The 10 Most Memorable Male Vs. Female Movie Fights
Photo: 20th Century Fox
It seems — if you don’t live in a trailer park in Florida — that Jerry Springer is the most reliable place to see men and women engaging in physical altercations. Fight scenes are a movie staple, though it is only every once in awhile that the opponents are of the opposite sex. However, some great films have delivered truly awesome male versus female match-ups. Here are the 10 most memorable.
Batman VS. Catwoman, Batman Returns (1992)
Their relationship is complicated. As is the audience’s relationship with this film. There is much to malign about Batman Returns, but just as much to applaud. One example of the latter is indeed the complex dynamic between the caped crusade and Catwoman — not to mention their alter egos. And it all starts rolling with a rooftop battle high above Gotham City. A mingling of both adversarial and sexual tension pervades throughout between these two dominant forces dressed up snazzily in nifty goth costumes.
Alabama VS. Virgil, True Romance (1993)
A cheap Hollywood hotel is imaginably a frequent real world setting for grim activity, so it is easy to see how one would play backdrop to one of the most disconcerting fights ever inspired by the mind of Quentin Tarantino. We see that the advice not to hit a girl has been completely ignored by the boys on this list. But what about beating her to a bloody pulp? That is what happens to Alabama in the ultraviolent crime comedy/drama True Romance at the hands of a hulking henchman. But she’s scrappy herself, and not to be counted out in a fight to the death. That’s probably why Clarence — and we — fell madly in love with her.
Eggsy VS. Gazelle, Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
Super violent yet somehow bloodless, this sleek actioner has all the unabashed violence of a typical American actioner with the well-bred manners of a British import. Our heroes are literally fighting to stop the end of the world and that task climactically falls into the hands a Eggsy, a new, young recruit to a super secret spy agency. Looking to stop him is Gazelle, a double amputee who is by no means disabled, particularly with the sharp blades she now uses to walk upon and murder with. A dazzling fight sequence ensues, made even brighter set to music from KC & The Sunshine Band.
Most Memorable Movie Fights Male VS. Female
John Smith VS. Jane Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)
We imagine their fight scene might have resembled the last days of their power marriage (without the multi-ethnic children strewn about). As the titular Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie brought all the sex appeal an adulterous pairing between the most beautiful working actor and actresses in the whole wide world rightly would. This culminates in a hand-to-hand domestic dispute that literally brings down the house. Two assassins targeted to kill each is still a lot less messy though than a public, high profile divorce and custody dispute, though.
Paul Sheldon VS. Annie Wilkes, Misery (1990)
First immobilized by a nasty car accident, author Paul Sheldon then finds himself in the novel-worthy problem of having a determined fan transition from caretaker to captor in this captivating adaptation of the Stephen King bestseller Misery. Kathy Bates plays Annie Wilkes in an Oscar-winning performance, a monster in matron’s clothing who will keep her prized possession in her grasp at all costs. Battered and broken — but with a burning will to survive — Paul’s imprisonment culminates in a knock-down-drag-out fight that includes the surprising utilization of a currently obsolete device: a typewriter.
Wolverine VS. Lady Deathstrike, X2: X-Men United (2003)
If you end up getting in a fist fight with a woman, better to avoid it if her name is Lady Deathstrike. But in X2, Wolverine has little choice since she initiates it. She proves a fair sparring partner with her equal possession of retractable metal claws and immortality. Well, there are ways around the latter, it seems. In the original X-Men, Wolverine also tangled with the fairer sex, the shape-shifting badass Mystique. But here, the stakes are higher and the structural damage to the surroundings — as bodies are tossed through the air like pizza dough — is greater. Everything about this sequel is greater, in fact, particularly this climactic fight.
Ron Burgundy VS. Veronica Corningstone, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
Some people think Citizen Kane is the greatest film ever made. For others, it is Anchorman. And it is scenes like the one in which Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone brawl that might be the reason why. In the film, Christina Applegate holds her own mightily alongside comic powerhouses like Will Ferrell, Steve Carrell, and the dude with the cowboy hat. In kind, so does Corningstone as she beats down her nemesis with a television antenna, mace and a typewriter. Another typewriter as a weapon on our list? Maybe a subject for a Mandatory article all its own.
Douglas Quaid VS Lori, Total Recall (1990)
Most men would not want to mess with Arnold Schwarzenegger, let alone a woman. But Sharon Stone is not any woman; she’s an actress who plays characters with balls, even when she’s showing off her vagina in an interrogation room. In Total Recall, a domestic dispute takes an existential turn when a marriage is revealed to be a ruse implemented by a memory implant, but derailed by another memory implant. Machine guns are drawn, nards are kicked, knives slash through the air — a captivating boy/girl fight. Especially since the girl is dressed in racy workout gear.
Schmidt VS. Mercedes, 22 Jump Street (2014)
The aforementioned Mr. & Mrs. Smith is given a major shout out in the hilarious fist fight between Schmidt and Mercedes in 22 Jump Street. Things indeed get awkward when she questions whether they are to continue punching each other in the face or are about to have sex — which they don’t, though lube is still a factor in the brawl. Pitt and Jolie these two plump pugilists are not, but they do shine brightly in their spring break attire. A memorable scene, indeed (except for the dude off to the side of the chaos hitting the bong, thus launching himself into space).
The Bride VS. The Crazy 88, Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2004)
We’ve seen women take on men impressively on this list, but the most amazing feat comes courtesy of Kill Bill: Vol. 1 when the vengeful Bride tracks down her target, but first needs to fend off an army of business-suited, masked Japanese men in an epic sword fight. Known as the Crazy 88, they come at her fast and furiously, wielding uncompromising blades of steel. But as we’ve already seen, a Quentin Tarantino woman does not go down easily, whether faced with a one-on-one battle or one-on-eighty-eight. With a great sword and superior skill, such a mismatch for this female warrior is a simple as a walk down the aisle.