Scenes of pure nerve

This is a thread for all of those moments when a character takes a stand against superior forces with nothing but a gallon of pure gall and maybe a sand grain of secret knowledge.

I was just watching Brick for the umpteenth time. This movie is full of them, but one scene I love more than all the others. Most people like to point out the fight with Brendan and Brad Bramish in the parking lot, which is a ballsy scene in its own right, but the one I’m referring to is the one with Brendan and Tug’s car. There’s a funny kind of courtesy being paid by both characters while they go about facing each other.

The scene begins with Brendan walking along a sidewalk when he notices a car belonging to the local Kingpin’s main muscle parked a few feet away in front of a store. It’s a black Ford Mustang. Real pretty. This is at some point in the story where he’s trying to grab the Pin’s attention, so he grabs a cinder block, holds it above his head, aims it at the windshield…and then looks in the distance and sees the Muscle, named Tug, quickly pacing in his direction. Brendan puts the cinder block down. Attention gained. No need to do any damage, right?

Tug is still pissed. His arms are shaking with rage, he’s walking faster than most people would run, and he looks like he’s about to strangle someone. Brendan looks at him, takes his glasses off, and casually puts them into their case. Tug is pretty much right in front of him now and still looks like he wants to kill someone. Brendan simply says:
“I want to see the Pin.”
Tug punches him and Brendan hits the pavement. Before he can even get inside his car door, Brendan gets up on the opposite side of him. He says:
“I want to see the Pin.”
Tug knocks him onto the ground again, and then gets inside his car. Brendan throws his arm up against the car door window, only to have Tug open it, knock Brendan back onto the ground, shut it again, and then quickly drive off. But he doesn’t get too far before Brendan is able to stand up, and chuck a rock directly at Tug’s car, hitting it. The Mustang stops dead in its tracks…it revs its engine…and then hauls off in the opposite direction.

Only to come speeding back after gaining sufficient speed to splatter Brendan into oblivion. And Brendan decides not to budge an inch. He plays chicken with a crime lord muscle driven mustang. And wins. The car swerves just enough as to only grace Brendan’s fingertips.

He knocks on Tug’s car door window. Tug rolls it down:
“I want to see the Pin.”
“…I guess you do.”

The last scene in the final episode of Angel, “Not Fade Away.” The Senior Partners have unleashed hell in Los Angeles, quite literally. A veritable army of demons have descended on the city, and our four remaining heroes, battered and bloodied and tired after earlier battles, stand together with the odds overwhelmingly against them. One of their number has already died valiantly, and another is already badly wounded. But they don’t back down, because they are Champions. Angel says something to the effect of “I think I want to slay that dragon,” referring to a big-ass flying dragon swooping over them, and the show fades to black.

Sam faces Shelob with a phial of light, a short sword and “Come on, you filth.”!

Galactica FTLing into the atmosphere and launching vipers.

“You want to meet the real me now?”

John McClane’s final moment of triumph in the original Die Hard. He could have been easily defeated if Hans wasn’t so cocky.

Blast you to Hades!

I came in to mention that. I only enjoyed 5 scenes in that 4-hour crapfest, and Sam vs. Shelob is one of them.

No, no. You missed the last line. After the bit about the dragon, he raises his sword, says:

“Let’s go to work.”

Starts to swing at a nearby enemy…

…and the series ends.

I just watched the original Dawn of the Dead, which of course was full of such scenes. The epitome of the whole thing, though, was at the end, when

[spoiler]Whatshisface had already been zombified and killed. Stephen and Peter drove off the raiders, but not before Stephen took a gunshot wound that slowed him down enough to be eaten by zombies. That just left Peter and Fran. Peter shot and killed zombie Stephen in front of Fran, who showed a lot of nerve by not freakin’ out. Then Peter told Fran to “get out of here” and that he really didn’t want to escape. Fran got in the helicopter and took off.

Peter holed himself up in his room with a gun to his head, ready to take his own life and surrender to the zombies. But when they started pouring into his room he suddenly became reacquainted with the will to survive, and he punched, kicked and shot his way to the helicopter just in time for Fran to come back down and pick him up so they could both keep on fighting.[/spoiler]

Steve Buscemi in Reservoir Dogs, and Fargo, and probably some other stuff too. Seems like every time I see him in a movie, I’m shaking my head with respect for the giant balls of this man.

The Reservoir Dogs scene that popped to mind first is when Mr. Pink is lying on the floor with Mr. White’s gun in his face, and his big mouth running just the same as if he was standing on his feet.

In the movie Aliens when Sigourney Weaver’s character dons the suit and takes on the alien queen.

John Wayne in True Grit Facing 4 armed men, by himself.

The defence of the bridge scene in Saving Private Ryan

James, breaking the windows and then bowing befor Sgt Nagata in Empire of the Sun.

“Here it comes.” Jame T Kirk in ST II TWOK.
And from the Princess Bride

I’m not left handed either.


Drop your sword.

That one is the epitome of this concept. 100% brass balls.

When Aragorn faces 40+ Orcs, he not only faces them, he looks at them with a distinct “only 60 of ya? Bring it on!” look.

A look like he’s inconsistent at estimating orc numbers?



On that note, the Bride’s look of disgust as she is faced by the whole “Crazy 88” in the House of Blue Leaves come to mind.

Billy staying behind on the log bridge, with just a knife, to slow down the Predator

Better: During the air shaft escape, when Lieutenant Gorman activates the grenade, and Vasquez says, “You always were an asshole, Gorman…”

Anyone seen Tzameti?

Leo DiCaprio in Departed, during basically the entire movie.