There comes a time in most action films when the hero has to take a stand. They look around and they're surrounded by goons, baddies, and just all around ill-tempered foes; they're faced with the choice of giving up... or going head-to-head with everyone in their way. One-man army fight scenes aren't just awesome, they're breathtaking in scope and give everyone involved with a film a chance to flex their muscles.
Fight scenes that feature the hero fighting as many villains as possible tend to take virtually every action trope and throw them against the silver screen. Aside from the unusually elaborate stunt work, you've the old standby of low-level antagonists who wait their turn to fight, you've got good old-fashioned dogpiles (including one courtesy of America's favorite shield-wielding tough guy), you've got heroes who give it their all in a skirmish... only to discover there's still a lot more fighting to do. These fight scenes have all of that and more - and with the added stakes of putting all the pressure on a single person to come out of each scrape alive.
Remember to vote up your favorite lopsided fight scenes.
Who’s Fighting? Steve Rogers, the original Captain America, is still recovering from the Battle of New York when he discovers that S.H.I.E.L.D has been compromised. Not only is he pumped up on superhuman serum, but he has a determination to fight for the good of humanity. It's going to take more than an elevator full of thugs to take him down.
How Many Is He Fighting? Nine compromised S.H.I.E.L.D agents are treated like absolute rag dolls in this classic MCU dog pile.
How Does It Go? This elevator fight scene is a masterclass in tension. Everyone in the audience knows Cap is going to fight the compromised agents, but it's the waiting that makes the scene so exciting. As more and more guys pile into the elevator with Cap, it's hard not to wonder when the inevitable fight is going to break out. When everything finally goes down, there's a genuine release. The fight itself is absolutely thrilling, as we get to see our hero take on the whole group in a confined space. At one point, Cap fights everyone with one hand before freeing himself from a magnetic lock and taking the rest of them out. By the end of the fight, Cap is faced with the possibility of fighting EVEN MORE agents - and instead decides to try his luck jumping head-first out of a glass elevator.8017Impressive feat?
- Photo: Well Go USA Entertainment
Who’s Fighting? Ip Man, a Chinese martial artist who works in coal mines to provide for his family while fighting Japanese soldiers in intense tournaments for nothing but bags of rice.
How Many Is He Fighting? Ten black belts step up to challenge Ip Man, and there's the suggestion that he could fight more of them if things escalated that far.
How Does It Go? This scene literally begins with a government guy telling his boss, "He wants to fight 10 men." In less than three minutes, Ip Man delivers a series of incredibly painful-looking blows to a group of black belts who do their best to stop him, though it's really no use. Many of the fight scenes collected here feel heightened or fantastic, but there's a realism to this scene that makes us feel every fast-paced, bone-crunching punch. Ip Man takes out all 10 black belts, only to be surrounded by MORE martial artists. It's safe to say he'd probably wreck shop on these guys, too, if they weren't held back by Japanese Karate master General Miura.584Impressive feat?
- Photo: New Line Cinema
Who’s Fighting? Blade, the daywalker, is a man with a single mission: Take out every vampire that he can.
How Many Is He Fighting? Hundreds of vampires test their might against Blade in this sequence, but he probably only has a legit fight with 50 or 60 baddies. Still, any and every bloodsucker has a target on their back in this sequence.
How Does It Go? Is this the best introduction of a character ever? After shutting off the blood rain spraying over a group of vampire ravers, Blade pulls out every pointy thing and shotgun shell in his arsenal while laying waste to anyone who dares to take him on. Heads are blasted off, people are melted, and guys are cut up - and that's before a pack of bloodsucking goons show up to fight Blade in an empty pool. The coolest moment in this sequence comes when Blade throws a Batarang-looking thing around a circle of vampires and cuts off their heads.5410Impressive feat?
- Photo: Focus Features
Who’s Fighting? Hanna, a 15-year-old trained to be an assassin since birth, has to escape from a secret CIA base if she wants to keep from being turned into a government asset against her will.
How Many Is She Fighting? Something like 30 CIA agents are embarrassed by a teenager in a three-minute scene.
How Does It Go? Much of this one-vs-many fight scene is technically an escape sequence, but that doesn't make it any less cool. Things are set in motion as Hanna is interviewed by a woman pretending to be senior CIA officer Marissa Wiegler. Hanna snaps the woman's neck before getting her hands on a 9mm and taking out every soldier in the room before they can react, then shoots out all of the cameras surrounding her. Hanna then leads a TON of agents on a chase out of the facility.412Impressive feat?