Go ahead, punk, mech my day.
Few moments in films are as epic or entertaining as a good robot scrap. More varied than a bar-room brawl, and more socially acceptable than forcing two fat children to fight over a Twix, the clash of two robots spells almost certain destruction for at least a mile-wide radius. And while many see robo-barneys as 'big dumb fun', some are as beautifully choreographed as even the most elaborate martial arts face-off.
So blindfold the toaster (in case it gets any wise ideas) and join us as we celebrate the biggest, meatiest, metal-clankingest (totally a word) robot fights in all of cinema. And yes, we know some of these are mechs. And robot suits. Look, just enjoy the feature, yeah?
25. The Black Hole (1979)
The Robots: The stubby V.I.N.CENT, a.k.a. Vital Information Necessary CENTralised. It operates and shares a distinct visual similarity to Tik Tok from Return To Oz crossed with a Henry vacuum cleaner. Its opponent is the far more dastardly Maximillian, an ominous slightly more humanoid-looking robot working for the bad guys.
The Battle: V.I.N.CENT engages his hover mode, honing in on Max while blasting away with his lasers. The tussle turns into a Tom and Jerry-esque chase, as Max charges after the flying hoover - his mecha arms clutching the little 'bots' body zapping him of energy.
The Victor: V.I.N.CENT triumphantly ploughs into Max when a suggestive drill bit emerges from his nether regions, frying the bigger bot.
24. Screamers (1995)
The Robots: Two identical AMS (Autonomous Mobile Swords) androids, complete with artificial intelligence and self-replicating capabilities. Often referred to as Screamers due to the sound they emit during battle.
The Battle: Rumbling poor old Hendrickssons (Peter Weller) hope of a horizontal shuffle before death, turns out Jessica (Jennifer Rubin) is merely an attractive bag of nuts and bolts - as evidenced by the arrival of an identical robot. Hendricksson tries to escape back to Earth, the mirrored pair get entangled in a 'toss 'em about the room'-style brawl as Good Jessica tries to pull a swifty on Bad Jessica. Kicking, lobbing, well-timed sucker punches, it's all a-go.
The Victor: Good Jessica punches through Bad Jess's guts, sending her electronic lower intestine into sparky spasms before she short circuits.
23. Robo Warriors (1996)
The Robots: A behemoth Earthbot (piloted by James Remar) left to wither away as Earth is ravaged by aliens. Tall as a skyscraper, with guns, lasers and steel pincers to really squeeze the pain. Another towering mecha-bot, equipped with rocket launchers and lasers. This one manned by a reptilian alien.
The Battle: The lumbering mechas pummel each other - laser streams zapping, metal-to-metal wrestling until Robo Warrior summons a blue circular laser thats presumably rather hot as it slices through his foe like buttah. Nice.
The Victor: Severe damage to both 'bots means this one's more of a tie.
22. Nemesis (1992)
The Robots: On the brink of death after a savage gang beat-down, Alex Raine (Olivier Gruner) undergoes a strenuous cyborgian recovery. Meaning he ain't human no more. His adversary is the creation of a newly-designed android that sucks the life-force from people and plops it into synthetic bodies instructed to do its bidding. For lucky Alex, his nemesis appears as his old boss Farnsworth (Tim Thomerson).
The Battle: After all of Farnsworth's team wipe out a crew of freedom fighters, the coiffed droid then unleashes a relentless shotgun assault against Alex and his friend Max before their final showdown... As Alex and Max try to escape in an aerodyne pod, Farnsworth re-appears, bearing only his mechanical endoskeleton. With the pod shooting through the air, he taunts Alex on the loading dock.
The Victor: Robo-Farnsworth plummets to his death after tearing Alex's cybernetic arm free of its socket.
21. Robot Wars (1993)
The Robots: MRAS-2: a giant, mechanical scorpion robot hijacked by Wa-Lee, evil leader of the Eastern Alliance. His humanoid adversary is the MEGA-1: a humongous mega-robot left buried beneath the waste of a world succumbed to a fatal toxic event.
The Battle: The Megarobots jockey, Drake, takes to the MRAS-2 like it'd personally nipped at his nuts with its crushing pincers. With the two enemies head-to-head, their robot counterparts tackle each other on the dusty desert floor.
The Victor: MEGA-1 saves the day, restoring order to the land and finishing off scorpion.
