What’s better than a movie containing trains eh? How about movies with train fight scenes? Oh hell yeah, a double whammy of awesomeness if you like that sort of thing. From James Bond (apparently he really likes fighting on trains) to silver screen depictions of your favorite comic books characters’ fights on trains seem to happen quite a lot.
In the following few words, we’ll highlight ten great movie train fight scenes and see if they are actually possible. As always the following list is arbitrary and in no particular order. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments section.
[Image Source: Filmic Box via YouTube]
From Russia With Love (1963)
Let’s kick things off with one of the greatest movie train fight scenes! Sean Connery, officially the best James Bond, gets trapped in a train carriage with a SPECTRE agent Grant, played by Robert Shaw. With a very large pistol aimed his way, he has little choice but to fight for his life. Grant opens Bond’s smoke-bombed briefcase giving Bond the opening he needs. What follows is a moody, music-less mesmerizing brutal fight scene that hasn’t aged a bit!
Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (1989)
Our next selection of great movie train fight scenes comes from no other than Indiana Jones. In the third installment of this great series, we see Indiana Jones flashback to his teenage past. During a horseback ride with the boy scouts, his outing turns a little sinister. He steals a golden cross, as you do, which gets him into deep water with some thugs. He escapes onto a circus train and gets a little beaten up.
It’s not all that bad, he does get his iconic hat and whip from the experience, plus we learn why he hates snakes! Ok enough spoilers!
Predator 2 (1990)
Undercover cops, street thugs and a psychotic hunter alien all thrown together on a subway train! What could possibly go wrong? As the lights are killed and the Predator cloaks we are set up with several minutes of epilepsy inducing uber violence!
Under Seige 2 (1995)
For some, one scene isn’t enough, how about an entire action film on a train? You got it! Stephen Seagal returns in this incredibly violent, yet awesome sequel to one of the best films of all time! Ok, I might be a bit biased. Using his wits, knives and special training our hero single-handedly takes out a host of terrorists intent on mayhem and destruction!
Mission: Impossible (1996)
Ah, when Mission: Impossible films were actually good! After Jon Voight’s character’s scheming plans are put into action, Ethan (Tom Cruise) ends up on a train in the Channel Tunnel. True to form, being a talented man, he ends up using explosive chewing gum to take down both Voight and a helicopter! Realistic then.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
The pretty good, some might say awesome, the sequel to the first Spider-Man has one of the best train fight scenes. Spider-Man goes toe to toe with Doc Ock who takes full advantage of his mechanical tentacles. His technological advantage helps him partially tear the train to pieces especially the brakes! Spidey is tasked with saving the day but his task is no easy one!
After learning how to curve bullets, James McAvoy’s assassin character finds himself stuck on a train with some series bad guys and nowhere to flee. This scene includes Angelina Jolie driving a car onto a moving train and McAvoy firing bullets that smash other bullets in mid air! You know, as you do!
Enthiran (aka “The Robot”) (2010)
You may or may not know about this one. Imagine combining inline skates, trains and intense, yet amusing bust-ups in a train carriage! Dr. Vasi invents a super-powered robot in his own image. This robot, after a freak meeting with some lightning suddenly develops emotions, falls in love with his creator’s fiancee and all hell breaks lose!
James Bond feeds his addiction for bust-ups on trains once again in the 2012 blockbuster Skyfall! On the 50th Anniversary of the film series, Skyfall sees our hero on the trail of the bad guy Patrice in Istanbul, Turkey. Skyfall pulls out all the stops with this brilliant train fight scene. After a bungled attempt sniper shot by Bond’s backup, Eve, she misses and hits Bond instead. Cue Bond’s “skyfall”!
The Wolverine (2013)
After being wounded by Yakuza gangsters, Wolverine makes his escape on a Tokyo bullet train. Sadly he finds himself cornered and must fight for his escape! Wolverine jumps onto the roof in an attempt to shake his pursuers. Of course, they follow but Wolverine has his own built in grappling hooks! His adamantium claws! Viewers are then rewarded for their patience with high-speed, violent goodness!
Are train fight scenes actually possible?
We’ll this really comes down to what exactly you are referring to. Fight scenes, in general, are choreographed and as such “real fights” tend to be a lot more chaotic and messy! That aside “fights” inside the train carriage are completely plausible as, in essence, apart from the motion of the carriage potentially putting you off balance, you are effectively stationary from your point of view relative to the motion of the train. The more “outlandish” entries on our list are obviously less likely/implausible. We’ll discount all entries with Aliens for instance! As for curving bullets or driving cars into trains again, we’ll let you decide!
Any film stunts, especially those depicted on the roof of a train would be incredibly perilous “in real life”. High speeds, air resistance, low-hanging structures and the general risk of injury/death if you fall off should put most of us off in real life! Most scenes in films are conducted by stuntmen, on props rather than real trains or are even completely computer generated and hence are pretty unrealistic. The stuntman in Skyfall explains further here. If you happen to be lucky enough to have mechanical suits, adamantium claws or superhuman strength, fighting outside of train might just be a viable option if needs must. For the rest of us, we might need to question our life decisions if we find ourselves fighting on train journeys! 🙂
So there you go. Which scenes would you include? do you think it’s possible to fight on a train? Let’s start a conversation.