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The Most Epic Movie Fight Scenes Of 2022 So Far

2022 opened strong out of the gate when it came to memorable fight scenes, across multiple genres. The year's horror releases depicted brutal, fantastically-conceived kills, Disney/Pixar's "Turning Red" gave audiences the studio's first kaiju fight, and even a romantic comedy delivered an adrenaline pumping action sequence. 

Factor in an absolutely bonkers multiverse hopping dramedy, a return of the Bat, and all the requisite action films, and viewers received epic fight scenes on screen every bit as yummy as the Milk Duds and Red Vines they were nibbling on at newly-reopened theaters.

Whether the fight involves a serial killer and a retired sheriff, a family of pandas and their destructively large relative, an immigrant family just trying to do their taxes, Vikings, or a superhero solving crimes to Nirvana, there have been some great fights at the movies in 2022. Below is a (spoiler-heavy) breakdown of the best.

Scream: Dewey vs. Ghostface

Dwight "Dewey" Riley (David Arquette) has been a part of the "Scream" franchise from the start. He's appeared in every "Scream" movie since the 1996 original, and while his titles have changed over the course of the series (from deputy to sheriff to former sheriff), his importance has never waned.

In 2022's "Scream," Dewey faces off against Ghostface for the fifth time in a scene that transcends its small-scale trappings by holding such importance for the series as a whole. After saving series newcomers Tara (Jenna Ortega) and Richie (Jack Quaid) from a Ghostface attack at the hospital where Tara is recovering from the first attack in the movie, Dewey is tackled by the slasher, resulting in a brief but anguishing fight.

It's ugly stuff, but even as Ghostface and Dewey are parting ways, there is an acknowledgment that the fight has been "an honor." The camera lingers on the game-changing aftermath, leaving "Scream" fans a moment to process it all.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Sally vs Leatherface

In addition to continuing the increasingly-annoying trend of naming a new movie exactly the same as the classic that kicked off the franchise, 2022's "Scream" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" films had another thing in common: reuniting icons of their series. 

Sally Hardesty (Olwen Fouéré, who took over the role for Marilyn Burns after her 2014 death) and Leatherface (Mark Burnham) coming together again also echoes 2018's "Halloween" in that Sally, like Laurie Strode, looks forward to reuniting with the man who slaughtered her friends and nearly took her life. When newly introduced characters Lila (Elsie Fisher) and Melody (Sarah Yarkin) get in her car in an attempt to get away from Leatherface, she refuses to leave, because she has been waiting 50 years to once again face him.

The fight is compelling, not only because of the gore and the dark corners Sally must explore, but because there seems to be a real chance that she will win. in this gripping confrontation, it looks like the returning heroine might take down the iconic villain.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Lila and Melody vs Leatherface

When Lila (Elie Fisher) takes up Sally's shotgun and follows him into an abandoned theater, hearing his chainsaw idling, it appears a confrontation is imminent. But the killer isn't with his weapon, and just when she finds the unattended saw, he leaps out and plunges them both into a large pool of water.

The movie shows us their descent for a second, then pulls back to the empty room, giving the audience a tense moment to breathe before anyone emerges from the water. Lila finally pops up, but things aren't over just yet, as Leatherface follows her out and grabs the chainsaw. Just as things look most dire for this possible final girl, her sister appears and the two begin to take on the killer as a team. Melody (Sarah Yarkin) jumps on his back, Lila fires on him with a shotgun, and when the shotgun runs out of shells, Melody delivers an uppercut with the chainsaw, shown from an angle above the action that makes the blow incredibly satisfying.

Moments later, Leatherface claims one of the most shocking moments from any movie of 2022. You just have to take your head ... err, hat ... off for the guy. 

Turning Red: Ming vs everyone

The "fight" scene in "Turning Red" is more emotional than physical, as Meilin "Mei" Lee (Rosalie Chiang) and her grandmother and aunties must work together to perform a ritual to help Mei's mother Ming (Sandra Oh) return to her human form after transforming into a giant panda rivaling the size of classic kaiju like Godzilla.

While Mei shaking her butt is certainly unique as a combat move, what makes the moment work as an action scene is Ming's panda, both a thrilling and awe-inspiring monster. She towers over buildings and smashes a number of them that stand in her way as she moves to find her daughter at a concert. Once Ming arrives at the concert (and destroys the venue), Mei transforms back and forth from human to panda as she argues with her mom and literally climbs her, culminating in a headbutt that knocks Ming out. The rest of the women in the family then transform into their pandas, so that they can pull Ming's huge panda form into a circle and perform a ritual.

It's a fight scene that combines literal and emotional scale in a way that delivers both an epic monster fight sequence and a beautiful emotional climax to the movie.