20. Robocop 2 (1990)
The Robots: Tin cop with a heart, Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) - a.k.a. Robocop - and the newer, shinier, murderous, Robocop 2. An updated version of the original 'bot, Robocop 2 is entwined with the brain of a power-hungry drug-dealer, Cain.
The Battle: At a press conference unveiling the new Robocop, Cain gets a sniff of the drug he's addicted to and overrides all of his programmed directives. He opens fire on the crowd, taking them out with round after round, until Murphy shows up and the cyborgs battle it out, metal-to-the-metal.
The Victor: Murphy teases Cain with a canister of the drug, distracting him. He punches through the 'bot, and tears out Cain's brain.
19. The Transformers: The Movie (1986)
The Robots: The evil head of the Decepticons, Megatron, and heroic leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime.
The Battle: One of the most unexpectedly sad robotic showdowns ever presented in glorious animation. The two robots-in-disguise go tet-a-tet in a vicious brawl. Optimus jabs away at Megatron, landing some punishing blows but it's the beastly bad guy who has the last laugh.
The Victor: Megatron penetrates through Optimus' stomach with a giant shard, rubbing salt in the wound by blasting the gash with his gun a few times for good measure.
18. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith (2005)
The Robots: Obi-Wan's personal 'bot, R4 P17, a female astromech droid and a swarm of buzz droids; spider-style weapons deployed at enemys ships to disarm them with a series of mechanical tools.
The Battle: During the heart-racing Battle of Coruscant, Obi-Wan's ship is attacked by a cluster of buzz droids who set about trying to breach the hull and send him to a fiery grave. R4-P17, the chirpiest 'bot since R2, stands her ground on the wing to keep them at bay...
The Victor: The Buzz Droids finish off R4 by sawing off her head with an electric drill bit.
17. I, Robot (2004)
The Robots: A fleet of Nestor Class 5 robots, the humanoid NS-5 'bots don't hide their mechanical infrastructure. Except for their heads, on which they have sinister human-esque faces. And their punching bags: the NS-1, NS-2, NS-3 and NS-4 robots. A simpler design, their faces aren't capable of disturbing expressions.
The Battle: Down in Lake Michigan storage facility, where the first four robot models are kept locked up, the NS-5s start a war. On the cusp of taking control of... well, the world, they drag out these previous iterations and brutally tear them apart.
The Victor: The NS-5s equipped with free will leave the older bots for scrap.
16. Robocop 3 (1993)
The Robots: First up, an Otomo robot. The more accurate nomenclature would be: android ninja terminator. See? Better already. And of course, the heroic and law-abiding Robocop. Part-man, part-machine, and all awesome.
The Battle: Robocop ventures to the rebel base to find it deserted, and on fire a bit. Apart from one of the ninjas, who repeatedly knocks him on his behind with a series of flying kicks. Ignoring Robo's warnings, the ninja slices his fingers off and severs his right arm at the elbow.
The Victor: Robocop, of course. That buffoon didn't stand a chance coming up against Robo's special arm gun. Probably because of all that pesky synthetic skin.
15. Small Soldiers (1998)
The Robots: The Commando Elite, a fleet of pint-sized robot soldiers whose sole mission is to eradicate... The Gorgonites, a race of friendly alien robots. Marketed as childrens toys, the inclusion of military AI microprocessors turns these action figures into cute killing machines.
The Battle: As the Elite turn their war efforts (a nailgun mounted on a jeep) onto the humans, Archer, emissary of The Gorgonites rallies his troops to take down their enemies, despite being programmed to lose. An absence of hi-tech weaponry means nothing to Archer's team, who use their brute force to take down the Elite.
The Victor: While the Elite leader, Chip, tackles Archer in a final showdown, the human assistance in the battle equals a win for the good guys.
14. Iron Man 2 (2010)
The Robots: The one and only, Iron Man, a.k.a. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), in his Mark VI armoured suit and U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes (Don Cheadle), kitted out in a souped-up weaponised version of Stark's Mark II armour, also referred to as War Machine. Their adversaries are Ivan Vanko and his squadron of armoured drones.
The Battle: Taking on a gaggle of the evil Vanko's drones, Iron Man and War Machine are surrounded by their hulking statures. The giant machine gun holstered on War Machines back comes in handy as the pair blast away...
The Victor: Stark and Rhodes defeat the drones, and Vanko opts for the self-destruct option on his suit.
