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There is a lot to love about Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings from all those hilarious Awkwafina lines, to one of the most emotionally complicated villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the undeniable charm of star Simu Liu. One part of the movie that seems to be getting a lot of attention is the amazing bus scene early on in the movie where Shang-Chi reveals his true self when taking on a group of his father’s Ten Rings soldiers who have come for the pendant. If you are a fan of that sequence (you know you are) and want more of that type of action, I have some good news for you. Below is a collection of nine awesome fight sequences that are similar to the bus scene in one way or another. But heads up - there are minor spoilers for Shang-Chi below...
Captain America Fights Hydra In An Elevator (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
Over the years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has given audiences some of the best fight sequences in the superhero genre, and the fight that is near the top of that list is Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) taking on multiple S.H.I.E.L.D. agents (who are actually Hydra) in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. This sequence, which some would consider to be the best Captain America moment, does three things that have withstood the test of time: 1) it slowly builds tension with more and more compromised agents getting on the cramped elevator, 2) it shows Cap using his brain and his braun to quickly take care of everyone coming after him, and 3) it’s a ton of fun to go back and watch over and over.
All of that can be said about the bus scene in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The tension slowly builds through the early goings of the scene, Shang-Chi uses his fighting skills and intelligence to outmatch the Ten Rings soldiers on the bus, and it’s honestly one of the most enjoyable parts of the movie, so much so I was bummed when it finally ended.
Daredevil Fights A Biker Gang In A Stairwell (Daredevil Season 2)
Over the course of its three-season run on Netflix, Daredevil gave Marvel fans some of the most gruesome yet extremely fun action sequences and fight scenes, with the Season 2 stairwell fight between Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) and the Dogs of Hell motorcycle club being at the top of the list and up there with the best fights in the MCU. This bone-crushing, exhausting, and unrelenting fight came to us just after Daredevil subdued The Punisher (Jon Bernthal) on the rooftops of a New York City high-rise and when he thought he was out of the way of danger. But between our hero and safety stand a legion of angry biker outlaws with nothing else to do but throw hands.
In addition to being intense as all hell like the bus scene in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the Daredevil stairwell scene also has a couple nice breaks that trick you into thinking the fight is over before jumping right back into the action. Did I mention this fight is absolutely brutal?
The Bride Fights The Crazy 88 (Kill Bill Vol. 1)
The Crazy 88 fight in Kill Bill Vol. 1, for a lack of a better term, is crazy. Taking place in the final act of the first volume of Quentin Tarantino’s revenge epic, this extremely bloody and disgustingly violent fight sequence between The Bride (Uma Thurman) and O-Ren’s (Lucy Liu) personal army has become one of the most iconic of its kind in the years following the film’s release and for good reason. Clocking in at nearly nine minutes in length, the expertly choreographed and beautifully shot sequence features a seemingly endless horde of masked swordsmen who could have made quick work of their opponent if she were not a vengeful assassin left for dead years earlier.
And while The Bride vs. The Crazy 88 fight is far more violent than anything we saw in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, both sequences showcase determined heroes proving their worth by looking at the odds dead in the eye and laughing them off on their respective journeys. Plus, the Kill Bill Vol. 1 showdown has such a great pacing and tone that deserves a rewatch for no reason at all.
The Glass Room Fight (John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum)
The John Wick franchise is another film property with a history of intense fight scenes. And while there is a case to be made for each and every one of those sequences showing Keanu Reeves’ legendary assassin engaging in hand-to-hand combat, today we’re going to focus on the glass room fight partway through John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum.
There might not appear to be a lot of similarities between Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum here, but these two expertly-crafted sequences both see the respective heroes in outnumbered fights for survival while also seeing both of them using their opponents’ momentum and surroundings against them. John Wick does this while maneuvering around glass cases (while not being thrown into them) and Shang-Chi goads Razor Fist (Florian Munteanu) into following him to the back of the bus before having Katy (Awkwafina) make a hard right turn to roll the bus.
