The Crazy 88 In 'Kill Bill: Vol. 1'
    Photo: Miramax

    In Kill Bill: Vol. 1, one of the most memorable fight scenes occurs between the Bride (Uma Thurman) and a group of skilled assassins known as the Crazy 88. Inspired by old-school Japanese cinema, the scene involves choreographed martial arts, dozens of samurai swords, and buckets of blood (so much so that director Quentin Tarantino had to adjust the scene to black-and-white to avoid an NC-17 rating).

    If you look in the background during this extended setpiece, you'll notice the Crazy 88 members foolishly hang out on the sidelines, waiting for their turn to take a swing at the Bride. Rather than working together to take her down, they waste their efforts sparring in the background, doing little to assist their fallen comrades.

    Not only do the Crazy 88 allow her all the time in the world to defeat them, they also make her feel relaxed enough to get creative with her professional skill set - including gouging a dude's eye out one-handed. The Bride takes out every foe with relative ease. Still, Tarantino's talent for cinematic gore makes up for the Crazy 88's flawed attack strategy.

  • Constantine follows rogue hunter and occult detective John Constantine (Keanu Reeves) as he attempts to do heaven's work by exorcising demons. In exchange, he hopes the angels will cure him of his lung cancer and extend his life, but he's met with resistance. After an attempt to take his own life leaves him with a one-way ticket to hell upon his eventual passing, Constantine attempts to redeem his soul by exorcising a demon out of Los Angeles detective Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz).

    He's met by an army of half-demons who, despite their numbers, are no match for Constantine and his fire sprinkler system full of holy water. After setting off the sprinkler with a lighter, he watches as the demons writhe in pain. One by one they come after him, allowing him to take them out with minimal effort.

    Not only would the demons have taken care of business if they'd taken a smarter approach, but the whole thing also could have been over pretty quickly if most of them didn't disappear halfway into the scene. While at first we can see them all continuing to squirm around in the background, those who don't charge at Constantine strangely go missing. Are they hiding? Did they run away? The opposing army getting inexplicably cut in half is, if nothing else, a nice stroke of luck for our hero.

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    Frank Martin Vs. Carjackers In 'Transporter 2'

    One scene in Transporter 2 guilty of this action movie cliche is the carjacking scene. A group of thugs foolishly attempt to carjack Frank's beloved vehicle, unaware of his ninja-like skills. Despite the fact that it's five against one - and the five have a side arm - the fearless driver has no problem defeating them all.

    Before the brawl even begins, the young offenders allow Frank to take off his freshly dry-cleaned jacket, fold it, and place it on the roof of the vehicle. That's the scene's first abnormality; the second is when the petty crooks all spread out to make room for the scuffle's choreography. It's almost as if every move in the fight was carefully mapped out and rehearsed.

    Remaining consistent with an all-too-common trend, the group chooses to go after Frank one at a time rather than choosing a more logical alternative. He goes fairly easy on them, though, perhaps because the female carjacker's minuscule plaid skirt - as well as several comments about school - suggests these might be mere teenagers. In the end, Frank gets his car back - and his assailants are taught a lesson that might make them think twice the next time they set their sights on a new set of wheels.

  • The classic kung fu film Fist of Fury features a rivalry between the students of late martial arts master Huo Yuanjia and Japanese dojo grandmaster Hiroshi Suzuki (Riki Hashimoto). When Suzuki's students show up at Yuanjia's funeral and disrespect him, one of Yuanjia's former students decides to seek revenge.

    Chen Zhen (Bruce Lee) shows up to the Japanese dojo looking for a fight and ends up throwing down with Suzuki and about two dozen of his pupils. In true kung fu fashion, Zhen is first surrounded by his opponents before they lunge at him in a single-file line. Similar to the scene in Ip Man, those who aren't caught up in the action stand around in the background in a fighting stance patiently waiting for their turn to be knocked out. 

    In between challengers, Zhen has enough time to flex his muscles and pose for Suzuki, who looks on in horror as his men are taken down with ease. Every now and then, two or three men jump in at once, resulting in epic moves like Zhen swinging them around like a helicopter before tossing them aside.