2016, here we are at last! 2015 was an incredible year for all of us here at KFK and we hope it has been for all of you as well.
Martial arts’ movie lovers certainly have plenty to sink our teeth into in the New Year, and we’ll be getting that list out for you shortly. For now however, we want to put the spotlight on the best martial arts action scenes to hit the screen in 2015. Something to bear in mind here – there are a few entries on this list that we’ve seen but which haven’t been released to the general public yet, but you can rest assured that you’ll want to check them out the moment you get the chance.
So, without further ado, here are KFK’s choices for the Best Martial Arts Movie Fights of 2015 in descending order:
10. Furious 7
When you need two burly guys to trash their way through an office like a couple of snow plows, there’s none better than Jason Statham and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The “Fast and Furious” series has gradually brought in more and more martial arts content, and the seventh entry in the franchise starts things off with The Rock and Mr. Statham pummeling each other so thoroughly, it’s a miracle the building they’re in is still standing by the end!
9. Skin Trade
Tony Jaa returned to centre stage in 2015, taking on action movie juggernauts like Paul Walker and Dolph Lundgren, but the best battle of “Skin Trade” is his Muay Thai brawl with Michael Jai White, who can easily match our hero in agility despite being massive enough to simply chest bump an incoming assault to put his opponent down!
8. Close Range
Scott Adkins and Isaac Florentine wanted to start things off with a bang in their seventh collaboration, “Close Range”, and how better to kick everything off than with our hero pummelling his way through the vicious thugs who kidnapped his niece? Well, you do it all in a single, unbroken shot, that’s how!
The “Rocky” series comes swinging back stronger than anyone would’ve thought possible in “Creed”. Sly passes the torch to Michael B. Jordan, who steps into the role of Apollo Creed’s son Donnie. The film has some of the most intricate, well-orchestrated boxing action you’ll ever see, but Donnie’s first pro fight is the best of them all, partly for being done in a single shot. Do check out “Creed” now if you haven’t already!
India steps into the MMA arena with “Brothers”, Bollywood’s take on 2011’s “Warrior” where two estranged brothers find themselves competing against one another in the same MMA tournament. The action is excellent all-round, but the finest duel is Akshay Kumar taking on Dutch kicking machine Ron Smoorenburg as “The Hammer”. For both lovers of MMA action and fans of “Warrior”, these guys deliver the goods in “Brothers” – Akshay’s battle with stuntman Chan Griffin in the role of a Shaolin fighter isn’t too shabby either.
5. One Million K(l)icks
Here’s another entry that you probably haven’t seen yet but the lowdown is “One Million K(l)icks” is out of this world for martial arts fans! Mike Moeller defies physics like nobody’s business, and while narrowing down the film’s finest moment is a tough one, but the kicking match in the Taekwondo school really stands out – which you’ll surely agree with when you get to see it.
4. Unlucky Stars
This falls into the “not yet released” category, but you won’t want to miss “Unlucky Stars” when it becomes available. The whole film is a marvelous throwback to the action comedies Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, and Yuen Biao cranked-out back in the 80’s, the final battle of the film features some of the best martial arts action of the year. Fortunately, the makers of “Unlucky Stars” were savvy enough to put a special “action trailer” together so you can see a little of what it’s all about by clicking above.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe was sorely lacking in ninja action in its early entries, but fortunately, the first season of its Netflix “Daredevil” series more than remedies that. It’s another tough one as far as narrowing down action highlights, but come on – you knew that one-shot hallway fight was gonna make the list, didn’t you?
Now here’s a tough one to single out a favourite from: it’s Marko Zaror’s best film to date with seemingly every action scene better than the last. However, his match-up with one of the main baddie henchmen is easily one of the most exciting, seamless bits of MMA-influenced fight choreography since “Kill Zone”/ “SPL”. There is another battle later on in the film that’s a close runner–up – a doozy of a smackdown where our hero unleashes a barrage of chain punches that Grandmaster Ip Man would proudly tip his hat to!
And last but not least in our top spot…
1. SPL 2: A Time for Consequences
Even in the first brawl, when Wu Jing and Tony Jaa are just getting started, “SPL 2” is out to be a ferociously good riot which only gets better as it unfolds. The best moment of the film by far is when it unleashes into overdrive with the megaton beast of a finale culminating in our two heroes taking on the Mad Dog of the film, played by Maz Zhang.
So there you have it folks, our picks for the Best Martial Arts Movie Fights of 2015!
2016 has some mighty big shoes to fill, so hopefully, it’ll rise to the occasion. That’s just part one of our 2015 recap – join us soon as we give our choices for the overall Best Martial Arts Films of 2015!