In the history of humanity there have been many locations to fight. War zones, college campuses, main streets, docks, and even airports, but in 2015 we became aware of the ultimate location to fight in; the hallway. Hallway fights give all the awesome of a normal fight, but with the added claustrophobia of being in a hallway. Nobody does hallway fights better than The Defenders over on Netflix. That’s Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist. So now that all four shows has arrived, the time has come to rank every hallway fight they have gifted on us.
Except for Jessica Jones. She doesn’t fight in hallways. Hers would be the red headed step child of these series if it weren’t also the best of all of them.
Anyway, there are a couple things to be aware of in these fights. First off, quality of hallway. Is this a nice hallway with lots of tchotchkes to throw around? Is this a random aisle somewhere? Just kidding, the only kind of cramped spaces we want here are hallways. Aisles don’t count. Secondly, how stylish is this fight? Sometimes hallways get a little boring and we have to pay attention to the fight in the hallway. Is this fight an entertaining one? Lastly, how bad did the bad guys get wrecked? If there’s a take down that makes you think, “Ooh. They’re never leaving this hallway.” then that’s got to count toward the rank.
With all that in mind, we have about 6 hallways fights to parse through so let’s get started.
6. Danny Rand and Davos vs The Hand – Iron Fist
Look, I may not know a lot about Iron Fist in the comics, but I do know a lot about hallways. The hallway in this fight is cramped and yet a ton of bodies get in there. Still, there isn’t even video of this fight online and it is far from the best in Iron Fist. If you want to watch it, track down episode 10 of Iron Fist.
Fun fact: almost none of the great fights in Iron Fist actually feature Iron Fist!
Quality of hallway: Tight as hell
How stylish: Not nearly as stylish as it should be
Ouch moment: When the guy got punched? with the Iron Fist? I don’t know, this fight isn’t actually very memorable.
5. Danny Rand and Joy Meachum vs The Hatchet Men – Iron Fist
When a group of Chinese thugs break in to kidnap Joy, Danny rushes to the rescue. This is in episode 4 and it is a breath of fresh air for the series. While the show plodded along for its first two episodes or so, but when the hallway fight shows up you know you’re in a Defenders show.
Quality of hallway: Hey this is a nice hallway! Very well lit with a lot of space for spin kicks. I’m pretty sure this is in a hotel, so these guys are just lucky no one stepped out of their rooms at this moment.
How stylish: The music is poppy, the fight feels fun, there are hatchets, and they even get some split screen in there. Oddly split screen only shows up one other time in the show, way down the road in episode 12. It’s not even in a hallway then either, it’s in a foyer. Why even bother?
Ouch moment: When Danny busts out the Iron Fist to break that guy’s hatchet. Technically nobody is hurt, but that man’s morality for sure took a beating. Not so much an ouch moment as a “moralouch” moment. Hah! Okay I’ll be over here.
4. Matt Murdock vs Biker Gang – Daredevil
Step aside Iron Fist because the king of Defenders fights is here. Daredevil! Though really Iron Fist you have no excuse for your weak fights. In episode 3 of season 2, Daredevil attempted to outdo it’s legendary hallway fight in season 1. Daredevil’s been having a rough night. He’s been chained up on a roof, argued with the Punisher, and had a gun taped to his hand. Still, once he’s beaten up the Punisher he has to get him out of the building teeming with angry biker thugs. DD throws Frank into an elevator and goes wild on the bikers. But there’s one major problem, it barely takes place in a hallway! What is this, a stairwell fight power ranking? Come on!
Quality of hallway: Before Daredevil, a little dingy. Could use a paint job. Huge. After Daredevil, dark as hell and covered with shards of glass from all the lightbulbs. Nice one red, you ruined this hallway.
How stylish: This is a cool and long fight. They use some clever editing to make it look like a single take fight. Plus, forcing a gun into Daredevil’s left hand with a chain wrapped around his right changes up his fighting style completely. And one last thing, Daredevil fights are great because he always gets exhausted by all this. He even stops for a breather here. Why don’t any other fights do this?
Ouch moment: Daredevil gets that chain around a man’s neck and pulls him over the side of the staircase so he drops several flights. See, if he had stayed in the hallway he could have walked away from this.
3. Luke Cage Raids Crispus Attucks – Luke Cage
For the first couple episodes, Luke Cage teases this moment. Luke breaks into Crispus Attucks, a community center now controlled by Cottonmouth, takes everybody down and steals the bad guy’s money, all while keeping his ipod ear buds in place throughout. Now that’s talent. I for one will never tire of watching Luke walk through bullet after bullet fired his way, plus there are like three different hallways in this fight!
Quality of hallway: Well it’s Harlem so… In all seriousness, the hallways are fine community center hallways, except for that last one that’s been modified with a cage door. Now that’s a nice hallway.
How stylish: The man is listening to “Bring the Ruckus” as he literally brings the ruckus. Just like the entirety of Luke Cage, this is stylish as hell.
Ouch moment: That poor fool behind the cage door. He just keeps firing and Luke just keeps coming. Then he just pulls the guy into the door and shrugs him off. Damn.
2. Frank Castle vs Prisoners – Daredevil
Honestly this is all on the Kingpin. Wilson Fisk convinced Frank to go to prison because he could get him close to a man who knows about the massacre that killed Frank’s family. He gets Frank into that man’s cell block, Frank gets the info he needs and kills him. Then Kingpin double crosses the Punisher and leaves him in the cell block with all the angry friends of the man he’s just killed. This was always going to be painful, but this is also the only fight here where one man straight up kills everybody else.
Quality of hallway: As a prison cell block, this hallway really stands out from all the others. The white walls and stark lighting let the blood really pop, and there is a lot of blood. 10/10, good hallway, would recommend.
How stylish: Again, the only fight here with gratuitous murder. It stands apart from the crowd. It almost makes me want the Punisher in his own show. Though I still don’t for the record. He’s a better foil than a lead.
Ouch moment: Honestly there are a lot to choose from. The hatchet at the end (hey! hatchets show up twice!) stands out for sure, but if I have to pick one moment it’s when Frank falls next to another inmate and just goes at him with his shiv. That’s the moment I realized he was going to kill all of these people.
1. Matt Murdock vs Thugs – Daredevil
Of course this was going to be in first place! The hallway fight that introduced us to hallway fights. In episode 2, after a group of thugs kidnaps a little kid, Daredevil tracks them down to their secret hideout and takes them all down. It’s brutal, it’s exhausting, and it helped put these Netflix shows on the map in a big way. Without this scene its hard to say if any of these hallway fights would exist, and for that I thank it.
Quality of hallway: I wouldn’t want to hang out in this hallway for long periods of time. The lighting is trash, but I worry if it were better I would find puke on the floor. It’s a good hallway for a fight but not much more.
How stylish: Unlike that hallway fight in season 2, this one truly is one take. One brilliant and hard to watch take. You can see the energy drain from Daredevil-by-way-of -Dread-Pirate-Roberts with each attack and, unlike in other shows, just because he hits a guy it doesn’t mean they don’t get back up. This is their hallway after all, and nobody wants to lose a fight in their hallway.
Ouch moment: For sure when the one guy takes a microwave to the face! That’s the whole reason I made this category!
Those are our Defenders Hallway Fights Power Rankings for 2016! Later this Summer our heroes come together to truly become the Defenders, and between you and me I heard there first meeting is a hallway fight.
PS, But seriously Iron Fist is kind of a mess. If you watch it, watch it for Colleen Wing and Claire Temple. Honestly we should all just thank god for Claire Temple every day.