Richard Norton is a great martial artist and action star from Australia with a number of classic roles under his belt. He’s played in different roles with Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan, Chuck Norris, and Cynthia Rothrock to name a few. I honestly believe he is one of those martial artists that never had a true chance to breakthrough Hollywood in a major A-list film. If you knew his background, his experience, and charisma, you would share the same sentiment. Here are 7 different fights that show how great of a fighter he is in action films:
1. Lucky Stars
Norton plays an assassin and tries to take out Sammo Hung in Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Stars. This scene starts off with a bit of comedy as Norton shoots through Hung’s glass of orange juice. Hung tries to pick up another glass and hides. Norton gets another close shot but he’s out of rounds. The real action begins now in a really nice fight. The trade-off in techniques and the drama made it very good action scene. It was well choreographed with both sides showing strong technique. They both had good camaraderie onscreen.
2. Richard Norton vs Sam Grecco
Epic scene of Under the Gun. Norton is in the storage room and seems to drink some salt and water to regurgitate some drugs he hid in his body. Grecco comes in and picks a beef with Norton. Norton suggests a contest where if he shoots a ball of garbage into the trash can, the beef gets resolved peacefully. However, if he misses they have a nice brawl. Norton drops the trash and you see him thrown out of the storage room. This is what you call your classic pool hall fight. When you combine billiards, sticks, and a bit of shocking action towards the end, it makes for a great scene. It was pretty intense the way Grecco went out.
3. Richard Norton vs Cynthia Rothrock
This is by far one of those ‘so bad it’s good’ action films you need to watch. The Magic Crystal has some of the most dynamic action scenes in a 1980s martial arts film. This fight between Norton and Rothrock shows great sword play and choreography. Rothrock has a beautiful and dynamic sword set that you don’t see in CGI films these days. Norton shows his ability as a great stuntman and dazzles the screen with great fighting choreography. What an awesome scene! This great chemistry led to other films starring Rothrock and Norton such as Rage and Honor.
4. All-Star Fight
This is the end fight of Millionaire’s Express where not only Norton gets a piece of the action, but Cynthia Rothrock, Sammo Hung, and Yuen Biao all put on quite the show. It’s a real treat to see all of this raw, butt kicking action from great artists and stuntmen. It’s sad how you don’t see an all-star martial arts cast that have a background in not only technique but great stunt work as well. I mean, the type of stunt work that doesn’t require an insane amount of wires or CGI to make it look real. There are a few more great martial artists in this scene if you look closely :).
5. City Hunter
Richard Norton and Jackie Chan go at it in this final fight of City Hunter. The thing I love about this scene is the serious yet comedic aspects. Chan’s character is based right out of the manga as a rather quirky, girl obsessed guy. Even in this scene when Jackie gets hit by some weapons from Norton, he’s still very into the goofiness of his character. The choreography is a bit over the top and playful. It’s one of those Norton scenes that you grow to love the quirkiness of the role. Norton and Chan face off 4 years later in Mr. Nice Guy.
6. Silent but Deadly
In this scene from Cross Fire, Norton silently takes out some guards with a Metal Gear Solid type of feel. I can definitely appreciate a bit of espionage work in action scenes. It’s pretty great to see how quiet and graceful he took out his adversaries. My favorite part was the first kill where he took the guy out by choking, covering his mouth, and ending with a fatal neck snap. That’s a new definition of “keeping quiet” as you infiltrate the enemy territory.
Norton shows in these scenes that he’s a really great physical actor on screen. Even at the age of 63, he’s still well immersed in martial arts through teaching, seminars, and demonstrations. You’ll still see Norton in good action roles from time to time. In fact, he’s scheduled to play in a big budget action film called Mad Max: Fury Road, which is due out in 2014. I wonder what’s next for the action veteran? Leave some feedback below and tell us your favorite scene!