There’s just something about two great actors going toe-to-toe that makes for some of the most memorable cinematic moments. Call it chemistry if you will, but these days, when you get a couple of Hollywood heavy hitters in the same room, it’s usually guaranteed to light up the screen like the Fourth of July. So when it was announced that Michael Mann had enlisted two of this generation’s greatest actors – Johnny Depp and Christian Bale – to star opposite one another in his new film, “Public Enemies,” we couldn’t help but be reminded of the many other classic face-offs starring the industry’s cream of the crop. Some are as simple as good versus evil, while others are a little more, well, complicated. Below you’ll find a list of our ten favorite match-ups (and what makes them so special), along with five more that just missed the cut.
Here’s a sample entry:
Cinematic showdowns don’t come any more highly anticipated than this. More than two decades after sharing billing (but no scenes) in “The Godfather II,” Robert De Niro and Al Pacino finally had a big screen showdown in Michael Mann’s sleek, stylish 1995 crime epic. Pacino is LAPD Lt. Vincent Hanna, a true-blue cop whose dogged dedication to his job has destroyed two marriages and is on its way to wrecking a third; De Niro is Neil McCauley, a brilliant thief whose ego goads him into attempting the final score that’s supposed to finance his retirement – even though he knows Hanna’s watching him. Though the two characters share just a few of the 171 minutes that make up “Heat,” Mann makes them count, serving up a deliciously tense tête-à-tête in a coffee shop that foreshadows the final showdown between Hanna and McCauley in the film’s last act. After all that buildup, some film fans were a little let down by such an understated clash of titans, but now that we’ve seen what can happen when Pacino and De Niro spend an entire movie together (2008’s “Righteous Kill”), those seem like awfully petty complaints.
Of course, the idea of doing a feature like this without including the most famous movie match-up is kind of like eating a PB&J sandwich minus the actual peanut butter and jelly, but not all of our inclusions are quite as predictable. Head on over to Bullz-Eye to check out the rest of the best.