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There’s nothing quite like a well-matched fight – especially when the stakes are through the roof and there are bets on the table for each side. While crossover fights are usually topics of playful conversations among friends or primed for fighting games like Mortal Kombat and Super Smash Bros, every once in a while, they happen on the big screen. We just saw this play out in the MonsterVerse with Godzilla vs. Kong. How does it rank among other crossover fights throughout the years?
Movie crossover fights have quite a long history, finding some roots back in the 1940s when Universal matched up Frankenstein and Wolfman for Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, which was the studio’s first time blending two characters from its host of horror franchises when movie series were operating on a much smaller scale in Hollywood. Within the last 30 years, there’s been an interesting range of movie crossover fights, but which one did it the best? Here are the highlights:
6. Alien vs. Predator
Perhaps the most iconic crossover in movie history for science fiction fans is Alien vs. Predator. The 2004 phenomenon had 20th Century Fox matching up its own popular monster franchises for a sequel to 1986’s Predator and a prequel to 1979’s Alien. As one would expect out of a crossover movie, it’s just a fun match-up featuring the slimy guys going at it in an ancient underground pyramid. While it’s unmistakably memorable, empty-head action goodness, it wasn’t necessarily executed well by larger public opinion.
Hey, if you grew up with Predator and Alien at the right time, this movie was probably your jam. But the tagline was “whoever wins… we lose” pretty much fits. Alien vs. Predator will always be in the crossover movie fight conversation because it was such a huge deal. If only the action had gone into deeper space.
5. Freddy vs. Jason
One year before Alien vs. Predator, New Line delivered on a horror movie crossover fight for the terrifying villains of Nightmare of Elm Street and Friday the 13th. It was serial killer Freddy Kreuger versus the masked slasher star Jason Voorhees, because why not? Ronny Yu’s film has a powerless Freddy resurrecting Jason from Hell to do his bidding in Springwood to create fear and therefore strengthen his powers. The premise is arguably more fun and clever than Alien vs. Predator, and it did bring something new to each of the characters’ series.
Freddy vs. Jason is no masterpiece either, but we got to see two stars of famed horror franchises that began in the ‘80s come together in a blood and guts way that stepped up the stakes from how your typical horror movie goes.
4. Godzilla vs. Kong
Coming off of the movie’s recent release, I’ve decided to fashion Godzilla vs. Kong in the mid-range when it comes to crossover movie fights. Time will tell how we feel about Adam Wingard’s MonsterVerse film in a few years, but for the moment, I think this is where it belongs. Godzilla vs. Kong feels a bit more evolved than the aforementioned early ‘00s crossover films, and although the human element was lacking, when these two got in the ring, it was super entertaining and well-shot.
Godzilla vs. Kong had a leg up in that it was being built up over the years with the MonsterVerse films Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King of the Monsters. The 2021 hit knew what it was and played into it, and it’s pretty cool that it’s the first movie in the matter of a year that has boasted major box office numbers.
3. Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
And this ranking’s wildcard pick is Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Although this film is not like the others on the list because it’s not centered on a big crossover fight between two specific movie characters, it is a massive crossover movie that was groundbreaking for the animation genre. The crossover movie fight I’ll refer to is a hilarious piano duel between Daffy Duck and Donald Duck in between Roger Rabbit’s hijinks.
Yes, that happened! The angry ducks from two cartoon franchises started going at it at a club while playing music. It’s really amazing that this went through, amongst Robert Zemeckis’ wild live-action/animation hybrid that created Jessica Rabbit and other crossover moments, like Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny sharing the screen together. This was basically animation’s Avengers: Endgame, and it remains an oddball classic and impressive feat.
2. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
Coming into the best of the best, it comes down to Marvel vs. DC. Ahead of the #1 spot is Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It's definitely a decisive movie within the DCEU that has its sum of lovers and haters on each side. We’ll probably always laugh about that one time Batman and Superman stopped fighting because they found out their mothers were both named Martha, or sit in awe of Gal Gadot’s debut appearance as Wonder Woman as her theme triumphantly rang in our ears.
Nevertheless, Batman v Superman is an incredibly interesting and ambitious crossover movie. Having two of DC’s finest battle it out as a way to set up Justice League? It’s awesome, and the way Snyder explored the heroes' diametrically different ways of seeing crime fighting was an interesting concept to explore.
1. Captain America: Civil War
The best crossover movie event we’ve seen so far is thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since 2008, Marvel Studios has carefully crafted an incredible comic book world that has allowed fans to see their favorite superheroes work and fight against each other in ways we never thought possible in a cinematic setting. In Captain America: Civil War, Chris Evans’ Cap and Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man became at odds and divided the Avengers in two teams due to the Sokovia Accords.
Captain America: Civil War is everything a crossover fight movie could and should be. It invited a number of matchups throughout its runtime and gave its finale battle between Iron Man and Captain America something weighty to fight for. Oh, and it introduced Black Panther and Spider-Man! The fight between Team Cap and Team Iron Man was equal parts fun, emotional and complex, and for that, it wins our ranking for best crossover movie fight.
You can check out Alien vs. Predator, Freddy vs. Jason, Godzilla vs. Kong and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, on HBO Max. Sign up for the streaming service using this link. Those of you looking to rewatch Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Captain America: Civil War can head over to Disney+. Alright, it’s your turn. What was your favorite crossover movie fight? Vote in our poll below!