Friday, July 15, 2016

Favourite Scene Friday! Wheels on Meals: Jackie Chan vs. Benny "The Jet" Urquidez

Today's FSF, the latest in our series of fight scenes, is by FSF newcomer Tony Cogan from Coogs Reviews! You can follow Tony on Twitter at @tonycoogs.

When I decided to do a piece for Favourite Scene Friday, I knew that I wanted to do a fight scene, mainly one that focused on hand to hand combat, but originally I had a hard time choosing one. Should I go with the fight between Rama, Andi and Mad Dog from The Raid, the fight between Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris from Return of the Dragon or go a different track and into one of the boxing matches from the Rocky series or Raging Bull. In the end though, there was only really one fight scene that I could choose, one that I feel is the greatest hand to hand fight scene committed to film, that being the fight between Jackie Chan and Benny "The Jet" Urquidez in Wheels on Meals.


Now for full disclosure, I haven't actually seen Wheels on Meals. I first found out about this fight scene when I was watching videos about fight scenes done by Jackie Chan in general and this one always stood out for me from the brief clips I saw in the original video. So I eventually watched the full fight and I was so impressed by what I saw. The main thing that has always impressed me about this fight is the speed that Chan and Urquidez fight at, mixed in with the choreography of the fight. So many moments in the fight look like they were planned down to the millisecond to ensure that each punch and kick had full weight behind it, particularly the moment when Urquidez kicks and at that split second Chan kicks as well, his kick connecting with Urquidez. Of course the highlight in terms of the speed of the fighters is when Urquidez delivers a kick so swift that the wind generated by it blows out a set of candles. There is no trick photography here, Urquidez is just that good with his kicks.

As I said before, the choreography and speed give real weight to the punches and kicks, enhanced by the use of slow motion. Every hit that Chan and Urquidez get on each other looks intensely painful and this helps make the part when Chan gains the upper hand, especially after getting owned by Urquidez early on, all the more impactful. When the synthesisers and electric guitars kick in in the second half of this scene, it lets you know that the fight is going to shift Chan's way. The way he taunts Urquidez, baiting him so that he can gain the upper hand, is a brilliant piece of martial arts choreography.

This is just an expertly executed fight scene, the speed and strength at which Chan and Urquidez fight is mind boggling to see, the choreography is outstanding, and there's a part of me that loves the cheesy honour that ends the fight with Chan pulling Urquidez in after he's knocked out of a window. That's the kind of cheese that I like seeing in fight scenes and it's what helped make this probably my favourite hand to hand fight scene.

What's your favorite Jackie Chan fight scene?

1 comment:

  1. Tony - thanks for this scene! It's an awesome fight - I don't think they make them like this anymore. Makes me miss the days when Jackie Chan was in good flicks. He may still be, but that Skip Trace thing with Johnny Knoxville doesn't look that great. The bit where he kicks him out the window and grabs him at the same time is awesome.