These are unlikely and sometimes begrudging alliances. These characters might not always like one another, but for reasons that make sense perhaps only to them, they have to align for a common good. Here are the top ten unlikely alliances in film.
10. Ghost (Zucker, 1990)
Patrick Swayze plays Sam Wheat, who was killed by his best friend and colleague over money, of course. Sam is in limbo. He can’t go to heaven yet but he is also not heading to hell. He has a purpose on Earth with his remaining time. Even though he is dead, he has to do what he can to protect his fiance, Molly, played by Demi Moore.
Hell is represented here by angry, black entities that look like rotten diseased ghosts from Pac-man. When someone of questionable character dies, they are met by these demons from hell and they are dragged, kicking, screaming and crying, to hell. When Sam finally figures out the mystery and he is able to protect Molly from his best friend Carl, Sam ends up watching Carl die. This could go very wrong as Carl could now become more powerful as a dead entity than he is as a living person. But the ghostly and ghastly ghouls grab Carl and drag him to hell, leaving Sam and Molly to not necessarily live happily ever after, but some version of it.
9. Extreme Prejudice (Hill, 1987)
Nick Nolte plays Jack Benteen, a Texas Ranger in a Mexican border town. His childhood best friend is Cash Bailey (Powers Booth) and he is the biggest drug smuggler in his neck of the woods. Benteen is trying to put an end to his reign. To complicate matters, a government squad of supposed dead soldiers comes into town and are also on Bailey’s trail. Their job is to wipe out Bailey and anyone else who gets in the way, including the local law enforcement.
Benteen imprisons a couple of the soldiers and while in prison, Buck (William Forsythe) begins to question the motives of his commanding officer, Major Paul Hackett (Michael Ironside). Upon getting released from prison, Buck learns that Hackett has ordered the termination of Benteen. He not only questions this decision like the rest of his squad, he does something about it, warning Benteen of Hackett’s motives. These two men start out as adversaries but become allies once the shooting starts.
8. Return Of The Jedi (Marquand, 1983)
The Ewoks pretty much save the day for the Rebel Alliance. When they land on Endor, they quickly realize that they might be outnumbered. Fortunately for them, Leia meets up with Wicket and he takes her back to the camp.
This helps later in the film when Luke, Han and Chewy are captured by the Ewoks and are going to be that evening’s dinner. With the help of Leia and C-3PO, the Ewoks are convinced to not only let the trio go but to also help them overthrow the Empire.
7. Internship (Levy, 2013)
Here’s a film that was all but ignored when it came out in the summer of 2013. And that’s unfortunate because it’s a very good film. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson play salesman that are a decade past their prime. They somehow manage to get an internship with Google but they know nothing about technology. To become employees of the giant search engine, they and their team have to beat out five other teams and garner the most new business for the company.
There is a love-hate relationship with Mr. Chetty, the headmaster of their department. Chetty is played by Aasif Mandvi and he really doesn’t care for Billy McMahon and Nick Campbell. He thinks they are bad for business and he gives them a hard time all throughout the film. However at the end, when there is a final deciding vote that is needed to allow Campbell and McMahon and their team to submit their sales as bit past the deadline, Chetty not only allows this but it is also revealed that it was his deciding vote that allowed the two of them into the internship to begin with. He goes on to explain that he saw hard work and determination in them and decided to give them a chance….a decision that paid off handsomely.
6. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (Yates, 2011)
Professor Severus Snape (the late Alan Rickman) doesn’t like Harry Potter, or so it seems. For eight films he harasses him, belittles him and basically treats him like a criminal. But in the final film it is discovered that Snape actually did all of this because he truly cared about Harry and he had to make it appear that he had disdain for him. This would enable him to protect Harry from the forces of evil that were trying to kill him. Snape ends up giving his life trying to protect Harry but he dies heroically at the hands of Voldemort, the baddest wizard of them all.
5. Rocky III (Stallone, 1983)
When Rocky is destroyed by Clubber Lang (Mr. T), he has lost all will to fight. He feels sorry for himself as Mickey told him that a lot of his title fights were easy fights, set ups of sorts to keep Rocky on top. With Mickey dead and Clubber the champ, Rocky is all but beaten in every facet of life. And then Apollo (Carl Weathers) meets him one night at the gym. He offers to train Rocky and help get him back on top. Apollo is a little too old to get back in the ring himself, but he can mentor Rocky so that they can get the title back together. Rocky learns things he never knew and of course wins the title back because of Apollo’s training. Once bitter opponents, now best friends, Rocky and Apollo accomplished their goal by putting aside their differences.
