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21 Awesome Action Scenes That Prove Slow Motion Is More Than Just A Cheap Trick

May 27, 2020 6.8k votes 655 voters 9.4k views21 items

List RulesVote up the action scenes that make slow-mo look cool instead of like a cheap gimmick.

The best slow-motion scenes and action movies go hand-in-hand. Whether it be an epic shoot out or a beautifully choreographed fight sequence, throughout cinema history, nothing has gotten an audiences’ blood pumping like a solid action scene. 

Slowing it down just gives us a chance to appreciate everything in its entirety rather than blinking and missing some glorious carnage. And since the dawn of the revolutionary "bullet time" effect, it's made us realize (even more so) how epic an action-packed sequence can be when slowed down.

  • Quicksilver in 20th Century Fox’s universe is slightly quicker than his Marvel Studios counterpart, to the point where those around him might as well be statues when he gets going.
    The scene sees the crew taking fire from the guards after busting Magneto out of confinement.

    With everyone’s powers either down or restricted in some way, Quicksilver thinks on his feet (literally). He uses his super-speed during a beautiful slow-motion sequence to divert all the bullets away from his comrades and redirects all harm at the guards themselves before they even have a chance to blink.

    Good use of slow-mo?
  • Combining action and comedy from the get-go in these visually stunning opening credits, we pan around the interior of the carnage inside a rolling car which we slowly begin to realize Deadpool is the cause of. We then see obvious comedic gags like a crotch to the face, as well as subtle gags in the form of parodied credits, along with Wade Wilson's fourth-wall-breaking comedy gold, making jokes about Ryan Reynolds and his Green Lantern blunder. 

    Fun fact: The song "Just Call Me Angel" by Juice Newton playing in this opening scene also accompanied the short Deadpool film which assisted in getting this feature-length made. 

    Good use of slow-mo?
  • Having already caught a glimpse of the damage his whistle-controlled arrow can cause in the first installment, we may have known what was to follow when Yondu was reunited with his new fin (similar to that of his comic book counterpart), but certainly not the magnitude that followed in this scene! 

    And thanks to slow-mo, as his enemies fall around him like droplets of rain to "Come A Little Bit Closer" by Jay & The Americans, you can’t help but feel uplifted. 

    Good use of slow-mo?
  • The Matrix was a movie that revolutionized film in many ways, but especially with its special effects. With slow-mo action-packed scenes happening throughout the picture from the get-go, it’s hard to believe that by the third act there’d still be room for any more surprising jaw-dropping visuals. But this scene does just that, so much so that scenes of a similar style in other movies are referred to as using the "bullet time" effect from this point on.

    And this is due to this scene in which our protagonist, Neo, dodges bullets so fast, you’re actually able to see the projected flight path thanks to a state-of-the-art 360-degree setup. 

    Good use of slow-mo?