13. Jason X (2001)
The Robots: The KM-14 (Lisa Ryder), a 'knowledge matrix android'. A fembot originally designated as chaperone for the kiddies on their trip to space, she receives a kick-ass upgrade turning her into a robotic killing machine... A worthwhile opponent for Jason, who after previously having his ass well and truly whupped by the fembot, is rebuilt by a trillion little nanites who upgrade him with an arsenal of robotic parts.
The Battle: As smug as a cat in a barrel of fish, Kay-Em saunters in brandishing her impressive upgrade and delivers her first blow verbally (Im afraid Im gonna have to hurt you now), which has zero effect on Jason who plunges a knife into her. But it was a ruse! As he leans in to retrieve his weapon, Kay-Em fills him with lead, sending him flying into the next room. Cue a lot of punching, kicking, knifing and machine gun fire. Jason loses most of his limbs.
The Victor: Not long after, the upgraded Jason decapitates KM, crowning him the winner of their inter-galactic tussle.
12. Transformers 2: Revenge Of The Fallen (2009)
The Robots: Leader of the Autobots, the valiant Optimus Prime, and a trio of his brutal Decepticon foes; Megatron, Starscream and Grindor.
The Battle: This meadow assault, in which Optimus lays waste to countless Decepticons like it ain't no thang, causes heavy deforestation to the wooded area, with 'bots yanking up trees and beating each other senseless. A highlight sees Optimus prying apart Grindor's head with his energon hooks.
The Victor: Megatron and his acolytes reign supreme, as Optimus suffers a plague of damage - ended by a single blast to the chest that takes him out.
11. Universal Soldier (1992)
The Robots: A couple of semi-android universal soldiers. The GR44, Private Luc Devereaux (Jean Claude Van Damme) and the GR13, Sgt. Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren) are a pair of elite bionic terrorists, forged from the reanimated remains of two warriors who died in combat.
The Battle: Scott and Devereaux come to blows in the films final moments, as Devereaux tries to hide on his familys rural farm. Scott aint having none of it. Ramming himself full of muscle enhancing drugs, he mercilessly beats Devereaux... that is, until the GR-44 evens the playing field and doses himself. Kinda like steroids for cyborgs.
The Victor: Devereaux impales Scott on a combine harvester, then repeatedly mows him into pieces.
10. Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon (2011)
The Robots: A gaggle of Autobots; Sentinel Prime, Dino, Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Iron Hide, et. al. vs a bunch of dread Decepticons; Crankcase, Crowbar, Hatchet.
The Battle: Tearing up the highway, there's little concern for human casualties on either side as the sparring robots ruin miles and miles of road for commuters. Who to be honest were probably excited to be watching Bumblebee and Dino blow Hatchet away.
The Victor: The duplicitous Sentinel Prime, who kills Iron Hide, revealing he's a double-agent for the Decepticons.
9. Bill N' Teds Bogus Journey (1991)
The Robots: The Good Robot Us's - a pair of clunkily-built robotic versions of Bill (Alex Winters) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) - and their evil doppelgngers, created by Chuck De Nomolos, which are more akin to the Terminator (robots covered with leathery skin).
The Battle: As the evil metal dickweeds are about to perform at the Battle of the Bands, the real Bill and Ted appear onstage manned with massive remotes and introduce the good robots, who storm towards their nemeses...
The Victor: The good Bill and Ted robots punch the heads off the androids and sucker punch them in the gut, causing them both to explode.
8. Robocop (1987)
The Robots: Robocop, the cyborg reboot of Detroit police officer Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) and the ED-209, a newer, bulky enforcement droid with guns for arms. Fancy.
The Battle: OCP president Dick Jones sics the ED-209 on Robocop, who, along with his partner Lewis manages to escape the tangle. Heading back to OCP headquarters, he's confronted by the towering hulk of a 'bot once more as he fights his way to get to Jones. The ED-209 blasts away at Murphy and chucks him through about a dozen glass doors.
The Victor: Robocop wins this one without resorting to guns: he pushes the behemoth ED-209 down a flight of stairs.
7. Robot Jox (1990)
The Robots: A pair of gigantic robots piloted by regular dudes. The villainous Confederation robot jock Alexander (Paul Koslo) and the heroic Market robot jockey Achilles (Gary Graham).
The Battle: Contracted to battle Alexander once more, Achilles begrudgingly takes to the ring. Their battle is legendary for its brutal ending: as Achilles attempts to deflect a projectile missile fired by Alexander aimed at the spectators, he takes the full impact... and accidentally lands on 300 folks sat in the bleachers.
