Join 3,418 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Three or more enter, one or more leaves
November 1, 2011 6:04 PM   Subscribe

Please give examples of movie fight scenes (especially climactic ones) with one Bad Guy vs a large number of Good Guys.

"Large number" means "more than one". Movies are strongly preferred, but other media are acceptable. Extra points for the climactic fight. Doubleplus bonus extra points if, in-universe, it was always clear that no single Good Guy would suffice. Negative points for Voltron.
posted by stebulus to Media & Arts (62 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Indiana Jones? Princess Bride?
posted by scolbath at 6:08 PM on November 1, 2011


I think the final part of The Professional qualifies, although I guess it depends upon whether you consider the police to be the "Good Guys".
posted by blaneyphoto at 6:08 PM on November 1, 2011


King Kong (for flexible definitions of who the good guys are)
Kung Fu Panda (Tai Lung vs. The Furious Five)

From a book, but the first thing that came to my mind:
The White Rose (Glen Cook) -- the final subdual of the Dominator in the Barrowland
posted by McCoy Pauley at 6:09 PM on November 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Perhaps some of the awesome fight scenes in Kill Bill?
posted by kdern at 6:20 PM on November 1, 2011


Several fight scenes in the LoTR trilogy are Lots of Good Guys against one or two Big Baddies (the stone troll and Balrog scenes come to mind immediately, as do the scenes featuring Sauron in battle).
posted by jquinby at 6:26 PM on November 1, 2011


I repeat for emphasis: I want one Bad Guy vs multiple Good Guys. Not the (much more common) reverse scenario.
posted by stebulus at 6:27 PM on November 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does the killer rabbit at the end of Monty Python and the Holy Grail count?
posted by bondcliff at 6:29 PM on November 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


Does the introduction to Lord of the Rings: Fellowship count? Sauron is physically laying the smackdown on a large army by himself. It's a brief scene, anyway.
posted by CancerMan at 6:32 PM on November 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


- There's that one Lethal Weapon movie with Jet Li as the villain

- Does the fight against the Witch-King in Return of the King count?

- Terminator 2. Terminator 1? I don't remember, I think there are only two good guys at the end there.

- The climactic fight of How To Train Your Dragon

- Avatar, in a couple spots

- every villain in Dragon Ball Z. I lose points for that one, don't I?
posted by furiousthought at 6:33 PM on November 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Are you specifically looking for close quarters fight scenes? If any type of fight will do, the sniper scene at the end of Full Metal Jacket, or any sniper scene in just about any war movie, would probably do it.
posted by bondcliff at 6:35 PM on November 1, 2011


I also thought of the battle with Sauron.

It's been a long time, but I think the climactic gunfight in "3000 Miles to Graceland" fits this description - it's a hundred SWAT officers against one bad guy (although he's kind of the protagonist, I think). I don't get double-plus extra points, since the bad guy clearly has no chance of winning - perhaps merely one or two SWAT officers could have taken him out - for mostly dramatic reasons there are hundreds.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 6:38 PM on November 1, 2011


Any kind of fight will do. Snipers are welcome.
posted by stebulus at 6:38 PM on November 1, 2011


Lord of the Rings was first to come to mind. Nthing that. Very interesting question, as it's getting my brain churning.
posted by cmgonzalez at 6:40 PM on November 1, 2011


Equilibrium
posted by hmo at 6:42 PM on November 1, 2011


There are the girls of Death Proof beating the crap out of Stuntman Mike.
posted by FakePalindrome at 6:42 PM on November 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I should add, the One Bad Guy vs Many Good Guys effect is dramatic in 3000 Miles to Graceland, because all the good guys have laser sighted automatic weapons, so when the Bad Guy decides to go out in a blaze of glory, he has dozens of laser points all over his body. That is all.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 6:43 PM on November 1, 2011


Re Terminator 1 & 2: The climactic fights are indeed examples, but what I had in mind is more scenes like the T800 vs police station scene in T1.
posted by stebulus at 6:44 PM on November 1, 2011


Maybe Revenge of the Sith? As Anakin basically goes on his rampage when he turns to the Dark Side.
posted by cmgonzalez at 6:44 PM on November 1, 2011


In the Jedi Temple, that is.
posted by cmgonzalez at 6:45 PM on November 1, 2011


Lethal Weapon 4: Yes, perfect. It really hits one note I was looking for, namely the Good Guys' teamwork letting them defeat a Bad Guy who is too badass for either Good Guy alone.
posted by stebulus at 6:48 PM on November 1, 2011


Various big bads and boss monsters in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel are taken out by group efforts - admittedly, there's often minion-Scooby fights going on as well.
posted by gingerest at 6:49 PM on November 1, 2011


Amplifying on "any kind of fight": Something like a surface fleet vs a submarine would also work. Any such?
posted by stebulus at 6:49 PM on November 1, 2011


Another one:

Star Trek: First Contact, when a single Borg Cube invades Federation space, swarms of Federation ships try valiantly to take it down. I think there are also other episodes in the series with similar battles.

