One of Hollywood’s favorite past times is destroying New York City, and here’s a compilation of some of the most entertaining ways it occurs. Nothing says Armageddon like the fiery (or watery!) destruction of the Big Apple, be it by fire, water, monsters, aliens, or the Staypuft Marshmallow Man. Here are the top 10 ways NYC gets obliterated by Hollywood.
The first of the mid-1990s summer blockbuster moves on the list, Godzilla had New York thoroughly shaken up by its namesake monster. New York survives, but Hank Azaria’s character doesn’t!
9) I Am Legend–Vampire Zombies
I Am Legend doesn’t destroy New York per se, just everyone in it… unless you count cannibalistic vampires as people? Still, the scenes with a completely deserted Times Square are incredibly eerie, and just as bad as the videos where Times Square is actually destroyed. After all, New York is nothing without… New Yorkers.
8) War of the Worlds–Aliens
War of the Worlds is relatively mild, but the initial alien landing is followed by the destruction of Newark. Unfortunately, Tom Cruise makes it out alive.
7) The Day After Tomorrow–Tsunami/Climate Change
The Day After Tomorrow floods then freezes New York. The freeze is relatively boring–who doesn’t love Jake Gyllenhall running away from cold, because that’s totally logical and possible–but the tsunami scene is fantastic.
6) Ghostbusters I–The Staypuft Marshmallow Man
Ghostbusters I has an automatic spot on the list, thanks to the Staypuft Marshmallow Man. Not to mention the Titanic finally making it to port, and Sigourney Weaver’s little episode on Central Park West. Classic!
Armageddon, the classic blockbuster starring Bruce Willis, came out during the same summer as ‘Deep Impact’. Deep Impact destroyed New York with water, but Armageddon uses fire. Unlike Deep Impact, Armageddon leaves plenty of the city to spare, although the top of the Chrysler Building does meet an untimely demise.
Cloverfield has the best monster of all time, which lays waste to much of the city before the government calls in air strikes to destroy the remainder. Nothing says ‘I love New York’ like the Statue of Liberty’s head landing on Broadway!
3) Deep Impact–Tsunami/Asteroid
In Deep Impact, New York gets destroyed by an tsunami on steroids, caused by an asteroid landing in the Atlantic. It’s basically a more intense ‘Day After Tomorrow,’ but instead of Jake Gyllenhal freezing in the New York Public Library, we have teenagers who can apparently escape the mega-tsunami on a motorcycle. Nothing says destruction like special effects circa 1998.
2) Knowing–Solar Flares
Knowing, a terrible movie featuring Nicholas Cage, destroys New York (and the entire planet, but obviously New York’s destruction is the most interesting) with a solar flare. Despite how terrible the movie was, New York’s destruction is total and complete. Unfortunately, no movie starring Nicholas Cage can be number one on any list.
1) Independence Day–Aliens
Independence Day features the best scene of New York’s demise. Apparently every summer blockbuster during the mid-1990s just had to feature the destruction of New York in some way, shape, or form. Independence Day does it with aliens. Although the Empire State Building somehow wound up in the middle of Fifth Avenue, Independence Day definitely has the coolest destruction of New York. Don’t walk towards the light, otherwise you’ll be vaporized! Clip includes bonus footage of DC and LA getting destroyed, as well.