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Intimidation Demonstration

 Intimidation Demonstration
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 Intimidation Demonstration
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Intimidation Demonstration
 Intimidation Demonstration
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IntimidationDemonstration
 Intimidation Demonstration
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When someone wants to show off how skilled they are with a weapon, martial arts, acrobatics, or just plain strength, they will do some sort of flashy movement to display their skills, such as juggling knives, twirling a sword, swinging their nunchucks, flexing their pecs, bending a metal pipe, breaking a brick, or kicking and punching while doing flips. This is very common in fighting games and martial arts movies, as characters will want to appear badass by doing some unnecessary cool moves before they fight.
Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_1'); })Can apply to twirling around firearms, but not that type of twirling. Just don't confuse intimidation with a Dramatic Gun Cock.
Another variant is simply a demonstration of firepower and/or military capability. In Real Life, this is a common diplomatic tool—if you want to intimidate a country, conduct a military exercise with an aircraft carrier battle group in their general area. Or a nuclear weapons test.
A favorite move of Bruce Lee clones, Martial Arts Movie, and Artistic License – Martial Arts in general. Is sometimes combined with a taunt or Badass Boast. Often finished off with a Bring It or an Ass-Kicking Pose. When it works, it's an example of winning without fighting and Victory Through Intimidation, examples of doing this badly may fall under What the Fu Are You Doing? or Flexing Those Non-Biceps. If done by someone who should be stealthy, not flashy, see Highly Visible Ninja. If a person crushes something in their hands for a reason other than intimidation, see A Glass in the Hand. Battle Strip and Pec Flex are related.
Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_2'); })Examples:
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2020-06-21T14:38:38Z
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2020-06-24T17:21:46Z
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Happy Days: Fonzie is about to fight a fencing duel with a visiting French character. Frenchie uses his epee to cut the gym's climbing rope. Fonzie counters by swiping at a nearby banner; Frenchie is amused by Fonzie's failure until Fonz snaps his fingers and the banner splits in two.
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Enter the Dragon has Oharra breaking a board with his fist in an intimidating fashion. Bruce Lee is not impressed.
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There are several examples in Worm:
Glory Girl likes to make her entrance by doing flashy maneuvers such as Ground-Shattering Landings.
At the beginning of Chapter 6.1, a gang member whips his katana around to try to intimidate Skitter. It doesn't work.
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Game of Death has a scene where Bruce Lee and another man spend the majority of their battle expertly flailing their nunchucks around while yelling and staring intently. They get around to fighting, eventually.
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Bleach: Yamamoto demonstrates the gap between himself and Nanao by simply focusing his Spiritual Pressure on her, and in the process nearly crushes her into paste.
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Upon encountering a Thresher industrial robot in Descent 3, it will pick up a crate and shred it to demonstrate its great strength.
 Intimidation Demonstration / int_1cc11947
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Bones: Brennan does it while explaining to Booth in anthropological terms in the episode "The Maggots in the Meathead" while surrounded by Guidos. She picked it up while watching a "documentary" on TV.
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The Anubis Gates: The protagonist has recently grown much stronger and attempts to intimidate an aggressive bunch of men at a bar by crushing a pewter mug in his fist. He has no idea whether he's strong enough to accomplish the feat... and he's not. Needless to say, the stunt fails.
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In The Mighty Ducks, Coach Bombay has Fulton practice his powerful (if somewhat inaccurate) slapshots during warm-ups before the game against the Cardinals. Near the end of the game, Fulton gets the puck and winds up for a shot. All the Cardinals duck for cover, allowing one of the Ducks to take the puck and score unopposed.
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In Kin-Dza-Dza! an etsilop to whom a character forgot to say "Koo!" used his weapon to perform a Diagonal Cut on a faraway sand tower just to make a point.
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The Matrix: The very first fight Neo has. "... what you must learn is that these rules are no different than the rules of a computer system. Some of them can be bent. Others can be broken. Understand? Then hit me, if you can." Cue Neo and then Morpheus both waving their hands around in the air and assuming theatrical pre-fight poses.
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In The Phantom Menace, Darth Maul turns towards Obi-Wan after killing Qui-Gon Jinn and swings his lightsaber around to taunt him.
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Haloid. After the first time Samus activates her Laser Blade, she performs some basic cuts and swings with it to let MC know she's no one to be trifled with.