4. Schindler’s List (Spielberg, 1993)
Schindler’s List is based on a true story. We all know of the holocaust and how six million Jews were exterminated at the hands of Hitler and the Nazis. Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a German, did everything in his power to save as many Jews as he could during the war. He employed up to 1200 Jews in his ammunition’s plant. He was able to convince the Nazis that they were making weapons in this plant and eventually these weapons would be used by the Germans in the war. Schindler ended up saving more than 1200 Jews from death. Unlike others on this list, Oskar Schindler is a real-life hero.
3. Jurassic World (Trevorrow, 2015)
For many, including editor Dan Stephens, Jurassic World just didn’t work. In fact, I don’t think he liked the film in the slightest. For this Dan (me!), Jurassic World was one of the best films of 2015. One of the reasons it rates so high is the scene that starts with “need more teeth”. The scene has our heroes being attacked by the baddest and meanest alpha dinosaur that has ever been created. His name is Indominous Rex. He is much bigger than the T-Rex and he is also more vicious and seemingly engineered to be smarter and faster as well.
Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen (Chris Pratt) have the aid of three velociraptors but it is only a matter of time before their luck runs out. Cue one of the most heart stopping scenes from 2015. Claire runs to the T-rex enclosure and uses her flair to get the T-Rex out of his enclosure. Claire leads the T-Rex to battle but first she has to run from him, in high heels and all, and when she gets him face to face with the I-Rex, all hell breaks loose. It’s one of the most fun scenes I’ve personally witnessed in any film. When the raptors and the T-Rex finally defeat the I-rex (with the help of another water dinosaur), they just look at one another and give some kind of acknowledgment to one another before going their separate ways.
2. Pulp Fiction (Tarantino, 1994)
Butch, as played by Bruce Willis, is told by Marcellus Wallace that he is to purposely lose a fight so that Wallace can bet on him to lose and win big money in the process. Butch has other ideas. By double crossing Wallace, Butch has now become a wanted man. When Marcellus randomly sees him in the street, it looks like one of them is going to die right there. A chase ensues and unfortunately for both men they end up at Maynard’s shop. Maynard likes to rape men and with the help of his accomplice, Zed, they tie Butch and Marcellus up.
Marcellus and Butch still hate each other and mere moments ago wanted to kill each other. But things soon change as Marcellus is taken into the back room and he is raped by Zed while Maynard and a gimp in a leather mask watches. Butch manages to free himself while Marcellus is in the other room. Butch can run away without a problem, leaving his enemy to be raped by three men. But instead he grabs a samurai sword and goes back into the room and kills the gimp and Maynard. When Zed sees him he panics and Marcellus grabs a shotgun and blows his nuts off. Butch and Wallace stand side by side and suddenly their differences don’t mean anything anymore. Marcellus says that they are cool but Butch must leave town. Butch agrees, leaving Zed to await Marcellus getting medieval on his ass.
1. The Prophecy (Widen, 1995)
Christopher Walken plays Gabriel, the archangel. He is jealous of human beings because God has chosen to love them more than he does his angels. Gabriel has discovered the most evil soul on Earth and if he can get that soul as it lays in limbo, he can use that soul to basically create another hell. This would enable all the souls that are limbo, the ones that have not gone to heaven or hell, to go to this new hell. Somehow in Gabriel’s thought process, this would then allow God to love Gabriel and his minions more than he does humans. There’s one problem, Simon (Eric Stoltz), a good angel, has learned of Gabriel’s plan and he manages to hide the soul in a little girl before Gabriel can take possession of it. But Gabriel is determined to find it. This is when Lucifer steps in.
Lucifer is played by Viggo Mortensen in what might be the greatest five minutes of screen time in film history. He seductively sneers and slithers his syllables into our cerebellum. He knows that if Gabriel is successful, he will essentially create a second hell. And while Lucifer hates humans, he has no choice but to help them against Gabriel. When he shows up to stop Gabriel, he tells him that his quest is one of arrogance and that makes it evil. “Time to come home Gabriel”, Satan sneers at him, before ripping open Gabriel’s chest and eating his heart. Lucifer brings Gabriel back to hell, allowing the human race to remain God’s favourite and in the process keeps one heaven and one hell.
Written & Compiled by Dan Grant
What have we missed? Name your fave unlikely alliances in film…
Read more from Dan Grant:
Top 10 Films About The Oppressed Taking Their Revenge
Top 10 Embarrassingly Cringeworthy Moments In Film
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