The Batman: The Iceberg Lounge

"The Batman" has multiple fights worth discussing, but perhaps the most "epic" is the Bat's visit to the Iceberg Lounge.

In a clever start to the sequence, Batman (Robert Pattinson) simply knocks on the door to the nightclub/mob hangout. He requests an audience with the Penguin (Colin Farrell), but when the twin bouncers (Charlie and Max Carver) tell him to leave "or that little suit's gonna get all full of blood," Batman only asks "mine or yours?" before punching his way through the goons.

Once he enters the club, dance music blares and lights flash as patrons part to make way for the imposing figure in the bat costume. When he reaches stairs heading to the dance floor, he's set upon by more of Penguin's muscle and thus begins the first great fight scene of the movie. Matt Reeves shoots the action with a steady camera that allows the viewer to see all of hits Batman takes and doles out, with impressive choreography that manages to be both brutal and fluid. By the time Penguin appears to put an end to it all, he's just a cherry on the sundae.

The Batman: Riddler's Acolytes Attack

It makes sense that the final fight in a superhero movie would be "epic." While "The Batman" may keep things based in realism as often as possible, the context and setting for Batman's showdown with Riddler's followers at Gotham Square Garden takes some turns towards the surreal.

After Riddler's bombs have gone off and the city has begun flooding, residents of the city evacuate their homes for the shelter of Gotham Square Garden, where newly elected Mayor Bella Real (Jayme Lawson) is holding her victory party. But the shelter isn't safe, from the flood or from Riddler — who has sent his followers to attack the mayor and cause general chaos at the Garden.

Batman's entrance into the scene is a show-stopper, as the roof of the Garden explodes and glass and metal fall alongside him, Batman swooping in to attack the Riddler's acolytes in the rafters of the building. As Batman's theme kicks in, the booming sounds lend the fight even more grandeur, as the hero uses his grappling guns to subdue some of the villains before engaging others in combat.

But the scene doesn't just let Batman be the cool hero who can take out all the bad guys. More than once during the sequence, Batman is knocked off the scaffolding and has to literally hang on for his life. It's a fittingly thrilling final fight in a movie that depicts a Batman in transition.

X: Pearl vs Maxine

The final fight in Ti West's "X" is less of a "fight" and more a series of violent events in quick succession, concluding an edge-of-your-seat tale about porn filmmakers in rural Texas caught up in a battle for their lives. It all begins when Maxine (Mia Goth) saves Lorraine (Jenna Ortega) from the basement of a murderous elderly couple, then quickly devolves from a moment of relief and triumph into the most chaotic sequence in the movie.

What follows is a joyously violent, chaotic series of events that includes violent gunplay, a heart attack, a televangelist and a conversation between two characters (played by the same actor) that brings together the film's themes. But what really puts everything over the top is the finale. As Maxine is chastised for her "deviant" lifestyle and choices, she remains nonplussed, driving off with one last squishy bit of revenge. It's nasty stuff, but perfectly fitting for a twisty slasher throwback like "X."

The Lost City: Jack Trainer's Rescue Mission

Brad Pitt's appearance in "The Lost City" isn't just a cameo. He may not spend long on screen, but is essentially the fifth lead of the film. 

After romance novelist Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock) is kidnapped by millionaire Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe), cover model Alan Caprison (Channing Tatum) calls in help from a man he met on a meditation retreat. That man is a former Navy SEAL named Jack Trainer, who soon proves that Alan's confidence is well earned.

Using Loretta's smartwatch to track her down, Alan (wanting to be seen as the hero), follows along and Jack begrudgingly lets him. But Pitt's Trainer is the pro, and he works his way through the guards with finesse. When Tatum's character calls attention to them, however, all bets are off.

There's a certain joy in just beholding an unapologetic action sequence, and that's what "Lost City" viewers received. The choreography of the fights between Jack and the guards was impressive, and the use of chairs, tables, and a tripod in the combat is reminiscent of the chaotic, environment dependent fighting style in "The Raid" movies. There's also a grand finale in which Jack runs up a tree and leaps off to land a double drop kick to the two guards attending Loretta.

It's some of the most thrilling, and largest scale, action on screen in 2022, only made better by appearing so unexpectedly in a romantic comedy where one of the biggest stars in the world is stealing the show.

Everything Everywhere All At Once: Waymond and a fanny pack vs security guards

You probably know going into "Everything Everywhere All At Once" that there's going to be some great action scenes, given that it stars Hong Kong action royalty Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn, the matriarch of a Chinese immigrant family. But the movie's early charm as a small scale family dramedy lulls the audience into a sense of comfort before unleashing an action prowess unlike anything seen in film before — in 2022, or any other year.

