This month was Fight Month here at Ready Steady Cut in recognition of Creed II‘s release. Now that the film is in theatres and the month is ending, we thought it would be prime time to have some of the reviewers on the site get together and reveal which fight films throughout cinematic history are generally their favourites. Here is what we learned:
10. Girl Fight
Alice said about Girl Fight: A debut for two great women, director (Karyn Kusama) and actor (Michelle Rodriguez): what’s not to admire? Powerful and complex film.
Tyler said: I’m sorry, but this, to me, is clearly the best fight film ever made. It’s the ultimate underdog story, a seriously inspirational tale of a guy who just wants to be a good man, to be a great fighter.
8. Cinderella Man
Darren said: This is the only fighting film where you can’t predict the outcome; both men — brothers — have something to fight for, a good cause, with the brutal fights being what makes this a must watch.
6. Fight Club
Alice said: I want “Where is my Mind” to play at my funeral, and have ever since I saw this at the cinema. Also a terrific adaptation of a book by Chuck Palahniuk, which couldn’t have been easy.
5. Raging Bull
Amber said: In a field deep with biopics, this one stands out as a contender because of Scorsese and De Niro.
4. The Fighter
Tyler said: The best sports movies, for me, aren’t about the sports themselves, but the characters and emotional weight. This is doubly important for fighting films, because usually the actual fighting doesn’t do it for me. In The Fighter, Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg play boxing brothers, one who’s washed up and drugged out, and the other a rising star. This, coupled with stellar emotional character support from Amy Adams and Melissa Leo, make The Fighter an excellent film.
3. Rocky IV
Jonathon said: The biggest, muscliest and silliest the Rocky series has ever been, along with the best training montage, the best villain, the best Cold War propaganda, and the best beard. Glorious.
Tyler said: This is just about on par with Rocky, not merely as a continuation of the series, but in its own right. It stands on its own as an engaging film about the desire to fight for who you are, for who you want to be known as. It calls back to the remainder of the series but isn’t beholden to it. Creed is excellent.
Darren said: It might well be the 7th in the franchise, but it is the one with the most realistic story, fights and characters in the series to date. The story shows the connection between Rocky and Creed will continue through their children and breath fresh air into a dead franchise.
1. Million Dollar Baby
Darren said: This contains the best training regime in any boxing movie, and we have a fighter that wants to break barriers and proves they will never give up, even if the film ends with a tragic tone.
Alice said: I must say I struggled to like this film (because of the voiceover and the horrible ending), but I have great admiration for Eastwood (as a director and in general), and for the commitment to the role shown by Hillary Swank. Beautifully made and near-perfect acting, and the only film featuring boxing which actually made me start to feel some respect for the tactics of the game.
So that’s our list. It is worth mentioning that Mortal Kombat, Ali and The Wrestler fell just outside of the ranking.
We all have our favourites and generally, they are our favourites for different reasons, such as we love a film because of where we were in our lives at the time of viewing and so the films remind us of those times. And yet also underlying our selection and our appreciation of fight films is the fact that we love these films not for the violence they display but as a result of the fighters’ ability to reveal the possible strength of the human body, its tenacity and its beauty, should it be pushed to its highest limits of performance. When we follow the life journeys of the various protagonists, we are reminded that, after losing almost everything that can be lost in life, when hardships are near to overwhelming, the body is indeed the last refuge of the soul.
What do you think of our list? Is it right? Is it wrong? Have your say and tell us down in the comments below. We know that we as well as you love fight films, but we also want to know what your friends think, so share this with others wherever you spend your time while on the internet.