Amidst all their incredible world-building and epic storytelling, it's easy to forget that most superhero films worth their salt also set out to supply earth-shattering action sequences to keep us fans on the edge of our seats. Let's take a look back at some of the most jaw-dropping fights, chases, and bombastic blowouts from the past two decades of comic-book cinema.
7. Attack On Nick Fury (Captain America: Winter Soldier)
One of the absolute coolest moments in Civil War arrives when Nick Fury's SUV comes under attack by a cadre of HYDRA foot-soldiers disguised as police officers. What follows is an insane combination of shootout and car pursuit as Fury's self-driving vehicle wildly wheels him through traffic while bullets fly from all directions.
6. Nightcrawler Takes The White House (X2: X-Men United)
Bryan Singer's 2003 masterpiece starts off with one hell of a bang, as the opening sequence finds Nightcrawler teleporting throughout the White House in an attempt to assassinate the president. With amazing acrobatic prowess, the blue bandit disperses a group of secret service agents while (literally) disappearing into thin air.
5. The Invasion Of New York (The Avengers)
In terms of scope, the climax of Joss Whedon's original Avengers is hard to top. Many films since have tried imitate the scene (*cough Man Of Steel*), but few have succeeded in matching the sheer enormity of the Chitauri onslaught (whom we haven't seen the last of just yet).
4. Joker's Truck Chase (The Dark Knight)
Even in a movie chock-full of unforgettable moments, this gut-wrenching depiction of hell on wheels still manages to stand out. As Heath Ledger's Joker barrels through the streets of Gotham in a massive semi-truck, the caped crusader gives frantic chase in his Bat-Pod. If that wasn't enough, the octane-fueled chase culminates in the massive truck doing a front-flip to the concrete!
3. Quicksilver's Mansion Rescue Mission (X: Men Apocalypse)
In a true marvel (pun intended) of modern movie-magic, this stunning sequence sees Quicksilver entering hyper-speed mode to save the inhabitants of Xavier's School For Gifted Youngsters after Cerebro explodes. As the world slows to a crawl, Quicksilver elegantly swerves from room to room, rescuing the kids from a fiery inferno.
2. Subway Showdown (Spider-Man 2)
The crowning jewel of Sam Raimi's hit-or-miss Spider-Man trilogy undoubtably comes during the mid-point of SM2, when Spider-Man finally dukes it out with Dr. Octopus aboard a crowded New York Subway train. Fighting in and above the car, this brutal brawl sets the standard for mano-a-mano superhero showdowns.
1. Airport Royal Rumble (Captain America: Civil War)
Directors Joe and Anthony Russo are, most likely, the absolute cream of the crop when it comes to superhero action. After their above-mentioned Nick Fury chase from Winter Soldier, the bar was set extremely high for this year's follow-up. But they delivered in spades with this brain-meltingly awesome battle of the super-teams. Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man and Ant-Man all using their powers to throw down? It's a fan-boy dream come to life!
And there you have it, guys! Superhero movies feature larger-than-life characters, but it's clear that they can still show out with the best of them when it comes to good old American action!