Today: February 22, 2024

Movie Rivalries – Top Face-Offs

The reason why the rivalry in Rush rings truer than most is due to the fact that much of what you see in Ron Howard’s latest epic is real. Playboy schmoozer James Hunt and uptight perfectionist Niki Lauda were two figures who would never have met if it wasn’t for Formula One. On the race course, their rivalry was one of the hottest in sporting history but when they clashed during the 1976 Season the results were disastrous … To coincide with the film’s DVD and Blu-ray release, FilmJuice shares some of the most memorable movie rivalries in recent memory.

Rocky vs. Apollo Creed – Rocky (1976)
World heavyweight champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) comes up with the idea of allowing a local underdog a shot at his title when his opponent drops out of the Championship due to an injured hand. Eventually selecting Rocky Balboa because he likes his nickname (‘The Italian Stallion’), Apollo ends up embroiled in the fight to end all fights, as the two stars clash in a monumental onscreen brawl. The winner? If you’ve not seen it, you’ll find no spoilers here.

Woody v. Buzz Lightyear – Toy Story (1995)
It’s actually pretty difficult to recall a time when Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) weren’t each other’s favourite deputies. Yet the entire first half of Pixar’s groundbreaking 1995 original is moulded around Woody’s jealousy of Buzz’s presence as Andy’s new toy of choice.  Forcing to contend with the deluded space toy, Woody even attempts to trap Buzz in a gap behind Andy’s desk before the plan goes disastrously wrong and he is forced into a rescue mission which helps the two form the close bond they enjoy in the films to come. 

Neo vs. Agent Smith – the Matrix trilogy (1997-2004)
Keanu Reeves is Thomas Anderson – a skilled hacker known as Neo – who eventually comes to realise that the world he lives in is nothing but a virtual reality ‘matrix’. It’s Reeves’ attempts to free himself and others from electronic slavery which brings him to the attention of the agents – and Hugo Weaving’s unstoppable Agent Smith.

Professor X vs. Magneto – the X-Men franchise (2000-)
If you’ve seen X-Men: First Class (2011), you’ll know from James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender’s portrayals of Professor X and Magneto that the two mutants started off as friends when they were simply known as Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr. The latter’s need to avenge his mother’s death sparks off a descent into the dark side which dominates the storylines in the remaining films of the franchise – with Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen starring as the older incarnations of the two.

Harry Potter vs. Lord Voldemort – the Harry Potter franchise (2001-2011)
It could be argued that the true rivalry at the heart of the Harry Potter franchise is with his fellow student, Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton). However, save for a few scuffles during Transfiguration, it’s ole’ Lord Voldy (Ralph Fiennes) who Potter must ultimately do battle with. Daniel Radcliffe’s ‘boy who lived’ survives Voldemort’s first ever attack on him as a baby and seems to be forever standing in the Dark Lord’s way … but you probably already knew all of this.

Thor vs. Loki – Thor (2010) /Avengers Assemble (2012) / Thor 2: The Dark World (2013)
It all started off so well: brothers ‘til the end. Well, until Tom Hiddleston’s Loki realises that he is in no way related to Thor, a Norse God banished to Earth from Asgard for defying the orders of his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins). Before too long, Loki is plotting to kill the man he believed to be his father so that he can rule Asgard. It’s Thor (played by Chris Hemsworth) who, time and again, must stop Loki’s evil plans from coming to fruition.

Robert Angier vs. Alfred Borden – The Prestige (2006)
In Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige, the rivalry between Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Borden (Christian Bale) stems from the tragedy of a magic trick gone wrong. What ensues is a battle between the two small-time magicians who attempt to outdo each other in spectacle as their profiles rise. As the film goes on, the two go to extraordinary lengths to discover the secrets of each other’s tricks – building to a climax that’ll leave your jaw on the floor.

Batman vs. The Joker – Batman (1989) / The Dark Knight (2008)
Although the Joker first appeared in Tim Burton’s 1989 film Batman, in which Jack Nicholson starred as the Joker, it was Christopher Nolan’s take on the Dark Knight franchise that paired the unstoppable force of Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne against the immovable object of Heath Ledger’s unnamed Joker … and it’s the repercussions of this first clash which spill over into the trilogy-closer The Dark Knight Rises (2012).

Rush is released on Blu-ray and DVD on 27th January 2014 from StudioCanal.

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