Over the course of his 40-year career, Liam Neeson has been involved in many fight sequences. But only a few have proven to be memorable

Liam Neeson: The 5 Best & 5 Worst Fight Scenes Of His Career, Ranked

Content Warning: This article contains discussions/references to violence, kidnapping, and terrorism.

Liam Neeson initially garnered fame for his roles in films like Kinsey and Schindler’s List. However, 2008’s 2008’s Taken changed his entire career as the film turned him into a highly marketable action star.

In addition to Taken and its two sequels, Neeson appeared in a series of action and crime films that required him to shoot down bad guys and deliver memorable lines. changed the entire course of his career as the film turned him into a highly marketable action star.

Other than Taken and its two sequels, Neeson appeared in a slew of crime and action films that required him to shoot down bad guys and deliver memorable one-liners.

Some of his recent action films have even transcended the tropes of a generic Liam Neeson action film. So, if he’s battling wild wolves in The Grey, he’s also foiling terrorist plans aboard an airplane in Non-Stop. All in all, Neeson is one of the few mainstream action stars who got their shot at the genre at quite an older age.

BEST: House Shootout (Taken)

Liam Neeson at an Albanian hideout with a letter in his hand in a still from Taken

Determined to save his abducted daughter, ex-CIA operative Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) enters the illegal operation’s hideout to encounter some of the criminals with whom he had talked on a call from before. Mills goes undercover as a policeman, pretending to renegotiate a police protection rate.

Once he identifies his targets, Mills willingly blows his cover and then kills everyone in the vicinity with brutal swiftness. Neat editing and perfectly-timed choreography make it a notable scene, symbolizing the remorseless rage of Neeson’s character.

WORST: Police Chase (Taken 3)

Liam Neeson climbing a fence in Taken 3

By the time, Taken reached its third installment, Bryan Mills’s character arc had been oversaturated. And even the action in some of the scenes didn’t hold the same brilliance as those of the predecessors.

When Mills is wrongly framed for the murder of his wife, he immobilizes a few policemen and attempts to run out of his house.

He also succeeds in running away from police cars but the overall chase is heavily chaotic. With multiple jump cuts for every split second, the scene makes for a very tedious watch for the audience.

BEST: Final Lightsaber Fight (Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace)

Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan vs Darth Maul in Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace

While The Phantom Menace doesn’t have many redeeming elements, fans still praised the final battle of the film’s third act.

Neeson’s Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn engages in a one-on-one lightsaber duel with the Sith apprentice Darth Maul (Ray Park). It’s easily one of the most intense lightsaber fights in the Star Wars franchise that’s further strengthened by Ray Park’s impeccable stunt work.

Eventually, Maul mortally wounds the Jedi Master prompting the latter’s protege Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) to continue the fight. Obi-Wan succeeds as he cuts Maul in half with his lightsaber.

WORST: Cemetery Shootout (A Walk Among The Tombstones)

Liam Neeson walking with two duffel bags in his hand, in a still from A Walk Among The Tombstones

A Walk Among The Tombstones is one of Neeson’s introspective action thrillers. Throughout the film, Matthew Scudder tries to find redemption from the life he has led.


The cemetery shootout towards the ending is supposed to be a somewhat dramatic conclusion in this regard as this time, he resorts to violence to rescue a 14-year-old from her captors.

He directly confronts the kidnappers and a shootout ensues. However, the visual darkness and quick camera shifts make the scene seem haphazard and it pales in comparison to the film’s opening shootout.

BEST: The Restroom Fight Scene (Non-Stop)

Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) confronts Jack Hammond in a scene from Non-Stop

Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) and Jack Hammond (Anson Mount), two Federal Air Marshalls traveling aboard an ill-fated plane that breeds a mysterious terrorist conspiracy. When Marks notices his colleague is behaving rather strangely, he confronts him in the restroom.

It turns out that Hammond was being blackmailed by the terrorist to set up the bomb. As Marks serves as an obstruction to this plan, Hammonds grows violent only for Marks to secure him in a chokehold.

In another attempt to defend himself, he unwillingly kills Hammonds when the latter lifted his gun. It’s a quickly done scene with the right amount of shock value to set the tone for the remainder of the film.

WORST: Darkman’s Revenge (Darkman)

Darkman fights Strack on the beams of an unfinished building

In Darkman, Dr. Peyton Westlake and Strack (Colin Friels) find themselves at odds several times in the movie. Ironically, their final battle is atop the beams of a skyscraper that’s still under construction.

As they struggle to keep their balance, Strack gets his hands on an artificial-looking nail gun. For a minute, Westlake seems to be on the losing side.

However, when Strack insults him, the camera zooms in on the hero’s mouth and random flames pop out of nowhere to signify his anger. This particular scene plays out rather hilariously in an otherwise grim-looking film.

BEST: Training Bruce Wayne (Batman Begins)

 Bruce Wayne and Ra's al Ghul engaging in a swordfight for training in Batman Begins

As Batman Begins sets up its characters, Henri Ducard aka Ra’s al Ghul (Liam Neeson) trains a young and angry Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) in strategy and combat.

As they spar with each other around a glacier, Ra’s al Ghul delivers a sermon on his beliefs on absolute justice. He purposely brings up the murder of Wayne’s parents to test him.

In a fit of rage, Wayne doesn’t strategize his moves and overpowers al Ghul, pinning him to the ground. As he is ready to proclaim his victory, Neeson’s antihero points to the fact that he’s standing on a fragile layer of the icy surface. Wayne instantly falls in the frigid waters below.

WORST: Alleyway Sequence (Taken 2)

Liam Neeson in a fighting stance in Taken 2

Much like the aforementioned scene in Taken 3, jump cuts ruin a few action sequences in Taken 2. As Mills’s wife is taken hostage in Istanbul, he tracks down a few assailants in a narrow alley.

While Liam Neeson turns into a ‘one-man army,’ taking down shooters with his hand-to-hand combat skills, the scene’s disorderly editing just makes it difficult to figure out who’s striking down whom.

Further, given how most of his adversaries are shorter than Neeson, the fight turns out to be a pretty convenient win for him (until his wife is held at gunpoint).

BEST: The First Wolf Attack (The Grey)

Liam Neeson in The Grey

The Grey finds Liam Neeson combating the titular grey wolves in the Alaskan wilderness for an ultimate quest for survival. The violence comes out of the compulsion to survive rather than just taking place for the sake of it. This is what adds the film’s direction and Neeson’s take on the lead character John Ottway a sense of grittiness.


When Ottway and his co-passengers survive a plane crash, they camp in the snow, only to attack the wolves.

The first wolf attack takes them by surprise and Ottway struggles to fight off a wolf with his bare hands. Shaky camerawork and unsettling atmosphere make the scene look very believable and Neeson’s expression of fear looks simply raw and real.

WORST: Car-Airplane Collision (Taken 3)

A car crashes into a plane in a still from Taken 3

While this final scene might serve as a guilty pleasure for some, it would be very over-the-top for others

. As Bryan Mills’s daughter is kidnapped again, Mills drives a Porsche at breakneck speed to prevent her kidnapper from flying away. He speeds on the runway and, as a last resort, crashes into the private jet, destroying its landing gear in one go.

Mills then walks out of his vehicle unharmed.

Taken 3 interestingly featured two car explosions. Before this dramatic finale, Mills faced an SUV crashing into his car and as expected, he perfectly survives this scenario.