Created By: HeartJanuary 19, 2010

Fight Scene Failure

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Rescuing a good idea for a trope from the scrap heap.

Peter helps Flash with his Air Guitar!
All fighting you see on TV is fake. Producers just can't have their actors actually hitting each other, as most do not wish to be held liable for broken bones, stitches, etc. So, fight scenes in movies have to be cleverly staged to make it appear as though they are, but in such a way so that nobody really gets hurt.

Sometimes this is pulled off extremely well, making for one hell of a great fight scene.

But, this trope is about when it isn't pulled off so well - can be due to a number of factors, but usually can be attributed to poor choreography, Executive Meddling, or simply poor acting. But regardless of the reason, the whole fight scene comes out looking extremely corny and stupid to the viewers and the characters look like utter buffoons.

A Subjective Trope, of course.


  • ''Spider Man}}. Although all of the other fights in the movie were very well done, the scene where Peter Parker fights with Flash Thompson in a school corridor was rather a different story.
  • Dolomite: Scenes are shot from the wrong angle, so it's obvious that punches miss.
  • Any old movie when punches make a loud solid thwack sound on impact. James Bond is a big offender with these.
  • At the end of Leviathan, when Peter Weller punches the Corrupt Corporate Executive there's at least three inches of air between his fist and her.

Live Action TV
  • The 1960s TV series The Avengers Emma Peel fighting style is made of this trope.
  • The original Star Trek was bad for this:
    • Court Martial. Not only can you tell its two stuntment fighting, but they telegraph their punches so badly the misses are obvious.
    • Arena: The guy in the Gorn suit moves slow, apparently in an attempt to make the Gorn look big and ponderous... but it makes the fight seem ridiculous. As one critic said about the Gorn's attempt to swipe at Kirk, "Stephen Hawking could have dodged that one."

Professional Wrestling
  • Happens very, VERY often in wrestling, sometimes when a move misses its mark, sometimes when the recepient of the move overreacts or fails to react at all.
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • January 11, 2010
    Should this be a subjective trope?

    Also, I think a good picture caption would be "They were fighting? I thought the guy was going "Rock on!"."
  • January 11, 2010
    I don't know if this comes from the episode mentioned above, but cringe in horror at this fight scene. Also, old movies (like James Bond) where connecting punches make these loud thwack sounds.
  • January 11, 2010
    How about calling it "Gorn Fight" to name it after the best example of a horrible fight scene known to man. Not to be confused with this kind of Gorn.
  • January 11, 2010
    Because of that other trope name, I can't recommend that. Obvious Stage Fight?
  • January 11, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Parodied on The Fast Show. They showed a clip from a 'new British gangster movie'. The title was a parody of The Long Good Friday, The Long Big Punch Up. It was basically two blokes on a bit of wasteland, just doing one really slow, telegraphed, obviously wide of the mark punch after another. Over and over again.
  • January 11, 2010
    Unknown Troper
  • January 12, 2010
    There Will Be Brawl. It's all done by amateurs ([[So Cool It'sAwesome not in the "unprofessionnal" sense]]), but in some scenes the fights are just too slow to look realistic. Episode 10 is a big one.
  • January 12, 2010
    Bumped for examples: Will be a mixture of obvious and subjective examples.
  • January 12, 2010
  • January 19, 2010
    bumping for more exampels

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