I don't know if you want to count a single Borg Cube as One Bad Guy, but I think it's reasonable, especially given the unitary Borg consciousness.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 6:53 PM on November 1, 2011


Well, since you mentioned subs, The Hunt For Red October has a similar scene, briefly, as a Russian sub is chasing the Red October (with our heroes on board), fires a torpedo, and the USS Dallas cuts behind the Red October, so the torp locks onto it instead, and diverts it from the defecting Red October.

And yeah, the whole battle at Wolf 359 thing (basically every ship the Federation could throw at it vs the Borg), though it didn't go so well for the Good Guys.
posted by xedrik at 6:55 PM on November 1, 2011


Kung Fu Hustle has several scenes like this, too. Especially the instrumental fight scene.
posted by xedrik at 6:57 PM on November 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Underrated and terrific 80's gem Three O'Clock High has this. I think it is here (total spoiler) but I am not in a position to view right now.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:00 PM on November 1, 2011


Sorry, I misunderstood the question!

A Bug's Life/Antz
Con Air
posted by hmo at 7:02 PM on November 1, 2011


Does it count when the bad guy is some kind of large ship? Then we have Star Wars (the Death Star) and Independence Day (the Alien mothership).

This happens all the time in comic books, and is the premise of the Avengers/Justice League of America - Earth's mightiest heroes banding together for threats they can't face alone.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 7:07 PM on November 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


In the new version of Charlie's Angels against the hair smelling guy.
posted by zeek321 at 7:24 PM on November 1, 2011


Sink the Bismarck. British navy vs. a single massive battleship.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:28 PM on November 1, 2011


hmo: Sorry, I misunderstood the question!

When you answered Equilibrium? The gunkata-in-the-dark fight in the opening scene counts. (At that time the protagonist is still a bad guy, I reckon.)
posted by stebulus at 7:30 PM on November 1, 2011


Does it count when the bad guy is some kind of large ship?

Any kind of fight will do.
posted by stebulus at 7:31 PM on November 1, 2011


Oldboy. You may want to see this movie for other reasons as well.
posted by krilli at 7:34 PM on November 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Time Bandits!
posted by randomination at 7:42 PM on November 1, 2011


I repeat for emphasis: I want one Bad Guy vs multiple Good Guys. Not the (much more common) reverse scenario.
posted by stebulus at 8:09 PM on November 1, 2011


Preview fail, sorry.
posted by stebulus at 8:10 PM on November 1, 2011


My understanding is that this will describe The Avengers movie to a tee.
posted by Effigy2000 at 8:11 PM on November 1, 2011


Bonnie and Clyde
posted by Right On Red at 8:12 PM on November 1, 2011


I was thinking of many many X-Men comics when I read your question.
posted by jbenben at 8:33 PM on November 1, 2011


Speaking of the Avengers, in the movie Thor, you have Thor, Sif and The Warriors Three vs. the Destroyer.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:38 PM on November 1, 2011


Monsters Vs. Aliens. The whole movie.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:40 PM on November 1, 2011


Maybe the first Transformer, with that one Scorpion thing in the sand, and a team of "good guy" soldiers trying to take it on.
posted by lundman at 8:41 PM on November 1, 2011


Obviously Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby ends with El Diablo and the Magic Man working together to defend their country's honor against Jean Girard.
posted by tcobretti at 8:41 PM on November 1, 2011


Maybe the Predator?
posted by lundman at 8:42 PM on November 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Original Alien? The Thing?
posted by lundman at 8:42 PM on November 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


JBenben makes a good point - there are many comics that use this idea. You'll have the Fantastic Four fighting Dr. Doom (or Galacticus) or The Avengers fighting the Hulk (in The Ultimates). I'm sure there are a crapload more examples.

It's interesting that comics use the uber-powerful villian more than movies.
posted by tcobretti at 8:45 PM on November 1, 2011


Cloverfield, Godzilla vs city of NY? No monsters?

Spiderman movies had elements of this, claw-chap or the sand guy.

