I am going to flat out say that Captain America: The Winter Soldier hands down has the best fight scenes of all of the comic book movies! Before I even start this blog post I wanted to say that.
My friend @TonySavv_ on twitter asked me:
Actually, you know what.
I just screenshotted then uploaded the photo when I realized that I read his tweet wrong the whole time. I shit you not. In my head, I read,
“What was a better fight scene? The Winter Soldier Highway fight with Cap or Dawn of Justice fight with Superman?” I swear to you that is what I read. And now I feel like an idiot because:
A.) He’s asking about the choreography.
B.) I was going to talk about why both of the scenes work the way that they do.
C.) I already took mad notes on what the fuck I was about to start talking about.
So here is whats going to happen: I’m going to answer @TonySavv_ ‘s question at the end of this and start talking about why I started this post:
WHY THE WINTER SOLDIER FIGHT AGAINST CAP IS BETTER THAN THE BATMAN V. SUPERMAN FIGHT.
BATMAN v. SUPERMAN
It was clear that in creating this movie Zack Snyder took some heavy influences from the comic book by Frank Miller, “THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS”. Everything from old man Batman to his mech suit was spot on. Zack even tried to get the fight to look the way it did in the comics. There was just a couple of other issues with his approach to the material.
If you watch the Batman V. Superman showdown you’ll notice that the pacing of the scene was super slow! LIKE OH MY FUCKING GOD JUST FUCKING KILL HIM ALREADY! The scene was so overly dramatic almost like it was a play, or two guys fighting at the medieval times (the place where you eat and watch people fake kill each other live). Every time one of the characters got hit there were a good five seconds of a break for us to see character expressions and even hear some dialogue. Why is there talking in the middle of the FUCKING FIGHT! IF YOU’RE GOING TO KILL SOMEONE FUCKING DO IT, BATMAN!
The filmmakers knew that the pacing of the film was a big issue because if you pay close attention to the music, they do everything in their power to make sure that us, the viewer is not falling asleep. The music is so loud and extra where the intensity of the music is not even matching the intensity of what’s happening on screen. They try adding a ticking clock to add tension to the scene but that doesn’t even work! It’s unmotivated, and if the fight was good then they wouldn’t need so much to try to make sure our attention was being held. The music was intense for what we were lacking in visuals.
In the animated “THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS” adaptation this fight worked great because it was Superman’s MISSION to take out Batman. There was no other choice. There is a clear-cut goal. And so if Batman was getting physical with Superman it would make more sense for Superman to be frustrated because the two already have a relationship and it’s clear that Clark doesn’t want to kill Bruce. But, at the same time, Superman does not hold back on Batman either. In fact, the pacing of that fight was two times better than the Zack Snyder adaption and it resembled The General Zod Man of Steel fight more than anything.
The motivation for the fight was awful too because if you need someone’s help you can’t force push them to the ground. Yes, Batman was being very childish using all of his gadgets to annoy Superman. But remember that the point of Superman being there is to try to get help. Superman is not being vocal at all. He just pops up, lets Batman play with his toys, then tries to beat the shit out of him. If he were to approach Batman calmly and tell him,
“Lex Luther has my mother. I know we have differences but can we please set them aside for now. I NEED YOU.” Batman would feel like a complete piece of shit. He would think,
“Gee. This guy is actually more human than me. Look at me. I’m old, I cant retire, I have a spear downstairs ready to kill this guy, and I’ve been training to murder a creature that has someone to love. A mother. I’ve been finessed by Lex.” There would be no need for the overly dramatic,
“MARTHA!” scene. We just saved half an hour so that we can go save Clark’s mother.
A big problem with the fight from Batman v. Superman has to do with the characters themselves. From one look at Superman, we already know that he can kick Batman’s ass. And that’s why Batman needs that Mech suit. BUT STILL, even if Batman has the suit on Superman can still snatch his ass out of it, break his arms, then use heat vision to burn Batman’s skull. BUT, if Batman has Kryptonite that changes the game. Except, we already know that once Kryptonite is in the equation Superman is a little bitch. He can’t do shit. So now no matter what you have two extreme characters that can either easily win, or easily die. There is no balance, there is no in between, meaning there is no invitation to challenge.
If there is no challenge in the film then it is a boring movie. EVERY GOOD STORY IN HISTORY IS ABOUT CHALLENGE. This movie messes itself up because it is rushing too fast to a place that they don’t even know where they want to go! The fight scene showed that. The movie was trying to be very philosophical, especially in this scene. The Winter Soldier fight is better because it does all of this in the opposite way.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER
Remember when I said that this has the best fight scene of all time? I still mean that! Everything from the choreography to the setting, to the music, was perfect.
Long before we met the Winter Soldier we heard countless stories of him. We watched the Winter Soldier finish off Nick Fury, we see him catch Caps shield like a fucking frisbee, then before the big highway fight, we see him straight up murder Agent Sitwell for releasing information that he shouldn’t have, no questions asked.
The filmmakers made sure that when it came time for us to meet the Winter Soldier face to face, we would be shitting our pants. WHO THE FUCK RIPS OUT A WHOLE ENTIRE STEERING WHEEL! A STEERING WHEEL!
CHAOS DONE RIGHT
What makes the scene work well is the number of stuff that’s going on but how the directors choose to show us. There are bullets flying everywhere, explosions happening and yet we still understand that the Winter Soldiers goal is to exterminate Cap and his team. There are cars flipping over and people getting shot at but because it’s not over the top it’s still believable. It’s just collateral damage that makes sense for the scene. If there was no collateral than the scene wouldn’t have been as good as it was.
BUT ENOUGH OF THAT!
The scene just works because it’s bad ass! The use of suspense through sound is killer! Even before Cap and The WS begin to fight the Winter Soldier is fed up with Black Widow and plans to blow her to pieces. The music gets quiet and it all up to the sound design team to elevate our heart rate. Captain America’s surprise reveals when he’s coming to save black Widow enhances the scene because we’re so concerned for her safety that we forget Captain America even exists. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO TIME FOR TALKING! IT’S KILL OR BE KILLED! NO NEED FOR DRAMATICS, THERE IS ENOUGH HAPPENING ALREADY. And the directors knew this. They even make fun of the villain that talks too much during the fight later on in the film when Wilson is going against Rumlow.
The directors started the Winter Soldier fight scene off with something that they knew people would geek out about. THE METAL ARM v. THE METAL SHIELD, the fight is on. The fight looks normal but we see that the winter soldier is clearly a guy that is no one to fuck with. Previously in the movie, we saw Cap fight other guys but they were easy. They could not keep up. But this guy can. The tribal drums in the background increase the anxiety on the screen when Captain America is being shot at and there is no place to run but fight. Then the directors go,
“We already know that Cap is safe with his shield, what if we took that away from him.” Now Cap doesn’t have his go-to weapon. When the Winter Soldier disarms him all senses are heightened because now The Winter Soldier has the advantage. It isn’t until Cap gets his shield back where we feel safe and secure again.
The fight was beautifully paced. So much so that the music didn’t even have to be over the top. In fact. The music in order to increase the impact of the scene at to fall back just a little bit, just so that we could be safe.
Now that that out of the way. To answer @TonySavv_ ‘s question:
THE BATMAN WEARHOUSE FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY: Better than the Winter Soldier Fight Choreography going against Cap.
But as an overall scene: THE WINTER SOLDIER WINS because of its ability to keep us at the edge of our seats and introducing character motives and development.
I like the Batman Wearhouse fight though because it reminds me of fighting in Batman: Arkham Asylum.
Next time I should pay attention to what was actually said instead of what I wish was said.