25 Spectacular Star-Studded Cinematic Showdowns

·6 min read

In Netflix's $200 million action flick The Gray Man, now streaming, MCU stalwart Chris Evans goes head-to-head with fellow Hollywood headliner Ryan Gosling.

1.Common vs. Keanu Reeves, John Wick: Chapter 2

2.Tom Hardy vs. Christian Bale, The Dark Knight Rises

"The Dark Knight Rises"

Fans of Batman’s “Knightfall” storyline were thrilled to see the Caped Crusader square off against Bane in a proper showdown worthy of their comic book rivalry, complete with a yolked-out Tom Hardy donning a contemporary twist on the iconic Bane mask.

Warner Bros / Courtesy Everett Collection

3.Chadwick Boseman vs. Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther

"Black Panther"

Black Panther definitely benefited from director Ryan Coogler's previous fight staging experience with Creed, but we'd all be lying to ourselves if we denied that a big reason the superhero film kept us in its grip was the duel between two of the hottest stars in Hollywood, the late Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan

Marvel / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

4.Michael Fassbender vs. Gina Carano, Haywire

"Haywire"

Though Carano has since muddied her legacy with her offensive off-set behavior, her cinematic debut in Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire included one of the most riveting fight sequences in recent memory as the ex-MMA fighter threw down with an intensely physical Michael Fassbender.

Relativity Media / Courtesy Everett Collection

5.Daniel Craig vs. Dave Bautista, Spectre

"Spectre"

In a callback to the legendary train fight in From Russia With Love, Daniel Craig’s James Bond collided with the imposing WWE legend Dave Bautista’s Mr. Hinx in what would later become the most unforgettable part of a ho-hum Skyfall follow-up.

Columbia Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

6.Sylvester Stallone vs. Dolph Lundgren, Rocky IV

"Rocky IV"

To be fair, every Rocky bout is exhilarating in their own right, but the showdown between Stallone’s vengeance-fueled Rocky and Lundgren’s precise, unrelenting Drago has aged like a fine wine, even so much as to break the kitschy nationalist messaging behind the Cold War-era flick.

MGM / Courtesy Everett Collection

7.Clive Owen vs. Matt Damon, The Bourne Identity

8.Michelle Yeoh vs. Zhang Ziyi, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was nothing short of an international pop culture phenomenon upon its debut, but of all the high-flying, revolutionary fight choreography, nothing could compare to the breathtaking climactic battle between veteran Michelle Yeoh and newcomer Zhang Ziyi.

Sony Pictures Classics / Courtesy Everett Collection

9.Brad Pitt vs. Eric Bana, Troy

10.Milla Jovovich vs. Tony Jaa, Monster Hunter

11.Seann William Scott vs. Liev Schreiber, Goon

"Goon"

As funny as it is bloody, one of the best and most brutal hockey fights in the sadly sparse subgenre’s history can be chalked up to this one-on-one square-up between Liev Schreiber and Seann William Scott in the cult comedy, Goon.

Magnolia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

12.Thomas Jane vs. Kevin Nash, The Punisher

"The Punisher"

Fighting against the massive (and nearly unrecognizable) former pro wrestling superstar Kevin Nash as "The Russian," the normally-intimidating Thomas Jane gets a lot of mileage playing the underdog in this wonderfully destructive showstopping slobber knocker.

Lions Gate / Courtesy Everett Collection

13.Jean-Claude Van Damme vs. Scott Adkins, Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning

"Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning"

Scott Adkins may have been a burgeoning butt-kicker in the direct-to-video space for some time before this stellar Universal Soldier sequel, but his bone-crunching fight scene with original franchise star Jean-Claude Van Damme served as a passing-of-the-torch that crowned Adkins as a bona fide action star.

Magnet Releasing / Courtesy Everett Collection

14.Jason Momoa vs. Sylvester Stallone, Bullet to the Head

"Bullet to the Head"

Though this contemporary action-thriller may not have been the epic shoot-'em-up it should have been, this Walter Hill-directed film is anchored by one hell of a brawn-infused axe fight between Sly Stallone and Game of Thrones' own Jason Momoa.

Warner Bros / Courtesy Everett Collection

15.Choi Min-sik vs. Lee Byung-hun, I Saw the Devil

"I Saw the Devil"

The face of Korean cinema's past, Oldboy's Choi Min-sik, traded blood-for-blood with emerging superstar and future Squid Game star Byung-hun Lee in a taut, edge-of-your-seat Greenhouse face-off between Lee's unrelenting rogue cop and Choi's sadistic serial killer.

Magnet Releasing / Courtesy Everett Collection

16.Ryan Reynolds vs. Joel Kinneman, Safe House

17.Brad Pitt vs. Angelina Jolie, Mr. and Mrs. Smith

"Mr. and Mrs. Smith"

In an explosive and intimate battle sequence brimming with sexual tension, the at-home showdown between Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt helped carry this otherwise tame studio action movie to massive box office returns.

20th Century Fox / Album / Alamy

18.N.T. Rama Rao Jr. vs. Ram Charan, RRR

"RRR"

Is there any fight scene in recent times as absolutely amazing as the fight between Bheem and Raju, played by Bollywood stars N. T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan, set against a burning colonist estate party under attack by wild animals? The answer is no, and if you haven't seen it yet, run, don't walk.

Prod DB / DVV Entertainment / Alamy

19.Jackie Chan vs. Jet Li, The Forbidden Kingdom

"The Forbidden Kingdom"

Jet Li and Jackie Chan, arguably the two most prolific stars in martial arts film history, fought one another on their biggest platform yet (under the choreography of the revered Yuen Woo-ping, no less) in the 2008 action epic, The Forbidden Kingdom.

Lions Gate / Courtesy Everett Collection

20.Uma Thurman vs. Vivica A. Fox, Kill Bill, Volume 1

21.John Travolta vs. Nicolas Cage, Face/Off

"Face/Off"

Redefining the phrase "face-off," John Woo's exciting, dove-laden interactions between John Travolta and Nicolas Cage in their noted dual roles hold up as some of the most definitive examples of over-the-top action cinema to this day.

Paramount / Courtesy Everett Collection

22.Tom Hardy vs. Joel Edgerton, Warrior

"Warrior"

Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy established themselves as stars to watch during this dramatically heart-wrenching and physically demanding climactic brother vs. brother showdown in the critically and commercially beloved Warrior.

Lions Gate / Courtesy Everett Collection

23.Michael Cera vs. Jason Schwartzman, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

"Scott Pilgrim vs. The World"

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World has multiple memorable fight sequences, all laden with humor and a visual style inspired by comic books and video games, but none feels as cathartic as the "final boss" battle between Scott Pilgrim and the last "evil ex," Gideon Graves.

Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

24.Robert Downey Jr. vs. Chris Evans, Captain America: Civil War

"Captain America: Civil War"

Even though fans will always rank the preceding Avengers-wide airport battle as the highlight of Captain America: Civil War, this emotionally-driven one-on-one final fight between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark remains one of the MCU's most memorable (and narratively rich) skirmishes.

Collection Christophel / Alamy / Marvel Entertainment / Marvel Studios / Studio Babelsberg

25.Vin Diesel vs. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Fast Five

"Fast FIve"

Long before their beef went beyond the silver screen, Vin Diesel and The Rock brought to life a clash of physical titans and modern action stars with their set-destroying brawl that proved the Fast franchise needed unstoppable forces to bring it to the next level.

Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection