Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Do you feel lucky, punk?

I have never quite understood the fight sequences in movies. They remind me of a bank. It is as if our hero works at the bank. The villains are the customers. Despite being armed with looks rugged enough to bring an expression of fear on Arjun Rampal’s face and enough weapons to pose a threat to the Bush administration, they huddle obediently around the hero. It is as if they have all been given tokens, like at the bank, and are waiting for their number to be announced over the PA system.

Slowly, they come forward, wielding their weapons. The first one approaches the hero. After a brief and formal greeting, he is bashed up beyond recognition. The others wait, anxiously looking at the token display and the transaction in progress. After the first of the villains has been beaten to pulp, the next one in line advances hesitantly, as if checking with the teller – “Token no. 23, isn’t it? Well, that’s me. Start punching.” And one by one they come, with a weapon of their choice. And one by one they bite the dust.

So you think it’s over, huh? Well It isn’t. Because that brings us to the single most important event of these fights - especially fights involving martial artists or Van damme. And hence the most intriguing - The quintessential Swivel Kick.

For the less initiated, the swivel kick is the one the hero deploys after going round and round like a ballet dancer with one of the legs planted. After every 360 degree turn, the planted leg moves by approximately 4 inches in the direction of victim. It is usually executed on the last participating thug, purely because of its dramatic nature. Or so I suppose. Or maybe it is because of the difficulty to execute it when surrounded by men armed with sharp objects. Or maybe he doesn’t want witnesses, in case he loses balance midway. Or it is just the length of the soundtrack, as was the case in ‘Bloodsport’. Whatever the reason, the kick is usually the finishing move. Beautiful. Brutal. And slow. Very slow. Therein lies my problem.

What is that last thug waiting for? He has seen what happens when the token number is called. He has time to run while the hero enters the swivel. If the hero is in his element and decides to employ multiple swivels, he might just have enough time to cross the border, register at a refugee camp and organise a small revolution. But no, he just waits. He is not holding an iPhone and filming the video. He is not busy updating his last words on Facebook. He is simply waiting. To be kicked in the face. As if asking the hero – “See, I am impressed by what you did to my gang and all that. But can you really finish in style with an accurate blow to my left temple?” There is simply no other logical explanation.

1 comment:

pawan said...

ha ha , good analogy