MFF Special: The 10 Best Cinematic Kitchen Fights
The cinematic kitchen fight is an underutilized aspect of filmmaking. When done right the kitchen fight can be a thing of beauty because there are plenty of props, weapons and burning stoves in which to inflict pain. There are endless possibilities to kitchen warfare and I love how items like skillets can become deadly in the hands of assassins (American Ultra and Grosse Point Blank), Disney princesses (Tangled) or Danny DeVito Also, if you are looking to see if someone is a superhero it is best done in a kitchen.
The following post covers the 10 best cinematic kitchen fights. The main criteria is that the fight needs to take place mainly in a kitchen. The Bourne Supremacy features some solid kitchen brawling, but it cannot be considered a kitchen fight because it sprawls all over a swanky apartment. I really wanted to include the scrap in Wet Hot American Summer, but since it is a Netflix television show it will serve as a perfect example of the fights that will be featured.
Without further ado here is the list! Enjoy!
10. The Bodyguard (1992)
The reason this fight ranks at #10 is because it is a one-sided beatdown. Kevin Costner makes perfect use of the kitchen and I love how he puts the bar stool on the guy and sits on it. Costner doesn’t even have to say a word as he wrecks plates, glassware and cabinets. The damage isn’t overly substantial and I think it sets a great precedent for the rest of the list because it takes place solely in the kitchen.
9. Braindead/Dead Alive (1992)
Peter Jackson is a maniac. Leave it up to him to feature the weirdest kitchen fight ever. Basically, a gross baby squares off with two women and the results are very odd. The gross baby is hit with pans, chairs and other appliances. Eventually, the baby is stuffed into a blender and in a moment of defiance vomits all over its unsuspecting foe. Any movie that features a zombie baby leaving a facial indentation in a frying pan is cool with me.
8. Under Siege (1992)
Never attack a chef in his kitchen. The thugs in Under Siege learn a terrible lesson as they are picked apart by Steven Seagal. The kitchen in Under Siege is massive so it becomes a playground for Seagal to hunt and throw knives into people’s throats. I love how the clear glassware shields Seagal from enemy eyelines and aids him in his attack. I have a feeling he knew the kitchen inside and out and knew exactly what would happen in any circumstance.
7. You’re Next (2011)
Spoilers! I love the kitchen fight scene in You’re Next. It is brutally hilarious in its over the top violence and features the most insane usage of a blender ever. I like that director Adam Wingard incorporated a slipping gag, and once again frying pans are used as weapons of destruction. Erin (Sharni Vinson) is a great horror heroine and her kitchen work is splendid.
6. Jurassic Park (1993)
If it wasn’t for this kitchen the kids would be dead and Jurassic Park would be very depressing. The scene took two weeks to film and Spielberg specifically wanted it to be in a familiar location because he knew we were all familiar with kitchens and have similar items in our home. The stainless steel appliances were perfect for accumulating Raptor breath and the raised storage areas proved perfect for capturing cool walking shots.
What I appreciate the most is how this scene makes you hate/love ladles. I had always been indifferent to them but they play a key role in the kids survival, so I had a new respect for them after Jurassic Park.
5. Spy (2015)
I love Spy and I think this fight perfectly encapsulates kitchen fighting. Everything is used (including lettuce) and there are some great gags involving frying pans, knives and bread. The fight was expertly choreographed because it allowed room for character beats which allowed the fight to be fun and feature big laughs and creative violence. Kudos to stunt coordinator J.J. Perry for juggling humor, violence and weaponized bread.
4. Sudden Death (1995)
Can you believe that at the height of JCVD’s career he battled a costumed mascot in the Die Hard ripoff Sudden Death? The fight is surprisingly competitive and I still have no clue how the suited up woman was able to see. The brawl is a full-on battle that features spin kicks, headbutts and pepper used as a weapon. I love this fight because the director was obviously having fun and embraced the stupidity of the situation. You have to see this fight to believe it.
3. Deep Blue Sea (1999)
Deep Blue Sea is my favorite guilty pleasure and the kitchen fight between LL Cool J and a jerky shark is glorious. Basically, LL is stuck in a sinking laboratory and a shark attacks him in his kitchen. The evil shark hunts LL around the kitchen, eats his bird and forces him to wedge himself into an oven. LL eventually escapes the turned on oven (hell yeah!) and blows up the shark. The best part is that he gets a brilliant one-liner that I guarantee you will never hear again.
I couldn’t find any clips of the fight. Instead, I give you LL rapping Deepest Bluest.
2. Gremlins (1984)
What I love about this fight is how expectations are subverted. You think Mrs. Peltzer is going to take a beating, but she wipes these gremlins out with the aid of kitchen appliances. It is bloody, brutal and a gremlin explodes in a microwave! I love that she didn’t back down and took the fight to the little shits.
1. The Raid 2: Berandal (2014)
This fight is the clear #1. Rama (Iko Uwais) is the best action character of the 21st century and this six-minute fight scene is a marvel of choreography and ambition. The scene took eight days to film and features 195 glorious shots of destruction . Gareth Evans is the best action director on the planet and you know he did something right when you are actually tired after watching this fight. Watch The Raid and The Raid 2 now!
What is your favorite kitchen fight?