10 Most Gratuitous Citywide Destructions In Movie History

Cinema loves to go all out on the town - quite literally, in these cases.

Godzilla Statue Of Liberty

The art of wrecking a major population centre has been around for a long time in film. Think King Kong atop the Empire State Building, way back in 1933, and you'll start to grasp just how long that devastation has been part of the cinematic lexicon. When it calls for it, the movies love to go to town, quite literally, for their art.

Particularly in the past thirty years though, with the advent of technology, the act of blowing up a city has become more commonplace across multiple genres, as a way to raise the stakes even further. In some instances, it's an effective method; in others, it can feel almost like an afterthought.

With that in mind, we've run our eye over the breadth of citywide destruction to bring ten particularly gratuitous examples to light, raging from the sublimely orchestrated to the particularly asinine.

Natural disasters, aliens, robots, hi-tech weapon salvos and Roland Emmerich are all here - and while we've tried to spread the net, some places are apparently just too tempting to not warrant return visits of mass destruction...

10. Metropolis - Man Of Steel

Godzilla Statue Of Liberty
Warner Bros. Pictures

Proving every inch the successor to Michael Bay in the stakes of blockwide devastation - if not necessarily in the realm of slow-pan derrière shots - Zack Snyder's DCEU kickstarter starts off with Russell Crowe riding some unhinged space fly creature around and ends with a quasi-symphonic razing of one of the comic-book genre's most famous locales.

The site of Superman and Zod's cataclysmic crash, it's a wham-bang smashathon between the pair as they careen through buildings at breakneck pace with an arguable lack of care or restraint for anybody who may get in their way, all while an alien craft suspended from the sky continues to pummel the city below with its own gravitational wrecking ball.

If this overwhelming, occasionally muddled spectacle had an upside, audiences would have to wait until its follow-up for it, with Batman v Superman recasting the destruction as a bravura opening sequence at ground level.

In this post: 
Posted On: 

Something of a culture vulture, Mr Steel can historically be found in three places; the local cinema, the local stadium or the local chip shop. He is an avowed fan of franchise films, amateur cricket and power-chords.