The thrill of watching a movie fight is all about seeing the hero face off against an enemy whose might cannot seemingly be matched; after all, why do you think underdog movies like The Karate Kid are so successful?
We like seeing heroes triumph over adversity – after all, isn’t that how they become heroes in the first place? – yet sometimes, filmmakers get things a little wrong. Of course, it can be intentional, but sometimes, a spot of casting, scripting or fight choreography just doesn’t pan out as they expect it to in theory.
The result? Some of the most hilariously, brilliantly mismatched movie fights of all time. They’re difficult to take seriously – as is sometimes the point – but almost always entertaining to watch. If offered a more fierce alternative, I think I’d always opt for what we ended up with; these films are all certainly more famous – at least in the annals of YouTube montages – because of their wonderful mismatches…
10. Bruce Lee vs. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – Game of Death
We’ll start with one of the most blatantly obvious fight mismatches in cinema history; Billy Lo (Bruce Lee) facing off against the gigantic Hakim (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) in Lee’s final film released after his untimely demise, Game of Death. Frankly, what more needs to be said?
Does this picture not speak a thousand words? Depending on which sources you’ve read, Bruce Lee was anywhere from 5 foot 6 to 5 foot 8, weighing from 125-150lbs, whereas the famous basketball player stood at a gigantic 7 foot 2, and weighed anywhere from 225-250lbs.
This should have resulted in Billy getting his ass unceremoniously kicked, but of course, in true Bruce Lee fashion, he emerges the victorious underdog, using Hakim’s great height against him and choking him to death. While Hakim has lightning fast feet, Billy’s are faster, and he can manoeuver around quicker to win against the pretty incredible odds.
This article was first posted on June 18, 2013