One of the best parts about any action movie, besides seeing the hottie get banged or the villain appropriately snuffed like a used cigar, is the explosions. Explosions are without fail, a climax of epic proportions. Nothing beats seeing a boat, human, Volkswagen or building just blow the fuck up.
But not all explosions are created equal, much like women. Some are crazy, others lame, and others are the cream of the crop. The ones below are explosions that you will never forget once you’ve seen them.
Die Hard – The Leap
1988, we were introduced to John McClane, NYPD cop, married man, and bad motherfucker. Beyond the numerous ass-kickings he delivers, past the running around a building with no shoes on, is this utter gem of explosive proportions. First, the terrorists have herded the hostages to the roof, so the FBI can pick them up…only they forgot to mention that the roof of the building is set to blow everyone on it sky fucking high. Enter McClane. He doesn’t waste words, he just fires his machine gun in the air, and these marketing execs and secretaries clear the roof faster than you say “The CEO screwed us”. However, because the FBI, in general, doesn’t know shit, they start firing at McClane who takes cover, and preps for the worst. The terrorists then decide to just blow it now.
McClane improvises, ties a fire hose around his waist, and with a man’s roar of triumph runs and leaps off the edge of the 40 story building as it explodes and takes out everything. Out of the numerous shots of being a real fucking action hero, this one is the shot that everyone remembers. Moral of the story: Don’t fuck with an N.Y.P.D. cop.
Transformers – StarScream vs Autobots
The F-22 is one of the finest aircraft ever built. The few hundred in the US Air Force could probably cripple every nation’s air fleet in about 12 hours. This is without the ability to transform into a 40 foot high robot with pulse cannons, gatling gun and a thirst for blood. Kinda makes things unfair doesn’t it?
The Autobots sure thought so, when they see Starscream, they don’t fire back, they just get something to bear the brunt of the missiles…which doesn’t quite work, as Starscream fires a money shot that levels most of the block, blows off Bumblebee’s legs and caused insta-limp to the marines in the area. Decepticons rule.
Independence Day – Bye, Bye White House
Ah yes. Who can forget their first Big Willy summer blockbuster? And not only does this puppy have some absolutely devastating explosions, it has them all at the same time! Quick recap: After these 15 mile long spaceships appear over 15 of the world’s largest cities, the Smart Guy (Jeff Goldblum, who always plays a smart guy) figures out this code, that says “OMFG Explosion Time in a few hours. Silly humans lawl”, and juusst warns everyone in the White House to GTFO. Sadly, this warning was lost on Los Angeles, New York, and the rest as the aliens unleash a towering beam of annihilation straight out of Gordon Freeman’s nightmares. Within 1 minute, the White House goes up like a dollhouse, the Chrysler Building gets a bailout of the explosive kind, and every hippie in downtown L.A. is exterminated. Glorious.
Predator – FU Arnie
As any man knows, this is one of the 5 greatest Man Movies of all time. Not only does it feature some of the greatest men of all time, they are here in full on ass-kicking mode. Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers, Shane Black, Bill Duke, and the ultimate action hero, Arnie.
None of this mattered to the 7-foot tall, invisible-at-will alien who stalks and brutally murders every single one of them. We’re talking fish in a bucket, Kobe against 3rd graders, A-Rod versus pitcher, Tiger versus anyone–complete domination. All except Arnie, who manages to put together a last stand of primal proportions, including the Roar of Battle. He lures the Predator into his trap, and manages to fatally wound the xeno-hunter. Undaunted, the Predator calmly programs something on his arm…now, Arnie with all that Special Forces training, notices the rapdily disappearing red lines, and the suddenly maniacal laugh of the alien, and deduces that its time to bounce, and fast. He sprints out of there, just in time, because this explosion is so big it levels a quarter-mile of the jungle. In many ways, that was the essence of the movie–it was going to kill you, or kill itself trying. Badass to the end, and the only enemy that Arnie has never killed (Sarah Connor notwithstanding).
Swordfish – L4C4
Ok, if you are a man, and not gay–actually, scratch that, even if you are, you can appreciate the stunning boobs of Halle Berry, which caused an explosion in many a man’s pants the first time that scene ran. Matter of fact, I’ll let you think about them because that’s one of two things you remember about this movie anyway.
…All done? Great. Now, the other thing that you remember is the opening scene. Travolta has just laughed his way through a hostage negotiation, finished his latte, and begun to leave. One of the hostages decides to make a break for it, and forget three things:
1) There are 5 pounds of C4 attached to her sweater
2) It will explode if she tries to run.
3) Even under the best circumstances, you cannot outrun an explosion when the explosion is on your chest.
Maybe it was the SWAT guys, whom I’m now convinced egged her just so they could see if she was that dumb. Maybe she had to go. We’ll never know. She runs, the bomb vest screams “I’m Rick James, Bitch!”, and not only does she get vaporized, we are treated to a glorious 360, bullet-time slow mo effect of the explosion. It takes out cars, SWAT, windows, puppies, the street, and the egos of the FBI, who realize something has gone very wrong and someone’s getting fired over this.
Epic Fail bonus – Witness Hugh Jackman (the first and only time he’s played a character named Stanley), blow up a chopper with a rocket launcher…only to realize that Travolta kept a dummy for that occasion so he could get away scott-free. If only he had claws back then…
Aliens – The Only Way To Be Sure
As one of the more famous creatures ever created (acid for blood? wtf!), I won’t bore you with how these things multiply like interstellar cockroaches, nor how many wipe out an entire colony for breakfast, nor how they destroy the tough-as-nails Colonial Marines squad. No, I’ll merely say that Ripley throws a rather fierce elbow against the Alien Queen, attempting to BBQ her eggs, and cooking them till they’re as black as a lit match. She hightails outta there, and none too soon, as the reactor powering the colony detonates with the fury of an angry wife after your weekend in Vegas. Game over, man.
True Lies – Bridge Decimation
The last great Arnie flick, and the last action film from James Cameron for 10 years. Beyond the Jamie Lee Curtis striptease, beyond the body-hugging dress of Tia Carrere, beyond the absolute castration of Bill Paxton as a wanna-be spy, past the machine-gun on the stairs accidentally killing all terrorists, beyond “Blow Me”, beyond Arnie dodging a missile, lies the truly great explosion.
Remember the F-22? Well they didn’t have those yet. However, they did have F-15′s, which still could blow the holy fuck out of anything it pointed at. So, I imagine the driver’s thoughts were something along the lines of this:
“Its going to feel good to kill some Americans today. Man, I can’t wait…hold on is that a missi–FUCKWHYISTHETRUCKINTHEAIR OHSHITISTHATTHEOCEA–”
And that was that, as the entire highway went up in a blazing cloud of complete and total destruction.
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines – Nuke Strikes
Judgment day. Can’t be stopped, only delayed. And in this third installment of the the franchise, Skynet comes online, and sees humans as a threat to its existence, and thus, launches an all-out global attack on the entire planet, and everyone with an atomic hardon launches theirs.
Not only is this the biggest series of explosions ever, it is also the most successful–Skynet wipes out most of the planet, paving the way for a human-free future.