“Fight Club” (1999) “I want you to hit me as hard as you can.” This is the unusual request of Tyler Durden, a soap salesman with a fondness for vintage threads and physical aggression in David Fincher’s “Fight Club.” The Narrator (Edward Norton) attempts to satiate Durden’s sadism, but accidentally — and hilariously — bops him in the ear. Later, we find out that Durden is a figment of the Narrator’s imagination, so he was really punching himself in the ear. Hmmm, that doesn’t really make sense. All that punching was neat though, wasn’t it? Ah, “Fight Club,” the movie that made violence fun again.
“Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991) Before he was stamping amendments — or whatever it is that a Governor does — Arnold Schwarzenegger was stomping time-traveling, liquid metal robots in James Cameron’s “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” Starring as the T-800 — a cyborg inexplicably programmed with an Austrian accent — Arnold is at first outclassed by an updated model, the T-1000. and goes old school, dropping the machine gun and putting his fist right through the T-1000’s flat-topped head. With the help of some early CGI, the T-1000’s melon reforms around Arnold’s award-winning tricep. The Governator only comes this close to “girlie” men when he’s punching them.
“Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan” (1989) “Take your best shot!” So says Julius Gaw, a boxer foolish enough to go face-to-hockey mask with the self-conscious, water-logged, machete wielder Jason Voorhees in the 1989 horror flick “Jason Takes Manhattan.” Talk about famous last words. Retorting with the hardest hit since that guido socked Snooki, Jason knocks the fighter’s head clean off with one punch.
“Dumb & Dumber” (1995) Anyone who’s watched “America’s Funniest Home Videos” has seen a guy get hit in the cojones, but Bob Saget never brought us an attack like the one from 1994’s “Dumb & Dumber”. Lloyd Christmas sees to it that a hapless waiter will have to switch from briefs to boxers when he treats his boys like a speed bag. To add agony to injury, Christmas — in one of cinema’s most harrowing moments — chomps down on the man’s Rocky Mountain oysters. Hordes of fans that paid to see “The Majestic” wished they could do the same thing to Jim Carrey.
“Raging Bull” (1980) Save for Oscar de la Hoya, pretty men shouldn’t box. A fact Mickey Rourke learned the hard way. Same goes for Tony Janiro, the angel-faced pugilist who gets an extra helping of Everlast from Jake LaMotta for being so cute in Martin Scorsese’s 1980 classic “Raging Bull.” Thinking his wife has the hots for the young fighter, the insanely jealous Lamotta rearranges the kid’s flawless bone structure with vicious haymakers. The beating is so brutal that Janiro’s nose comes apart in a shower of blood (they used Hershey’s syrup to complement the black & white cinematography). Forget the defensively challenged Rocky — this is the greatest movie punch ever.
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