In celebration of today being the Fifth of November, we at Exposed along with our friends at After Dark (Sheffield’s premiere bonfire and fireworks celebration) have decided to look through our DVD collections to find out top five building destructions in movie history.
We decided to limit our selections to (supposedly) intelligent entities. There are no space rocks or stalled planetary cores here, everything has someone or something behind it. You get to decide whether they’re the villain or the hero for doing it.
5. Mars Attacks! – Mount Rushmore
Yes, the Tim Burton classic based on a trading card series starts our list. It’s also a bit of an anomaly because it’s not really destroyed, it’s just altered. When the Martians go on a destructive rampage they use their rayguns to change the faces on the monument to fit their own likenesses. Considering the mountain and the area around it was stolen from the Native Americans by the US Federal Government, it’s analogous to a group of chavs saying they own Corporation and spray painting a cock onto it, only for Banksy to come along and turn it into a work of art.
4. Independence Day – The White House
This really is the image that defined blockbuster movies of the 90s. More aliens, although not from Mars this time, have ships over the major population centres of the planet, all waiting patiently for a countdown system (that can be decoded using a Mac) to finish. When the timer runs out, explosions happen. In this iconic scene the White House meets an end that would give Michael Bay a hard on. This films was released over 15 years ago (don’t you feel old?) and in that time Apple users have failed to save the planet by uploading viruses to passing motherships, all they’ve done is birth an even more annoying variety of hipster.
Tip: Skip to 45 seconds in
3. Cloverfield – Statue of Liberty
Forget the American Zilla (they took the ‘God’ out of it), Cloverfield is the pinnacle of Hollywood monster movie making. Utilising entirely found footage (and avoiding the stupefying annoyingness that often accompanies this style of camera work) the film follows a group of friends trapped in New York while… something rampages through the city not noticing the damage it’s inflicting. The iconic destruction comes from the Statue of Liberty being wrecked. Lady Liberty has her head torn off and thrown down a street like a bowling ball. Not only is it an excellent movie metaphor for the post-9/11 culture, it’s also a homage to Escape From New York.
2. Fight Club – Financial District
Not really a landmark, but we love it anyway, and it’s our list! The finale to one of the best films of all time sees our ‘hero’ finally having defeated his nemesis, the enigmatic Tyler Durden, and turning to watch the entire local bankers’ paradise turn into rubble. High explosives mixed with The Pixies’ ‘Where is my mind?’ really makes for a defining moment to end the film on. Well it was defining back in ’99 when the film came out, now it just gives us ideas after those coked-up smarmy gits known as bankers threw us all into a recession by playing with zeros like we used to play Pokemon. Interesting fact, it’s no longer against the law to burn a banker to death on a bonfire instead of a stuffed effigy of Guy Fawkes.
1. V For Vendetta – Half of London
It had to be really, didn’t it? Based on the iconic graphic novel by Alan Moore and produced by the duo behind The Matrix, the films ends with a symphony of destruction in London. To the strains of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, the final statement of the enigmatic man known only as ‘V’ is made, a massive tube based bomb demolishing the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. All the while the newly liberated citizens watch one of the most memorable fireworks displays in cinema, underscoring that massive destruction will always lead to massive creation that is hopefully better and more just. The film finally completes the work of Guy Fawkes, who in 1605 attempted to remove a dictator, by ending the rule by fear of the Norsefire Party.
It’s worth remembering tonight when you’re watching colourful explosions and eating toffee apples that we’re commemorating the continued rule of a totalitarian regime in our own country. Quite ironic when you consider where we are today. Have fun tonight and stay safe.