So it’s that time of the year again. Time to do my end of the year retrospective. I have to say, I think I’ve found 2015 to be a better year in film than a lot of people and there were a lot of great scenes this year. Even some more mediocre films have had some excellent scenes and narrowing it down to 10 was really hard. So here are my top 10 favourite film scenes of 2015.
10. Minions Throughout History – Minions – I know it’s fashionable to hate the Minions but I cannot put myself into that camp. I find the characters to be hilarious and this moment best encapsulates it. It showcases the great physical humour that can be utilised with these characters, creating some of the funniest moments of the year and with the very kindly narration from Geoffrey Rush over it, this was an incredibly entertaining opening to a film.
9. Casablanca Chase – Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation – This is just an incredibly exciting scene in the film. The stuntwork throughout the film is brilliantly done and this is the peak, the bikers and the drivers doing great work in the chase. The sense of speed that is generated throughout this scene is excellent which makes it such a thrill ride and the performances from Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg add a great deal of humour to the scene which is what pushed it onto the list, although the car chase in Berlin from The Man From U.N.C.L.E nearly made this list for the same reason.
8. Macbeth v. Macduff – Macbeth – I maintain my stance that Macbeth is the most beautiful films of the year and this fight scene is where it all comes to fruition. The performances from Michael Fassbender and Sean Harris are great and the choreography for the fight is well handled but it’s the cinematography that makes it so good, the silhouettes contrasted against the dark orange glow of the fire creates some of the most striking imagery of the year and this helped to make Macbeth such an engaging experience.
7. Pathfinder – The Martian – Everything that’s good about The Martian can be encapsulated in this scene. The joy that discovery and science provides, the determination and solidarity the world has behind Mark Watney, the brilliant performances from Matt Damon and Chiwetel Ejiofor and the strong characters and humour in the film. Everything about this scene is excellent, all of it adds a lot of depth to the characters and it ends with one of the biggest laughs of the film, with the way it’s filmed and Damon’s performance making it work despite you not actually seeing the main part of it. This is just a really well done scene.
6. T-Rex Cattle Ranchers – The Good Dinosaur – Before I saw The Good Dinosaur I didn’t know I wanted to see T-Rex Ranchers but now I want to see a full film with these characters. This part has some of the best animation in The Good Dinosaur, some of the best character beats and some of the most engaging dialogue. The way the film builds the world of these dinosaurs and the logistics for them being ranchers is incredibly interesting and it’s elements like this that make The Good Dinosaur work so well in my mind.
5. T-Rex v. I-Rex – Jurassic World – Jurassic World was a pretty hit and miss film overall, some of it worked, a lot of it didn’t. One of the few aspects virtually everyone can agree on though is that the final fight was excellent. This was the kind of gloriously entertaining stupidity I wanted from this film. The way the dinosaurs fight is brilliantly handled but it’s the stuff like the epic hero run from the velociraptor that makes it so much fun to watch. I may not watch the rest of the film that often, but I will watch this scene over and over again.
4. Caravan – Whiplash – I never thought that a 10 minute long drum solo would be one of the most exciting, engaging pieces of cinema this year but I was wrong. The way Damien Chazelle directs this final scene puts so much life and energy into every cut, every drum beat and the performances of JK Simmons and Miles Teller do such a good job selling the characters, the full culmination of the battle between the two and the mutual respect that the two have for each other, ending in a pretty horrific note: that maybe the methods of Fletcher were justified.
3. Hulkbuster – Avengers: Age of Ultron – Most of the reason this scene is in here is because of how awesome it is to see the Hulkbuster in action but the character beats are what placed it so high. The way that Stark reacts to every situation, his desire not to hurt the Hulk but it being the only way to calm him down, is brilliantly done but it’s the smaller details you may not notice, such as Stark making sure the buildings he throws the Hulk into are abandoned before he does so and then buying them so he pays to replace them, making it less of a burden on the city. Moments like these are the reason I have so much confidence in Marvel and none in DC in terms of their cinematic universes.
2. Assault on Starkiller Base – Star Wars: The Force Awakens – I can’t say much here for fear of spoiling the film but I’ll just say that the action beats are brilliantly handled but the emotional moments are what make this scene work, all the character development coming to a head here with there being a great deal of tension throughout the scene along with the sense of fun and excitement that I want from a Star Wars film.
1. Chapter Doof – Mad Max: Fury Road – I was incredibly tempted to put the entire film here but I decided to stick to my rules and only include one scene and the one I’ve chosen is the final chase scene in the film, when Furiosa and Max are going back to the Citadel.The stunt work here is some of the best ever put to screen, the CG used to augment this stunt work, aided by incredible direction, cinematography and editing to create a pure thrill ride. So much good stuff can be written about this scene, how all the actions reflect the nature of the characters, how whole character arcs are created in a handful of shots, how effective the framing is to ensure your eye never leaves the centre of the frame, the creativity of all the villains, this is an incredible topper to an incredible film.
- The Memory Dump – Inside Out
- Riggan and Shiner Fighting – Birdman
- A Series of Funny Misunderstandings – Bill
- Berlin Chase – The Man From U.N.C.L.E
- The Church – Kingsman: The Secret Service