With Michael Bay’s Transformers: The Last Knight on the horizon — a film bound to be laden with so much pyrotechnical mayhem it’ll put the carnage from multiple upcoming blockbusters combined to shame — it’s high time to take a look at some of the biggest movie blasts from recent releases, and which films give us the biggest bangs for our buck!
Whether it be #CGI or practical, there’s nothing more glorious and jaw-dropping than watching things go boom on the big screen. If you don’t see a film you think should be on this list, check out my previous, explosive article.
From exploding vehicles, to chunks of land and entire planets, if your eyes light up at the sight of one object being blasted into thousands of tiny little objects, this list is ripe for you. Check out these 10 whopping movie explosions that ignite the screen into a fireball of chaos.
1. 'Hacksaw Ridge' — Artillery Strike
Standing currently at my Top 10 films of 2017, #HacksawRidge boasts some of the most intense and harrowing battle scenes ever put to screen. War is depicted as grisly, loud, relentless and a total hellfire — something that is evidently clear as the battle gets underway. Before main protagonist Desmond Doss and company climb the ridge, a naval ship fires an artillery strike to clear out any Japanese soldiers above, resulting in a wave of massive explosions that kicks up a plume of dirt and debris as flames engulf the entirety of the ridge above. It’s an epic moment that is followed by some truly spectacular war sequences.
2. 'The Fate Of The Furious' — Convoy Meets Missile
This franchise just keeps getting bigger and better, as amply demonstrated in this fully-fledged action sequel that finds the furious crew go up against one of their own while simultaneously trying to save the world from a nuclear war — timely. During the Iceland-based finale, armored trucks chase after Letty and crew, firing heavy weaponry at the team, but it's #TheRock’s Luke Hobbs who saves the day by forcing a torpedo with his bare hands into the enemy convoy, followed by a barrage of missiles that eradicate the convoy in one enormous epic fireball, sending the trucks mid-air.
3. 'Deepwater Horizon' — Gas Ignition
In my favorite film of 2016, the workers onboard the oil rig #DeepwaterHorizon are faced with constant danger as the rig ignites in a deadly fireball that burned for over 70 days, releasing millions of gallons of oil into the sea. Peter Berg’s taut direction keeps the suspense and graphic injury detail watchable despite the frightening material. In one particularly explosive moment, the gas supply is fractured, causing a chain reaction throughout the structure. One spark ignites the gas, the whole rig begins to explode, and after a deadly chain of roaring blasts, the entire rig is engulfed by a mighty and powerful explosion. It’s so huge and devastating you begin to wonder who has survived this, and so begins the desperate attempt for the rig workers to escape.
4. 'Rogue One' — Planetary Wipeout
In the most daring and darkest #StarWars film, characters die without warning and at great sacrifice. In #RogueOne, we get to see The Death Star annihilate the entire city of Jedha (and basically half a planet) and the results are cataclysmically incredible! The deadly Death Star shoots its highly concentrated super laser at Jedha, wiping it out in a split second in a tidal wave of fire, followed by entire land masses crumbling and lifting up into the air as the shockwave begins to envelop the terrain, hurtling meteor-sized chunks of earth towards Jyn Erso and her rogue team.
5. '13 Hours' — Slow Motion Mortar
Michael Bay’s most mature movie to date finds him at his most respectful — and restrained in terms of #Bayhem — as he documents the events of the brave men who fought to protect their CIA stronghold against militia attacks in the heat of Benghazi. While it’s not the most emotionally gripping war drama out there, it certainly has its moments of heart, and some incredibly crafted action sequences that throw you as the viewer into the heat of battle.
During the finale, Toby Stephens’s Glen Doherty is hit by a mortar. In what would take seconds, this moment is presented in slow-motion, capturing the damage of the explosion and the devastation that follows. The composition of Stephens running in the background, the mortar falling in the foreground and the sparks and debris filling up the air is a wonder to gaze upon.
6. 'Deadpool' — Helicarrier Explosion
Ryan Reynolds’s merc with a mouth #Deadpool teams up with Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead to fight Ajax, Angel Dust and their goons during the head-chopping, arm-slicing finale. Among the quips, brutal decapitations and super-powered punch-ups, Negasonic topples the entire fight as she uses her firepower to save her team, destroying an entire helicarrier in the process with a gargantuan fireball. This enormous explosion seemingly comes out of nowhere as we’re so used to watching Deadpool cut up his enemies while trying to get the girl, making this whopper of a blast a surprise, adding more threat to an already high-stakes sequence.
7. 'Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2' — Ravager Ship Destruction
A sequel that tops its predecessor while doubling up on all the goodness everyone loved from the first, #GuardiansoftheGalaxyVol2 also cranks up the intergalactic action with some of the most dazzling visuals and 3D ever. In one of the many action sequences, Yondu, Rocket, Groot and Kraglin flee an overthrown Ravager ship that is exploding all around them (no thanks to Yondu’s deadly arrow trickery). As the gang of misfits shoot off into space, the Ravager ship ignites and fill the stars with a huge explosion big enough to rival that of the Death Star’s destruction in A New Hope. What a way to throw these characters into peril as a result of their own actions.
8. 'xXx: Return Of Xander Cage' — Warehouse War
This ridiculously over-the-top action cheeseball #ReturnofXanderCage knows how to entertain. In one of its many, many zany and preposterous stunt-filled action scenes, Xander’s newly allied team of X agents are ambushed in a warehouse. Outmanned and outgunned, their fate is almost but certain. That is, until a barrage of explosions wipe out the enemy. Numerous big blasts knock the bad guys off their feet, SUVs explode in a symphony of flames, and sparks engulf the warehouse spectacularly — all this at the hands of Ice Cube’s X agent Darius Stone, whose entrance is totally badass; in fact, his explosive are what save the day!
9. 'Patriot’s Day' — Street Attack
The second Peter Berg-directed film in this list depicts the harrowing events of the Boston Bombings and the ricochet of events that followed. Turning into a fully-fledged manhunt for the terrorists responsible, the police force come face to face with the bombers in the quiet town of Watertown, leading to a deadly shootout that puts every resident of the town — as well as the police — at risk. More shocking are the homemade bombs the terrorists begin to throw, turning the entire street into a war zone as cars explode, houses are damaged and police are knocked off their feet. Patriot’s Day packs a punch, not only because of the deadly blasts, but the realistic storytelling, the emotion and willpower of those affected, and the dedication of those delivering justice.
10. 'Oblivion' — The Tet
Tom Cruise’s operatic and visually stunning sci-fi #Oblivion boasts grand style and gripping substance, making the action sequences thrilling to watch. Shootouts in abandoned, darkened libraries, drone chases and drone attacks — it’s all in a day's work for Cruise’s Jack Harper, who finds out his entire life has been a lie. In a bold sacrifice, he and Morgan Freeman’s Malcolm Beech detonate a bomb (a nuke of sorts) in the enemy’s alien ship The Tet that swallows the ship and spits it back out into a grand explosion of millions of burning pieces, defeating the enemy once and for all. The blast is made even more dramatic thanks to M83’s truly masterful musical score. What a way to end a film!
And remember, if you're ever (and I hope you aren't) caught running from one of these gigantic explosions, be cool and don't look back.
Which of these on-screen explosions do you think is the most impressive?