The 10 Best One-Take Fight Scenes in Media

The 10 Best One-Take Fight Scenes in Media

In the world of filmmaking, few cinematic feats are as awe-inspiring and technically demanding as the one-take fight scene. These uninterrupted sequences, where actors and stunt performers showcase their martial arts prowess, choreography, and precision, have become iconic moments in the realm of entertainment. They immerse the audience in the heart-pounding action, leaving us breathless and marveling at the dedication and craftsmanship behind each frame.

From classic martial arts films to contemporary blockbusters, and television dramas to viral web series, the world of media has given birth to some truly exceptional one-take fight scenes that continue to captivate audiences around the globe. In this article, we embark on a thrilling journey through the 10 best one-take fight scenes in media, celebrating the filmmakers and performers who push the boundaries of what’s possible on the screen. Get ready to relive the adrenaline-pumping moments and marvel at the artistry behind these cinematic masterpieces. Additionally, not every entry on this list will be a true one-take shot, however will be created to look like a one-take with hidden cuts.


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10. Atomic Blonde (2017)

Atomic Blonde

MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton, finds herself trapped in a gritty, dilapidated building in Berlin. As she ascends a stairwell, she is ambushed by multiple adversaries, all of whom are determined to eliminate her. What makes this fight scene particularly remarkable is that it appears to be shot in a single continuous take, adding a visceral intensity to the action. Lorraine battles her way up the narrow stairwell, using everyday objects as improvised weapons. The camera follows her closely, and there are no visible cuts or edits, creating a feeling of real-time chaos and brutality. Theron’s performance is physically demanding, and she executes precise and brutal hand-to-hand combat moves, all while looking visibly fatigued and injured as the fight progresses.

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9. Extraction (2020)


Chris Hemsworth’s Tyler Rake has just rescued Ovi, a young boy, from captivity, and they are attempting to escape from a heavily armed and determined group of mercenaries. The sequence begins when Tyler and Ovi attempt to flee from a building, making their way down a crowded and chaotic street. What sets this scene apart is that it is shot to appear as a single continuous take, with no apparent cuts or edits. The camera follows the characters closely, moving in and out of buildings, vehicles, and intense combat situations seamlessly. Throughout the sequence, Tyler engages in intense gunfights, hand-to-hand combat, and car chases, all while trying to protect Ovi from harm.

8. Children of Men (2006)

Children of Men

In a bleak and dystopian future where humanity faces infertility and societal collapse, Clive Owen’s character, Theo, and his companions are transporting a pregnant refugee, Kee, to safety. As they navigate through a war-torn urban landscape, they encounter a group of armed attackers who ambush their vehicle. What makes this scene remarkable is that it unfolds in a single continuous take, capturing the chaos and intensity of the ambush in real-time. The camera is positioned inside the car, allowing viewers to experience the event from the confined space of the vehicle. The unbroken shot immerses the audience in the characters’ perilous situation, as they desperately try to fend off the attackers and protect Kee.

7. Creed (2015)


The one-take sequence occurs during Adonis’s first major professional boxing match. As the fight begins, the camera adopts a unique perspective. It remains inside the boxing ring, moving and swaying with the fighters as they exchange blows. Unlike traditional boxing scenes in films, where there are frequent cuts and edits, this sequence is shot to appear as one continuous take. As Adonis and his opponent engage in a fierce and physically demanding battle, the camera captures every punch, dodge, and emotion in real-time. The unbroken shot adds a sense of immediacy and intensity to the fight, allowing the audience to feel like they are inside the ring, experiencing the adrenaline and brutality of professional boxing firsthand.

6. Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Harry Hart finds himself in a dire situation. He has infiltrated a church where a religious service is taking place, but things quickly take a dark turn. A mysterious signal is broadcast, causing everyone in the church to become uncontrollably violent, engaging in a brutal and chaotic brawl. What makes this one-take remarkable is that it appears to be shot as a single continuous take, with the camera fluidly moving through the church as Harry fights his way through the frenzied congregation. The choreography and camera work are brilliantly executed, with Harry using a variety of weapons and martial arts moves to fend off attackers.

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5. Daredevil Season 2 (2016)

Daredevil Season 2

In Season 2, Episode 3 New York’s Finest, Daredevil defeats the Punisher and attempts to make his way through a building with numerous adversaries and faces intense physical challenges. The one-take fight scene is characterized by its gritty realism and meticulous choreography. The danger is elevated as The Man Without Fear dispatches his enemies with an empty gun tapped to his hand and a chain in the other. The camera follows Daredevil as he battles his way through multiple levels of the building, taking on a group of thugs with brutal hand-to-hand combat. As the fight progresses, Daredevil becomes visibly fatigued, and the unbroken shot allows the audience to witness his struggle and determination in real-time.

4. The Protector (2005)

The Protector

The scene starts with Kham entering the building and encountering a series of adversaries on different floors. What makes this sequence particularly remarkable is that it appears to be shot as a single continuous take, with the camera following Tony Jaa as he moves from one floor to another, taking on a variety of enemies. Throughout the scene, Tony Jaa’s extraordinary martial arts skills are on full display. He uses a combination of Muay Thai and acrobatics to fight off opponents in a fluid and dynamic manner. The one-take also features impressive stunts, including high-flying kicks, bone-crunching strikes, and even a sequence where Kham slides down a spiral staircase while fighting off multiple foes.

3. The Raid 2 (2014)

The Raid 2

A chaotic prison riot erupts around Rama. As he navigates through the crowded and dangerous prison yard, the camera closely follows him, giving the impression of a single continuous take. The camera work is meticulous, and the choreography is both brutal and intricate. During this one-take sequence, Rama engages in a series of intense and visceral fights, taking on multiple inmates with a variety of martial arts techniques. The unbroken one-take adds to the realism and intensity of the action, as viewers feel like they are right there in the midst of the chaos. This scene is widely regarded as one of the highlights of the film and has solidified the movie’s reputation as a martial arts masterpiece.

2. John Wick Chapter 4 (2023)

John Wick Chapter 4

Just when you thought the 4th film in an action series would be getting old or boring, Chad Stahelski and Keanu Reeves prove to audiences they still have a couple of tricks up their sleeves. Following the events of John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum, John seeks revenge on the High Table and intends to dismantle the organization. Known as the “Dragon’s Breath Scene”, John engages in a rampage through enemies. But what makes the scene stand out as a one-take, is the gods eye view. Taking inspiration from classic RPG games, the camera follows John through the corridors at an overhead view as he massacres his enemies with a shotgun armed with Dragon’s Breath ammunition.

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1. Oldboy (2003)


Oh Dae-su is on a quest for revenge and to uncover the truth behind his mysterious 15-year imprisonment. The one-take fight scene occurs when Oh Dae-su finds himself confronting a group of thugs in a dimly lit, narrow hallway within an apartment building. Armed with only a hammer, Oh Dae-su faces off against a group of adversaries who attack him one by one. Throughout the scene, Oh Dae-su engages in a brutal and visceral battle, dispatching his opponents in a gritty and intense fashion. The choreography is both raw and realistic, and the unbroken one-take adds to the feeling of claustrophobia and desperation as Oh Dae-su fights his way through the narrow corridor.

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Written by David Moya

A lot of appreciation for Marvel. Big love for DC Comics!