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Pending approvalOriginal post by Charlie Jane Anders on io9

10 Greatest Laser Scenes in Movie History

10 Greatest Laser Scenes in Movie History

Lasers shine a beam of pure inspiration into our dreams. They are the ultimate proof that science is made of win, and the foundation of every great Pink Floyd show. But who used lasers the best? We've painstakingly catalogued the 10 greatest laser moments in movie history. Plus the absolute worst.

Note: This list doesn't include any phasers, blasters or other sorts of energy beam weapons that aren't strictly speaking lasers.

10) Robot Jox

Not only are there giant mechas battling each other, in order to secure world peace and stuff — but they have laser cannons mounted on them. And in this pivotal fight scene early in the movie, Achilles has a secret "green laser" that the robot unleashes just when you least expect it. Woo.


9. Star Wars

The Death Star apparently is equipped with a superlaser, not some other kind of unspecified energy weapon. And it sure does make a nice light show when it blows up Alderaan.

8. Resident Evil

The Red Queen A.I. goes nuts and tries to kill everybody with blue lasers. And it's a race against time to deactivate the lasers before this poor guy gets sliced and diced. Which... well, they almost make it. Warning: video is kind of gruesome.

7. Get Smart

Agent 99 has to navigate through a room full of lasers, by doing a ton of weirdly sexy dance moves, while Agent 86 just sort of stares.

6. Laserblast

Couldn't leave this out, since it even has "laser" in its title — although so does the movie Laser Mission, which sadly has almost no lasers in it. Basically a kid gets hold of an alien laser cannon and goes around zapping everything in sight with it. Check out him blowing up cars and things in the trailer.

5. Congo

OMG yes. Laser versus gorilla army! Faced with an army of super-gorillas, Laura Linney grabs the communications laser they've been testing on the island, puts a priceless blue diamond into it, and utters the immortal line, "Put 'em on the endangered species list." Awww, Laura.

10 Greatest Laser Scenes in Movie History

4. American Ninja

Two words: "Ninja laser." A few more words: "a ninja shoots lasers out of his knuckles." This being a superpower that ninjas only have in America, because fuck yeah.

3. Tron

What zaps Jeff Bridges into the computer world, by disassembling his body and digitizing him? That's right. A laser. It's actually something he was developing as part of a teleportation experiment, in between running a video game arcade, and it's used against him. Laser teleportation is actually pretty common in movies — see more examples in the "runners up" section. Above: the laser "light show" that was put on when Tron Legacy came out.

2. Real Genius

Val Kilmer is working on a super-laser, which he finds out is going to be misused by the military. So he turns it against his adviser — who hates popcorn — by using it to pop a ginormous amount of popcorn in the guy's house, turning it into Jerry's House of Popcorn. Awwwwesome.

10 Greatest Laser Scenes in Movie History

1. Goldfinger

Pretty much every James Bond film (and almost every Bond spoof) has some kind of great laser action, including Diamonds are Forever's laser satellite and Goldeneye's laser watch. And Moonraker's space battles. But the prize has to go to Goldfinger's incredibly famous "laser crotch" scene, where James Bond looks genuinely freaked out at the laser beam inching up the table, and Goldfinger delivers the immortal line, "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die." As celebrated by The Selecter.

WORST: A Kid in King Arthur's Court

This 1995 Disney film has the tagline "Joust Do It." Really. And yes, it's about a kid from 1995 who goes back in time to King Arthur's day and gets mixed up with knights and stuff. And in one crucial scene, an evil knight has grabbed the princess and is holding her at knifepoint. Casey, the time-traveling kid, attacks the knight with "the great equalizer" — by which he means his portable CD player. And then he opens the CD player and somehow manages to shine the laser from the Discman into the knight's eyes, so he falls off the balcony tohis death. (As many people have pointed out, you can't actually shine the laser from a CD-player when it's open, nor does it shine out of the center like that.) Skip to about 6:20 in the above video.

Sources: IMDB, plus this amazing site which includes the biggest mistakes people make in depicting lasers. (Including: They move slower than light, they have recoil, and they are visible.)

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