Why do we love fight films

If you took a look at every film genre, and weighed up the average success of the movies within this genre, you’d see a trend in fight films.

In recent years Superhero movies have taken the world by storm, however in years gone by superhero movies have been somewhat of a laughing stock.

One genre that has been consistent in terms of entertainment throughout the years is the fighting genre.

Just take a look at the films below and their year of release…

 

Enter The Dragon: 1973

Rocky Franchise: 1976 – 2006

Raging Bull: 1980

Hurricane: 1999

Ali: 2001

Million Dollar Baby: 2004

The Wrestler: 2008

Never Back Down: 2008

The Fighter: 2010

Warrior: 2011

Fox Catcher 2014

Southpaw: 2015

Creed: 2015

Bleed For This: 2016

 

Every one of these films was a success and received good to great reviews. Over roughly a 40 year span our desire for fight films is as high as ever. Where does this desire come from and why are fight films consistently so successful?

The Raw Nature

Most of these fight films are based on true events or take most of what they are from real life events.

With so many fighters to talk to, it’s easy to do your homework and make it as close to the real thing as possible. This is why war films have also been consistently popular, people have been to war, experienced these events and then work with the directors and actors.

Fighting is the oldest skill we have, two men facing off to see who’s the best isn’t new, it’s in our DNA, which makes the entire situation very appealing to most people.

 

The Soundtracks

The soundtracks in fight films are inspiring, upbeat and accompanied by the fight scenes or training scenes. It’s like watching a music video.

When the 2 forms of media are paired together it creates an inspiring spectacle. Just think about when Rocky is down and the music starts, everyone knows a big comeback is about to happen.

 

Relatable

We’ve all been punched, punched someone else or at least had a wrestle of some kind. Everyone can relate to the events going on. The pain the fighter is going through, getting an injury and being sidelined, trying to balance a career and a relationship, etc.

People know how these things feel, which gives fight films a real human quality that seems to grab our attention.

 

Underdog Story

Everyone loves an underdog as they say. If a fight film was released where the main character simply ran through everyone like Tyson without the self-destruction that came years later, then it wouldn’t be an interesting feature.

For example a movie about Floyd Mayweather in the future wouldn’t be that interesting. He’s undefeated and most people don’t know what that feels like.

We love a loser who picks them-self up and comes back stronger, it gives us hope for our own future. It’s also extremely inspiring to see someone go from the gutter to the top accompanied by hard work and motivating music, it gets us going every single time.

 

The Magic Story Formula

There’s a formula that’s been used in movies, books and plays for centuries. It involves an early rise or brief success, accompanied by complete destruction and endless losses, which finally ends in the main character climbing their way back to the top again.

This V shaped story-line has been the reason for so many successful stories in the past and fight films have mastered this.

Think of the latest fight film Bleed For This. The main character is world champion, gets injured in a car crash, is told to retire, begins training and makes his way back to the top once more.

We love this system and fight films satisfy our somewhat corny desire for it.

Fight films it would seem are at their peak, and they don’t look like falling away any time soon. I think we can expect to see many more successful fight film releases in the next decade.

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If you took a look at every film genre, and weighed up the average success of the movies within this genre, you’d see a trend in fight films.

In recent years Superhero movies have taken the world by storm, however in years gone by superhero movies have been somewhat of a laughing stock.

One genre that has been consistent in terms of entertainment throughout the years is the fighting genre.

Just take a look at the films below and their year of release…

 

Enter The Dragon: 1973

Rocky Franchise: 1976 – 2006

Raging Bull: 1980

Hurricane: 1999

Ali: 2001

Million Dollar Baby: 2004

The Wrestler: 2008

Never Back Down: 2008

The Fighter: 2010

Warrior: 2011

Fox Catcher 2014

Southpaw: 2015

Creed: 2015

Bleed For This: 2016

 

Every one of these films was a success and received good to great reviews. Over roughly a 40 year span our desire for fight films is as high as ever. Where does this desire come from and why are fight films consistently so successful?

The Raw Nature

Most of these fight films are based on true events or take most of what they are from real life events.

With so many fighters to talk to, it’s easy to do your homework and make it as close to the real thing as possible. This is why war films have also been consistently popular, people have been to war, experienced these events and then work with the directors and actors.

Fighting is the oldest skill we have, two men facing off to see who’s the best isn’t new, it’s in our DNA, which makes the entire situation very appealing to most people.

 

The Soundtracks

The soundtracks in fight films are inspiring, upbeat and accompanied by the fight scenes or training scenes. It’s like watching a music video.

When the 2 forms of media are paired together it creates an inspiring spectacle. Just think about when Rocky is down and the music starts, everyone knows a big comeback is about to happen.

 

Relatable

We’ve all been punched, punched someone else or at least had a wrestle of some kind. Everyone can relate to the events going on. The pain the fighter is going through, getting an injury and being sidelined, trying to balance a career and a relationship, etc.

People know how these things feel, which gives fight films a real human quality that seems to grab our attention.

 

Underdog Story

Everyone loves an underdog as they say. If a fight film was released where the main character simply ran through everyone like Tyson without the self-destruction that came years later, then it wouldn’t be an interesting feature.

For example a movie about Floyd Mayweather in the future wouldn’t be that interesting. He’s undefeated and most people don’t know what that feels like.

We love a loser who picks them-self up and comes back stronger, it gives us hope for our own future. It’s also extremely inspiring to see someone go from the gutter to the top accompanied by hard work and motivating music, it gets us going every single time.

 

The Magic Story Formula

There’s a formula that’s been used in movies, books and plays for centuries. It involves an early rise or brief success, accompanied by complete destruction and endless losses, which finally ends in the main character climbing their way back to the top again.

This V shaped story-line has been the reason for so many successful stories in the past and fight films have mastered this.

Think of the latest fight film Bleed For This. The main character is world champion, gets injured in a car crash, is told to retire, begins training and makes his way back to the top once more.

We love this system and fight films satisfy our somewhat corny desire for it.

Fight films it would seem are at their peak, and they don’t look like falling away any time soon. I think we can expect to see many more successful fight film releases in the next decade.