Lots of people are used to claiming that the hits and heavy kicks and punches they see on TV and in movies are nothing more than movie magic. For the most part its true. If you slow a film down and really watch when people connect with each other you can see them pulling punches or that their blows are falling short of the target. That’s not always the case though. There have been movies in which the punches were very real and were in many ways capable of causing great harm. The really weird thing is that they were intentional in many cases and were used to push the authenticity of the moment in order to make the film a little more real for the audience.
The drawback of course is that no one can take hits as hard as these for an indefinite period without suffering some damage.
5. The Wolf of Wall Street-Jonah Hill and Jon Bernthal
Jonah Hill’s character in this movie isn’t exactly what you’d call a good or even a nice guy. He’s a drugged-out jerk in a den full of jerks, he just happens to be the one with the biggest mouth and the most arrogant manner. However, when the moment came for Bernthal to land a heavy punch on Hill his strike was so genuine that it split Hill’s fake teeth.
4. Southpaw-Jake Gyllenhaal
For the role of Billy Hope the actor underwent an intense training regimen that lasted for six months and saw him working out twice a day to create a ripped physique that was very impressive and very useful. This was a good thing since a lot of the punches he took were real, there was no stunt double for Gyllenhaal in this film. He’s in there taking the blows.
3. Raging Bull-Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci
Jake LaMotta actually praised this movie as a great representation of his life and his career and would have starred in it himself if it had been allowed. In this particular scene Jake and his brother are engaged in an argument that becomes physical on Jake’s insistence as he tells his brother to hit him in the face. Those hits are real, and so are the slaps.
2. The Dark Knight-Heath Ledger and Christian Bale
Christian Bale actually wanted to go easy on Heath Ledger during this scene but Ledger was having none of it. The actor was actually reported to have been bouncing off the walls of the set in an effort to get himself into the scene, proving that he was fully immersed in the role of the Joker. So when Batman slams the Joker’s head on the table it’s very real, and very painful.
1. Rocky IV-Dolph Lundgren and Sylvester Stallone
Stallone is another person that wanted everything to look real and he almost paid for it with his life. Dolph Lundgren wasn’t doing anything other than following the orders of the director and as a result sent Stallone to the hospital after he was punched so hard that his heart ricocheted off of his breastbone and started to swell.
So not every punch you see is fake when it comes to the movies, but neither are the effects.