The Most Impressive Finishing Moves In Action Movies

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Vote up the finishing moves that can't be beaten.

The best-choreographed action movies treat their fights like a stand-up comedian performing - they save their best punch(lines) for last. The finishing move is just that, it's the big finish. Because of this, it needs to have a certain amount of thought put into it to ensure that it works on multiple levels. The finishing move shouldn't just be a fun way for the fight to end, it should properly symbolize the thematic victory happening as the protagonist defeats the antagonist. 

The importance of good finishing moves in movies can't be overstated. Imagine The Karate Kid without the Crane Kick or Revenge of the Sith without Obi-Wan cutting off Anakin's limbs. Whether it's a fight scene that uses actual punches, or a laser battle over lava - finishing strong makes the movie better as a whole. 


  • At the start of Godzilla, the titular massive lizard hasn't been seen in years, and a new monster, dubbed a MUTO, is accidentally released by humans. The arrival of this MUTO and later a second MUTO mate causes Godzilla to reappear and attempt to defeat them. While Godzilla struggles to prove he's the Apex Predator throughout the film, he eventually rallies and hits the MUTO with a sick finishing blast. 

    Godzilla's finishing move is mostly notable for how awesome it looked. Godzilla grabs the MUTO by both sides of their mouth, rips it open, and then blasts his atomic breath into their body, finishing them. 

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  • At the end of Infinity War, Thanos uses the Infinity Stones to eliminate half of all life in the universe. In Endgame, the Avengers eventually rally and slay Thanos, but they discover that the Infinity Stones are destroyed, and there's no way to reverse what Thanos did. Thus, five years pass without hope of bringing everyone back. That is, until Ant-Man helps the Avengers devise a way to travel through time and gather the stones, thus prompting one final fight with a version of Thanos from the past. 

    This fight with past-Thanos ends with Iron Man finally proving he's a true hero and someone who can make a sacrifice play. Iron Man is struggling hand-to-hand with Thanos at the end of the fight, and then Thanos casually shrugs Iron Man off. All hope seems lost for a moment until Thanos snaps and nothing happens. Then, Iron Man reveals he stealthily stole the stones right out from under Thanos, and he snaps his own fingers, finally destroying the Mad Titan and himself. 

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  • John Matrix is a retired US Special Forces Colonel who gets back into the game after discovering his entire former unit has been slain. It then becomes more personal after the attackers come to Matrix's home, kidnap his daughter, and Matrix realizes one of the members of the team is a man named Bennett, who used to be on his own unit. 

    Eventually, with the help of a woman named Cindy, Matrix tracks down Bennett and terminates everyone in his employ but Bennett himself. Bennett then tries to escape with Cindy, but Matrix stops him, and the two duel. 

    Their fight is brutal, and the sadistic Bennett clearly loves putting John through the wringer. But just as Bennett grabs a gun and prepares to end their brawl, John rips a pipe off of the wall and hurls it at Bennett, impaling him through the chest

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  • James Dalton is a professional bouncer from New York City who is hired by an old friend to come and help run a recently purchased club in Missouri. For various reasons, Dalton soon causes trouble with a local business kingpin named Wesley, who then sets out to ruin Dalton's life on multiple fronts. To make matters worse, Wesley hires a ruthless ex-con named Jimmy to do his dirty work for him. 

    This entire time, Dalton has been living with a kind older man named Emmett. At one point in the film, Jimmy takes things way too far by lighting Emmett's house on fire. Dalton manages to save Emmett, though, and then goes after Jimmy. 

    After almost taking out one of the kindest characters in the film, Dalton - and the audience at this point - want Jimmy to hurt. After an intense fight, Jimmy pulls a gun on Dalton, and Dalton responds by ripping a portion of Jimmy's throat out with his bare hands.

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  • The Library Book In 'John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum'
    Photo: Lionsgate

    One of the most engaging aspects of the John Wick films is how John always uses his surroundings to his advantage. Sure, John is an expert gunman - but it's so much more fun and memorable when John defeats his assailants through other means. For instance, in the library scene in John Wick 3

    After the events of John Wick 2, John Wick 3 begins with John on the run from every assassin in the world. He makes his way to the library to retrieve a marker medallion, and while there, he gets attacked by an incredibly tall assassin. The two of them fight, and John briefly seems outmatched. But John grabs one of the books off the shelf and uses it as a blunt force object to take on the tall assailant. Eventually, John props the book up on a nearby table and snaps the assassin's neck across it

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    The Infamous Kick In '300'

    Leonidas is a Spartan ruler who must defend his kingdom from an incursion led by Xerxes and his Persian army. At the beginning of the film, a herald of Xerxes goes to Sparta and demands that Leonidas submit to Xerxes. Leonidas isn't immediately sure how to respond, but after he feels insulted by the herald long enough, he decides violence is the only answer.

    While standing next to a massive well, Leonidas decides he won't submit to the herald or Xerxes, and he loudly proclaims, "This is Sparta!" before kicking the herald off of his feet and deep into the well below.