Logan, 20th Century Fox’s second R-rated superhero flick, will hit theaters in less than a week. Since making history with Deadpool, the studio seems to have found the key to making good comic book movies: It's not about how big and bad the villains are; it’s about how personal the story is. Not interfering in the creative process also helps, even if it means a reduced budget.
Logan and Deadpool are both one-of-a-kind beasts. While they’re both rated R, Logan is much more raw than the 2016 hit. It’s even more violent - something that Wolverine fans have anticipated since the early 2000's. After all, Wolverine is recognized for his adamantium claws and how he uses them.
That being said, there have been quite a few other brutal and memorable comic book movie moments. So check them out while you wait for Logan’s worldwide release!
The fate of the future X-Men
X-Men is one of the longest-running superhero franchises of all time, but it’s had its ups and downs since the first movie hit the big screen. Nonetheless, even if it doesn't hold a candle to competitors such as the MCU (as far as box office numbers are concerned), the films of the X-Men shared universe are filled with all sorts of memorable moments.
But given their ratings (only Deadpool and Logan were made for adult audiences), how brutal can these moments be? Well, quite brutal, actually. X-Men: Days of Future Past, when the fate of the X-Men from the future is revealed, is a good example.
Sure, the gore factor is nonexistent. But Storm and Blink are impaled, Colossus is squashed (and torn in two), Ice Man’s head is ripped off, and so on. These were pretty terrifying death scenes for important characters.
It was all undone when Wolverine interfered with the timeline at the end of the movie. But that doesn't really matter, does it?
The magic trick
Here’s another example of an awesome moment that might have been even more awesome if the movie – in this case, The Dark Knight - had received a different rating. The scene in which The Joker is properly introduced is memorable for numerous reasons: The laughter, the bad quips, the theatricality, the balls it takes to mock the most powerful criminals from Gotham, the solution to all of the problems.
But really, all that was needed was the moment when Joker performs the magic trick. Everything mentioned above is there, and it reveals all we need to know about the character. And, quite frankly, this is the best scene on this entire list.
Of course, as long as I'm talking about Heath Ledger's Joker, Gambol's death is also brutal (although not explicit). And what makes it so terrifying is the whole story that leads up to it, as well as Joker’s casual tone when he asks, “Why so serious?” It's as if manipulating a lunatic and placing a bomb inside him is all in a day's work.
Yes, I could keep going and going"¦
What can happen when Frodo meets Mickey Rourke? Well, I didn't see that coming…The first time around, Rourke's Marv is not prepared for the confrontation - no one would be. The second time around, he brings the most useful tools he can find, including a hatchet, a saw, and rubber tubing.
When the fight gets personal, he handcuffs Kevin to his own arm and emerges victorious. However, it doesn't end here for the cannibal - instead, he uses the above-mentioned utensils to dismember his foe. It isn't explicit, but it needn't be. We see the result when the dog arrives and starts feasting.
And what makes it even more terrifying is that Kevin keeps smiling and never screams. And this seems to annoy even Marv. But, as Rourke's character says afterwards, killing doesn't bring him any satisfaction - the satisfaction is in what precedes the killing.
300, the first Zack Snyder entry on this list, is one of the most entertaining (albeit paper thin) movies of the 2000's. How can it be otherwise when it’s based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller (the guy behind Sin City) about Spartans vs. Persians?
And 300 is filled with brutal moments, from Leonidas’ training in the beginning to the Spartan King’s death in the end. But the scene in which the brave 300 (or how many remained) face the Immortals takes the cake.
At that point, Leonidas goes up against the Uber Immortal, who’s literally a beast of a man. He shrugs off any blows coming at him (even blows that would at least incapacitate even the bravest of all Spartans). Slashed leg? No biggie. Pierced arm? Just a flesh wound. A spear in the eye? It's okay; he has two of them.
He’s brought down only when his head is cut off.
Of course, if you want historical accuracy, 300 is definitely not for you. But if you want brutal action, 300 stands the test of time.
