Top 10 Most Destructive Movies of All Time (Video Edition)
The time has come for some kaiju devastation in the form of GODZILLA! Gareth Edwards reinvention of the classic Japanese monster movie brings with it the promise of large scale cinematic destruction. Holding to a long tradition in Hollywood of blowing shit up real good, here is a ranking of the most destructive blockbusters of all time. If your favorite 'splosions didn't make the list, feel free to add them to the talk backs below.
While it may not be the first choice for a list like this, there is something deeply unsettling about the wanton violence in Michael Bay's action-packed sequel. Whether it be the callous treatment of corpses or the insane highway car chase, BAD BOYS II is chock full of jaw-dropping, butthole puckering sequences. But, what got this movie on the list was the sheer audacity of having a chase through a shanty town in Cuba where I would have to imagine numerous innocents would have been killed.
Done in a very cartoony manner that didn't click with as many audiences as it should have, Tim Burton's ode to 1950s B-movie scifi is replete with landmarks being destroyed and humans being disintegrated. The sheer amount of death and devastation in MARS ATTACKS! should make people take pause. Well, maybe after they stop laughing.
Sure, the fight between Neo and Agent Smith that concludes THE MATRIX trilogy takes place within a virtual reality, the anime-like destruction of cityscapes resulting in massive craters and assumed fatalities is quite stunning to see on the big screen. It may not have made you think twice, being within The Matrix and not the "real world", but this is one damn destructive scene.
Michael Bay is back on the list, this time with the third entry in the already massively destructive TRANSFORMERS franchise. Whether it be the Pyramids of Giza or other cities, Bay didn't quite hit the peak of his massive metropolitan violence until he took down the entire city of Chicago in DARK OF THE MOON. Chicago is often overlooked in favor of Los Angeles or New York, but Bay's movie certainly shows Chi-town can blow up with the best of them.
Ah, THE AVENGERS. When it comes to superhero destruction, the Battle of New York is at the top of real cities being collateral damage between superheroes and villains. The Chitauri invasion didn't take down any landmarks but it definitely left rubble and debris to be felt through the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I bet AGE OF ULTRON will do the same for other countries.
And here we are the the most destructive superhero sequence of all time. A contentious scene for movie fans, the question is just how much death and destruction was caused by Superman's fight with General Zod. Bringing to mind flashbacks to 9/11, MAN OF STEEL's closing battle coupled with the World Engine terraforming our planet make MAN OF STEEL one of the most destructive films in recent memory.
From the iconic image of the White House being blown up to New York being burnt to a crisp, Roland Emmerich's alien invasion film takes all the humor out of global destruction but not the fun. Like any good popcorn movie, we cheer seeing so much death and violence because we know it isn't real. But damn if it isn't unsettling when thought about in retrospect.
Two years after ID4, Michael Bay upped the ante with the global threat of asteroids that could wipe out all of civilization. With Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck there to save the day, ARMAGEDDON was the feel good movie of the summer that is really a depressing movie, if you think about it. But I'll be damned if the explosive destruction of the world isn't one hell of a roller coaster ride. Too bad about Paris, though.
Roland Emmerich was not about to sit back and let Michael Bay have all the fun. The ante was raised once again in 2004's THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW where global warming takes a serious "f*ck you" turn and wipes out civilization with flooding and a new ice age. The resulting movie is goofy as hell but holy shit if it isn't mind-bogglingly destructive. Critics be damned, THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW is one hell of a catastrophic big screen epic.
2012 came and went and nary a city was destroyed, but we will always have Roland Emmerich's paranoid blockbuster to remember for reinforcing the fears that the Mayan calendar was truly predicting the end of days. Completely and utterly ridiculous, Emmerich somehow managed to find a way to up the ante of not just Michael Bay level destruction but even his own track record of the same time of carnage. 2012 remains the single most destructive movie of all time and for that the gauntlet is now thrown to see if anyone can top it.