The recent news of The Rock possibly playing opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 5 had us wonder what other classic rivalries, or face/off’s will be remembered forever in the Hollywood annals of awesomeness. We’re talking about hero against villain, one talented actor opposite another. A scene that can be so tense, cool and so terrifying all at once. Sometimes when two actors grace the silver screen at the same time, something special happens, these are our top 10 such moments. Our Top 10 Greatest Movie Face Offs.
1. Brad Pitt vs Kevin Spacey: Seven (1995)
Detectives David Mills & William Somerset vs. John Doe. Can a bad guy be so evil that he makes this list even with only ten minutes of screen time? Absolutely. Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman track down the serial killer only known as “John Doe,” a man who is choosing his victims based on the seven deadly sins. He mocks the detectives as they try to track him down, ending with one of the most intense movie twists in Hollywood history.
When the detectives finally come face to face with the killer, you are left speechless in expectation as to what will happen next.
2. Robert de Niro vs Al Pacino: Heat (1995)
Lt. Vincent Hanna vs. Neil McCauley & Chris Shiherlis. Al Pacino against Robert de Niro, Val Kilmer, and company. This is the story of an obsessive LAPD detective against a ruthless group of bank robbers and killers. When this movie was first released, the shoot out scene was legendary (See our Top Scenes to test your Surround Sound), raising the bar for every movie to follow and keeping this film on the “gotta’ see that movie” list years later.
The coffee scene between de Niro and Pacino is one of the best we’ve seen. Two of the most legendary actors of their time together for the first time in a movie. This scene oozes suspense. You know what is coming, the question is who will end on top? Both guys unwilling to flinch.
3. Bruce Lee vs Chuck Norris: Way of the Dragon (1972)
Bruce Lee wrote and directed this kung fu thriller, aka Return of the Dragon, about a martial arts expert (Lee) who travels to Italy to help in the family business, only to become embroiled in a battle against ruthless gangsters who, in the finale, hire a ringer to take the hero down. That bad guy is none other than Lee disciple and future action superstar Chuck Norris, who fights the king of kung fu in the Coliseum.
The final fighting scene will go down as one of the best kung-fu scenes ever, even more 30+ years after the movie, knowing Lee’s fate and the stardom Chuck Norris achieved.
4. Darth Vader VS Luke Skywalker: Star Wars (1977)
Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader. The Star Wars trilogy has two of the all time classic face offs. Not only does the son against father face off between Jedi Luke Skywalker and father Darth Vader one of the most famous hero vs. villain match ups in movie history, but renegade Hans Solo vs. intergalactic bounty hunter Boba Fett takes a very honorable second place.
5. The Rock VS Vin Diesel : Fast 5
When The Rock signed up for Fast 5, we knew we were going to get a great action packed film with a certain show-down between these 2 muscle houses. The question was who would end on top? The movie did not disappoint, halfway through we got what we wanted, a full-on fight scene between most wanted man Dominic Toretto (Diesel) and DEA agent Luke Hobbs (The Rock). Diving through walls, pure muscle, Awesome!
6. Batman VS The Joker: The Dark Knight (2008)
Christian Bale and Heath Ledger were the two best actors of their generation, so watching them go head to head as the ultimate adversaries Batman and the Joker in The Dark Knight was akin to watching the heavyweight fight of the decade. With both actors gung-ho in their characters and Christopher Nolan calling the shots, The Dark Knight proved to be the ultimate battle between hero and villain.
The interrogation scene above is just a taste of the magic that was on the screen every time these two guys graced it.
7. Christoper Walken vs Dennis Hopper: True Romance (1993)
Definitely the dark horse entry to our list. But we had to mention this pure class scene between two other amazing actors. There are many great moments to be found in the Quentin Tarantino written / all-star cast ensemble True Romance, yet none can match the brilliance of watching masters Christopher Walken and the late, great Dennis Hopper out verbalise one another.
Both actors swallow whole and spit out Tarantino’s dialogue with ease, Hopper playing a nothing to lose dad looking out for his son (Christian Slater), pushing Walken’s mob boss with a short fuse into the red. Like with all acting, the reactions make the scene.
8. Harry Potter vs Voldemort: Harry Potter Series (2001-2012)
Would such as list be complete without this entry? In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows – Part 2 we got to see the highly anticipated conclusion to the Harry Potter movie series come to life! The epic finale between good and evil involved the boy wizard Harry Potter is an all-out war like the wizarding world has never seen before – And the climatic showdown between Harry and Lord Voldemort ends up being the biggest game changer of them all.
9. Neo vs Agent Smith: The Matrix (1999)
Gotta love this slow motion showdown inThe Matrix! This is what we’ve been waiting for, Neo decides not to run but to face the “unbeatable” agents. What begins as an intense death stare between Neo and Agent Smith, ends in bullets flying left, right and centre, the boys bouncing off the walls, some seriously cool karate moves, and Agent Smith being flattened by a train! Now that’s what you call a face-off!
The rivalry that started in the first movie was carried through, and even intensified through out the entire trilogy. We had a hard time choosing which scene between these two legends where the best.
10. Nicolas Cage vs John Travolta: Face/Off (1997)
An obvious entry yo our list, and one of the most underrated action movies of our time. The movie tells the story of Sean Archer, an FBI agent who relentlessly pursues bad guy, Castor Troy. Castor is ultimately captured, and a special technology allows the two men to exchange faces. The only problem is, Castor manages to escape with Sean’s face. The final showdown is confusing to say the least!