I don’t know about you, but I love it when movies or TV shows throw in scenes where the hero and the villain meet and just have a conversation. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the first time these two characters come face to face, it just has to result in an interesting encounter that furthers the plot in an exciting and possibly unexpected way.
Below, you’ll find eight examples of hero/villain discussions that I consider to be fairly awesome. I know, eight is a weird number. I wanted to come up with ten, but I must be slipping. If you’re reading this and you think of one of these incredible scenes that I did not come up with, please let me know in the comments.
John McClane and Hans Gruber
Detective John McClane is just minding his own business, walking around barefoot, when a dozen terrorists storm the Nakatomi building in search of riches beyond their wildest dreams. At one point, the terrorists’ leader, Hans, takes a stroll up to the higher floors to try and find the detonators that McClane has gotten his hands on. When John runs across Hans in an unarmed, slightly compromised position, Hans smartly pretends to be Bill Clay, Nakatomi executive. He plays it off pretty well and they have a friendly little exchange before Hans reveals himself. One of the best scenes in the movie. But don’t take my word for it, see for yourself… and please excuse the language on this usually PG rated blog…
Rocky Balboa and Ivan Drago
This one is brand new. Still in theaters. So I won’t be sharing a clip of this one. But it really is a stand out scene in the latest entry in the Rocky/Creed franchise. Ivan Drago, whom we all remember from the 80s classic Rocky IV (the one where Rocky single-handedly ended the Cold War), comes to Philadelphia and visits Rocky in his restaurant, Adrian’s. He wants his son, Viktor, to face Adonis Creed, who has recently won the heavyweight title. Rocky doesn’t really want any part of it and doesn’t think that Adonis should allow himself to be baited into this fight. The exchange in the restaurant, though, really humanizes Ivan Drago, a character who was basically a one dimensional mountain of muscle in 1985. He takes the time to explain to Rocky that, after his defeat at Balboa’s hands in his own territory, he was disgraced. His boxing career was over. He was seen as an embarrassment to his nation. And his marriage crumbled like the Berlin Wall. Despite knowing that we’re supposed to root against this guy and his beast of a son, we’re left feeling sorry for him when he walks out of Adrian’s.
Superman and Lex Luthor
Superman: The Movie
The audience doesn’t really know all that Luthor is up to until he foolishly reveals his entire plan to the Man of Steel. I say foolishly, despite Luthor being the self-proclaimed “greatest criminal mind of our time.” And it is foolish, because Superman didn’t even know Lex Luthor existed until Luthor sent him a voicemail that only his super hearing could detect. I know the whole reason for luring Superman to his underground lair was to lay a chunk of kryptonite on him in hopes of killing/keeping him from interfering with his ultimate scheme. But by spelling it all out for him, he only gave Superman a chance to formulate a means of stopping the scheme from ever coming to fruition, once he inevitably rid himself of the kryptonite necklace, thanks to a little help from Ms. Tessmacher. I love that Superman and Lex just have a pleasant conversation about what Luthor has planned for California…
Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader
Star Wars – Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
So much tension. Luke has faced Vader before. But this time, he’s more powerful and more skilled in his knowledge of the Force. And this time, he’s facing Vader knowing that he was once Anakin Skywalker. Luke is determined to help his father find redemption, to throw off the chains of the Dark Side and return to the Light. And for just a moment, a little bit of Anakin shines through, even if it’s a pessimistic statement that lets Luke know it’s too late for him.
Marty McFly and Biff Tannen
Back to the Future, Part II
In 2015, an elderly Biff Tannen got his hands on a sports almanac and borrowed the DeLorean so he could go back to 1955 and give the almanac to his teenage self. This resulted in an altered 1985 in which Biff Tannen had become the wealthiest and most powerful man in Hill Valley. His influence probably reached beyond that fictional town, but we didn’t see any of that in the movie. So Marty has to confront his wicked step-father and find out all he can about how Biff got his hands on that almanac. Marty may reveal a bit too much about how he knows what he knows, but it’s a decent scene nonetheless…
Mr. Incredible and Syndrome
This scene satirizes the entire idea of having the villain explain his or her plan to the hero. Syndrome even coins a term for it: monologuing. I have to ask, as Mr. Incredible tells Syndrome that it was wrong for him to have treated him the way he did when he was a kid, does he believe it? I mean, he told Buddy to go home because it was too dangerous for some powerless kid to be hanging around a super-hero. Mr. Incredible was right to say what he did. Not his fault that Buddy grew up to become a complete sociopath…
Buffy Summers and Mayor Richard Wilkins, III
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Okay, don’t hate me, but these last two that I picked are both from Buffy. I won’t apologize for loving that show. Anyway, in this scene, the Mayor drops in on Buffy and her friends while they’re in the library trying to figure out a way to defeat the wannabe demon. The guy just strolls into the library without warning. Giles’ interaction with the Mayor is probably my favorite part, even though Buffy is technically the hero of the story. I couldn’t find the clip I wanted to share here, but if you have Hulu, just take time to watch Graduation Day, the third season finale. It’s worth it for that encounter alone.
Buffy Summers and Glory
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
And our second Buffy encounter comes with the season five big bad, Glory. In the episode, Checkpoint, Buffy’s been dealing with the Watchers’ Council and finally gets a chance to go home and relax for a moment before jumping through more of the Council’s hoops. And who should be waiting for her in her very own living room but the super powerful evil demon lady herself. And Glory just wants to have a conversation. She wants the Key, which she feels certain is either in Buffy’s possession or squirreled away somewhere that Buffy knows about. Her interaction with Dawn is pretty fantastic as well. The clip I found on YouTube for this one looks like it was done by the same kids that made The Blair Witch Project. Sorry about that…
Well, those are the ones that came to my mind. I know, with a title like “Parley,” you probably thought I’d pick a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean where Jack Sparrow interacts with Barbosa or some other pirate. But I really didn’t want to explore that franchise. I mean, the first one was good but I didn’t really care for any of the sequels.
Do you have any awesome examples of the hero and villain having a warped conversation? Let me know in the comments!