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One of the early Spirou and Fantasio stories has the Marsupilami meet a gorilla, who starts engaging in threatening behavior (chest-beating, ripping trees out of the ground...). Subverted, however, in that it is quickly too tired to actually fight, and the Marsupilami goes by unharmed.
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Quest for Fire: Early human conflict is still very much rooted in threat displays. In one scene, a group of proto-humans approaches a trio of Neanderthals while smashing their clubs on the ground to show their strength. In response, one of the Neanderthals starts howling and making stabbing motions with his spear to display his own threat.
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A similar event occurs in Batman Forever, when one of Two-Face's thugs performs some fancy moves with bladed gloves, only to promptly leave himself wide open for Batman to take him out with a single kick to the face.
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Played with in School Rumble. First, Karen scares off an attacker by absolutely disintegrating an apple just by squeezing it in one hand. Later, Lala does this to intimidate a few classmates, but Imadori, unfazed, claims that it's no big deal and does the same thing with a ripe banana.
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Tank Girl. At the beginning of Tank Girl and Keslee's fight, they are standing on a suspended catwalk. Keslee uses the spinning blades on his artificial arm to cut through two supporting cables to show Tank Girl how dangerous they are.
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Supernatural: In the first episode of season four, titled "Lazarus Rising", the angel Castiel first introduces himself to Dean and Bobby by causing the lights to flicker rapidly before bursting through the doors, exploding all the lights around them and showing off his shadowy wings. He never enters a room this way again after their first encounter, so clearly he was attempting to show them the extent of his powers and intimidate them right off the bat.
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Various times in Kung Pow! Enter the Fist, such as the "gopher-chucks" scene where The Chosen One is scaring off his opponents by twirling his gopher-chucks, much like someone would show off normal nunchucks. There's also Master Pain/Betty's ability to take Groin Attacks like they were nothing. Even The Chosen One was impressed by it!
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Brooklyn Nine-Nine: In "Sal's Pizza," Sgt. Jeffords warns the precinct's new IT guy to stay in line.
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In the Daffy Duck short Muscle Tussle, Daffy's girlfriend is wooed by a beach hunk. Daffy takes some strength tonic in order to match up with the new guy. The new guy demonstrates his strength to Daffy; Daffy tries to match him but the results are less than stellar.
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Popeye: Popeye has various ways he shows off just how strong he is; virtually every time he eats spinach, he flexes his now-humongous biceps.
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Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Judge Doom advances toward Eddie Valiant with a toon buzzsaw, extending the handle and cutting through a pipe, with lots of sparks flying out, to show that it can kill Eddie.
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While Obi from Snow White with the Red Hair usually prefers to enter fights without his target even being aware of his presence beforehand once when he caught up to a pair of thieves and realized they were just kids he got in a tree ahead of and above them and called on them to surrender while threateningly spinning one of his throwing knives with his face framed in shadow. The tacit worked as they immediately gave up when Zen arrived, though Obi was annoyed they took him for a criminal.
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In the Metal Gear games, triple-crossing Magnificent Bastard Revolver Ocelot is rarely seen not elaborately twirling around his revolvers to intimidate his foes and his allies. It's played for both silliness and creating menacing tension.
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In WWE, The Great Khali demonstrates his vise grip (basically a move in which he crushes the opponent's head with both his hands) on a basketball hard enough to make it pop to intimidate Batista before a match. Batista then reminds him that, among other things, he's not going to be wrestling a basketball.
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In the Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu episode "Summer Illusion of Steel", Sameshima the cook runs up to Sōsuke with a knife in each hand, and starts twirling them around. He then switches over to rapidly slicing them through the air while stating his reputation as "Sammy the Slasher". It pays homage to Indiana Jones, though, as Sōsuke just shoots him.
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A rare instance where this trope is used to end a fight rather than start one. In BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, Carl Clover interrogates Tsubaki Yayoi a little too roughly, and Makoto, not knowing who the aggressor is but wanting to stop the abuse, jumps out and prepares to punch him. Carl dodges - and good thing, too, as the punch leaves a massive impact crater where he once stood! Unfortunately for Makoto, this causes Carl's attention to shift to her, as she's with Intel and Carl wanted the whereabouts of his father, Relius Clover...
