Created By: Heart on January 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.
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