The 2014-15 season of TV was a landmark one for superhero TV shows! To celebrate, AP2HYC is hosting its first annual TV Awards. Make sure you vote for your favorites at the end of each article and keep checking back to see who wins!
Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!
What good is a superhero show or film without a good fight scene or two? We’ve seen plenty of fights in comic books, but we want to watch the action between our favorite heroes and villains actually play out in real-time. There were so many good fight scenes in the 2014-2015 television season that it may be hard to choose which one was the best. Check out our nominees for the best fight scene of 2014-2015!
Featuring contributions from writers: Ryan Fitzmartin, Alex Reale, Kathleen McEneaney, Scott Swartz, Jason Wong
1. Daredevil Hallway Fight – Daredevil
The hallway fight in Daredevil is terrifically badass. Daredevil takes on a gang of human traffickers in a brutal long take. The masterfully directed sequence evokes Oldboy as Daredevil viciously goes blow-to-blow with the gang of thugs. A bruised Daredevil winces with every punch thrown and received as he pushes himself to the limit. Masterful cinematography by Matthew J. Lloyd makes the sequence feel simultaneously confined and kinetic. The sequence establishes Daredevil as a rough-and-tumble street hero who is far from invincible, but whose greatest strength is his sheer force of will. It also establishes Daredevil as a dark, violent, intensely serious show. The hallway fight in Daredevil isn’t just the best fight of the year; it’s a landmark moment in superhero television.
2. The Flash vs. The Arrow – The Flash
You might think that a guy with super-speed could easily destroy a guy whose only weapons were arrows. Guess again. The Flash and the Arrow going face-to-face had to be one of the best moments of either show so far, which is funny when you realize that the fight only lasted for a minute or two. Something about seeing these two do battle was just so damn satisfying. I can’t tell if the best part was seeing them actually exchanging blows in a brief boxing sequence, or watching Arrow use some of his trademark trick arrows like the grappling hook and the horse tranquilizer dart. It could also be the final shot where Arrow tricks the Flash with two strategically shot bolts from his motorcycle in order to distract him long enough for another surprise attack. This whole fight scene is amazing, and goes to show how a modern-day Robin Hood can take down the supposed “fastest man alive” with just a few years of experience and a couple of well-timed contingency plans.
3. Agent Carter vs. Dottie Underwood – Agent Carter
In film and television, fights between two women are often categorized as “cat fights,” characterized by slaps and hair pulling. However, in Agent Carter, they do not fall into this lame trap. In the fight between Agent Carter and Dottie, both women are trained fighters and are out for some serious blood. Involving a gun, knife, baseball bat, and hand-to-hand combat, this fight is the Cold War personified. This fight also presents Dottie and Peggy’s different fighting styles. Dottie is stronger physically, but Peggy wins out in the end due to her patience, observant tactics, a well-placed kick, and a window.
4. The Flash, the Arrow, and Firestorm vs. Reverse Flash – The Flash
Ok, so there are actually a lot of really solid candidates for this category and it could easily go a bunch of different ways, but come on; it’s gotta be DC’s Heroes United vs. Reverse Flash. You have all of this build-up as Barry can’t take Eobard on alone, and right after a crushing loss to Captain Cold, the cavalry finally arrives to do battle. Barry and Eobard racing around S.T.A.R. Labs, Ollie learning from his previous battle with Barry as to how to combat a speedster, Firestorm throwing fireballs. All the while, Eobard is just being a solid force as he manages to overwhelm each member of the team individually. The choreography and staging of the entire fight helps to show off what each member of the team can do and just how OP the Reverse Flash is by comparison. I also probably fist-pumped more at this single scene than any other fight scene in the running.
5. Daredevil vs. Nobu – Daredevil
Fight choreographer Philip J. Silvera purposely designed the fight scenes to look dirty and thuggish in the early episodes to reflect Daredevil’s work-in-progress fighting style. It wasn’t until he fought Nobu, probably of The Hand, that he came up against someone with his own skill set. While just as dark as preceding fight scenes, this was easier to follow because of the clean moves from both combatants (although the bright red ninja suit helped to offset all the blacks). Narratively, this fight revealed just how casually sloppy Murdock was as he was outclassed by the proper ninja reversing the trend Daredevil had been applying to his victims until now. Visually, highlights include a post-flip punch to the face before even hitting the floor and one fighter continuing despite complete immolation, as though the Human Torch had learned Kung Fu. Extra credit to Silvera for stunt-doubling for Nobu in this fight.
6. Skye vs. HYDRA – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Whereas Daredevil’s longer single-take hallway fight scene included a lot of off-screen fisticuffs and stunt-double switching, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had Chloe Bennet train to be on camera for her entire single-take, action-packed neutralization of a room full of HYDRA agents. This kinetic scene was far more impressive and convincing than anything Bennet’s Skye had done before or since as she flipped, rolled, kicked, and shot almost a dozen enemies with the Matrix-like efficiency of a video game mastery achievement. My hat’s off to the hard work of Bennet, episode director Kevin Tancharoen, and fight coordinator Matt Mullins. Check it out yourself and see if you don’t agree that it’s easily the best action sequence in two seasons of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and possibly of all TV this year.
Any fight in particular that you think deserves the number-one spot? Cast your votes below!
Best Fight Scene of 2014-15