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The Dark Knight Rises Sewer Fight vs. The Winter Soldier Highway Fight

DACrowe

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As another thread has become transfixed by a few folks just repeating how much they hate the fight scenes in one of these films and how NO ONE can like it, I figured what the hell?

The best fight scene in The Dark Knight Rises vs. the best fight scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I like both. I know which I think is more emotional and cinematically dramatic, and which is better choreographed (hint, they're not the same scene).

But both are liked by their fans, neither have much in the way of CGI (though I think obviously TWS still has some) and both are meant to turn the screws in the audience with some kind of emotion. Which do you prefer?



 
Sewer fight for me. I love TWS (and CW), and that highway fight is cool, but the way the Russo's shoot action sometimes can be a bit much, and a bit... TV'ish.

The sewer fight is beautifully lit and shot, and tests Batman in a way we'd never seen before. It begins with a fist pumping scene of he and Catwoman dominating mercs to the thumping Zimmer score, then the music pulls out and the shots linger on the action-- You feel the dread build with each hit Batman takes, with every maneuver Bane counters. When Batman screams with a combination of rage and desperation, when Bane pulls him from the dark and shatters the cowl, and of course the iconic back breaking... It's haunting and epic, and it doesn't resort to CGI, overdone camera movement or any cheap trickery. As I mentioned, it doesn't even let music carry it.

As a sequence, it also has more meaning to the overall narrative of the movie and its characters (where as a lot of the highway fight just exists for the sake of having a fight, outside of the Bucky reveal right at the end).

I'm due for a rewatch of both movies soon, though.
 
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Cap/Bucky fight easily. The hand to hand choreography was as good as it gets

The Bane/batman fight looks like two drunk uncles fighting
 
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Lord, another Rises thread. Don't hear anything about it for two years besides people making fun of how dumb and silly Bane was, now everyone is talking about it nonstop.

The sewer scene was the one action beat in the film that was shot great, but it wasn't even a fight, really. I'd take the elevator fight, the Lemurian Star fight, the final Bucky Cap fight, and the Fury car chase over the sewer fight, easily. Batman doesn't get any good knocks in, and he seems to forget he has a utility belt for some reason. Even though the sewer fight was one of the few redeemable qualities in the movie, the round II which the rest of the film set up was an utter disappointment on numerous levels.
 
Hmm toughie. I think both are great.

The sewer fight has more weight behind it and the lack of music and emphasis on sound is great. But the choreography isn't the greatest, it does have that one bad bit where Bane spins and hits Batman, but his fist doesn't even connect.

The choreography in the Winter Solider bridge fight is dynamic and exciting, but it's resolution isn't as powerful as the TDKR sewer fight.

Overall I'll probably go with TWS having the better fight, but that's because I like the movie more than TDKR. But it's still pretty close.
 
I think Steve finding out that the masked assassin is his long dead brother-in-arms is great emotional weight, personally.
 
Add me to the list of people tired of Rises vs threads
 
Sewer fight by a couple of inches. Way more intense and impactful to me.
 
Lord, another Rises thread. Don't hear anything about it for two years besides people making fun of how dumb and silly Bane was, now everyone is talking about it nonstop.

Add me to the list of people tired of Rises vs threads

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Add me to the list of people tired of Rises vs threads

It is pretty ****ing tiresome. Especially since a lot of them involve the same vocal minority desperately trying to convince people that the movie-going public at large didn't like TDKR, contrary to all actual evidence.
 
In terms of great geek moments, I think I prefer seeing Bane breaking the Bat's back to seeing Bucky go "Who the hell is Bucky?". I remember reading set pic speculation of when TDKR was shooting and people saw Bale with the cane - it got me so hyped to possibly see that iconic panel, and Nolan delivered. (Though the cane was for a different injury)

I think it also perhaps work on a figurative level as an homage to The Dark Knight Return's first mudhole fight against the mutants.

The highway fight from TWS is great too with tons of repeat value - it's the first time we see Cap fight as he should.
 
Off topic, but what did you grade Doctor Strange? Always enjoy reading your thoughts and reviews.

I have been meaning to write a formal review of it, but i didn't have time to when it was out. Short version, loved Doctor Strange. Visually, one of their finest films and it feels like a callback to Iron Man in many ways, in a good way. Maybe i will do that this weekend!
 
Highway fight, easily. The Sewer fight's choreography was pretty bad.
 
If we talk pure choreography, then nearly any brawl in MCU is better than what Nolan came up with in his trilogy, maybe with exception of Batman vs. Ra's henchmen in BB. But strength of the sewer fight isn't choreography, but suspense, drama and cinematography. So I vote TDKR.
 
Interesting comparison, and I too am tired of TDKR comparison threads - it wasn't perfect, hell it wasn't as good as TDK, but let's let it go.

Anyway, the one aspect that TDKR's sewer beatdown has on TWS is emotional investment.

Sure, the Winter Soldier is pretty damn menacing,and the action is beautifully choreographed, but the sewer fight is the one time in TDKR for me that Bane felt really scary - his presence and ruthless destruction of Batman makes him frightening, despite that ridiculous voice.

