Top 10 Movie Helicopter Explosions
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Top 10 Movie Helicopter Explosions

VOICE OVER: Dan Paradis
Script written by Matt Wende.

These are the best of the best when it comes to rotary-wing aircraft going boom! Join http://www.WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 movie helicopter explosions. For this list, we're looking at cinematic depictions of exploding helicopters, so all fixed wing aircraft like planes and spaceships need not apply. Also, due to the number of exploding helicopters in some action franchises, the one per franchise rule is in effect.

Special thanks to our users KSNAKE1 and Abenezer Manaye for submitting the idea on our Suggestion Tool at http://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest
Transcript
Script written by Matt Wende.

Top 10 Movie Helicopter Explosions


These are the best of the best when it comes to the spontaneous destruction of rotary-wing aircraft! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 movie helicopter explosions.

For this list, we’re looking at cinematic depictions of exploding helicopters, so all fixed wing aircraft like planes and spaceships need not apply. Also, due to the number of exploding helicopters in some action franchises, the one per franchise rule is in effect. Scenes in which the helicopter doesn’t actually explode, and say, just crashes, like in “Black Hawk Down,” are also excluded.

#10: You’re Fired
“True Lies” (1994)

Terrorists typically don’t stand a chance against the Governator. So when Arnie gets in a U.S. Marine’s harrier jet, it’s game over. He uses the harrier to rescue his daughter all while getting shot at by the enemy helicopter. Then the terrorist leader jumps on board to try and settle the score, but unfortunately for him, he wasn’t watching his footing, and gets stuck on one of the harrier’s missiles. When the enemy chopper comes back into firing range, it sets up two things: a sweet “two-birds-one-stone” helicopter kill, and one of Arnie’s signature one-liners.

#9: What Happens on Spring Break Stays on Spring Break
“22 Jump Street” (2014)

We love these movies for the simple reason that their action is as over-the-top as their laughs, so when it comes to the movies’ climax, we expect a hell of a lot of both. While pursuing their villain, our heroes find themselves dangling from a helicopter, with Jonah Hill’s Schmidt holding Channing Tatum’s Jenko to prevent him from falling. In a one-time-only situation, Tatum reaches into Hill’s pants to produce a grenade, and before they fall into the ocean, he manages to pull off a lucky throw, bringing down the chopper.

#8: Don’t Look Back at Explosions
“X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (2009)

Having recently been turned into the Wolverine by the Weapon X program, Logan finds himself on a motorcycle, pursued by his enemies in a chopper of their own. There are many techniques to take down a helicopter, but as you can imagine, Wolverine has his own way of doing it. After a fantastic blend of acrobatics and super-healing, the Canadian hunk finds himself standing over the helicopter with a sorry lack of explosion. But the words of a surviving enemy ignite Logan’s anger, which in turn ignites a trail of fuel. True to form, he doesn’t look back...

#7: So Close
“Lone Survivor” (2013)

In the real life story of Marcus Luttrell, Mark Wahlberg plays a sniper from a U.S. Navy SEAL reconnaissance team that finds itself in the worst possible situation. They are pinned down and pursued by enemies, but things may be looking up for the team as they have managed to get a distress signal out and the extraction helicopters are almost there. At the last minute, an RPG round takes down the chopper. This moment is shocking not only for the hard hitting display of violence, but also for how the explosion signifies the crushing fear felt by the soldiers.

#6: That’s Not Good
“The Dark Knight” (2008)

With the Joker and his goons hot in pursuit, one would think that some air superiority would be nice. After escaping the tunnel into the open city street though, the convoy containing Harvey Dent comes to a rude realization: The Joker is as clever as he is crazy. So clever, in fact, he’s thought ahead and has a plan in place to deal with the GPD air support. Steel cables versus helicopter rotor blades are not a fun time, especially when coupled with the understatement of the year from one of Gotham’s finest, and followed by the wicked cackle of the Joker.

#5: Rock, Paper, Chopper
“Cliffhanger” (1993)

In the game of Stallone versus helicopter versus mountain, there can only be one winner. And it’s sure as hell not gonna be the helicopter. Ol’ Sly Stallone manages to get the pursuing chopper attached via cable to a secure rope ladder on the cliff side, which it hangs from following a mountainside crash. Needless to say, a fight ensues between Stallone and a very pissed off John Lithgow. But it ends when the ladder finally gives way, Stallone jumps to safety, and the helicopter and its crew of one falls to a fiery end.

#4: That Was Close
“Rambo III” (1988)

While in Afghanistan to rescue some old friends from the Soviets, John Rambo – the eponymous hero – finds himself pursued by not one, but two Russian gunships. Needless to say, some quick thinking is in order. Using precious seconds to assemble a bow and explosive-tipped arrow, Stallone springs to position, and as one of the attacking choppers comes into view, he blows it out of the sky. Is it just us or is Sylvester Stallone allergic to helicopters or something?

#3: I Was Out of Bullets
“Live Free or Die Hard” (2007)

This is another film series whose lead actor does not seem to mix well with helicopters. “Die Hard with a Vengeance” was a strong contender for our list. However, it’s in the fourth “Die Hard” installment that John McClane finds himself pursued by yet another helicopter in a scene we think is even more worthy of our list. Luckily though, he and Justin Long are in a car-filled tunnel, and for McClane, cars are as good as any weapon. Driving as fast as he can, Bruce Willis jumps out just before the car is launched through the air like a giant projectile. While this does go towards the theory that Willis is actually unbreakable, our favorite part is the punch line that follows.

#2: Doing the Impossible
“The Matrix” (1999)

“The Matrix” swept audiences off their feet with its unique visual style and groundbreaking special effects. So when we anticipate a helicopter explosion in a movie like that, it had better be phenomenal. As Trinity and Neo are wrapping up their surprisingly successful suicide mission, Neo holds a line for Trinity as she jumps from a falling helicopter. When it smashes into the side of a skyscraper, the shockwave ripples through the glass before a cacophony of shattering windowpanes is followed by the blast of the helicopter. It’s like cinematic ecstasy.

Before we blast on to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- Hit the Chopper
“The Other Guys” (2010)
- Low Clearance Vehicles Only
“Darkman” (1990)
- Angels in the Sky
“Charlie’s Angels” (2000)
- Warning: Explosive Materials
“The World Is Not Enough” (1999)
- Fender Bender
“Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991)

#1: Red Light, Green Light
“Mission: Impossible” (1996)

Ethan Hunt will always find himself in, well, “impossible” situations. Sort of like when the helicopter that is coming to pick a treacherous teammate up off the roof of a speeding train gets its cable attached to the train and is dragged into the Chunnel with them. In this situation, Hunt does the only reasonable thing: Jump on to the helicopter, and defeat it with his stick of lucky explosive gum. Vanquishing both enemies and getting back on the train, he comes inches from having a shave that’s just a little too close. Thrill us half to death? Mission: Accomplished.

Do you agree with our list? What explosive helicopters of the silver screen are your favorite? For more explosive top 10s published every day, be subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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