Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
The Damage: John Harrison, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, persuades Starfleet Officer Thomas Harewood (Noel Clarke) to wear an explosive fashion accessory to work at a public archive in London.
The result? Bye bye, archive – a terrifying strike, but small-scale property damage compared to what he does to San Francisco.
The Core (2003)
The Damage: If anything goes wrong in London, the pigeons will know first. That’s what The Core teaches us, a disaster movie in which the core of the Earth stops spinning – really – causing birds to splatter into office buildings around Trafalgar Square.
The windows break, but a double-decker bus suffers the worst of the avian attack, crashing into two small cars. Hitchcock would be spinning in his grave. Unlike that core.
Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (1966)
The Damage: “Rebels of London, leave your hiding places… soon we will destroy London completely and you will all die.”
We only see a van and a pylon crushed in the vicinity of Watford, but this rare feature-length outing for Dr. Who (starring Peter Cushing) takes place after the Daleks have flattened most of the city.
Luckily, Bill McGuffie’s jaunty jazz score stops things getting too sinister, while the Daleks make sure they leave Westminster Bridge in one piece – you think going up stairs is hard for them? Try crossing the river.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)
The Damage: Putting the “mass destruction” into “orbital weapons of mass destruction”, this Hasbro sequel is one of Hollywood’s most audacious assaults on London.
Carried out by none other than Britain’s own Jonathan Pryce, the President fires a missile that desolates the Houses of Parliament before sending a colossal shockwave down the Thames.
Everything from the London Eye to the Gherkin is washed away. Naturally, nobody mentions it again afterwards.
The Avengers (1998)
The Damage: An angry Scotsman blows up Big Ben in The Avengers , a big screen update for the sci-fi series.
Sean Connery plays disgruntled Sir August de Wynter, a man who uses a weather machine to send a tornado into the centre of the city, twiddling his moustache as the iconic clock strikes boom.
It can’t be that serious, though: the clock appears again in one piece for the final shot.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
The Damage: The Millennium Bridge was declared potentially unsafe when it was first built due to lateral vibrations from footsteps, but that’s nothing compared to Harry Potter’s seventh outing, which took out the landmark using nothing but magic black smoke. Diagon Alley is also consumed.
Destructometer : 6/10
The World Is Not Enough (1999)
The Damage: A sabotaged stash of cash blows a hole in the side of MI6, killing one man and damaging a wall. Bond gives chase to the assailant down the Thames, along the way trashing one pier, three boats, one police boat, one fish market, one boathouse and more than a few restaurant tables before finally driving into the side of North Greenwich Pier.
To top it off, he jumps from a hot air balloon on to the Millennium Dome. The Dome survives. The balloon does not.
The Damage: Bitter blond gets back at old boss by blowing up her office in the 23rd Bond film.
Not content with merely wrecking half of MI6 headquarters, though, he goes one step further and, thanks to a fiendishly convoluted plan, also detonates a London Underground tunnel near Charing Cross, causing a tube train to derail – with, fortunately, no passengers on board.
Destructometer : 7/10
The Damage: Thousands of people storm Downing Street to demand answers from the Prime Minister in 2012, but Roland Emmerich’s Photoshop frenzy doesn’t have time to show us the details: he leaves that to CNN.
We never find out the exact level of carnage before the apocalypse, but it sounds severe: as one newsreader gravely reports, the 30th Olympic Games have just been cancelled.
V for Vendetta (2005)
The Damage: It may only be one building, but V for Vendetta undoubtedly takes the most pleasure in laying waste to London, eradicating the Houses of Parliament window by window, brick by brick, all to a colourful backdrop of fireworks and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. Even the lampposts outside don’t stand a chance.