And we see Batman get absolutely destroyed in a way we've never seen on the big screen before - and that has an impact.It's kind of painful to watch, and of course pays tribute to an absolutely iconic moment in comic book history.

If we talk pure choreography, then nearly any brawl in MCU is better than what Nolan came up with in his trilogy, maybe with exception of Batman vs. Ra's henchmen in BB. But strength of the sewer fight isn't choreography, but suspense, drama and cinematography. So I vote TDKR.

I totally agree, in choreography terms, as many have said, almost every MCU fight beats anything WB has done - except for me the Pruitt building action sequence at the end of TDK, which is what I think Batman is all about, using fists, brains and gadgetry to save the day without a big body count. On that note, I've seen interviews with Nolan who stated that he intentionally kept the choreography messy, sort of an anti-matrix approach. It's less about him not being able to do fight scenes and more about him making a deliberate choice to keep them minimal.


So , having said all that, I'd say the TWS scene is the better action sequence, but in terms of overall drama, the sewer fight was more meaningful and more intense.
 
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If we talk pure choreography, then nearly any brawl in MCU is better than what Nolan came up with in his trilogy, maybe with exception of Batman vs. Ra's henchmen in BB. But strength of the sewer fight isn't choreography, but suspense, drama and cinematography. So I vote TDKR.

Didn't work for me but I'm glad you enjoyed it. You tend to surround yourself with like minded people but everyone I know just laughs at that whole scene.
 
Another tough poll, both have their good points and bad points really and most on here have pointed them out. I watched Rises about 6 months ago and still loved the sewer fight and the movie in general. I would probably go with TDKR at this point.

Not seen TWS for a year if not more though so don't want to vote without seeing it again.

I will say though that i love a good fight scene but emotion and drama normally trump spectacle for me.
 
When it comes to choreography it's not even close, TWS is far more competent. Crisper techniques executed at a higher speed, and the higher pace and intensity of the fight works in it's favor as well. That it's made in strong lighting and every movie is pretty clear is a credit to it as well, as many movies fail to do that.

The TDKR scene is fairly clumsy, so as a fight scene it will lose to a lot of scenes. Given that it's so slow paced I don't know if it perhaps doesn't want to be a fight scene but more a dramatic scene that has some fighting in it by necessity. They are pretty different in that regard so the comparison isn't as clear as one might think at first glance.

Neither of the scene is shocking in any way for us that know the source material, as everyone of course know that Batman gets his back broken and that the Winter Soldier is Bucky. For me the latter worked better emotinally much due to that I think Steve Rogers was presented in a more compelling way than Bruce Wayne was at that point.

My vote therefor goes to TWS as it both works as a dramatic point in the story and is a great action scene.
 
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I don't enjoy any of Nolan's action scenes, so this isn't close. TWS by a mile.
 
Bucky or Cap as portrayed in the bridge fight absolutey would have kicked the crap out of Movie drive through speaker voice Bane. Bane should probably be more powerful than either of them. Nolan doesn't do fight scenes, the choreography sucked TDKR sucked.
 
I don't enjoy any of Nolan's action scenes, so this isn't close. TWS by a mile.

It's amazing to me that an otherwise brilliant director is so terrible at directing these kinds of sequences. The biggest problem is they are cut way to slow so all of the fakeness is compounded. You can get away with mistakes when you do fast editing, but cut as slow as they are the mistakes are magnified. The worst part is when Bane is throwing cross punches at Batman and you see Batman twisting his head in the direction of the punch. It's like fake fighting 101. That's the kind of crap people do in YouTube videos not Hollywood productions.
 
Well this thread is interesting.

I created it because, ironically, I too am tired about certain discussions with Rises: namely that it's so bad, and the fight choreography is a "joke" and Nolan's action scenes "suck." And yet, even if TWS wins the poll in the end (it's still early), clearly a number of comic book fans aren't quite this jaded despite the insistence of a few vocal Hypsters.

Anyway, I too voted for the sewer fight. I like the highway scene a lot. I think it is better than TV as some have said in terms of tension and the level of intricacy in the fighting and camera angles. And yes, it has better choreography than Rises.

But the thing about Nolan sequences is he knows how to bury them in tension, suspense, and cinematic wonder. It wasn't until a certain passionate type of hater for the film made gifs that slowed down and played on a loop that "spin punch" that it became obvious for most the punch doesn't connect. What does connect, though, is a brutally powerful scene that has so much going on emotionally: Bruce realizing he's beaten; Bane revealing he knows who Batman is and that he has advantage over every one of Bruce's tricks; Catwoman realizing who Batman is and that she has betrayed someone who could actually have maybe saved Gotham if he didn't walk into an ambush.

And the cinematography, the brilliant choice of no explosive Hans Zimmer music, the way the water trickles on the black Batman suit, which creates a look of faded grandeur as Bane pummels his helmet? The dialogue Bane has? Yeah, easy vote for me.
 

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