Warlock?
posted by lundman at 8:46 PM on November 1, 2011


FERN GULLY!!!!!!!!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zQDxXavnss

(please excuse my enthusiasm, FERN GULLY!!!!!!! is so rarely a correct answer and yet so often my first choice of answer.....)
posted by oblio_one at 8:59 PM on November 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Re Predator, Alien, Thing: These are more following the horror genre convention whereby the monster picks off the humans one by one. I want stand-up fights, not human hunts, if you see what I mean.
posted by stebulus at 9:02 PM on November 1, 2011


The final fight scene in The Incredibles.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:16 PM on November 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Basically every fight in the Ghostbusters movies. Stay-Puft is particularly vivid for me.

And you can never forget about the Care Bear Stare.
posted by erstwhile at 9:36 PM on November 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


You're looking for stories with a Big Foozle! Big Foozle's are so big, just one hero won't do.

This is a recurring thing in the Buffy series. The group routinely tackles monsters together that would destroy them alone. In Buffy they call it the Big Bad. ( Relevant TvTropes). Monster of the week television shows, many, many anime series, and a crap-ton of CRPGs have this. Also any moralistic story in any medium that wants to emphasize cooperation, community, or some similar virtue. It may be worthwhile to pay extra attention to YA books and things directed towards teen audiences.

There's a particular Cynthia Rothrock movie that I remember being a very fun, silly example of this, where the final showdown involves her and three others taking down one incredibly powerful martial artist. Each one has a particular role to play that allows them to work together and overcome Mr. Foozle. Unfortunately she's made about a billion movies, and I couldn't find the name of this particular one or a clip to share.
posted by jsturgill at 10:18 PM on November 1, 2011


Much though I hate to mention it, I seem to recall that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie qualifies.

Beetlejuice.

Black Dynamite.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

The Usual Suspect, maybe.

Erik the Viking.

Three Amigos.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 11:11 PM on November 1, 2011


Anime? In Dragon Ball Z, that pretty much describes the Cell Games arc. Cell (the villain) sets up an arena and invites anyone who wishes to challenge him to show up on a given day at a given time. He fights them one at a time, but everyone is there to fight him, and in fact about five people do before it's all over. (Three of them are clowns, I might mention.)

That also describes the battle against Nappa in the "Saiyajin" arc. He fights against Piccolo, Krillin and Gohan simultaneously. Vegita is his ally but just stands and watches.

Also, at one point all of Vegita, Krillin, and Gohan fight against Recoom. And those three plus Piccolo fight against Frieza. And at the very beginning, Goku plus Piccolo fight against Raditz.

Many good guys against one or two hyper-powerful bad guys is the norm in DBZ. The bad guys are usually outnumbered, but they're so strong that it doesn't matter.

As JSturgill says, this happens a lot in anime, not just in this series.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:12 PM on November 1, 2011


This scene from Shaun of the Dead has the majority of the film's protagonists ganging up on the lone zombie barkeep.
posted by mochapickle at 11:35 PM on November 1, 2011


I guess the problem with many of the scenarios that come to mind is that the "bad guy" is really kind of an antihero/protagonist, so it's more like a variation of the standard one good guy vs. multiple bad guys scenario. (Like the ending of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, although that's two guys.) But on the badder end of that spectrum is James Cagney, and I can think of at least two movies where he has single-handed shootouts with huge numbers of police -- Angels with Dirty Faces and White Heat.
posted by pete_22 at 1:00 AM on November 2, 2011


I can only think of kids' TV shows where this seems to be a common trope (the idea that one goody alone cannot stand against a strong baddie, but united we can defeat them!) - Smurfs, Power Rangers, Powerpuff Girls...
posted by tracicle at 1:43 AM on November 2, 2011


Final Fantasy Advent Children: The entire cast of good guys fight Behamut Sin after it was summoned by Kadaj to destroy the city of Edge.
posted by TrinsicWS at 2:40 AM on November 2, 2011


Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, in which Mothra convinces Godzilla and Rodan to join her in defending Earth from King Ghidrah.
posted by Devoidoid at 3:38 AM on November 2, 2011


Most of the fight scenes in Attack the Block!
posted by Tom-B at 8:08 AM on November 2, 2011


Pursuit of the Graf Spee (British title Battle of the River Plate).
posted by leaper at 9:10 AM on November 2, 2011


Star Wars: The Phantom Menace — Darth Maul vs Qui-gonn and Obi-wan.
posted by stebulus at 4:35 PM on November 3, 2011


« Older Please share your most brillia...   |  Whatever happened to David Pea... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.