Entertainment

Some of the Great Sequences in Film

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It’s been covered extensively on here that I like films, well I’ve watched a couple of late where there have been sequences that I’ve particularly enjoyed. With that in mind, I thought it’d be cool to write about a few of the sequences in films I’ve particularly enjoyed. Bear in mind that I’m not saying anything as divisive as them being the best, merely a personal opinion. There’s obviously going to be some spoilers and age-restricted content in here too so fair warning, though I’ll try and keep more recent films for later on.

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Any Given Sunday (1999)

There are films out there where Al Pacino overacts ever so slightly, but for me, in Any Given Sunday he gives one of his finest performances. Tony D’Amato is a burnt-out American football coach having issues with the owners of the team and the players under him. The speech he gives towards the end of the film to his team is something to behold as he tries to rally his players for one last push. It’s heartfelt and raw which makes it incredibly powerful as Pacino absolutely nails the delivery and is absolutely captivating. It was a shock that I’d enjoy a film about American football much less that there’d be a moment so amazing it’d contribute to becoming a film I love to come back to.

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Man of Steel (2013)

The sequence where Clark first interacts with his real father and learns to fly is one of the best sequences in the film. Jor-El’s speech is pretty much lifted from All-Star Superman and there’s a nice reference to one of my favourite Superman comics (Birthright) where he’s flying amongst the wildlife, presumably in Africa. Hans Zimmer’s score is the perfect accompaniment and there’s a genuine sense of joy which isn’t all that prevalent throughout the rest of the film. It’s basically a hint that Snyder could produce a Superman film that balances out a more light-hearted tone with the character work that’s displayed with Clark’s growth and acceptance of who he is.

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Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)

Bruce Campbell is pretty gifted when it comes to physical comedy, which is just as well as Sam Raimi seems to make the most of it. The sequence where Campbell’s character Ash has his hand possessed is genuinely very funny. What makes it so entertaining is how ridiculous it is and Campbell’s commitment to how over the top it is. The sheer number of things he hits himself with or smacks himself into is impressive as is the forward flip. I’m also a fan of the part where the hand drags the unconscious Ash towards a meat cleaver which leads into him cutting his own hand off with a chainsaw in a shower of blood. It just emphasises the tonal difference for the sequel in comparison to the first film in the series.

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Blade Runner (1982)

I love the entire film but the sequence towards the end where Rutger Hauer’s Roy Batty pursues Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard through a ruined building to the roof to seemingly gain revenge is excellent. It’s tense and the culmination is unexpectedly touching. You think Batty will ultimately kill Deckhard but the android, who is nearing the end of his set lifespan, instead saves Deckhard from falling from the roof. The implication is that his limited lifespan has made him appreciate all life, this action is then followed by the delivery of the tears in rain speech, which is amazing and was apparently ad-libbed by Hauer, just before he dies, it’s an especially memorable moment in an already memorable film.

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Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)

I had a whole Terminator 2 piece here before I deleted it as I remembered the ending to Terminator 3 which is pretty awesome, particularly given the averageness of the rest of the film. While trying to stop Skynet coming online it becomes apparent that the Terminator has instead got John Connor to a fallout shelter as Judgement Day, while delayed, is inevitable. Connor then takes the first tentative steps to being the leader the previous films state he’s defined to be while the nuclear missiles begin to rain down on the world. It’s a bold decision to go with an ending that bleak and for me it’s possibly the strongest ending to any of the Terminator films as it’s an evocative image of what is essentially the end of the world. It’s just a shame it’s not attached to a better film really.

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Jurassic Park (1993)

A bit of context for this one, I love dinosaurs and have done since I was a kid. When Jurassic Park first came out the 11-year-old me was super excited as there had been enough adverts to know the basics of the film going in. The scene where Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler and Ian Malcolm are brought to the island see the Brachiosaurus for the time and react in utter shock and awe was absolutely mind-blowing. It looked so convincing and real that my reaction was more or less the same, and it doesn’t fade with how many times I’ve seen it over the years (and trust me I’ve watched it a lot). I get goosebumps every single time. There are a lot of bits in the film that evoke a similar reaction from me but nothing on the level of that initial reveal.

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RoboCop (1987)

This was the first really violent film I ever saw as a kid, I definitely wouldn’t have been allowed to see it had my parents been aware which made it that much more appealing to watch. There’s a couple of contenders for this list such as the raid on the drug factory but I’ve gone for the murder of Alex Murphy. It’s really the standout moment in the film due to the sheer brutality of the sequence and obviously what it subsequently leads too. The scene where Clarence Boddicker shoots his hand off is unpleasant and the subsequent shooting to death, where Murphy loses an arm, is equally as nasty. In a way seems to be excessively gory and needlessly violent but it sets the tone for the rest of the film which, while full of violence, also manages to offer satire of the culture of the time. RoboCop showcases a pretty compelling tale of a someone trying to reconcile between the machine he’s become and the man that’s still there – it’s essentially Paul Verhoeven at his absolute best.

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Star Wars: Rogue One (2016)

This was originally going to be the hyperspace jump ship missile from The Last Jedi but then I remembered something far more awesome from the Star Wars films. That would be the sequence in Rogue One where Darth Vader massacres a corridor full of rebel soldiers. It’s probably the only real glimpse we’ve had of a post Anakin Skywalker Vader at the peak of his powers as he’s obviously a lot less mobile in the films that follow chronologically. It’s a brutal sequence that starts with the famous breathing sound followed by Vader carving through everyone in his path. It grounds just how ruthless and overpowered he is in comparison to the rebel grunts and it’s also cool seeing him using force powers in tandem with his lightsaber while they attempt to flee in terror. Not to mention it doesn’t hurt that the scene basically leads into the start of Episode 4, in a flawed but cool way.

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Bumblebee (2018)

We’ve had five Transformer films from Michael Bay that were at best average and at worst travesties. Yet all it took from Bumblebee was the opening minutes to erase all that pain by actually showing the war on Cybertron. It looks amazing and features loads of Transformers that are actually recognisable from the cartoon and toys, both Decepticon and Autobots. It’s basically everything I ever wanted from the series – giant robots kicking the hell out of each other, visually stunning, non-crap looking Transformers and Optimus Prime looking like he should while being a badass. Essentially this one sequence makes me want to see a prequel set completely on Cybertron and also sequels that ignore the Bay films entirely.

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Avengers: Endgame (2019)

I’ve left this one til last as it’s the most recent film on the list and obviously the one people are most likely to not want spoiled for them. Having said that it’s also the main reason I wanted to write this piece in the first place so this is your final warning. The portal sequence is for me possibly the most awesome sequence in the whole of the MCU, coming at a point where Thanos appears poised to win you here Sam say something to Captain America that’s a nice call back to the Winter Soldier followed by dozens of portals appearing. Out of these portals emerge all the heroes that had been killed in Infinity War when Thanos used the stones. This is all backed up by an amazing score and ends with Cap ordering the Avengers to assemble leading the last charge against Thanos. It gives me goosebumps every time I see it, the film as a whole is flawed but this one sequence is as close to perfection as I’ve seen. It’s essentially the culmination of the entire MCU up to this point, bringing pretty much every hero that’s still in play together.

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Those are some of my favourite film sequences. I’m in no way saying they’re the best so if you don’t agree then that’s fair comment but feel free to share the sequences you love in the comments below as I’d be genuinely interested. I’m sure stuff will get mentioned which will instantly make me wish I’d added it to this list, which is what always seems to happen with these things.

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