The superhero genre has taken over the film industry in recent years, thanks in no small part to the spectacular action sequences at the core of the movies. The impending release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice looks to continue that trend, as it features what might be the most anticipated superhero brawl of all time. With the release of Captain America: Civil War also in our very near future, we decided to collect our favorite jaw-dropping brawls from the cinematic worlds of Marvel, DC, and everything in between.
In no particular order, here are Screen Rant’s 10 Mind Blowing Fights in Superhero Movies.
Spider-Man vs. Green Goblin
The web-crawler’s big screen debut launched the superhero genre to new heights when it became the first film in history to cross the $100 million threshold in its opening weekend at the box office. Featuring a star-making performance from Tobey Maguire — as well as a wonderfully hammy villainous turn by Willem Dafoe — this breakout hit crescendo-ed in gritty fashion with a third act showdown between the two arch-nemeses. After managing to subdue the crazed Norman Osborn, a badly injured Spider-Man dodges an underhanded glider attack at the last second, and the Goblin pays the ultimate price for his treachery.
Big Daddy vs. Warehouse Thugs
Kick-Ass had no shortage of insane fight sequences, and the ones featuring Chloe Moretz’s Hit Girl were as fun and inventive as killing sprees get, but it was Big Daddy’s warehouse sequence that truly sent a chill down our spine. Nicholas Cage’s performance as a murderous masked vigilante was as over-the-top as you might expect, and his showdown with mobster Frank D’Amico’s men was a particularly violent visual treat. Set to the tune of John Murphy’s epic instrumental track “In the House — In a Heartbeat,” Big Daddy runs through the thugs with the sort of brutal efficiency that would make Batman himself proud. Except for the killing part.
The Punisher vs. the Russian
The second of three attempts to bring the fan-favorite anti-hero to life on the big screen did not fare well, critically or financially. Despite an admirable effort from star Thomas Jane, the film simply didn’t connect with audiences. One of the lone brightspots of this grim affair was this 4+ minute long brawl between Frank Castle and The Russian, a mob enforcer played by Kevin Nash. The 6’9″ former professional wrestler brings a true sense of physicality to the scene, and even though the fight has its silly moments, it’s still one of Marvel’s most memorable showdowns. Keep an eye out for an even more badass Punisher in season 2 of Daredevil.
Quicksilver vs. Pentagon security team
Comic book fans were up in arms when the design of Evan Peters’ Quicksilver was initially unveiled on the cover of Empire Magazine. Despite bearing little resemblance to his comic book counterpart, the speedster ended up stealing the show with this innovative slow-mo sequence. Folk legend Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle” echoes in the background as “Peter” Maximoff cleverly maneuvers the room at supersonic speeds, dispatching of the security guards and preventing his fellow mutants from being riddled with bullets. Fingers crossed X-Men: Apocalypse features more highlight reel Quicksilver scenes like this one.
Ozymandias vs. Nite Owl II and Rorschach
Despite any criticisms cinephiles may level at Batman v Superman director Zack Snyder, it’s an indisputable fact that the man can helm an action sequence like few others in the industry. Fans got a taste of what they can expect out from his Dark Knight’s fighting style in this underrated 2009 adaptation of Watchmen. The film features a few solid brawls, but the final showdown between Nite Owl II, Rorschach, and the mass murdering Ozymandias is particularly stellar. The latter’s gradual reveal of his plot to kill millions during the fight is a bit of an eye roller, until he mentions the fact that the deed is already done and there truly is no stopping him.
Captain America vs. the Winter Soldier
Easily one of the best films to come out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far, Steve Rogers’ second solo outing was a thrill ride from start to finish. It’s almost unfair to single out one solitary moment from the movie, but in our eyes, the highway fight scene between the Captain and his former best friend-turned assassin takes the cake. This expertly choreographed super-soldier melee is capped off by the film’s big reveal — that Bucky Barnes is still very much alive — one that adds an extra dimension to the proceedings. These two look to be fighting on the same side again in Civil War, but we wouldn’t be opposed to another physical altercation or two.
Batman vs. Bane
Having appeared in more live-action films than any other modern superhero, you’d think we’d have gotten a proper fight sequence featuring the Caped Crusader before 2012. Widely hyped as the first time we’d see the Batman taking on a worthy physical foe on the big screen, his first battle against Bane was a shocker for non-comic fans who never thought they’d see the Dark Knight get man-handled like this. Fans of the 1993 Knightfall storyline probably saw the back break coming a mile away, though. Batman of course manages to heal himself and overcome his foe in the end, though not before he was betrayed in epic fashion by the shadows he once believed to be his and his alone.
Iron Man vs. the Hulk
The sequel to one of the most successful movies of all time, Age of Ultron had an absurd standard to live up to. And while it may not have improved on its predecessor in any meaningful way, Whedon’s Avengers follow-up was still a smash hit with critics and audiences alike, thanks in no small part to this spectacular brawl. Fans had hoped to see Iron Man break out the Hulkbuster armor for years, and its live-action debut did not disappoint. Tony Stark’s upgraded suit eventually stops the rampaging behemoth, but not before the two tear apart a Wakandan city. Black Panther’s probably not going to be too thrilled about that when he makes his debut in Civil War.
Superman vs. General Zod
Zack Snyder’s second scene on this list is also quite possibly the most controversial. While few would argue against the sheer visual spectacle of watching two Kryptonians beat the hell out of each other, the fact that Metropolis was all but leveled in the process bothered a lot of comic book fans. And even more were upset over Superman’s decision to kill Zod in order to save the lives of innocent bystanders. Both the battle and its murderous act has MAJOR consequences in Batman v Superman, of course.
Wolverine vs. Yakuza
Hugh Jackman’s unforgettable take on the hyper-popular Marvel hero has lasted over 15 years now, and the creative well doesn’t appear to be drying up anytime soon. The Wolverine was a substantial improvement on Logan’s first solo outing, drawing on the character’s comic book roots to serve up a fresh take on the face of the X-Men franchise. This fight sequence aboard a high speed train against a few insanely-determined Yakuza was eye-openingly innovative, and deserved far more praise than it received. That being said, the scene is not quite our favorite locomotive-based Marvel brawl…
What did you think of our list? Will the Batman/Superman brawl have earned its way on here when all is said and done, or will it be outshone by the Civil War showdown between Captain America and Iron Man? Sound off in the comments below, and be sure to subscribe to our channel for more videos like this one.