The Victor: According to the judges, the match was inconclusive.
6. Real Steel (2011)
The Robots: Hodge-podge old-school 'bot Atom, led by his trainer Max, built to sustain a lot of blows without succumbing to them, and the all-powerful Zeus, a slick, powerful 'bot that holds the title of world champion.
The Battle: The two take to the ring and pummel seven shades out of each other in the robo-boxing showdown of the year. Atom the underdog dishes out more punishment as usual, but when his controls are damaged he resorts to shadowing the moves of his coach, Charlie (Hugh Jackman).
The Victor: Technically, Zeus wins the fight - declared the victor due to his total number of blows inflicted. However, his near-defeat brings shame upon his team and Atom is crowned the Peoples Champion.
5. Blade Runner (1982)
The Robots: Retired police officer and Nexus-6 bio-robotic replicant (according to director Ridley Scott), Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) and blonde-haired, blue-eyed replicant, Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer).
The Battle: Moments after murdering his maker and realising his replicant body is breaking down, Roy pursues Deckard onto a rooftop, where the cop leaps and misses. Deckard dangles precariously at the mercy of one of the 'droids he was sent to butcher.
The Victor: Turns out Roy wasn't quite so batty after all, as he grabs Deckard and pulls him to safety. Then dies. Who knows who won that scuffle?
4. Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines (2003)
The Robots: The T-850 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) - one of Cyberdynes upgraded (from the T-800) terminators - hosts a metal endoskeleton beneath its flesh and blood exterior, which looks kinda old school compared to the TX (Kristanna Loken). Equality reigns in the post-apocalyptic HR department at Skynet, as the T-850's foe is The Terminatrix, a composite of the T-800 and the T-1000. Meaning, it has a metal endoskeleton covered with liquid metal.
The Battle: At the Air Force base moments after Skynet has gone live, the two 'bots duke it out. Standard gunfire is included of course, but the standout comes when they wind up in a bathroom. The T-850 grabs the T-X and drags her through a row of toilet cubicles, before slamming her head into the porcelain bowl.
The Victor: It's a draw. The T-800 still has to protect John Connor and Katherine Brewster, and the TX still has to kill them.
3. Iron Man (2008)
The Robots: Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in one of the first iterations of his Iron Man suit, and bad guy-turned-bad bot Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges), also known as the Iron Monger.
The Battle: After Stane's henchmen realise they cannot duplicate Stark's new high-powered arc reactor, he breaks into Tony's home and steals it. Stark dons his suit and battles Stane, in his reverse-engineered suit complete with the stolen reactor. After a few rounds of suit-to-suit combat, Tony lures Obadiah atop the Stark Industries tower while his assistant Pepper overloads the huge arc reactor.
The Victor: Iron Man wins, as Stane falls into the reactor and dies.
2. Terminator Salvation (2009)
The Robots: A prototype infiltration cyborg, Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) and the first official one of its kind: the flesh-coated endoskeleton T-800 model 101.
The Battle: The T-800 chucks Marcus around a fair bit, until Marcus lobs him into a wall and proceeds to smack him with a steel rod and a massive brick... before getting sucker punched right in his tender, human heart. Meanwhile John Connor takes over battling the Terminator, who drives the steel rod right through his chest.
The Victor: With Marcus revived, he yanks the rod from Johns chest, wraps it around the Terminator's neck and spins until its head flies off.
1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
The Robots: The Cyberdyne Systems Series 800 Model 101; commonly referred to as the T-101, T-800 or simply The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a metal endoskeleton surrounded by living tissue with a fondness for biker garb. A newer, shinier Cyberdyne creation, the T-1000 (Robert Patrick) is a mimetic poly-alloy, meaning its capable of shapeshifting due to its liquid metal component.
The Battle: The robot finale to end them all, the two terminators come head to head at a steel mill. After much sparring, shooting and shattering into thousands of pieces, the T-1000 gains the upper hand and shuts down the T-800's CPU. Seconds away from turning Sarah and John into knife racks, The T-800 locates an alternate power source and surprises the T-1000 with a grenade that gets him all bent out of shape (tee-hee). The shapeshifting son-of-a-gun falls to his termination in a vat of molten steel.
The Victor: The T-800 wins outright, but it's a bit of a tie, as the Terminator has ensured Judgment Day never happens by also meeting the same molten fate as his enemy. Which is incredibly sad.