Iko Uwais- The Night Comes For Us

Best One-on-One Fight Scenes of the 21st Century (So Far)

As the second decade of the 21st Century draws to a close we figured it was a good a time as any to list our top 5 fight scenes so far this Century.  The criteria for this list was that the film needed to be a martial arts film released since the year 2000, and the fight scene needed to be a “person to person” fight. Fight scenes with multiple opponents were excluded.  Here are our Best One-on-One fight scenes of the 21st Century, so far.

#5.  Scott Adkins v. Louis Mandylor in Debt Collectors (2020).  Boxing versus martial arts is the theme of the battle between Sue and French in this Jesse V. Johnson action sequel’s combat scene.   Maybe not the best, but certainly, one of the most fun to watch.

#4.  Donnie Yen v. Collin Chou in Flash Point (2007).   The number of Donnie Yen contenders was so large it was hard to narrow down it down to just one. One of the reasons this amazing, a climactic, and brutal duel made the list is because it is one where Yen takes on just one opponent.

#3.  Bruce Khan v. Park Hee-soon in Revenger (2019).  This is perhaps one of the most underrated martial arts films of recent times.   Bruce Khan gives a smoldering performance as the lead character set on revenge against Park Hee-soon.  This is a visually interesting, brutal, martial arts action film.  The culmination of Khan’s personal vendetta makes for a visually stunning climactic fight scene.

#2.  Scott Adkins v. Amy Johnston in Accident Man (2018).  This one combines action and black comedy in a fast moving, well written, well directed achievement.   There are many great fight scenes in this one but Amy Johnston steals the show with her engaging, never back down counter to Adkins affront.   This scene reminded me of the great climax of Jackie Chan’s Wheels on Meals.

#1.  Iko Uwais v. Joe Taslim in The Night Comes For Us (2018).  It is no shock that one of the best martial arts action films ever made should have the best fight scene.   Joe Taslim and Iko Uwais bring skill, brutality, realism, blood, violence, and gore to the most exciting “one to one” fight scene of the century, and, perhaps, one of the best of all time.

-by Marc Zirogiannis, Editor (October16, 2020)

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