I’ve always wondered what makes fights in movies and TV look unreal and lacking. I understand that action movies aren’t exactly the ideal indicator of real, but I’ve always thought that even in drama movies where there is supposed to be a sense of “real”, it is always off in some way. Sure, we’ve made a bit of progress since Captain Kirk fought the Gorn, but most Hollywood directors just straight up get it wrong when they’re trying to get it right, so I compiled lists of what makes fight scenes look unreal and what elements they’re missing from real life fights.
What Makes Fight Scenes Look Unreal:
-Stupid ass bad guys. Why is it that when a group of guys fight the hero, none of them know how to attack at the same time instead of sequentially?
-Laughable power differentials
-The fact that this is a movie and that everything is choreographed
-A lack of control
-Punches that are missed not because the super cool guy can dodge that fast but because in real life, people sometimes punch air
-The word “bitch” being uttered every 10 seconds
You know what’s producing the fight scenes people actually like? WorldStarHipHop. Specifically those WorldStarHipHop fight compilation videos. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, that’s okay; it just means you don’t squander your time on facebook pages watching vine videos and are a more functional human being than everyone else.
Tweets, vines, snapchats, etc. are basically the freebased derivatives of internet media; when you freebase anything viral, they usually end up on these channels that spread like crack. And these fight compilations, these real fights, these are crack. They spread through the inter-tubes faster than fire because people love it. Watching two kids fight behind the dumpster at school used to be a reason to ditch first period. The best part of football games is the tailgate party where you get to watch some douche fuck up some chode. You can enjoy these adrenaline pumping moments from the comfort of your computer screen but I mean, if you were in one of those fights, those motherfuckers wouldn’t be running their mouths after getting dropped like a sack of bricks, am I right? The next time you’re on one of those videos, take a look at the comments. Half the dudes think they were there. (Seriously, don’t read the comments. You may as well take a bat to the head.)
Of course enjoying a good ol’ fistfight is nothing new. There has always been a primal obsession with watching a dude getting rocked, but film and TV always get it wrong. People like watching real fights more than watching Jack Reacher karate chop a couple of retards because that shit’s fake, son. The element of genuine aggression — that primal feeling — it seems to always be lacking. That’s what makes us drawn to fights in the first place. They are unwritten litmus tests to see who is a man and who isn’t, whether or not we will admit it.
As far as a realistic fight scene goes, here is a scene from The Wire. It’s pretty cliche to say it’s a real fight from a real TV show, but I supposed it’s accurate enough.
This is a real fight in the sense that it is genuine. Some people will say this is just a child getting assaulted and that this isn’t a real fight because it’s not fair, but real fights aren’t fair. I didn’t look for a scene that displays what inner city life is like on purpose, but that’s what people view as genuine; whatever is happening outside of your reality is more genuine than your own. The fact that Kenard is like 10 is what makes it real. A bit too real, as if it’s supposed to belong on WorldStarHipHop or Vine instead of TV.
This post is dedicated to co-editor Fabius who is a large fan of The Wire, which he states as being “the most realest show on TV, along with Breaking Bad.”