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The Greatest Martial Arts Movie Ever Made


I believe the greatest martial arts movie ever made is Groundhog Day (1993), starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell.

In it, full-of-himself Pittsburgh TV weatherman Phil Connors (Murray) is sent with a producer Rita (MacDowell) and cameraman Larry to Punxsutawney, Penn., to cover its Groundhog Day festivities, on February 2.

Phil talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk in his training.

It's Phil's fourth time to record whether or not the rodent sees its shadow, dooming us to another six weeks of winter, and he is sick of it. He knows he is destined for bigger things and this assignment is an embarrassment, as he likes to remind his two work associates, whom he treats with disdain. In fact, he condescends to everyone he meets in Punxsutawney.

With the shoot done, Phil is anxious to escape the small town and return to civilization. But a snowstorm forces the WPBH-TV9 crew to spend one more night in Punxsutawney. The next morning, Phil wakes up in his bed and breakfast to find that it is not "tomorrow." He has to relive Groundhog Day again.

Phil soon discovers that he has to keep on reliving Groundhog Day until he gets it right, waking each morning at 6 a.m. to the clock-radio music of Sonny & Cher's "I've Got You, Babe" (truly hell).

When it comes to fighting action, Groundhog Day isn't up there with The Big Brawl or Enter the Dragon. Phil does take a weak, playful punch from an obnoxious insurance salesman, Ned Ryerson, that he doesn't try to block. He later decks Ned with an unprovoked haymaker – something that would get him expelled from most dojo. He fails to block a bunch of slaps in the face he gets from Rita for being a cad. He does hold his own in a snowball fight, but his opponents are just kids.

The closest we get to real violence are Phil's repeated attempts at suicide. But more on that later.


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