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Top Secret/SI. The Dragon magazine #178 article "A Swing and a Hit'' has various combat techniques. One of them is "Weapon Display", which allows an agent to twirl a weapon all around their body to try to impress an opponent. If the tactic works the opponent must stand and watch the display until it ends, and may not be able to attack or defend for another combat turn.
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Earthdawn supplement Earthdawn Companion. The Impressive Shot talent allows the user to fire a missile close to an opponent (through their sleeve, hit close to them, knock something out of their hand, etc.) in order to impress them with the user's archery abilities.
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Awesome Kong once grabbed a kendo stick and expertly twirled it around. Roxxi Laveaux's response was to laugh and nail her with a steel chair.
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Dungeons & Dragons
2nd Edition had a Non-Weapon Proficiency called "Display Weapon Prowess". If the user demonstrated his weapon skills successfully, it caused opponents to make a morale check.
Also the whole point of the "Blade" bard kit from the same edition's Complete Bard's Handbook, which wasn't so much about being a great fighter (being, well, still a bard rather than an actual member of the fighter class) as it was about convincingly looking the part for showboating and intimidation purposes.
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In Interesting Times, a samurai warrior tries to intimidate Cohen the Barbarian by throwing a silk handkerchief in the air and cutting it in half with his extremely-sharp sword. In response, Cohen throws his own handkerchief in the air — and attacks the samurai while his attention is on the handkerchief.
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In Mass Effect, whenever there is a stand-off in cut-scenes, Liara is immediately shown to flare her biotics, while Tali raises her omni-tool.
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Heavy Metal segment "Taarna". When Taarna and the Barbarian Leader are about to fight, the BL deploys his circular saw hand and cuts through a pipe to show its deadly power.
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The Golden Child. While Chandler Jarell is fighting Tommy Tong, Tong repeatedly flourishes his swords to make it clear to Chandler that he's outmatched.
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The Running Man. When the Stalkers Subzero, Buzzsaw, Dynamo and Fireball are introduced to the studio audience, each of them shows off their weapon by destroying something. When Fireball first appears to the runners Ben and Amber, he repeatedly fires off his flamethrower to impress them.
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Anakin also twirls his lightsaber around during a break in his duel with Obi-Wan. He can be seen doing the same thing during the arena battle in Attack of the Clones.
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In the The Big O episode "The Greatest Villain". Before Beck fights Roger Smith he does some fancy maneuvers with a giant boomerang-like weapon from his megadeus. Roger has the Big O shoot him with its Arm Cannon, instantly winning the fight.
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Never Back Down has the Cool, but Inefficient capoeira fighter who shows off with fancy flips and spinning kicks before the fight, but is then finished by Ryan with a single punch.
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In the Hero Game System this is covered with the "Presence Attack" mechanic. (You get bonuses if you do it really well).
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Full Metal Jacket: After a Vietnamese boy steals a camera and tosses it to his friend on a bike, he turns around and starts doing a series of palm strikes in the air and making fierce screams, then does a spin kick. Joker humorously tries the same thing along with his "war cry" back at the boy.
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30 Rock: In the episode Idiots Are People Two!, a ninja attempts to intimidate Kelsey Grammer by performing several flips, kicks, and punches.
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Hackmaster 4th Edition. The monk class had two abilities of this type which could be used before combat began, both involving the use of the monk's martial arts techniques. Intimidating Display caused all opponents to lose initiative on the first round of combat, allowing the monk's party to attack first. Really Intimidating Display could cause opponents to sit down and watch as long as the monk continued to perform.
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Indiana Jones
The famous scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where Indiana faces the Master Swordsman has the swordsman demonstrating just how skilled he is by throwing his scimitar from one hand to the other and then spinning it in his hands. Indy promptly puts an end to it by just shooting him.
There is a similar scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom where Indy faced off against two swordsmen. They did some brief sword spinning as well. He tries to resolve the situation in the same way as before...except after reaching for his empty holster, he remembers he'd been relieved of his pistol earlier in the film.
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Goldfinger: Oddjob demonstrates his ability with his killer bowler hat early in the film, Foreshadowing the fight with Bond at the end.
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Blade II. As Nyssa approaches Blade before their duel, she whirls her blades around to display her swordsmanship. The scene can be viewed here.
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The famous scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where Indiana faces the Master Swordsman has the swordsman demonstrating just how skilled he is by throwing his scimitar from one hand to the other and then spinning it in his hands. Indy promptly puts an end to it by just shooting him.