Rama Fights Hammer Girl And The Baseball Bat Man (The Raid 2)
It isn’t hard to come up with a fight scene from The Raid franchise that takes place in a confined setting, but it is quite difficult to settle on just one. And while it would be nice to include a scene-by-scene breakdown of all of Gareth Evans’ most intense moments, we’re going to focus on Rama (Iko Uwais) going up against the infamous Hammer Girl (Julie Estelle) and Baseball Bat Man (Very Tri Yulisman) in The Raid 2.
Just like in the bus fight in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Rama’s fight with Hammer Girl and Baseball Bat Man accomplishes a couple of things: 1) it establishes the hero as a master of his craft by taking on some of the most vicious henchmen in the movie, 2) it helps make the next person to cross the hero’s path seem like an even bigger badass (increasing the stakes once again), and 3) it leaves you on the edge of your seat in anticipation for what comes next.
Bloody Vampire Club Fight (Blade)
There are character introductions and then there are badass character introductions like the one seen in Blade. The first time we see Eric Brooks (Wesley Snipes), aka Blade, in action he is seen crashing a Los Angeles vampire rave, taking out bloodsuckers left and right as they throw insults like “Daywalker” at him.
Just like in the bus fight in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, this is the first time we really get to see Blade in action, and he does not disappoint. The sequence isn’t as hectic as the one in the 2021 Marvel Studios movie but it does a tremendous job of establishing the tone of the action sequences that are to follow. Let’s just hope the Blade reboot is able to capture some of this madness and carnage.
Warehouse Fight (The Night Comes For Us)
The 2018 Netflix action thriller The Night Comes For Us features some of the best fight scenes of the past few years especially the warehouse sequence where Ito (Joe Taslim) takes out an entire group of Triad henchmen during his quest to get revenge on the Six Seas. What follows is one of the most intense and gruesome stretches of time in any movie outside of the body horror genre to come out in quite some time, and director Timo Tjahjanto doesn’t hold back one bit, creating a visceral and almost nauseating display of grotesque violence.
Even though it is much more brutal than anything shown in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, this extensive fight sequence shows you things from Ito’s perspective and focuses in on each section of the fight in order to not overwhelm you with everything happening outside of his field of view.
Bus/Bus Station Fight (The Transporter)
In 2002, Jason Statham went from one of Guy Ritchie’s go-to guys to one of the biggest action stars of our time with a little movie called The Transporter. In the middle of the movie, audiences were given perhaps the best fight scene of the franchise with the iconic bus/bus station fight where Statham’s Frank Martin goes from fighting a group of goons in a bus to taking the fight to inside the bus station where he then kicks over a vat of motor oil and makes the situation a whole lot messier.
Not only does this scene take place in a bus (at least partially) like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, it also helps establish Frank as an absolute powerhouse capable of taking on multiple opponents at the same time. Plus, he jumps out a freaking window while using one of his enemies as a human shield.
Hallway Fight Scene (Oldboy)
Last but certainly not least is the brutal hallway fight scene from Park Chan-wook’s 2003 South Korean action thriller Oldboy. Taking place after Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) locates the hotel prison where he was held captive for 15 years, the fight looks like something out of a side-scrolling beat-em-up video game because of the way the camera glides along the corridor in one continuous shot. It’s simple, effective, and extremely violent as Dae-su defeats more than a dozen guards. But the hero isn’t without injury here and even spends a large portion of the fight with a knife jammed into his back.
This is the first movie I thought of when I saw the impressive Shangi-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings bus fight, which appears to pay homage to Oldboy when Shang-Chi is fighting while walking from one end of the bus to the other. I’m not sure if that was intentional or not, but it was a brilliant decision.
Honestly, this is a list the could keep going and going, but it has to stop somewhere. I mean, it would be easy to make an argument for honorable mentions like the Warrior nunchuck brawl, the excellent hallway scene from Repo Man, and Darth Vader wrecking rebel scum in the final moments of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to all be included. But there is always next time…