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Trinity (Guiard des Moulins, Bible historiale, 15 c.)

She knows Wire Fu.


Dale: The guy got into a little, you know, stance. And I'd just seen that movie, Crouching Tiger or whatever, and I thought...

Judge Frasier: You thought he could fly?

Chop Sockey, assisted by the fact that the actor is tethered to the ceiling.

A (comparatively) easy way to make a fight scene more impressive is to use fine wires to support the actor during acrobatics that would not be possible for a normal human: long lateral jumps, jumping "off the air", being thrown back by an explosion, or even hanging suspended. Wires can also be used to slow down an actor's movement without the undesirable side effects of Overcranking.

Wire Fu is an important device of the entire Toku genre and of Wuxia.

Also called "Wirework" (though that term is more general; "Wire Fu" usually refers only to the use of wirework for fight scenes).

Expensive and time-consuming, it is often now replaced by computer-generated effects.

Examples of Wire Fu include:


Comics


Card Games

  • The Munchkin card game set "Munchkin Fu" has a style card literally called Wire Fu. It gives a +6.
    • But prevents you from wearing armor.
    • There is also a monster -5 debuff "with visible wires"


Films -- Live Action

  • Wuxia films use Wire Fu to perform exaggerated feats of qinggong. For example, the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero, and House of Flying Daggers demonstrate perhaps the ultimate achievement in Wire Fu that Western audiences have seen.
  • Wire Fu is noticeably absent in Jackie Chan films; Chan insists on doing all his own stunts and eschews this technique. This may end in the near future, however: Jackie Chan is getting older.
  • The Matrix is this trope's CMOA in the west.
  • Just about every single Jet Li film. His training just makes it look really good.
  • Spoofed in Wayne's World 2, during a fight between Wayne and Cassandra's father featuring leaps and flips with curiously flat trajectories.
    • Never one to leave a dead horse unbeaten, Mike Myers used this in Austin Powers: Goldmember with Fat Bastard, who -- to make sure he was ready to fight Austin -- shouted "I hope my wire-fightin' team's r-r-r-r-ready!" He is defeated when one wire snaps, leaving him stuck in the air.
  • The teaser trailer for The Other Guys spoofs this by having the two main heroes striking a flying kick pose and firing guns before hitting each other in midair and swinging from their wires.
  • Brilliantly averted in the "corridor fight" scene in Inception. When the one mook falls down a side corridor when gravity shifts to the side, the stuntman's fall was slowed by regular wirework, as were the parts when gravity completely stops. However, for the fight between Arthur and a mook when gravity is spinning out of control, the director went for an even more expensive and time consuming solution, building an entire set inside a huge metal cylinder that could actually be rotated. But it was completely worth the effort, as the result looks infinitely better than any Wire Fu. Because it IS real.
  • Heroic Trio seems to have been filmed with multiple wire-rigs working at once since practically every character knows wire-fu... and it is glorious.


Live Action TV

  • Garo has a lot of wirework, surprisingly well done considering the heavy suits worn by the stuntmen and actors, and the fact that it's a TV show. Combined with chroma key and CG, some spectacular fights are produced. The Skyscraper fight in Makai Senki has to be seen to be believed.
  • Power Rangers, in every episode. Surprisingly, Super Sentai (and sister franchise Kamen Rider) use very little Wire Fu in comparison.
    • Used quite ludicrously on one episode: the Yellow Ranger is surrounded by Putties, leaps into the air, hovers for a few seconds (surely there was some Chroma Key involved here), falls back down to Earth, and then beats them up. The jump accomplished nothing, but the Red Ranger then compliments her on her "good move".
    • On another occasion (possibly from the very same episode), an out-of-costume Blue Ranger leaps into the air and lands with his legs around a Putty's head, killing it. That's right, he killed a guy with his crotch.
    • Super Sentai and Kamen Rider get their fair share of Wire Fu when Power Rangers alumnus Koichi Sakamoto does the action scenes. Kamen Rider Fourze is chock full of Wire Fu sequences, handwaved by the fact that the protagonist has some sort of jetpack on his suit.
  • Fight scenes in Angel made use of this in contrast to Buffy, where people only went flying into the air when kicked up there. One commenter on the show speculated that it was specifically moving to Los Angeles that granted vampires the ability to jump really high.
    • Buffy did make at least one use of wire fu that was gratuitously conspicuous.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess makes copious use of Wire Fu in almost every episode.


Puppet Shows

  • The Pili series from Taiwan. Wire-fu puppets. Very awesome wire-fu puppets.


Theatre

  • Batman Live is full of Wire Fu, all of which is used beautifully.


Music Videos

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