Top 10 Most Badass Slow Motion Action Scenes Ever

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Top 10 Most Badass Slow Motion Action Scenes Ever

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
Nothing says badass like explosions, gun fights, and swordplay in slow motion! For this list, we'll be going over some of the most awesome slow-motion scenes in action movies. Our countdown includes “Wonder Woman”, "The Matrix", “X-Men: Days of Future Past”, and more!
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Top 10 Badass Slow-Motion Action Scenes


Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 badass slow-motion action scenes.

For this list, we’ll be going over some of the most awesome slow-motion scenes in action movies. Along with a spoiler alert, we’d also like to issue a strobe light warning for one of the entries for those who may be sensitive to light.

If there’s an action scene we needed to slow our roll to include, but didn’t, please tell us in the comments!

#10: The Comedian’s Final Fight

“Watchmen” (2009)
Zack Snyder is a director known for his use of slow-motion in his movies. “Watchmen” is definitely no exception. While slow-mo is rife throughout the film, its opening fight scene is perhaps where it’s best utilized. Edward Blake, a.k.a. the Comedian, is a retired crimefighter enjoying an evening in before he’s attacked by a shadowy foe. The blows fly fast and free for the most part. But the slowed-down portions emphasize certain moves and really help sell the impact of each hit. And since it’s an adaptation of one of the most acclaimed graphic novels ever, the slow-mo captures frames from the comic to perfection. Like the Nat King Cole song that plays in the scene, it’s “unforgettable.”

#9: Forest Escape


“Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” (2011)
Pursued by Moriarty’s henchmen at a weapon’s factory, Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, and the rest of their party escape into a nearby forest. As they hurry towards a nearby train, the soldiers pursue them on foot. And workers stationed at the factory bombard them with bullets, mortars, and other artillery. The dramatic slow-mo focuses frequently on the bullets. This allows us to see the ammo that grazes the heroes, the chaos, and destruction of the trees. We’re also treated to some slowed-down shots of a particularly big cannon as it fires at them. It’s a stunning and thrilling sequence executed with a ton of polish.

#8: No Man’s Land


“Wonder Woman” (2017)
The DCEU features a ton of great slow-motion scenes. We almost went with Wonder Woman stopping the heist, Flash saving Iris, and other scenes from “Zack Snyder’s Justice League.” But we had to go with a moment from 2017’s“Wonder Woman”. When Diana is told it’s impossible to cross no man’s land during World War 1, she decides to do it anyway. While stepping out onto the battlefield, Diana deflects a lone bullet in slow motion. As she advances towards the German lines, she deflects more bullets and everything they throw at her. Her actions help the Allied forces free a neighboring village. Not only is it a beautiful, awesome set-piece, but it’s also a defining character moment for Diana.

#7: Opening Shootout


“Hard Boiled” (1992)
It wouldn’t be a proper slow-motion action list without director John Woo! In most films, this kind of action would be the main course, but in “Hard Boiled,” it’s the appetizer! At a teahouse, Inspector “Tequila” and his partner try to interrupt a gun deal. However, things quickly devolve into a huge shootout! In the ensuing carnage, Tequila’s partner and a huge number of bystanders lose their lives. All of Woo’s hallmarks are here, with birds, dual-wielding pistols, infinite ammo, and slow-motion aplenty! That slide down the staircase is especially iconic!

#6: Arrow Assault


“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (2017)
After Yondu Udonta is betrayed by most of his former crew, Rocket Racoon and Baby Groot help the deposed leader get back on his feet. They retrieve Yondu’s mechanical fin,which he uses to control his signature Yaka arrow. After setting up “Come a Little Bit Closer” to play over the loudspeakers, the trio takes brutal revenge on the traitorous Ravagers. Watching the unlikely trio strut as the red trail of the arrow zips around and takes down Ravagers is so dang cool! Along with making the heroes look great, the slow-mo is also used to give us long looks at the ways Yondu takes out his former crew. With the catchy music and great visuals, this is just a fun time.

#5: “Time in a Bottle”


“X-Men: Days of Future Past” (2014)
This scene is a favorite on our lists and it’s no secret why – it’s awesome! When Professor X and Wolverine break Magneto out of prison, they bring along Peter Maximoff, a.k.a. Quicksilver. The silver-haired mutant has incredible superspeed. So, when a bunch of guards corners them in a kitchen, Quicksilver speeds around the room so fast that time seems to stand nearly still for everyone but him. The numerous sight gags of Quicksilver taking out the guards in various ways are great, while the song “Time in a Bottle” is the perfect choice to underscore the moment. It’s one of the coolest superspeed scenes put to film, period.

#4: Street Explosion


“Swordfish” (2001)
While robbing a bank, Gabriel Shear takes hostages and forces them to wear vests set to detonate if they leave a certain perimeter. He explains this to FBI agent J.T. Roberts as a sniper takes out one of the criminals and police on the ground try to rescue the innocent hostage. Despite pleas from Roberts and the terrified hostage, she is pulled away and the bomb explodes. The ensuing shot swings around in a wide arc throughout the whole street, passing through buildings and showing all the damage in slow motion. Even decades later, this is a jaw-dropping shot!

#3: Slow-Mo Shootout


“Dredd” (2012)
Thanks to an illegal in-universe substance that slows down the users’ perceptions of time fittingly named: “Slow-Mo”, “Dredd” has plenty of slow-motion scenes throughout. When Judge Dredd and his rookie partner Anderson raid a den filled with Slow-Mo users, the results are spectacular! For us and the Judges, at least. We’re treated to slowed down and brilliantly colorful shots of the lock exploding off the door, bullets leaving barrels, and shots hitting targets. Although some of the violence is a little gratuitous, it all looks so gorgeous that even the squeamish probably won’t mind that much.

#2: Spartans vs. Persians


“300” (2006)
Told you we weren’t done with Zack Snyder! Like most of his films, there’s plenty of slow-mo to choose from in this movie. While the “This is SPAR-TA!” moment is certainly iconic, the most badass moment is the initial battle. The first Persian assault on the 300 Spartans guarding the pass of Thermopylae features traditional formations and the Persians crashing into the Spartans. But when the ancient Greeks push back, that’s when things get EXTRA! We follow King Leonidas as he and his men plow through Persian soldiers using beautifully choreographed fight moves. The camera lingers on in each movement in great detail. Eventually, the Spartans push the Persians off a nearby cliff… which is also slowed down. The whole thing is badass poetry in motion.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Side-Eye, “Justice League” (2017)
The Flash’s “Oh Crap!” Face Is Priceless!

Rescuing Big Daddy, “Kick-Ass” (2010)
Hit-Girl Conducts a Daring & Epic Rescue

Beckett Goes Down with His Ship, “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” (2007)
The Ship Exploding Around Him in Slow-Mo Is Almost as Satisfying as His Demise

Street Shootout, “Hard Target” (1993)
How About That Spinning Kick Though?

Church Shootout, “Face-Off” (1997)
This Standoff Erupts Into Some Great Slow-Mo Shots

#1: The Lobby


“The Matrix” (1999)
It just had to be “The Matrix!” The movie has lots of great slow-motion scenes. From the helicopter rescue, to Neo dodging bullets, each scene brings excited slowed down action. However, one scene tops them all! Upon entering the building where their friend Morpheus is being held, Neo and Trinity are faced with a dozen heavily armed men. But that’s fine because they brought guns – lots of guns! The shootout that follows sees slow-motion used to linger on awesome moments, like Trinity flipping off a wall and Neo running past pillars as they’re shot up. It ends with Neo’s final superhuman kick takedown. It’s the epitome of a cool slow-mo scene.
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