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Stunts in Netflix movies you need to watch at least once

This content was paid for by Netflix and created by Looper.

Risking your life to make a movie sounds crazy, but guess what? Stunt people do it all the time. Almost every day, the hard-working men and women in the stunt industry put their bodies on the line for your entertainment. If you've ever enjoyed a sword fight, a martial arts showdown, a car crash, or a particularly impressive feat of strength or agility onscreen, chances are you have a stunt person to thank.

It's dangerous work, but when you watch the results, it's clear that it's worth it. In the era of CGI, there's something extra special about watching men and women push their bodies to the limits, pull off seemingly impossible maneuvers, and execute complicated choreography timing like it's nothing. Good stunts are both a visual treat and a storytelling tool. Audiences can tell when something is fake, and using real people makes movies more visceral, more immediate, and more immersive. Like they say, there's nothing better than the real thing.

Check out the following stunts to see what we mean. From epic displays of physical fitness to small, blink-and-you'll-miss-'em moments that give fight scenes some extra punch, these are some of the coolest stunts you'll ever see, performed by some of the most talented men and women to ever step in front of a camera.

The Duomo Run in 6 Underground

6 Underground isn't just another Michael Bay movie. It is, in many ways, the ultimate Michael Bay movie. Just look at the opening 20 minutes. As Ryan Reynolds and his team of clandestine vigilantes race across Florence, Italy, committing murder while the police and the mob are hot on their tails, numerous cars are destroyed. Explosions go off everywhere. There's tons of blood, several fatalities, and more stunts than you could ever possibly count.

One in particular stands out, though. See, while 6 Underground gives every member of its titular paramilitary team time to shine, the film's breakout star is Four, a parkour expert played by British actor Ben Hardy. Known as "The Skywalker," Four is a parkour expert who spends most of 6 Underground scaling buildings, leaping between rooftops, and making near-impossible jumps onto itty-bitty platforms. It's not a trick, either. For 6 Underground, Four's stunts were handled by real-life parkour collective Storror. Those are real people performing all of those moves, resulting in some of the most thrilling parkour scenes ever put on film.

So, yeah, when you see Four slide down the Florence Cathedral, a 376-foot building that was opened in 1436, that's really happening. Not only did Bay and his team somehow get permission to film on top of the world-famous landmark, but Storror member Drew Taylor actually performed the so-called "Duomo Run" live. In fact, according to Taylor, that was the very first day of filming. Yes, the filmmakers hooked Taylor up to some wires (which were removed in post-production) for safety, but the stunt is still real, and it's very, very impressive.

The rooftop fall in Extraction

It's hardly a surprise that Extraction, the gritty action movie that stars Chris Hemsworth as a mercenary charged with getting a gangster's son out of the besieged Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, is a stunt-filled extravaganza. Extraction's director, Sam Hargrave, has been one of Hollywood's most in-demand stunt coordinators since 2006. He's responsible for the fight scenes in all four of The Hunger Games flicks, as well as a bunch of Marvel movies, including the one-two punch of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame.

As such, Extraction is basically a non-stop string of hard-hitting stunts and blood-soaked action beats, and while it's more grounded than Hargrave's MCU work, it's no less spectacular. The entire movie is filled with top-tier stunt work. However, its pièce de résistance is undoubtedly the 12-minute action sequence that comes about 45 minutes into the film. The scene features a car chase, a fight in the confines of a narrow apartment complex, and daring leaps across buildings, and it's filmed to look like it's unfolding in a single take. It's a technical marvel.

It also includes the most brutal stunt in Extraction. Near the end of the sequence, Hemsworth's character, Tyler Rake, gets in a rooftop brawl with his nemesis, Saju Rav. During the scuffle, Rake and Saju tumble over the edge of the balcony, slide down the awning, fall off the roof, slam into the side of a parked truck, and then get up and keep fighting. It looks incredibly painful, and if you think there's some trick involved, think again. According to an Instagram video posted by Hemsworth, it's literally just two dudes falling off the roof of a building, with everything that entails. At least the Avengers star didn't perform the stunt himself. He simply watched like everyone else, although not before muttering "Please don't die."

