Rocket standing on Groot's shoulder while firing a gun in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Spotlights One of Marvel’s Best Action Tropes

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 provides us with a lot of fun and intense action sequences, but nothing hits quite as hard as the soon-to-be infamous hallway fight scene. As Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is the last time we’ll see this particular group of Guardians together, director James Gunn needed to ensure that each character would get their moment to shine, whether emotionally or in a superhero capacity. The hallway fight scene in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 excels at the latter—each character gets to show off their fighting prowess in a sequence that is dynamic, memorable, and unbelievably satisfying, as the Guardians take on the High Evolutionary‘s elite forces.

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But Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 isn’t the first time the hallway fight scene trope has been used in a Marvel property. Before this third and likely final Guardians outing, the winner of “best hallway fighting sequence,” as very clearly inspired by Park Chan-Wook’s Oldboy, undoubtedly went to Netflix’s Daredevil series. Hallway fight scenes have become so synonymous with Charlie Cox’s version of The Man Without Fear that his appearance in She-Hulk prompted a parody of Daredevil‘s hallway tricks as well.

In Daredevil, and Netflix’s The Defenders miniseries, the hallway fight scenes are more gritty and realistic (with the exception of Iron Fist’s glowing hand, of course). The action in these sequences reflects the more grounded approach to superhero-ing that the Marvel Netflix Universe was going for. The hallway fight scene in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, on the other hand, wholly embraces the wacky source material, as the camera swoops through the scene, highlighting the brazen fight choreography that is gloriously underscored by “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” by the Beastie Boys. Even Gamora, who isn’t technically a Guardian of the Galaxy anymore, gets her hero moment here, as the hallway fight ends with her beating the life out of the biggest monster there.

The hallway fight sequence in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and those in the Marvel Netflix universe prove that these types of action scenes are one of Marvel’s strongest tropes. While the basic concept is the same, the hallway fight scene allows these characters and the creatives behind them to truly show off their best selves. Daredevil slowly but methodically takes care of dozens of goons on his own in his quest to save a child. The Defenders work together for the first time and learn to move out of one another’s way in real-time.

And, perhaps best of all, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3‘s hallway fight scene is the culmination of these characters’ superhero journeys together. Their fighting has never been so smooth, so well coordinated, so well-executed. It’s highly enjoyable yet also emotional–the Guardians have always worked well together, but it’s on a whole other level here. Compare this to the first scene when they all met, as they each tried to steal the power stone from one another, and it’s a world of difference.

I hope we get many more iconic hallway fight scenes from Marvel in the future–starting with Daredevil: Born Again, please and thank you!

(featured image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)


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El Kuiper
El (she/her) is The Mary Sue's U.K. editor and has been working as a freelance entertainment journalist for over two years, ever since she completed her Ph.D. in Creative Writing. El's primary focus is television and movie coverage for The Mary Sue, including British TV (she's seen every episode of Midsomer Murders ever made) and franchises like Marvel and Pokémon. As much as she enjoys analyzing other people's stories, her biggest dream is to one day publish an original fantasy novel of her own.