You know these movie moments when your heart starts beating faster, when you feel like jumping out of your chair in excitement and you want to dive in the screen and be part of the action. Yes, I am talking about these very special, epic scenes that define a movie and make it great and loved by millions of fans. So I decided to pick my top 10 favourite epic scenes from movies and TV series.
10. The Last Samurai - Cavalry Charge
The whole movie is epic and Katsumoto’s last, doomed charge is the pinnacle of it. The ruthless machine gun barrage stops the valiant cavalry attack and the way Ken Watanabe delivers his last words gives me the chills every time I watch the movie.
9. The Patriot - The Final Battle
This scene is about revenge – raw, ruthless vengeance. Jason Isaacs is sublime as the sadistic Col. Tavington, but it was his reckless cavalry charge that compromises the British positions and gives the Americans their chance to turn the tides of the battle. The final confrontation between Benjamin Martin and Tavington is one of the best duels in movie history.
8. Star Wars: Episode II - The Attack Of The Clones
Well, we have all been waiting for this one for far too long – a real Jedi battle, not just a duel. And it lives up to the expectations as Mace Windu leads the Jedi Knights against Count Duku’s army of robots. The special effects are staggering, the scale is epic, the music – sublime. What more could you wish form a movie scene?
7. King Arthur - The Final Battle
The whole sequence of the movie leads to its epic conclusion. The Brits are hopelessly outnumbered by the Saxon but it is the supreme qualities of the six knights that turn the tides of the battle. And there is of course the last duel between Arthur himself and Cerdic –their sword fighting is among the best created on the screen. Good job, Antoine Fuqua!
6. Braveheart - The Battle Of Stirling Bridge
Well, Mr. Mel Gibson has definitely been involved in some of the most epic movies of the past twenty years. At Stirling Bridge the Scots produced an almost impossible feat, holding off the heavy English cavalry. William Wallace was beyond doubt one of the most talented military commanders of his time and the movie pay rightful tribute to the epic war between Scots and English at the end of 13th century.
5. The Matrix Revolutions - The Dock Battle
In the epic conclusion of the trilogy, the machines have finally reached Zion and try to exterminate what remains of the Resistance. While Neo has to face Agent Smith, the defenses of the last human city have a tough test ahead of them – they have to hold the Dock if they want to keep any chance of survival. When it comes to special effects I can hardly think of a movie scene that comes close to this one!
4. The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers - Helm's Deep Charge Of The Rohirrim
In my opinion The Lord Of The Rings trilogy is the most epic movie of all time. This is why I have picked up two scenes from it. The first one is the decisive cavalry charge at Helm’s Deep.
After the besieged small army of Rohan has managed to survive throughout the night against all odds and the relentless attack of the Uruk-hai of Saruman, Gandalf The White and Eomer finally arrive to save King Theoden and the people of Rohan. The soundtrack is sublime and adds to one of the most inspiring movie scenes I have ever watched!
3. Gladiator - Germania Battle
It would be ridiculous to make a list of epic scenes and not to include Gladiator. It also is one of the strongest opening sequences of its kind. Russell Crowe delivers a masterful performance as general Maximus, and his charge across the forest makes your heart beat faster and faster. The music also fits the rhythm and intensity of the fighting scene. I guess this is why Ridley Scott is one of the greatest masters of epic movies.
2. Alexander - Hydaspes River
It can hardly get better than this. The battle of The Hydaspes River is believed to be the bloodiest and the hardest one Alexander ever fought. Oliver Stone catches the madness and futility of the bloody massacre, as well as the almost insane bravery of Alexander himself. “Come, Macedonians! Why do you retreat? Do you want to live forever?” shouts the great conqueror and darts forth in charge. Superb!
1. The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King - Pelennor
One scene will rule them all! The arrival of the Rohan army at the Pelennor fields and their spirited charge against the hordes of Mordor is the most epic movie moment of all time!
“Ride now! Ride to ruin and the world’s ending! Death!” I remember people standing up and applauding in the movie theatre, tears in their eyes. I have never seen it before or after. It is movie making at its absolute best!