Unpopular Opinion: Bad guys "waiting their turn" in movie fight scenes is totally realistic

Tez3

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I've never understood why people complain about fiction not being real life.
Film makers know that punters want watchable fights, not melees where it's all a blur, the hero has to show off their moves, the baddie has to be threatening. Fighting antagonists one by one is a well know film formula, we all know it's not like that in real life, we all chuckle when we see it but we still enjoy it, why moan?
 

Ji Yuu

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I think it would be easier to count the martial arts movies where this doesn't happen. The hero of our movie gets surrounded by a dozen henchman. One-by-one they attack, and one-by-one they fall. The majority of the audience cheers as the hero overcomes insurmountable odds. Then there's the armchair heavyweight champions that push up their glasses, "Ackshually, that was really just a dozen one-on-one fights, if they all attacked at the same time, it would have been much different."

While technically true, I think it's fairly realistic for a group of baddies to "take their turn". I'll give a few reasons why.

First, most of these discussions assume the bad guys are trained and coordinated enough to execute a simultaneous attack. Have you ever worked with anyone on a group project? How about with the type of people who probably failed group projects in school? Good characters are flawed. Henchmen are typically more flawed than the hero when it comes to fighting skill. It would make sense that they aren't a perfect unit. Along that note, sometimes it is the skill of the hero that is protecting him from being ganged up on. Quite often the hero is using movement to his advantage, to disrupt any chance the bad guys have of catching him.

Second, you can see in many real-world examples where people don't all go in at once. I'll give you two.
  1. Wolves, when hunting, will often only have one or two wolves actually attacking the prey. The rest are keeping up the chase and growling to keep the prey intimidated. One wolf will go in for a nip. If the prey retaliates, that wolf will jump back and let another go in. If they all went in at once, it would be more dangerous. The idea is to wear out the prey and kill it with attrition, instead of to just get it in one go like a tiger or a crocodile. The same strategy would apply in a 12-on-1 fight, where 10-11 people are resting at any given time, and only 1 or 2 are exerting themselves. Meanwhile, the hero has to go at 100% for the whole fight. It just helps that he is so much better than them, that he can take them out with relatively little effort.
  2. American Football. The defenders don't all rush to tackle the ball carrier. Against a run play, they will plug the gaps in the wall. The safety often doesn't immediately rush in. The safety will instead cut off escape routes. It's very similar to a schoolyard fight where two people are fighting, but the rest of the students create a wall to keep the fight going. A living ring or cage in which an unsanctioned bout will be decided.
Third, is simply my own experience fighting multiple opponents in sparring matches, and being on the multiples team. Like wolves, they play a very safe game and don't want to get hit. These are individuals who are concerned primarily with themselves. They know they have the numbers advantage, and they would rather their teammate get hit than themselves. Sometimes your partner is just in your way. It can be difficult to communicate a strategy, especially without the opponent hearing it. Often, my strategy is to be the safety valve and limit their movement, more than it is to attack directly.

This isn't to say that you won't get ganged up on in a fight against multiple opponents. However, I don't think it's unrealistic for people to take their turn, especially because I've seen it happen in real sparring.
I have been attacked by a group of 5 guys outside a convenient store many years ago. It's quite easy, and common, for two or three to try to attack you at once. Based on my personal experience, it is unrealistic for only one out of a hostile group to try to attack you.
 

drop bear

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Ok. I understand that if we looked at the entire spectrum of multiple attacker fights. There will be some instances of the multiple attackers attacking one at a time.

I am not sure how that would change my approach to multiple attacking scenarios though.

Because I dont think the one at a time attack is as effective. And I assumed training for a coordinated aggressive attack will encompass an uncoordinated timid one.
 
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I have been attacked by a group of 5 guys outside a convenient store many years ago. It's quite easy, and common, for two or three to try to attack you at once. Based on my personal experience, it is unrealistic for only one out of a hostile group to try to attack you.
I have been attacked by someone who grabbed me and controlled me with wrestling. Therefore, it is unrealistic for someone to throw a punch. At least, according to your logic.

Just because X has happened, doesn't mean Y isn't realistic.
 
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