The handcuff fight in Manhunt

John Woo has been making top-tier action films for over 30 years. At this point, you know what you're going to get. There's going to be some slow motion. There are going to be all kinds of heightened stylistic flourishes, a shot of some doves, creative gunplay, and plenty of hand-to-hand martial arts.

Woo's Manhunt is no exception. In the film, Zhang Hanyu plays Du Qiu, an attorney who's framed for murder by his employer. Masaharu Fukuyama plays Detective Satoshi Yamura, the man charged with bringing him down. For the most of Manhunt, Qiu and Yamura play a game of cat and mouse, with Qiu making increasingly daring last-minute getaways. That changes, however, when Qiu is attacked by a group of leather-clad assassins. See, at that particular moment, Yamura and Qiu are handcuffed together, and the two foes suddenly find themselves forced to cooperate in order to survive.

What follows is one of the most fun sequences Woo has filmed in ages. The fight unfolds almost like a dance, with Qiu and Yamura moving in perfect sync as they take out the bad guys one by one. There are plenty of great stunts in the scene, too, like the moment when the two men slide down a staircase in tandem, burst through a doorway together, or need to team up to reload a gun. The best part, though? When Qiu sees an antique sword lying nearby and flips it to Yamura with his foot, forcing the detective to catch it, unsheathe it, and attack one-handed. That moment and the perfectly choreographed sword fight that follows are just as fun as they sound.

The climactic sword duel in Bleach

Sometimes, you want to watch stunts in order to see talented performers pushing the boundaries of what the human body is capable of. At others, you just want to see something impossibly cool happen, even if it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. If you're in the latter mood, you can't do much better than Bleach, Shinsuke Sato's live-action adaptation of Tite Kubo's ultra-popular manga of the same name. Simply put, it is wild.

Bleach is about a high school student named Ichigo Kurosaki who unexpectedly acquires the powers of a Soul Reaper, which makes him responsible for killing corrupted souls known as Hollows. Armed with a gigantic sword and a mysterious mentor named Rukia, Ichigo begins hunting the creatures down, all while trying to avoid the wrath of the other Soul Reapers, who aren't so happy about adding a mortal to their ranks.

Through a combination of CGI, wire work, and lots of stunts, Bleach's action scenes look like they've been ripped straight out of the anime, especially once the film's climax kicks in. The sword fight that ensues when the Reapers come to take back what's theirs is unlike any other action scene you've ever seen — think The Matrix or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon cranked up to 11 — and contains the movie's coolest stunt: As a Reaper bounces off the top of an overturned car and charges at him, Ichigo does a flip and kicks the Reaper in the back, only to get a knee to the face for his efforts. Ouch.

Outlaw King's final battle

As the story of Robert the Bruce, the Scottish king who freed Scotland from English rule, Outlaw King picks up right where 1995's Best Picture winner Braveheart left off — in fact, historically, the nickname "Braveheart" belongs to Bruce, not William Wallace. That means that in Outlaw King, you'll see what happens after Wallace is drawn and quartered. It also means that you have another two hours of savage battle scenes to watch as Chris Pine leads the Scottish army against King Edward and his son's forces.

Like you'd expect, that makes Outlaw King a great place to find some top-notch stunt work, as well as some spectacularly bloody special effects. Unlike most modern stunt spectaculars, however, Outlaw King is messy, brutal, and chaotic. No flips. No wires. No dance-like choreography. It's just dudes hacking at each other with big medieval weapons. There's absolutely nothing glamorous about it.

If anything, that makes Outlaw King's best stunts hit even harder. Just look at our two favorites, both of which come during Outlaw King's final battle, which is full of both impressive horse work. In one, a Scottish fighter stops an approaching English cavalry member by swinging his battle axe, knocking the Englishman clean off his horse. Moments later, clan chief Angus MacDonald takes out a foe by jumping in the air and punching him in the face with an armor-clad fist. In the grand scheme of the battle unfolding around them, these are small moments. However, thanks to Outlaw King's excellent stunt coordination and exquisite sound design, they hit extremely hard.