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During his fight with Luffy in One Piece, Arlong uses his powerful teeth to bite through a solid stone pillar. While this was intended as intimidation, Luffy answers by pounding the stone with his fist, and telling Arlong that biting through stone is rather silly.
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In The Three Musketeers (1993), Pothos runs into a Japanese mook who twirls his sword around while shouting a Kiai. Unimpressed, Pothos mockingly imitates him and then drops him down a Trap Door.
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Parodied in the Gold/Silver era Pokémon games. One gym leader tries to intimidate you when you challenge them by throwing and smashing a rock, only for the Player Character (based on what said gym leader says) to point out that has nothing to do with how good he is at Pokémon battles.
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In Sweet Silver Blues, one of the groll (troll/giant hybrid) brothers catches a brick thrown by a racist mob and crushes it into dust. Subverted in that the mob isn't sufficiently impressed, so the grolls have to start swinging large pieces of lumber around before the racists disperse.
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The Pink Panther Strikes Again. During Kato's surprise attack on Clouseau, Kato displays impressive ability wielding a staff and Clouseau shows off his elite skill with a pair of nunchucks before they start using them to fight.
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During The Matrix: Path of Neo nearly everybody who picks up a weapon for the first time will do some demonstrating of their sword, staff or axe techniques. Never mind all the AssKickingPoses that are shown and there are quite a few of those.
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Wonder Woman: In "I Do, I Do", a thug tries to hit Wonder Woman with a tire iron. She catches his arm, takes the weapon out of his hand, tosses him away, and then ignores him in favor of bending the tire iron into a circle. That's when he decides to run.
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In the first The Substitute movie, the principal tells the protagonist that at the start of every year he does this with the school's out of control students by smashing a large wooden board with his bare hands right in front of them. He completes the story with an excellent quote "Power perceived is power achieved", basically meaning that unless the unruly Gang Banger students see that you have power, they will never go along with you. The protagonist takes it to heart and gives a very personal demonstration to his class about how he can maintain order.
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Game of Thrones: Karl Tanner slices 'n dices the air with his twin daggers while advancing on Jon Snow.
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Undercover Brother
During his fight with Mr. Feather, the title character demonstrates his skill with nunchucks.
Likewise, Mr. Feather deploys his hand claws in a flashy manner.
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In the Sherlock Holmes story The Adventure of the Speckled Band, Dr. Grimesby Roylott, an ill-tempered and violent man followed his stepdaughter to 221 B Baker Street (where she had gone to consult Holmes about the death of her sister) to warn Holmes off by bending an iron bar in order to intimidate him. Undaunted, Holmes simply bent the bar back into place after the man had left, proving that Holmes' own strength was a match for his.
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Batman (1989). When the Joker's sword-wielding mook first appears, he swings his swords around in an expert manner in an attempt to scare Batman.
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In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, after the turtles barely escape from Tokka and Rahzar, the Shredder unleashes the pair on the city, telling them to 'Go play'. After the pair go on a destructive rampage, the Shredder has a message delivered to the turtles through April: if they don't appear for a final showdown, he'll release Tokka and Rahzar into Central Park, and the innocent civilians that would be there.
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Early on in Hunter × Hunter, one of Kurapika's opponents punches a concrete wall, leaving huge cracks and chips in it, then reveals a tattoo resembling that of the deadly Spiders organization as well as his kill count on his back. It turns out that he embedded a steel plate into one of his hands to enable him to punch with more force but can only do it once in a while as it really hurts, that the Spiders have a membership number on their tattoos, and that their kills are so numerous that they don't bother to count.
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In The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted, the Big Bad is screening a propaganda broadcast to a colony of pacifists, with a Million Mook March montage of troops and tanks. Rather than being intimidated however, the locals given their culture are simply confused as to why so much energy and resources are being wasted to no apparent purpose.
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Dead Fantasy Part I. When Hitomi first appears she does some martial arts moves to impress her opponents.
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The Hunger Games: One of the nuances of the training room is whether or not you show off your deadliest skill. The Careers (volunteers for the Games) like to let the other tributes know what they can do as a sort of boast.
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Wild Wild West, during two of Jim West's battles with Dr. Loveless' mooks inside the giant spider robot.
His first opponent was modified with cybernetic devices that shoot blades out his wrists. After he ejects one of them he whirls it around menacingly. West responds by activating his boot blade in his Tricked-Out Shoes and wiggling it around in a completely non-intimidating manner.
