4. The Crazy 88 – Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)
One woman taking on 88(ish) well-trained Yakuza fighters – and walking away without breaking a sweat? Very cool, but very unbelievable.
Tarantino makes violence seem so cool. Nowhere is this more evident than in Kill Bill, wherein the Bride (Uma Thurman) swears revenge on a team of assassins after they attempt to kill her.
During her quest for vengeance, the Bride faces off with assassin O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu), who has established herself as a leader of the Yakuza. These ties to the Japanese mafia set up a legendary showdown between the Bride and the Crazy 88, a squad of elite Yakuza fighters, before the Bride can reach her intended target.
The resulting clash is one of cinema’s most iconic fight scenes, although when you really consider what’s happening, it’s so far from plausible that it’s actually a little frustrating.
The Bride finds herself surrounded, armed only with a samurai sword, and yet the Crazy 88 seem content to attack her in turns, allowing her ample opportunity to defend herself and kill them each one by one. Say what you will about these hardened criminals, but they’ve got impeccable manners.
Still, Tarantino is a true master, and the scene revels in its ridiculousness, still somehow coming off as one of the most awesome and gloriously violent scenes in cinematic history.