Scenes like this were made for 3D but since Swordfish came out ten years ago we’ve no joy there. We’ll just have to make do with the near-360 degree sweep of the ensuing carnage from a hostage strapped up with C-4 explosives, stainless steel ball bearings and an electronic dog collar.
Independence Day (1996)
Roland Emmerich might be getting distracted by Shakespeare these days but destroying cities is what he does best. After hovering ominously over Manhattan for a while, those aliens send ripples down the Empire State Building and pulverise most of the New York skyline in Independence Day. Meanwhile, in Washington Will Smith’s too busy saying ‘Damn!’ at anything that moves to notice that the White House has just been zapped too.
Stealth may have been given a huge thumbs down from critics and bombed at the box office, but it does feature one of the biggest explosions in cinematic history. Ever. We're talking 500 gallons of petrol. The hangar scene is so huge it's surprising a handful of stuntmen weren't wheeled out in body bags. Even NASA had to be given a heads up. Not everyone was impressed with the huge fireball, though. A bunch of party pooping environmentalists took the filmmakers to court.
Doom threatens. Again. This time it's a giant apocalyptic asteroid ("It's the size of Texas, Mr President") on a collision course for Earth. Michael "boom" Bay is known for his over-the-top use of special effects, and in one of his biggest blockbusters, he doesn't disappoint. Ironically, a fire destroyed the master print of the film. Fast forward to 02:40 for the good stuff.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
The most harrowing depiction of a nuclear explosion ever shot on film? Probably. Fun fact: the other Sarah Connor in this dream sequence was played by Linda Hamilton’s real-life twin sister (who also doubled for the T-1000 later in the film). Neither were hurt during the filming of this explosion, which wasn’t quite as bad as it looks.
More big lists from Stuff.tv