One of his opponents does some fancy martial arts moves and says "I learned that from a Chinaman." Jim's response is to grab a shovel, knock him unconscious with a single swing, and reply "I just made that up."
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Big Trouble in Little China
When Jack Burton confronts the Lords of Death members at the airport, one of them pulls out a knife and an extendable staff. When he starts swinging them in front of himself in a frightening display of his weapon-handling abilities, Jack wisely backs away from him.
When the Three Storms first appear to break up the fight between the Chang Sings and the Wing Kong, they give a display of martial arts skills to intimidate the gangs. One of the Storms, Lightning, adds a display of his electrical powers for extra "shock value."
When Lightning confronts Jack, Gracie, Egg Shen, and Miao Yin after the death of Lo Pan, he fires off lightning bolts in all directions in an attempt to frighten them.
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Aladdin. While the guards are pursuing Aladdin and Abu the monkey, Abu picks up a sword and threatens the guards with some stylish maneuvers, frightening them, and leads to a He's Got a Weapon! cry:
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Demolition Man. When John Spartan charges out of the Taco Bell to fight Edgar Friendly's men, one of them approaches him and waves two swords around in an attempt to show him who's boss. Spartan takes him down quickly.
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The Matrix Reloaded:
During the Burly Brawl, Neo hits an Agent Smith with a pole and knocks the concrete off the end, then spins it around to intimidate the other Smiths watching.
During the fight in the Merovingian's château, Neo does a brief spin display with the two sai after he pulls them off a wall to him. Also, one of the Merovingian's goons spins his swords around in an intimidating way before attacking Neo with them.
During Morpheus' fight with the albino ghost twins, each of them does some fancy moves with their straight razors before fighting him.
During Morpheus' fight with the Agent on top of the truck. After pulling the sword out of the side of the truck and slicing through the Agent's tie, Morpheus swings the sword around a few times.
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In Kick-Ass, one thug tries to intimidate Hit Girl with his Butterfly Knife skills. It doesn't work. She simply responds with a more impressive display using her own butterfly knife, then uses it to kill him.
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Hudson Hawk. Just before Eddie's final battle against Alfred the butler, Alfred snaps out his blades and swings them around in a threatening manner to let Eddie know just what he's up against.
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Star Control 2: The Thraddash's "Culture 3" parodies this. They apparently were in the habit of chopping off their own limbs to demonstrate how hardcore they were, which actually did let them take over Thraddash society due to scaring the crap out of their enemies. However, veterans would quickly run out of limbs and were said to "roll around on the ground" during war parades. The modern Thraddash consider all this a race-wide case of Old Shame.
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In Revenge of the Sith, Grievous pulls out all four of his lightsabers and begins spinning them and cutting up the floor as he moves towards Obi-Wan. However, Obi-Wan isn't fazed by this and makes short work of him.
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The Matrix series
The Matrix: The very first fight Neo has. "... what you must learn is that these rules are no different than the rules of a computer system. Some of them can be bent. Others can be broken. Understand? Then hit me, if you can." Cue Neo and then Morpheus both waving their hands around in the air and assuming theatrical pre-fight poses.
The Matrix Reloaded:
During the Burly Brawl, Neo hits an Agent Smith with a pole and knocks the concrete off the end, then spins it around to intimidate the other Smiths watching.
During the fight in the Merovingian's château, Neo does a brief spin display with the two sai after he pulls them off a wall to him. Also, one of the Merovingian's goons spins his swords around in an intimidating way before attacking Neo with them.
During Morpheus' fight with the albino ghost twins, each of them does some fancy moves with their straight razors before fighting him.
During Morpheus' fight with the Agent on top of the truck. After pulling the sword out of the side of the truck and slicing through the Agent's tie, Morpheus swings the sword around a few times.
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Yu Yu Hakusho:
In Younger Toguro's second appearance, he demonstrates his strength by demolishing a building. Yusuke is scared shitless.
Yusuke demonstrates his Spirit Gun on a balcony in an attempt to get Chu to surrender. It doesn't work.
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There is a similar scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom where Indy faced off against two swordsmen. They did some brief sword spinning as well. He tries to resolve the situation in the same way as before...except after reaching for his empty holster, he remembers he'd been relieved of his pistol earlier in the film.
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 Intimidation Demonstration
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