What makes a movie, book or TV show more impactful than a rivalry between two characters, the answer is…….I don’t know!, but there is something about rivalries that brings us back to whatever it is that we are viewing. It adds to the intensity. When they are well done, its what we remember most about these films/t.v shows. So, with that in mind, here are 5 of my favorite rivalries in the realm of entertainment that I have experienced.
5) Gerald Lambeau and Sean Maguire (Good Will Hunting)
While not exactly a rivalry, the love-hate relationship between these two in the film was something that I could not ignore. You see, one of the major aspects to rivalries (particularly good ones) is the admiration and hatred the characters have for each other. This is something that is present in all of my personal favorite rivalries on this list.
What I love so much about their relationship is how inconsistent it is. One moment they are respecting each other, acting like adults and another moment, they are fighting each other like kids! You can see in their fights that they once cared for each other and still do. This is more apparent when they are arguing with each other about their ideals. Gerald wants to make Will a great mathematician, considering his potential while Sean wants him to do whatever he wishes and not to be manipulated into doing mathematics for the rest of his life. Each time they argue over this, it makes for some of the best written scenes in the film and for one of the best rivalries.
4) Professor X and Magneto (X-Men First Class and Days of Future Past)
You all saw this coming, and this list couldn’t be complete without comic book rivalries. Professor X and Magneto is a prime example of a great rivalry. Like the previous spot on our list, what makes them work is the fact that they were friends once. It only makes their hatred for each other more impactful. But unlike the previous list, this rivalry isn’t one sided.
You can see both sides of the argument. Eric/Magneto hates humans and the motive behind it is pretty well explained. He experienced the Holocaust, that reason is good enough. Charles/Professor X is someone who, unlike Eric, is willing to see the bigger picture. He is willing to see what mutants and humans can achieve once they put aside their differences. This makes their rivalry work for me and was the best part about X-Men First Class and Days of Future Past.
3) The Bride and Bill (Kill Bill Vol. 2)
This is one that not many talk about. In fact it’s probably the most underrated rivalry ever (if there is one I guess). The Bride and Bill, two skilled assassins were once lovers. They cared for each other and their fallout led to two awesome revenge flicks (details of which I won’t spoil).
With their final showdown in Vol.2 and their rivalry coming to a close, I was rather pleased to find out that it wasn’t a hand to hand beat down. Rather, it was a conversation that led to confessions – each of them explaining to the other why they did what they did. Like other spots on this list, what the script does so well is hint at their past relationship. They seemed to truly love each other and that’s what makes the conclusion to their affair a bittersweet one and their rivalry a memorable one.
2) Batman and The Joker (The Dark Knight and all of the DC Animated Batman Movies)
Okay, this is as obvious as it comes. We all know this rivalry. Hell, people who don’t even have a clue about comic books know about Batman and Joker (at least I think they do).
The rivalry between Batman and Joker is the definition of a love-hate relationship. Batman and Joker have been arch enemies for years in comic books, movies and T.V shows and we just can’t get enough of these two. They are obstacles for each other, they test each other to their limits and will do anything to get their point across to each other – and that’s what makes it work.
Joker tests Batman’s rule of no killing and Batman tests the Joker by never giving in to his cruelty. In one way, they have this dark admiration for each other. It’s like they want to chase each other forever, despite the horrifying consequences. The Dark Knight, the animated feature The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 and the comic book The Killing Joke (It was the first comic book I ever read) are great examples. What can I say, this rivalry is a hell of a good one.
1) Tom and Jerry
Now, let’s tone down a bit. Why is my favorite rivalry a comedic one? Well, because these guys and their rivalry basically defined my childhood. I loved them for as long as I can remember. I love the chases, which define ‘slapstick comedy’. Not to mention that, rivalries in comedies almost always tend to get the best laughs.
I love the bombs, the grenades, the woodpeckers, the dogs, the high speed chases, the flat faces and so on. This is what Tom and Jerry are known for. They love to hate each other and they admire each other. Of all the rivalries on this list, they are the ones that stay true to the love-hate factor. They hate each other like any cat and mouse would, yet they stick with each other like no other friend would and that’s exactly what makes their rivalry special to me.
So, that’s about it my dear friends. Thanks for reading! Tell me, which is your favorite rivalry? Give your personal favorite in the comment section below.