15 Most Anti-Climactic Movie Showdowns


Marvel Studios

It goes without saying that a crucial fight scene or showdown can make or break a movie: nail it and a permanent slice of cinematic gold is born, but screw it up and fans will be cursing the filmmaker responsible forever more.

While making a terrible showdown between the hero and villain is one thing, what about when it's simply unexpectedly brief or uneventful? While thankfully some of the more egregious examples on this list use brevity for the sake of humour rather than blatant laziness, other fights nevertheless conclude with genuine befuddlement on the part of the audience.

Whether these movies made their gamble pay off is up for debate, but each took the expected movie fight formula and turned it on its head, for better or worse.

From the most bizarre superhero brawls to the Coen Brothers' most unforgettable creation, here are the 15 most anti-climatic movie showdowns...

15. Iron Man Vs. "The Mandarin" - Iron Man 3

Marvel Studios

The Showdown: Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) sneaks onto The Mandarin's (Ben Kingsley) Miami compound, looking to mete out revenge for the destruction of his home.

The Anti-Climax: When Stark investigates The Mandarin's bedroom, he finds two attractive young women and catches the supervillain emerging from the toilet...with a British accent.

As it turns out, Kingsley's character is an actor named Trevor Slattery who was paid by the real Mandarin, Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), to be the face of his terrorist enterprise. As such, Stark just shakes Slattery down for information at gunpoint before being knocked out by Killian's henchman Eric Savin (James Badge Dale). There's no actual fighting: that's it.

While there is a decent enough fight between Iron Man and the "actual" Mandarin later, it's hard to deny the shocking, deflating anti-climax of this first face-off, clever and rather amusing though it was (or to a legion of comic book fans, mightily frustrating).

Those hoping for a mid-film battle between the two characters, one which The Mandarin would probably win, were undoubtedly left massively underwhelmed.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.