Biff! Bang! Thwomp! It’s the Top Nine punches from movies
To celebrate the release this week of director Eran Creevy’s actioner, Welcome To The Punch, starring James McAvoy and Mark Strong, we’ve decided to welcome you to some of the best punches in movie history. Make sure to keep your guard up.
Where better to start than with a British heist movie, given Welcome To The Punch’s credentials. Back in 2000, Guy Ritchie was one of the hottest directing talents around. Because he has taken a bit of stick since – RocknRolla was as bad as its own spelling, while Swept Away has thankfully acted out its own title – it is often forgotten just how good Ritchie’s Snatch, ahem, is. Out-Locking Lock, Stock, this was a film that proved Jason Statham could act and that Brad Pitt could act like an Irish gypsy. When you look at the muck they hand Oscars out for these days, it really is a wonder why Pitt’s indecipherable bare-knuckle boxer didn’t get some recognition. He hits two great punches in Snatch. One is in the fine Oasis-soundtracked finale, but we prefer the first indication that he may be more than he seems. Poor Gorgeous George just didn’t see him coming. And cue The Stranglers…
8. Back To The Future
A punch that actually changed the course of history. No, not Ali flooring Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle, but George McFly biffing Biff Tannen. Sometimes, when you are caught in a situation which could result in your son dating your wife and his own mother, violence IS the answer.
7. Raging Bull
Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece is a film of two halves. On the one hand, you have the brutal and bloody violence which makes you watch through your fingers. And then there are the boxing scenes in the ring. The fight sequences in Raging Bull have nothing on the domestic life of Jake LaMotta (Robert De Niro). Here he asks his brother Joey (Joe Pesci) to go to work on his face. For, you know, fun. He ain’t heavy… he’s hitting me with his fist.
6. Dumb & Dumber
Some day, we’re going to compile a top ten phone booth scenes list. It will have the bit in Midnight Run where De Niro pretends he’s gonna kill Charles Grodin; it will have the bit in Trading Places where Clarence Beeks shows how polite he can be. And it will have this. The lesson here is to be patient when someone is making a call in a phone booth. What’s a phone booth?
5. Independence Day
Sometimes life just deals you a bad hand. You travel all the way across the galaxy to a planet to meet your hero, the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and when you get there and see him face-to-face, what does he do? Punch you, that’s what. What a jerk.
4. Slap Shot
More punches from brothers here, as the Hanson siblings - no, not those ones – put the ‘I am going to rip your head off’ in ‘I-ce hockey’. I went to an ice hockey match once. It was boring. Almost as boring as watching basketball. Do yourself a favour, just watch Slap Shot instead. Who knew that a trio of guys who look like Mike Mills from REM could be so violent?
3. The Wicker Man
Nicolas Cage is punchier than the average bear. It’s stupid to even try to come up with a pithy comment about this clip. It’s just brilliant. Watch it.
2. Indiana Jones and the Punch Raiders of the Temple Crusade
How do you pick one punch from the Indiana Jones movies? We can’t help but love every whipcrack-sounding one of them. Although I have a special place in my heart for the bit on the truck in Raiders of the Lost Ark where he beats up Paul Hogan’s Nazi cousin.
1. Blazing Saddles
And so we come to the most famous horse-puncher of them all, Mongo. Sadly, the actor who played him, professional wrestler and NFL player Alex Karras, died of kidney failure last year. Mongo can park whatever animal has brought him into town wherever he chooses. And remember: if you shoot him, you’ll just make him mad.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE PUNCH?