random movie query

I need recommendations for a movie with a really epic fight scene in it. But the fight has to be of a specific variety: something in the “two-handed broadsword” or “double-headed axe” family. Y’know, the sort of fight where a guy plants his feet and starts whaling away at something at least twice his size with a weapon that’s at least half his size. As much as I loves me some rapier duels, or dexterous hand-to-hand throwdowns, I’m not after that kind of thing right now (and I’ve got plenty of it on my shelves anyway). We’re looking for mighty-thewed, stamina-of-an-aurochs kind of combat here, or at least as close as I can get to it.


(N.B. — I would like suggestions of such scenes done well. Bonus points if the movie containing said fight doesn’t suck. I’d rather not watch crap, thanks.)

0 Responses to “random movie query”

  1. octavia_b

    I think the series Rome has something like that in it, but I can’t remember which episode. Sorry, that’s not much help. Maybe Gladiator?

    • Marie Brennan

      Gladiator is one of the few on my shelves that comes close to serving. I have not yet started watching Rome, though I really want to.

  2. armbarred

    It’s been a while since I watched them, but:
    (and they are good fun to watch, does that count?)
    13th Warrior
    Conan (both of them)
    Red Sonja

    I also seem to remember King Arthur having a decent one.

    • Marie Brennan

      Yeah, but then I’d have to watch King Arthur again. <g>

      Red Sonja is at least new territory for me; I might try that. The Conan movies are one of the few things I thought of — I watched them both years ago — but I’m debating whether or not I want to watch my governor prance around in a fur loincloth or whatever it is he wears in those things . . . .

      • alethea_eastrid

        Red Sonja won my heart years ago for being the only movie I can think of where the villainess says to the heroine “We could have ruled the world together”…I just about died.

    • clarentine

      Seconding 13th Warrior. Not only does it have great cinematography and creepy monsters well done, it has a kick-ass soundtrack.

  3. kchew

    Rob Roy, with Liam Neeson, has a claymore vs rapier battle at the end. It’s quite well done, and works on the principle that man with rapier can hit many times, but man with claymore really only needs to hit once. But getting that once is *hard*.

    • Marie Brennan

      I love that fight, but the rapier unbalances it in the opposite direction I want to go. I’m looking more for “hack at the dragon” kinds of battles.

  4. ex_hallways

    uh… the only fight scene that comes to mind that ends with an awesome sword like that is “hannibal rising”…. hannibal kills his first person with a sword like that. for insulting his aunt. its actually pretty awesome because Gaspard Ulliel, while not only fantastic as young Hannibal, is fun to look at.

    as far as i remember, the whole fight is done with a sword like that…? tis about… i dunno… fourty five minutes in. i dig it, anyway. 😀

    oh… that MIGHT be a samurai sword in that film. still. FUN TO WATCH. 😀

    • raisinfish

      My husband says Dragon Heart has an awesome fight with a dragon. The movie kind of sucks, but the fight is the best part of the film, and quite well done, according to him.

      (I haven’t seen it in years, myself.)

  5. erdedrache

    I may be wrong, but I seem to recall a greatsword vs. greatsword fight in Ladyhawk. I can’t remember it well enough to vouch for the quality, but I do know that Rutger Hauer uses a greatsword in that movie.

    The Mummy features Brendan Fraiser killing mummies with a greatsword.

    The 13th Warrior has some nice heavy weapon fighting in it, if memory serves.

    • Marie Brennan

      He at least chucks the greatsword the length of a great hall, but that’s all I remember. It’s one of the ones I’ve pulled out from my shelf as worth looking at. Likewise The 13th Warrior. The Mummy isn’t quite the mood I’m after. (Yes, I’m being picky.)

  6. erdedrache

    Ooh, good call. It does have some pretty epic (albeit gory) violence.

  7. gollumgollum

    “Revalation 6:8” from Highlander has the Methos vs. Silas fight, where Silas is whipping around his axe and Methos is flailing away trying to not get his head taken off. It’s not really a very good fight, but it is big guy with axe vs. Methos, which is enough for me. (;

  8. Marie Brennan

    Watched Pathfinder recently. Spent a bit too much time beating my head into the table to appreciate any of the fights. There’s “historical inaccuracies,” and then there’s “Jesus wept I wrote my thesis on Viking weapons and I’m an archaeologist MAKE THE PAIN STOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPPPPP.”

    Sometimes, I just can’t turn the brain off.

  9. kernezelda

    You might try Beastmaster. It’s a fun B movie with a young loin-cloth-clad Marc Singer, Tanya Roberts, John Amos & Rip Torn. Swordfights, gooey villains and animal companions, oh my. Fair warning – don’t watch any of the sequels. They seriously suck.

    Actually, thinking about it – I don’t recall if there’s a specifically epic swordfight scene so much as several scenes with swordfights along with the epic battle involving many characters using a variety of weapons.

  10. lilifae

    Hiya – there’s a movie called The Sword of Xanten and it is based on the the Volsung saga – it has the amazing Kristanna Løken in it as the Queen of Iceland and she kicks ass throwing around a massive axe. I don’t know if it’s available in the States. And of course, there is the fight scene with the dragon…if you can’t find it, I might be able to send it across to you. Drop me an email.

    Then of course, there is The Last Legion with Colin Firth – admittedly a bit rubbish when it comes to the historical facts, but good fight scenes nonetheless.

