If there’s one thing the DCEU movies do well, it’s fight sequences. The MCU may be blessed with tighter character developments and a self-sustaining cinematic model, but the DCEU movies have a darker tone that allows for some truly fierce battles.
Indeed, we’ve seen all kinds of fight scenes play out between all kinds of characters in the DCEU.
From Batman and Superman going toe to toe in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to Wonder Woman fighting in the trenches of WW1, the creative minds behind the DCEU’s choreography and visual effects always appear to strike the right tone with intensity.
Here are our picks for the best DCEU fight scenes and sequences, and why they stand out against other superhero movie fights.
8. Batman vs. Superman (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice)
The long-awaited battle between DC’s two premier heroes had become iconic in the comic pages of The Dark Knight Returns years before Zack Snyder adapted it for the big screen in live-action.
With DC fans ready to see the titanic battle between the two heroes unfold, they took to their seats expectantly—and the battle itself stood out in the film and delivered the goods.
Batman’s tactics in attempting to weaken Superman to the point where he could engage in a fair fight pushed Superman to his limits, and The Dark Knight was prepared to strike a killing blow to Clark Kent.
The visual effects and performances within the fight showcased the battle just as the graphic novel did, but with added cinematic flare.
7. Peacemaker vs. Rick Flag (The Suicide Squad)
When Peacemaker reveals that he has different mission orders from Amanda Waller, he engages in a fight with Rick Flag who threatened to release sensitive information.
The duel is a bloody one that sees both men using all of their strength to attempt to kill the other—and just as Flag begins to come out on top, Peacemaker stabs him in the heart with a killing blow.
As he dies, Rick Flag tells Peacemaker that he’s “a joke.” It’s a commen that stays with Peacemaker through his subsequent series, as he knows Flag’s dying words are inherently true.
6. Fighting Starro (The Suicide Squad)
The final battle of The Suicide Squad sees the eponymous team fight against the starfish-shaped alien Starro, who’s been wreaking havoc on the civilian population of Corto Maltese.
With most of the squad dead, Harley, Bloodsport, King Shark, Ratcatcher 2, and Polka-Dot Man attempt to destroy Starro while evading its body-controlling spawns—all against the orders of a furious Amanda Waller.
The battle is fun, tense, and presented with overwhelming odds. But in the end, Starro meets his doom as Ratcatcher 2 summons her army of rats to eat Starro, which feels very much in line with the film’s wackiness.
5. Earth vs. Darkseid (Zack Snyder’s Justice League)
This flashback sequence sees one of the DCEU’s most wondrous moments, as the armies of Earth unite to go into battle against Darkseid as he attempts to invade the planet.
With the golden age of heroes on the field—including Zeus, Ares, Hippolyta, Atlan, General Antiope, and a member of The Green Lantern Corp—it’s an old-fashioned fight between the forces of good and evil.
Zack Snyder’s vision for the fight feels note-perfect for the story it tells, as this elite army that’s filled with the great heroes of the past successfully takes out Darkseid and forcing retreat.
4. The Trench (Aquaman)
For all of the fun fight scenes in Aquaman, the night-time battle against the creatures from The Trench is a dark and terrifying ordeal that sees swarms of sea creatures attack Arthur and Mera.
The visuals and cinematography are stunning as Arthur and Mera are engulfed by the hordes of mutant Trench-dwellers.
The genuine tension and horror of the sequence are what set it apart from the rest of the film. Never before has the ocean appeared so dark and full of monsters as it does during this battle, as Arthur is unable to hold off the sheer weight of numbers against him.
3. No Man’s Land (Wonder Woman)
In history class, many of us read about the trench warfare of WW1 in which battle lines only moved a few feet at a time as enemies were slowly pushed back. That’s until Diana Prince went to France and witnessed the devastation for herself.
When Diana steps into No Man’s Land with her armor on and shield at the ready, the soldiers watch in awe as she deflects the enemy’s bullets and single-handedly force the Germans into retreat.
Seeing Wonder Woman with her signature armor on a WW1 battlefield is a heroically memorable moment in cinema, leading to the subsequent battle that has her ridding the town of the invading forces.
2. Harley Escapes (The Suicide Squad)
Taking direct inspiration from the John Wick series, Harley’s imprisonment and escape from the Presidential Palace in Corto Maltese is the essence of Harley’s madness and unique sense of fun.
When Harley is seemingly knocked unconscious during torture, it’s a fake-out used to break her guard’s neck and free herself using his key. From there, she wages a one-woman war against the palace guards as she ruthlessly marches her way out using an array of weapons.
The design of the battle and the tight-flowing camera shots keep the audience with Harley, and it all ends surprisingly calmly as Harley walks out of a side door and gets into a taxi—all before seeing that her teammates are trying to rescue her.
1. The Warehouse Sequence (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice)
If Batman truly existed in the real world, he would likely exist in the form of Christian Bale’s Batman in his trilogy of movies. But when it comes to the purest translation of Batman’s fearsome fighting prowess, it’s best seen in Ben Affleck’s Batman when he infiltrates a warehouse for Martha Kent.
Batman finds his way inside the building, then blows a hole in the floor, then engages the goons in a straight-on fight and uses his strength and speed to utterly dismantle the men who futilely fight back.
The overt aggression in Batman as he throws the men around like ragdolls is epic to witness, with Zack Snyder designing a fight sequence that comes straight out of the pages of a comic book.
Never before has the audience witnessed a Batman who can fight like that, which feels more brutal, ruthless, and unwavering than ever.