10 Truly Unique Sci-Fi Movie Fight Scenes

Striking and inventive setpieces that raised the bar for the sci-fi genre.

Mad Max Furiosa
Warner Bros.

Science fiction has given filmmakers a wealth of storytelling tropes to play with and consequently, there have been groundbreaking films with twisty narratives and relevant themes.

That said, sometimes all a viewer wants from their film is a good old-fashioned fight scene that just happens to have lasers and/or aliens. Its more fantastic tropes lend set pieces in the genre to feature spectacular and creative action beats and moments.

This has led to filmmakers pushing their craft to new heights in order to create fight scenes with cutting-edge VFX and practical effects, genre-bending tropes, and a dedicated cast and stunt team.

The last few decades have seen the rise of films infused with these elements from iconic franchises such as the Mad Max and Planet of the Apes series and prolific filmmakers such as Alfonso Cuaron and George Miller.

This list will not include comic book movies (as they are a genre on their own) or Star Wars films as they (and possibly comic book movies as well) are considered science fantasy, a genre tangentially related to science fiction but with more otherworldly elements that border on the supernatural.

10. Atom Vs Zeus - Real Steel

Mad Max Furiosa
Walt Disney Studios

This 2011 Shawn Levy-directed effort is a mixed bag with cliched tropes and a predictable narrative but features surprisingly good VFX work, admirable performances, and an earnest edge to it. The movie's true selling point is its boxing robots and futuristic setting of...2020, with the machines having since replaced human beings in the sport.

The film's standout clash is easily the final bout between Charlie's (Hugh Jackman) automated warrior Atom and the intimidating Zeus, the sport's global champion in a classic David vs Goliath showdown.

Right off the bat, it is clear that Zeus is more technologically advanced than Atom but due to a blend of resilience and Charlie's own boxing prowess and guidance the older generation robot is able to hold its own and nearly rob the win from its more advanced counterpart.

What should be a Rocky-knockoff with robots is elevated by superb motion capture work to effectively realize the robots' movement and charming performances by Jackman and his onscreen son, Dakota Goyo.


David Ng'ethe hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.