Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t a technical fighter, in fact he never really has been. He’s either the guy that flattens you with a few well-placed and extremely heavy hits, or he’s the guy that puts you on your butt with a few well-placed rounds of superior firepower. The one thing he doesn’t normally do is kick, jab, or do anything other than grab, lift, and slam. Even in his earliest, sword-swinging days he was the kind of guy that just went after a person with heavy-handed blows that were well-timed and didn’t expend too much energy. More often he would wait until that right moment when an opponent’s guard was down or not as sound and strike. He’s been a bit of a strategist but more than anything Arnold has always entered a fight scene already being one of the toughest guys in the room, if not the toughest overall.
His fight scenes are pretty simple but still impressive.
This seems to be about as technical as Arnold gets since he doesn’t usually fight this way. In Twins though he’s playing the part of the intellectual and doesn’t really enjoy fighting, but can do it without any trouble. It’s in this scene that he proves just how awesome he is and how effective the right movements can be versus brute strength and overwhelming force.
4. Terminator: Genisys
Say what you want about the movie but the effects during the fight scenes were pretty cool. So yes, there will almost always be a better, more advanced Terminator coming out to cause trouble for the original that we’ve all come to know and admire, but somehow the T-800 always manages to get back up and find a new way to make that new machine’s life a little harder.
3. True Lies
This is another of his movies that wasn’t that great but at least provided a couple of cool scenes throughout. I have to say that Jamie Lee Curtis getting down to her unmentionables and dancing, wow. But anyway, the fight scenes, like this one, were somewhat campy but still well done enough that they were fun to watch. The rest of the film was kind of ‘meh’.
2. Total Recall
It was leaning into the 1990’s so the 80’s feel of it was still kind of there, which in terms of movie fights means that of course one guy can take on multiple opponents, even when someone’s holding a gun on him. And if that guy is secretly a government spy then the guys holding him had no chance to begin with. Funny how the mind just snaps from one mode to another.
1. Conan the Barbarian
Adding this scene was important because it didn’t paint Arnold in the greatest light. This was when Conan was just beginning and had yet to be totally unstoppable. This wasn’t the guy that was tackling gods and slaying warriors ten at a time. This was the strong, brutish, uncertain fighter that hadn’t yet tasted victory and was just scared, hurt, and had no idea what was going on.
Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the women! Well said Arnold.