Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Best sword fight of the decade - Shanghai Knights

Since the decade is just a few months away from closing, we might as well start tabulating the highs (and possibly lows) of the 2000s. I certainly won't start tabulating the best and worst films until the year has closed, but I stand relatively certain that there won't be a better sword fight than this one. Shanghai Knights is Jackie Chan's best film and one of the best adventure pictures of the decade. It has everything that you'd want in such a film - fantastic action scenes, colorful heroes, intelligent and comedic supporting characters (the film's funniest line is given to Thomas Fisher's Artie Doyle), and larger-than-life villains played by real actors. The film climaxes exactly as it should, with an epic sword duel between Jackie Chan and Aidan Gillen inside Big Ben. While I prefer the uncut, longer version of this duel (as seen in the deleted scenes reel of the DVD), the theatrical variation is plenty great. The only sword fight that comes close is the climactic lava-planet showdown in Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, but I still prefer this old-fashioned metal-clanging variation. While the Pirates of the Caribbean series and The Legend of Zorro had impressive duels, this one outshines them all with a dash of real-world plausibility (you can tell they really did all of the incredible sword-fighting in-camera) and genuine emotion. If you don't believe me, check out the clip above (go to 5:10, or just watch the whole thing and enjoy the Jackie Chan vs. Donnie Yen fight as well).

Scott Mendelson

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Most ridiculous sword fight of the decade - the fencing scene from Die Another Day



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