Who is a hero? The one who saves people from bad guys. Who is a superhero? The one who saves people from bad guys, dramatically.
Given any superhero movie, we all witness a few bouts of excitement and implicitly wish to “be” in that very superhero “Avatar” for a few seconds, with the audience cheering for us instead. Such scenes become the decisive moments in a film’s storyline and determine the level of popularity or the viewership of a movie. Sometimes, such scenes also dictate our overall likeness of the film.
Notwithstanding the idea of the worst superhero movie scenes ever which are aplenty, here’s a list of coolest superhero movie scenes, which made us imaginarily don a superhero costume and go places momentarily, and which made us choose which side we want to be on. Scenes which brought in a glimpse of style and a speck of spice to their viewers. Though the list could be endless and there might be at least a hundred such instances in the cinematic history, which everyone thinks belong to the “par excellence” category, the ones that made it to this list are definitely worth applauding for.
25. “Either You Die, Or I Do” – Man of Steel (2013)
A scene leading to the (interim) demise of Zod plus a lot of destruction around (leading to larger consequences in ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’), Superman proves to be every inch of an equal to Zod when confronted. Though Zod is visibly more adaptive to Earth’s atmosphere and his battle conditions, the Man of Steel doesn’t leave a stone unturned to help Zod meet his own fate. The special effects and the perspectives therein are enthralling.
24. Mind Your Head – Logan (2017)
Starting with a severed head in the hands of a young mutant girl and culminating with one of the most reckless driving, chasing, killing and almost hit-by-a-train sequences, this scene offers an edge of the seat experience with a bunch of drama and sorrow. A lot of revelations that are made during this entire scene and the surprises that are thrown around by a young girl are true of a binding experience. The sight of a novice killing machine is reminiscent of a once young, berserk and powerful, self-healing Logan.
23. Where’s My Face?! – Watchmen (2009)
If Nolan is to mind, Snyder is certainly to eyes. A visual treat at that, the entire scene of Rorschach’s escape from the prison accompanied by his cohorts – Nite Owl and Silk Spectre is replete with action, gore, blazing background score and witty lines. The pun and the stakes run high on this spectacle, which hasn’t been replicated so far. A movie which shouldn’t be remade and a scene which definitely cannot be.
22. “You Know What I’m Sayin?” – Ant-Man (2015)
I haven’t seen more quirk and wit in any scene other than this one. Have you? ‘Ant-Man’ is probably the funniest movie that Marvel has come up with and Michael Peña’s storytelling? My, my. Words cannot simply describe two of those timeless moments on screen, the one about the probable heist and another about a “guy who shrinks”. This is a one-of-its-kind act which should go into the annals of movie making history as one of the greatest comic moments ever. Watch it now if you haven’t, and “back it up” a couple of times, just in case. D’you know what I am sayin?
21. “You’re In For A Show Tonight, Son” – The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The music of Hans Zimmer adds to the fervour. Though we had already seen a length of Bruce Wayne’s presence on the screen until this landmark Batman’s first appearance in the film, a sight of Batman chasing Bane’s thugs on the Batpod, who pull out a stock market heist is pretty enough to raise the adrenaline. Plus a couple of cops building up the infamous repute that Batman has is worthy of the score. Those who’re die-hard fans of The Caped Crusader would whistle all they could, during this scene.
20. “Have You Seen This Man?” – Deadpool (2016)
The first fifteen minutes of the movie are an absolute delight, with Deadpool throwing in some cuss words and shooting crazy-ass bullets all over the place. The part where he counts the number of bullets, with the count written on each one of the bullets is worth your while. While he tries and breaks the fifth wall in the mean time, the puns he pulls out with brains splashing and blood spilling all over are pretty cool moments to watch.
19. Chugging Off The Train – The Wolverine (2013)
While The Wolverine is steadily losing his superpowers and is on the possible brink of meeting his demise, thanks to The Viper, his endurance is put to test in a High-Speed Train. Or rather, above it. While it is extremely difficult to cope with the momentum of a train that is clocking hundreds of miles an hour, watching a wounded and sorry Wolverine defend himself and Mariko from a bunch of highly motivated assailants is something of a rarity. An edge of the seat affair, this one.
18. “Are You A Monster?” – Ant-Man (2015)
We can’t possibly ignore the epic battle between Ant-Man and Yellowjacket, can we? The one that aptly shows the battle between the perspectives and the stark differences between the likes of the ants and humans, the scene is both funny and instigating, all credits to the cute little Cassie. Does Ant-Man save the day? Well, guess everyone knows the answer. Watch out for the part where Yellowjacket is almost run over by a “train”.
17. The Bullet Falls Flat – Superman Returns (2006)
Not one of the greatest Superman movies yet, but a couple of scenes that might have saved the day include this one for sure. A miscreant fires a volley of bullets at Superman, then directs a pistol at Superman’s eye, presses the trigger and the bullet hits Superman’s eyeball. The bullet, instead of inducing some expected damage to the eye (well, at least), flattens and falls like a drop of water. What happens next isn’t shown, for we all know the outcome. That’s followed by a smirk on Superman’s face.
