Complex, Single-Take Action Scenes (starring women on AoS)


Blah blah blah Daredevil fight scene at the end of the second episode. Right? When Daredevil came out last April, everyone was talking about it. And why not? It was pretty cool. No hidden edits, no cgi tricks[1], just an actor and his stunt doubles doing some ninjaparkourboxing.

The second time she watched That Fight, my wife confessed that she couldn’t tell the actor from the stunt doubles. She’d been comparing their muscles, specifically their butts. Like she needed an excuse to look at muscular dudes’ butts on TV.

But for all the furor over that long scene, few people seem to have noticed that AGENTS OF SHIELD has been doing similar things (in a smaller way) for Chloe Bennet, the actress who’s playing Skye/Daisy/Quake/whatever they’re calling her. No stunt doubles for her, and the single take action scenes she’s been in haven’t been as long as the six-minute Daredevil bit, but they’ve been complex and really nicely shot.

I tried to link to them before but… did you know ABC doesn’t have a timer on their video player? What the hell are they thinking? Then I turned to YouTube.

First, ep 19, “The Dirty Half-Dozen”
Some solid JOHN WICK-style action there, all in one take.

Second, ep 22, “SOS part 2”
This one is physical martial arts fighting, and it’s a single take for the first 30 seconds or so. I couldn’t find one with better sound.

There may be others in the season, but I didn’t notice them. I should mention, there are plenty of great fight scenes in the show [2] but I was looking for single takes.

These aren’t exactly ground-breaking, exactly, and they aren’t anywhere near as long as the much-lauded Daredevil scene (they’re on a network schedule and it’s an ensemble show) but they’re nicely done and almost entirely overlooked. It’s too bad. Chloe Bennet acquits herself well here.

[1] Hah, fooled you. There was cgi involved. The camera was mounted on a track affixed to the ceiling, and the track was digitally erased in post-production. That’s how the camera work was so smooth over the busted door and collapsed stunt men.