A great fight doesn’t need a million strong army or giant explosions, what it needs is to get your blood boiling, your adrenaline triggered and to deliver enough action to keep your mind from noticing it’s not real. The five most epic battles in movie history do all this and more, so sit back and lay your own siege on some sriracha-flavored popcorn and those gummy bears you stole from work.
Since you were old enough to turn a tree branch into a sword and go forth to rescue damsels in distress or princes in prison, the love of a great blade battle was born in your tiny, dream-laden heart. Toss in the concept of immortals striving to be the last immortal with a head attached to gain some mysterious incredible power then add some revenge over a slain lover and you’ve arrived at the insane battle between Connor MacLeod and his nemesis The Kurgan. No crazy effects just a beat down movie studio and two men beating on each other with swords marks the final duel scene and that’s exactly as it should be as the strikes roll in and the aggression builds in "Highlander."
“The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers”
There can be no more epic battle that matched the imagination of the faithful readers of the series than the battle for Helm’s Deep in “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers”. With a fortified stronghold filled with warriors on what could very well be a last stand, a horizon filled with orcs, trolls, and assorted evil characters and more surprises than you can shake a dwarf at this battle takes the cake, eats it, then asks where you hid the rest of the food. When helpful hobbit Pippin finally convinces the Ents to join the battle rather than be the Switzerland of flora, the butt kicking they hand down to Sauron’s army should bring a gleeful smile to any movie fan.
On Earth you at least have the advantage of home field but out in space, millions of miles away, there’s no place to run unless you’re absolutely sure you can hold your breath for as long as it takes you to “space” swim back home. The equivalent of a tow truck space ship is heading back home when they’re awoken to check up on a foreign signal they’ve intercepted. The crew ends up in a battle against a predatory alien filled with acidic blood and a lust to dry hump people’s faces. Nothing can be more terrifying than an alien in heat that needs your sweet, sweet body for an incubator. With good old fashioned human ingenuity they fashion weapons and radar and with their newfound xenophobia the crew in “Alien” go all out in their last stand to save themselves and potentially humanity.
“Battle of Britain”
It’s hard to have a greater battle than the British Royal Air Force versus the Luftwaffe in the setting of World War II. The “Battle of Britain” is a sweeping little epic all unto itself as it seeks to tell the tale of Britain’s stand to stop the potential land assault by Germany if Britain loses its air offensive capability. The goosebumps kick up during the final engagement between the two nations as the skies fill with fighters and bombers, explosions and gunfire and you find yourself falling into that timeframe.
Few epic battles, if any, are waged over both sides being really, really content and happy with the world and “The Crow” is no exception to the rule. Eric Draven returns from the dead after he and his fiancé were murdered to exact his own brand of supernatural justice upon the people responsible. As Draven arrives at the club/home of the gang’s leader to settle his vendetta and to rescue the symbiotic crow that guides and grants him his powers, the battle that ensues is tremendous marred by the reality that Brandon Lee lost his life during the shooting.