Updated: Apr 18
Ever wondered who would win in a fight - Jackie Chan or Jet Li, James Bond or Indiana Jones, Superman or Hulk?? Schwarzenegger vs Stallone vs Van Damme??? Read on to find out!!!
Most guys have at some point debated with their buddies who would win in a hypothetical fight between their favourite action or comic book heroes. Debate is probably the wrong choice of wording, perhaps more like argue over booze and pizza during an action movie marathon. It’s a pretty fun topic pitting our fave actors and characters against each other so I thought I’d share with you my thoughts on a few big matchups.
1. Jet Li vs. Jackie Chan
So for martial arts fans, this has been debated to death and it’s not easy to come to a clear winner. Some will joke that it depends on where the fight would be, for example if it’s in a supermarket then Jackie would definitely win =P Others say that it would be Jet because he was an actual China Wushu champion.
From what I’ve seen, Wushu is more the practice of the form of martial arts, perfecting the moves so that they can be performed meticulously with grace. Competitive Wushu grades both the forms, the kata, as well as sparring but the emphasis remains on the kata and how the moves are done. As such, I don’t think that being a Wushu champion necessarily means that you can really fight in real life.
Most of us have seen the 2008 movie The Forbidden Kingdom where both our heroes fight it out. It’s a pretty good movie and I love the fight between Jet & Jackie in the temple. It’s a long fight but ultimately there was no clear winner as the fight, blow for blow, was kept intentionally very equal to keep fans of both parties happy. So who would really win?
The clincher for me comes down to fear. I’ve seen behind the scenes footage from a few Jet movies and come time for some high jumping or anything that involves more than just punching and kicking, Jet can be seen chillaxing while his stunt man does all the more dangerous stuff. Jackie on the other hand has jumped out of buildings, cars, slid down electrified cables and done stuff that most sane people would never even consider. He’s fractured every bone in his body, has a hole in his skull but, nonetheless, keeps on fighting. The guy is fearless and that makes him dangerous. So come fight time, I think Jackie takes the title! He wouldn’t be afraid to get hurt, to put himself at risk to win. Which is something I doubt Jet would do. Actually, because of his fearlessness and ability to go that bit further I think he might've been able to beat Donnie Yen and even Bruce Lee himself back in the day. Controversial I know, but that's what I feel.
Winner: Jackie Chan.
2. King Kong vs. Godzilla
This is a real no brainer for me but before we get into the discussion we all need to forget the monstrosity of a monster movie that was the 1962 movie King Kong vs. Godzilla. The whole movie was a farce. Years ago there was even an article in Time magazine that documented the political undertones of the movie, Kong representing the US and ‘Zilla representing Japan, especially in the aftermath of WWII and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So the outcome of the movie bears nothing on what I feel would be the outcome in real life. In this movie Kong was the winner.
In reality, well in pretend reality, Godzilla would completely annihilate King Kong. Godzilla has nuclear fire breath, can withstand extremes of temperature, has fought and defeated much superior adversaries than Kong. But the biggest deciding factor is Godzilla’s size! In the movie King Kong vs. Godzilla, Godzilla was miniaturized to be a similar size as Kong to allow for a more matched fight.
The real Godzilla, as any Godzilla fan will tell you, is huge! King Kong would be about the size of Godzilla’s foot! Check out the chart below of movie monster sizes, Godzilla is number 2 and King Kong is number 9 (click image to enlarge).
Like I said, this one is a no brainer!
(UPDATE: This beatdown breakdown was written in 2013, way before the 2021 movie).
3. Superman vs. Hulk
Now this is one matchup that I feel very strongly about. Although I’m looking forward to the upcoming Man of Steel movie and loved the Christopher Reeve movies as a kid, I really can’t stand Superman!! It’s as if the writers sat down one day and thought ‘hey, let’s a make a character that can do everything, he has super strength, can fly, can move at the speed of light, has ice breath, laser eyes, can walk on walls, has x-ray vision’ etc etc etc. It’s so annoying and as a result, in the DC comic world, he’s seen as nothing less than Godlike.
There have been Marvel vs. DC crossover comics to pit our favourite characters against each other. The outcomes of those fights were based on popularity, fans had to vote for who they wanted to win. As a result, when the Hulk went up against Superman he lost easily. It was a joke.
You can probably already tell that I’m in favour of the underdog.
There are hundreds of forums discussing this matchup and fans can get very passionate and at times aggressive in their beliefs.
Some argue that Hulk would not even be able to touch Superman due to Superman’s ability to movie at the speed of light or that Superman would simply take the Hulk into space or throw him into the sun.
Well, let’s take a look at those ideas. Superman can move at light speeds but it seems only when he is pushing himself hard, it’s not his normal speed of movement. That’s why in the movies, comics and cartoons he can still be punched, hit and attacked. If that punch or hit is coming from the Hulk, then Supes has reason to be concerned. So Supes takes the Hulk into space, is that a problem? Nopes. Hulk has fought in space many times with no need for a respiratory aid; he can hold his breath for hours if not longer. How about Supes throwing Hulk into the sun? Well, plain and simply put, the Hulk wouldn’t let him. If Hulk was thrown, then as he does when he jumps miles from one city to the next, Hulk would change the direction of his momentum and land back down. If Hulk was being carried into space towards the sun, well as you can imagine, Hulk wouldn’t be just lying back enjoying the ride. He’ll be battering the life force out of Supes way before they can get to the sun.
So let’s bring the fight back to the ground. Laser vision and ice breath will likely have a negligible effect on the Hulk. In the end it may very well come down to brute strength and that’s why, after all is said and done, I think the Hulk would win.
Hulk can’t fly or fire laser beams out of his butt. He’s just pure unlimited strength, that’s his one and only power but in terms of that power no one comes close. The madder he gets the stronger he gets and his strength is limitless. This means that in any fight, Hulk will eventually be stronger than whomever he’s fighting so that he can win. That is his superpower.
There have been issues of the comics where Hulk has jumped continents, destroyed an asteroid twice as big as earth with one punch, stopped a planet from ripping apart with his hands. Tony Stark even tried to measure the Hulk’s strength and could not find any limit to it.
So finally, in a brute force fight to the end, the title in my books goes to The Incredible Hulk! He would overpower Supes and reign glorious. Granted, in the aftermath most of the planet may have been destroyed, so let’s just hope they would be smart enough to realize they’re both on the same side and fight together and not against each other.
4. Indiana Jones vs. James Bond.
This is a tough one. Both are similar characters, suave, intelligent, good with the ladies and able to hold their own in a fight. Both appear adept with weaponry, though Indiana does come from a much earlier time period. Both are very well travelled with knowledge of different languages and cultures.
Perhaps if the fight was in an Aztec ruin Indiana would win and be able to decipher the hidden codes in the hieroglyphics to escape. Perhaps if the fight was in a nuclear space station then Bond would win.
Both fight in a classical style, no martial arts or boxing, just throwing punches and kicks, very functional fighting styles but as a professional assassin would a licence to kill and experience to boot, he has the edge!
Verdict: James Bond
I know that’s a bit of a copout but I really can’t decide. Maybe you can offer your suggestions below.
5. Schwarzenegger vs. Stallone vs. Van Damme
This is a classic matchup that my buddies and I have been going on about for absolutely ages. As 80s kids, we grew up on movies by these guys. You can probably tell I’m an 80s kid for even writing this post. In the 80s the bigger and stronger something was the better – that’s why Arnie, Stallone, Van Damme, Hulk, Godzilla and A-Team were all so popular.
So who would win in a fight? Let’s look at their movies for our answer.
Arnie was probably the most popular. Terminator, True Lies, Predator and Commando were some of his big roles and they were excellent movies. If we analyze them we can remember that Arnie actually does very little hand-to-hand fighting in his movies. Of course he fights, but it’s often more gunplay that he uses to overcome his adversaries. He’s never really come across as an expert in fighting.
How about Stallone? Similar to Arnie I would say in many respects except for his Rocky movies. He got a lot of respect from both action fans as well as people in the movie business for Rocky. People forget that Stallone was actually nominated for two Oscars in 1977 for Rocky in the categories of best actor and best screenplay. So Stallone has some boxing skills, for me that means he could probably take Arnie.
So it boils down to Stallone and Van Damme in this matchup.
Van Damme made his name quite literally by kicking butt. Bloodsport, Kickboxer, Double Team, Timecop, Hard Target all go to show he can go toe to toe when he needs to. Whether in real life this would hold true or not is anyone’s guess. If we’re going purely on movies, then Van Damme is the only one here that seems to be able to actually fight. Makes this death match decision easy to make!
Winner: Jean-Claude Van Damme
So there you have it, a bit of fun and my take on a few big matchups. True that it mostly reflects who I’m a bigger fan of but I think I’ve done a reasonable job of justifying my decisions.
Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this random post and feel free to post your two cents below.
Take it easy,
Dr. Bobby Stryker