Ideas are bulletproof
Based on the Alan Moore graphic novel of the same name, and starring the amazing Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman, V for Vendetta is one of the most underrated movies of the 2000's. Set in a dystopian future, V for Vendetta is more about the message it transmits than its visuals (as it happened with Sin City, for example).
Nonetheless, the film has a few exhilarating moments. The last action piece – in which the tyrant is punished by his own henchmen, who in turn are killed by V – stands above the rest, as it should.
V has a penchant for delivering speeches. And this final scene bluntly reveals why V is a hero: It’s not because he can withstand tremendous amounts of pain, but because he has a belief. And his belief is one that, rightfully, the entire society should share.
Sure, watching it again, you might say that the effects are a bit outdated. But does that take away from the relevance of the scene? Not really.
Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman: The Secret Service was one of 2014’s biggest surprises. The movie was based on Mark Millar's comic book series about spies, which channeled the classic (and more fun) James Bond flicks. As a loose adaptation, the movie was a commercial and critical hit, with action scenes, an over-the-top villain, and excellent acting that was praised by fans and critics alike.
The most memorable scene by far features Colin Firth (of all actors) as he goes on a killing spree in a church, obviously under the influence of Sam Jackson's mind control device. How does it all pan out? Well, he’s a trained secret agent fighting a group of people with no idea how to fight. And it’s bloody amazing!
After all, the stylish action is one of the reasons why Kingsman: The Secret Service was a hit.
Once more, though…Of all people, would you have expected to see Colin Firth as a hero in an action movie? Maybe this made the scene even better than it would have been otherwise. Come on, it wouldn't have had the same impact if Jason Statham were doing the killing.
Choke on that
Unfortunately, even when they remain close to the source material, some comic book movies just don't appeal to the larger audience. This is the case with 2012's Dredd, in which Karl Urban plays the titular character. Visually stunning, and with as much slow motion as possible, the movie is brutal from the get-go, when Dredd melts some unnamed villain's brain.
And there are more scenes like that one. The one that makes this list is the confrontation with the corrupt Judge Chan, against whom Dredd seems to be fighting a losing fight. Until he wins, that is.
It’s a quick fight, which makes it even more brutal. And it ends with a very explicit throat chop and a few moments of agony.
Sometimes less is more.
Brutal and funny: This describes the fight scene between Punisher and the Russian. Given Jon Bernthal's take on the character, Thomas Jane may not have been the best choice to portray the violent hero. And maybe there were better scenes in the 2004 movie. However, this one has it all.
Fist fight? Check! Knife fight? Check! Strangulation? Check! Bashing against walls? Check! It even has grenades and La Donna E’ Mobile playing in the background!
The Russian appears to be unstoppable, but he’s defeated in the end - by pure luck, I believe, since Frank could have also died in that fall.
The hallway shootout
The second Matthew Vaughn film on this list, Kick-Ass is filled with action and comedy, much like Kingsman: The Secret Service. Its best action scene places the least likely hero in the most violent situation. Having the right score also helps, of course.
In this case, the brutal Hit-Girl finally arrives at the big baddie's lair after the death of her daddy. And it doesn't take much for her to show that she has no rival. Sure, ChloÃ« Grace Moretz proved throughout the movie that she is merciless. But this is the moment when she proves that training beats any kind of superpower.
Come on, the henchmen needed a bazooka in order to defeat the miniature heroine. And that says something! Just watch the clip again.
The death of Walter Kovacs
Watchmen is one of Zack Snyder’s most ambitious projects. As far as I’m concerned, it’s also one of the better superhero movies I've seen. Sure, at times it would have been better without the voice-over. At other times, it might have worked better without the use of slow-motion.
In the scene I’m talking about here, Rorschach remembers the night when Walter Kovacs, his former self, died. This was when he found out how cruel and without reason the world can be.
It’s one of the most brutal scenes ever, with Jackie Earle Haley's character repeatedly hitting a murderer in the head with a cleaver. What makes it even more violent is how he described it to the psychiatrist as if it were one of the purest epiphanies of his life.
What do you think? What other scenes should be on this list?