    You can of course also watch Beowulf and Grendal with Gerard Butler – good fight scenes in that.


    • Marie Brennan

      Eee — I had forgotten about The Last Legion. Saw the trailer for that, and knew the premise was so utterly retarded that I had to see it. I may move that up my queue.

      The Sword of Xanten — man, if I can get ahold of that, I am ALL OVER IT. Volsunga saga! How could I say no?

      • lilifae

        I’ve just emailed you to let you know this is currently showing on TV here in the UK on the Sci-Fi channel. I am so freaked out, it’s slightly surreal.

  11. moonandserpent

    Pathfinder was my first thought, too.

    But given that that one is a strike apparently… Conan?

  12. Anonymous

    Normally I would suggest setting up an appointment with your local SCA group (God knows there must be some of them in SF!), and doing a bit of choreography study with them, especially with your fight-choreography experience. But since you’re pressed for time…

    Oy. Cinetagraphically (is that a real word?) I don’t think you’re going to find a case of Warrior Dueling Something Seriously Twice His/Her Size With Cowchopping Weapon And Tactics Done Well. We’ve only just now gotten to the point where we can even hopefully depict such a scene visually.

    The three films I can think of that come closest to this ideal, are:

    1.) The cavalry sabre duel in Ridley Scott’s The Duelist. There isn’t much of it, and the fighters are on par physically, but the minute or two they devote to it does a pretty good job showing how a heavy cleaving weapon fight devolves into cowchopping. It would be good material for inspiring end-of-the-fight expectations, maybe.

    2.) King Peter vs. King Miraz, in the duel before the large-scale battle in Prince Caspian. Alas, not out on DVD yet (and won’t be until Dec, if I recall correctly.) But if you got a chance to see it on the big screen, you might be able to remember some kinetic inspiration from it. It does feature heavy-sword(-and-shield-and-armor) fighting done protractedly and with both real skill and some realism. Lewis would be proud! (He specifically wanted readers to have that idea of the swordfighting in the book.)

    3.) Aragorn vs. Lurch (okay, Lurtz–was it ever even said in the movie??) at the end of FotR. Only real drawback is that heavy weapons are meant to defeat armor, and neither one of them is wearing armor (unlike the Peter/Miraz duel, by the way); but the fight is staged to keep that realistically in mind. (Aside from the kind-of-hilarious/awesome/crazy-nod to Monty Python’s “I’ve had worse!””You lie!” at the end.)

    Hope that’s helpful. (I admit, I’m terribly curious about the Volsung/Lokken movie, too… If you get a chance to watch that, please report on it? I half-suspect, with the consensus, that the Conan films may have at least a little of what you’re after, but I haven’t seen them in years and I only half-suspect they’ll be helpful. I seem to recall The Scorpion King having some things along that line, but part of my soul died while watching it, so caveat emptor. Anime suggestions maybe…?)

    • Marie Brennan

      I found myself wondering if there was any suitable anime, yeah. But this isn’t the kind of thing I usually look for, so I don’t know.

      It’s less choreography that I’m looking for than something to get me in the right mood — hence wanting some big flashy visual spectacle. But you’re right that we’re only now achieving the technical capacity to do it non-stupidly.

      • Anonymous

        Those would be moody enough, in various ways. Though not necessarily the proper mood. (I would have to know more about the story contexts to guess about it further.) Aragorn/Lurtz would be flashy spectacle, even though the fight is brief. (Cowchopping swords plus practically no armor == relatively brief-if-flashy fight.)

        I agree about the Robin And Marion reference, too, though it’s been, gosh, decades since I’ve seen it. Physically Sean Connery is about on par with his opponent, though.

        Sadly, I don’t have much medievalistic anime (though not from lack of interest). Daryoon vs. the troll in the duel for Prince Indian-Guy’s stadium at the end of Heroic Legend Of Arislan Episode… two? three? (One of those, certainly not the others.) Um… the good and bad emperors squaring off at the halfway point of the original Record of Lodoss War? (Too long since I’ve seen either of those, but they might sort of count.) I wonder if the new Highlander anime has anything along this line.

        Come to think of it, there isn’t a lot of flashy-fencing, but a lot of epic flashyness with (nominally) two-handed swords, in the climactic duel of the original Highlander film. The size disparity is closer than some other options to what you seem to be aiming for as well.

        • Anonymous

          Duh! Surely Excalibur has some armored guys pounding away at each other (not ninja-level Lancelot First Knight; though to be fair someone with skill and less armor would rule about the same way Gere does in that movie’s choreography.)

  13. smctyre216

    Ooh I was also going to say Braveheart. I was also going to say 13th Warrior and Gladiator. I’m 2nding, 3rding, etc those suggestions.

  14. benbenberi

    It’s been a while, but I recall a fab broadsword fight at the climax of Robin and Marian — lots of whaling and hacking with bloody big blades.

  15. j_cheney

    Kingdom of Heaven, maybe…

  16. d_c_m

    13th Warrior

    That’s it for me.

  17. kitsunealyc

    It may not be quite right because it’s not the greataxe/heavy sword style fighting, but I recall the fight between Magua and Uncas at the end of the Last of the Mohicans as being a heavy, physical (and mostly one-sided) hackfest. Great stuff for what it is, even if it’s not what you’re looking for.

    Also, maybe some of the Buffy stuff, especially Season Five with the hammer-o-doom?

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