16. Martha Did Not Die Today – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
It starts like this – Batman beats Superman to smithereens and just when he is to deliver his final blow, Superman utters “Find Him, Save Martha”. With animosity turning its tables, Batman embarks on a staggering quest, but with a promise.
I think this would probably be the least CGI-savvy scene of the movie. Batman beats the crap out of Luthor’s goons knowing his “friend’s” mother Martha is in trouble. The sheer agility of the Batman, his dramatic entrance from beneath the floor, the way he dodges bullets and pulls his punches through is a no match for the lowly troublemakers. The drool-worthy factor in this scene relies upon showcasing Batman’s true strengths and the grit of his character. And obviously his no-kill principle.
15. Nightcrawler On The House – X-Men 2 (2003)
In a bid to eliminate the POTUS, the Nightcrawler sneaks into the White House. What follows is a series of ducks and dodges, the cat and mouse game between the Nightcrawler and the security personnel. The CGI will make you put your hands together, absolutely. So does the cinematography. As confusing as it might seem, the crawler seemingly doesn’t quite succeed towards the end. Go figure!
14. Wolverine Vs. The Helicopter – X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
There should be a laundry list of objects somewhere, objects that have been cut using Wolverine’s adamantium claws. One of the proud contents of that list would be a helicopter’s rotor blades. Yes, you read that right. Coming out of nowhere, a visibly angry and diabolical Wolverine leaps at a low-flying helicopter from onboard a moving gun-mounted Hummer. But, instead of trying to kill people seated inside the helicopter, he chooses to chop its rotor blades using his claws. One at a time. The result is obvious, but guess who survives an ensuing fatal crash? None of his victims.
13. “Stay Here, I’ll Go Ahead” – Wonder Woman (2017)
Unequivocally, this is one of the most badass scenes ever filmed, where a woman takes the lead. Amidst a series of fights, a bunch of mortal soldiers and deflecting a barrage of incoming fire with her shield and bracelets, the moment Diana enters an abandoned warehouse full of armed men, the score kicks in, and she out performs and out numbers all of them single-handedly. With one of the best manoeuvres on the screen, accompanied by a brilliant spectacle of cinematography, this very scene shows the crux of the movie in a rather violent way. The Sword and Shield yielding Amazonian Princess succeeds in impressing us all, in one of the coolest movie scenes of the year.
12. To Hell, With The Train – Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Defying Doctor Octopus sounds exhaustive enough to me, given his eight brawny appendages. Certainly, I cannot fathom what could entail if confronted with Doc Ock and a speeding train simultaneously.
As if the fight against Dr Otto Octavius on top of a moving train wasn’t enough, the evil scientist messes up the controller and brakes from the said moving train and leaves an astonished and overwhelmed Spider-Man with one hell of a responsibility. Not only the Spidey has to stop the train bolting towards a dead-end, he also has to save a lot of lives on board and fall up to the expectations of everyone around. And still, keep his secret. But he’s just a kid, right?
11. The Barrel Of Monkeys – Iron Man 3 (2013)
When it’s Thirteen against Four, the number of people Iron Man has to carry versus the ones he theoretically could, it’s all about the ingenuity and the will of Tony which do a laudable job. A balancing act where everyone’s arm is electrified so as not to let go, Iron Man does manage to save a whole of thirteen personnel freely falling to the ground. Playing the “Barrel of Monkeys” at least a few thousand feet above the ground is the game only the Invincible Iron Man could’ve excelled at.
10. “Rack ’em Up!” – The Dark Knight (2008)
If someone likes his job very much (read Joker), it’s hardly easy to contain that someone. Given the circumstances, the hires of the Joker all around the place and Joker’s indomitable determination to kill Harvey Dent dominates the portions of this scene. With Batman cutting through the chase on his Batpod, followed by the famous toppling of the truck trailer, the entire Batman vs Joker scene is filled with a grim violent rage of inflicting maximum damage. In a bid to know Batman’s real identity, Joker probably sacrifices himself (towards a larger motive) by getting arrested, leading to a much wider plot sinistrously thought through. The innumerate sub-plots in this single movie scene proves the true genius of Christopher Nolan.
9. Quicksilver to the Rescue – X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Set primarily inside a kitchen, an anxious Wolverine, a not-so-powerful Prof. Charles and a newbie Quicksilver help Magneto break a high-security prison. All four confront a bunch of prison guards firing an exorbitant number of bullets at them. Quicksilver rounds them all up in more of a funnier than violent way, deflecting all the bullets from their paths while pushing and prodding the personnel during his feat. Only “If I could save time in a bottle…”.
8. Wait, Helicopter! – Captain America: Civil War (2016)
I guess superheroes have something to do with helicopters for sure. With a seemingly exhausted and emotionally wrung Captain America trying to stall the helicopter with his bare hand while holding the edge of the helipad with the other, him being the only “thing” between the helicopter and nothingness, combined with the fierce rage of the Winter Soldier, this one scene speaks volumes about the undeterred moral uprightness of the principled Steve Rogers. A scene, which, according to few reports, left Chris Evans with a forearm injury. Looks like the stakes were pretty high on this one.