After having been warned of danger by a multiverse-hopping version of her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan, who audiences may recognize from an iconic performance decades ago), Evelyn punches IRS agent Deirdre (Jamie Lee Curtis), causing security to arrive on the scene. That's when Waymond springs into action, turning a fanny pack into a makeshift rope dart weapon to great effect.

While a fight scene set in an IRS office with a fanny pack as the main weapon may not seem "epic," the way the scene is shot lends it great weight — sometimes literally, as when Waymond adds rocks from a nearby fish tank to the fanny pack to make it heavier and lend his attacks greater impact. The fanny pack is shot in close ups with the camera running the length of the strap and stopping abruptly at the pouch for emphasis. The action itself is fantastic, the fight choreography reminiscent of Hong Kong martial arts classics and the camera movements allowing the audience to see every nose shattering move.

The sequence is a great scene for its mix of humor and seriousness; forget about .44 Magnums, lightsabers and Hattori Hanzo swords — in 2022, the weapon of choice is a fanny pack.

Everything Everywhere All At Once: Evelyn sign dancing with a riot shield

Some of the most daring, original cinematic moments of 2022 have come via Michelle Yeoh in "Everything Everywhere All At Once," and this holds true for action scenes as well. While the final fight might be on a grander scale, an earlier one is perhaps even better.

After refusing to kill her daughter because she can host the destructive Jobu Tupaki, Evelyn's father from the Alphaverse, who is set on stopping Jobu Tupaki no matter the cost, sets his soldiers on her. But Evelyn has learned how to "verse jump," allowing her to access the skills of other versions of herself in varying universes. So when a variety of Alphaverse soldiers come to take her down, including a police officer in riot gear, she's able to tap into an alternate version of herself that is an experienced sign spinner, take the riot shield from the cop, and use the sign spinning skills to great effect.

Like the final battle scene in "Everything," the tone control here is fantastic. The Daniels simultaneously show the intense physicality of the fight, and do a great job highlighting Yeoh's physical performance, while hopping back and forth between universes, allowing the audience to see that all these incredibly cool and effective fight moves are actually just sign spinning tricks. The lighting of the scene also helps add to its epic feeling, as the fight takes place in a dark and dusty office with a window letting in bright light that backlights much of the fight, creating impressively backlit images of Yeoh's character wielding the riot shield.

The Northman: Berserker Assault on a village in the Land of the Rus

The first significant fight sequence in "The Northman" is also the only large scale fight in the movie, with many combatants, including warriors on horseback, and an entire village as its setting. 

When Amleth (Alexander Skarsgård) and his fellow berserkers are spotted approaching the gates of the village in their wolf pelts, the villagers begin their defensive by launching spears at their attackers. But Amleth easily grabs a soaring spear out of the sky, turns it around, and takes out one of the men on the village's rampart. Director Robert Eggers then brings us into the village with a tracking shot that follows Amleth and his comrades as they climb over the outer wall, slaughtering the spearmen and bowmen on the rampart, and then leaping into the village proper. Amleth's leap isn't just a jump off the defensive wall into the village; he times his bound so that he is able to bring his full weight into an attack on a warrior on horseback, knocking the man from his steed and killing him in one blow.

That is only the beginning of an overwhelming, thrilling battle. As it goes on, the audience sees Amleth bring another horseman to the ground, this time taking the Rus on from a standing position. In another impressive tracking shot, berserkers open the doors for their own cavalry. It's an astounding sequence that announces the talents of Eggers as an action-heavy filmmaker.

The Northman: Final duel at the Gates of Hel

While the "Gates of Hel," as the volcanic setting for the final battle between Amleth and his uncle Fjölnir (Claes Bang) is called, may not be quite as grand as Mount Doom in "The Lord of the Rings," it's a much more frighteningly tactile volcanic landscape. Smoke fills the air, and bright flecks of magma cast dark shadows that strategically mask the nudity. It seems as though any wrong step could burn through either combatant's foot, as the two men engage in a hard hitting bout of sword and shield combat, the camera tracking their movement along a lake of magma and over a tributary.

Of course, a setting alone doesn't make a fight scene epic (though it certainly helps). The choreography of the fight is as brutal as the setting, as Amleth, already severely wounded, uses his entire body to land attacks on his uncle who handily blocks them with his shield before disarming Amleth of his own. The fight emphasizes the great effort that such a battle takes, and despite the fast moves of the combatants it feels like every move their bodies make requires great strain.

Finally, after each drawing blood in their traded blows, it appears that Fjölnir has won the fight. He has Amleth on his knees, breathing hard and clearly suffering from his many wounds. The fight is as epic as one would hope from a movie about vikings that foreshadows, or rather foretells, that its final battle will take place in a lake of fire, but the aftermath manages to add to the awesomeness of the film's finale.