Five Great Movie Fights Set on Trains

One of the best scenes of “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” is the big fight scene staged in and on top of a train, and it brought to mind some of the better train fights ever staged in film. There have been many as it’s been one of the more classic tropes in fiction, so I listed five of my all time favorites.

What are some of your favorite fights on trains or public transportation?

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
Trains play a big role in “Shadow of a Doubt,” not only symbolizing the pure evil that arrives in Santa Rosa, California when Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotton) arrives; Uncle Charlie being a notorious serial killer of elderly women. “Shadow of a Doubt” descends in to chaos as Charlie lures his niece Charlotte on board his train to bid him goodbye. As the family are getting off Charlie holds her up to keep on the train and wrestles her to the back. As a last ditch effort he attempts to drop her out of the car door in front of a moving train, but while they tussle he slips and falls out as another train comes barreling through. It’s one of the more famous moments from Alfred Hitchcock’s entire film library and a fitting end to a nasty villain.

Spider Man vs. Doctor Octopus – Spider Man 2 (2004)
After saving Aunt May from Doc Ock’s clutches, Spider-Man and his foe engage in a pretty excellent fight along the side of a building that inevitably spills out on to a New York train. Around this period, New York was still reeling from the 9/11 attacks, so not only does Spider-Man battle Doc Ock, he also saves the train from crashing, and while passed out is defended by an entire car of New York passengers that refuse to give Spider-Man to the infinitely more powerful Doctor Octopus. They also refuse to divulge his identity. It’s a sweet moment, especially when taken in its context that some times humanity can be amazing.

Will Johnson vs. Vampires – Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (2012)
Timur Bekmambetov’s “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter” is a painfully underrated meshing of horror and history, with Abraham Lincoln tasked with fighting a secret society of vampires that threaten the endurance of America. Tasked with shipping silver across the country on a train, Lincoln is faced with fighting off the incoming horde while Will Johnson (Anthony Mackie) is left alone to fend off against the approaching undead. Armed with only hand held guns, Will Johnson makes a heroic stand off that is easily the best scene in the film.

Hammer Girl – The Raid 2: Berandal (2014)
Julie Estelle is one of the highlights of the sequel to “The Raid 2: Berandal” playing one of the duo of assassins named Alica. Alica is armed with two claw hammers that she wields with immense fierceness and swift skill. In the film, she is hired by aspiring crime lord Uco to take down bodyguards of Yakuza gang lord Gato. Armed with her pair of hammers, she makes quick, bloody, but efficient work on them, and then murders Gato, all while on a moving public train. It’s one of the many mind blowing sequences to a great sequel.

Rescue Mission – Train to Busan (2016)
Arguably the best scene in the movie, the wonderful “Train to Busan” takes a turn when characters are split apart during a zombie siege. With a few carts separating them, pregnant Seong-kyeong, child Su-an, elderly woman In-gil, and a homeless man barricade themselves inside a bathroom in one of the lower infected compartments, while Yong-guk, Seok-woo, and Sang-hwa successfully get onto a safe compartment. Sang-hwa calls his wife and realizes she is trapped in the bathroom with a few others. Unwilling to leave them to die, the three men led by Sang-hwa fight through the lower compartments to rescue them, barreling through endless zombies to make it to their family. It’s an exciting, riveting, and emotional scene and a great turn of events in the whole narrative.