7. “Go To Sleep!” – Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
The other time The Hulk was fighting anyone of his size before, read the Chitauri and The Abomination, we were certain of the result. Along comes the Hulkbuster, courtesy Tony Stark. The sheer scale of this scene is too big to fathom. Iron Man’s witty punchlines and his attempts to turn the Hulk are worthwhile. If not for Veronica’s hand-lending to The Iron Man, the Hulk would have definitely nailed this one. The obvious widespread damage that ensues because of the jostle and the lessons that are learnt pave way for a new dynamics amongst The Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. And btw, The Hulkbuster isn’t always as angry. He’s just a weaker Hulk on “life-support”.
6. Who Let The Nuke Out? – The Avengers (2012)
Seeing all the Avengers at one place, with a surprise entry by The Hulk was a delight on its own. The NY City invasion which took Tony Stark and others by surprise was probably becoming of the movie, certainly one of the best multi-superhero gatherings in decades altogether.
If it weren’t for Tony, The Avengers would have concluded very differently. Though there were speculations from the beginning of the movie about the “real hero” of the Avengers, Tony Stark a.k.a. The Invincible Iron Man does prove himself in the end. A selfless, sacrificial Tony Stark intercepts and redirects an incoming nuclear missile capable of levelling the whole of Manhattan, out of the earth’s atmosphere through the portal. And puts it against the mother ship. A few explosions later, all is well, thanks to the Genius, Billionaire, Playboy and Philanthropist. The Avengers do help him out though, in his zealous adventure.
5. “So, Is This How You Normally Look?” – Thor (2011)
My personal favourite, this is a scene that gives you some kind of subtle strength to kill The Destroyer yourself. A mortal and now selfless Thor approaches an indomitable Destroyer and asks Loki for his forgiveness through it. But thanks to the deceptive Loki, Odin’s enchantment falls into place and things become even the more exciting. After almost getting killed in his mortal form, the sight of Thor getting back his Mjolnir, armour and red cape and the way he beats the crap out of the Destroyer is unflinchingly amazing. Oh. My. God!
4. Staten Island Ferry – Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
While watching this movie scene, one thing that ran through my mind was, “Spiderman can’t fix this. Can he?” And in one way or the other, I was right. As The Vulture and his aides close in on Spidey on the boat, a grave miscalculation with one of the weapons leads to the ferry boat splitting into two. Despite however hard Peter tries to put both the pieces together, his web slings are a no match for the sheer weight of the boat. Guess who shows up then, along with a “gang” of his little thruster-drones which push both the sides of the ferry together and viola, we just have the one single boat again. Welded and ready. I take a little someone needs some talking to after this epic scene.
3. “Underoos!” – Captain America: Civil War (2016)
The brilliance of visualising mostly all the Avengers so far (including the New Avengers, less The Hulk and Thor) in a single frame is mesmerising. As both the teams advance against each other at the airport, adrenaline only gets rising. Some legendary shots like the Ant-Man growing out of proportions, Spider-Man’s debut appearance in the MCU and catching hold of the Shield, a little ice-breaking between the Black Panther and Hawkeye and Rhodie getting hit by his own team member make this scene a mix of every single emotion. We’ve witnessed comedy, violence, stupendous action and CGI, tears running high and animosity – everything within a span of ten minutes. Couldn’t have asked for more, could we?
2. “Air Conditioning is Fully Operational” – Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
We haven’t seen many hi-tech, self-propelling, artificially intelligent cars in movies. This one scene could be a feather in the crown of such scenes. The effort that was taken and the retention thereafter is too damn high. A matter of envy and pride in its own, the driverless car Nick Fury has is just as normal as any other, unless a few goons masquerading as SWAT try and attack it. And in all sense, who tries to break a glass window-shield with a battering ram? Huh?
The assassination bid, the car chase, the dim-witted virtual assistant, and the survival instinct of Nick Fury steals the show. Also, the appearance of the Winter Soldier towards the end of the scene is a wee bit formidable. Psst! I was secretly expecting Iron Man to come to Fury’s rescue. That would have been one hell of a confrontation.
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1. “I Don’t Care. He Killed My Mom” – Captain America: Civil War (2016)
A one-liner summation of all the rage and vehemence, an infuriated and melancholic Tony Stark, who is now aware of the whereabouts of his parents’ killer (read The Winter Soldier), takes over a reclusive Bucky Barnes and a defensive Steve Rogers.
The sight of Iron Man exchanging blows with Captain America and Winter Soldier makes you empathise with him. In a way, we feel for the Iron Man who had been kept in dark about his own parents by his so-called “friend” Steve Rogers. Tony’s pace and the ungiving substance takes away the prize in the end. And Captain America’s shield along with it. I’d urge you to watch it if you haven’t already. A battle between morals and revenge, truth and judgement, with the stunning visual effects and remarkable performances, if there has to be a scene which would justify its movie title aptly, it is this. I am with Tony Stark on this one. Whose side are you on?
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