The other day, I was walking through a store when I started thinking whimsically about my favorite movie scene as a kid. To put a finer point on it, I thought this was the coolest scene I saw as a kid. (Needless to say, coolest entailed favorite.)
YouTube is great for instant gratification, so I began to type into the YouTube search: “Genera…” and the autofill completed the sentence, “General, Would you care to step outside?” (As an aside, it’s a bit scary, how much YouTube knows about my viewing habits that it figured out what I wanted to watch based on “Genera”. But it’s also convenient. Scary and convenient!)
Anyway, here is the clip, and frankly it hasn’t aged that well, especially after umpteenth Marvel movies and Nolan’s Batman triumvirate. Regardless, here it is, Superman confronting General Zod in Superman II:
That got me to thinking about my second favorite clip from my youth. It comes from the 1980 film My Bodyguard. Here is the best scene in which the bullied Clifford (Chris Makepeace) confronts the bully Moody (Matt Dillon). (In case it isn’t clear, Moody has been bullying Clifford and others at the school, and now it is time for payback.)
That scene has definitely aged better than Superman vs. Zod, not least because it retains a raw visceral verisimilitude. (And yeah, that scene also features a very young Joan Cusack.)
Finally, it got me to thinking about one of my favorite scenes from a 1990s movie. As with Superman vs. Zod, this scene has not aged well: the idea that Will Hunting appears to know everything about everything is a classic case of overkill: it would have been more believable (and effective) if he had simply been a math wizard. But of course, then we wouldn’t have this scene where he puts this smarmy graduate student in his place:
The common thread, of course, is that in each of these scenes, somebody stands up to a bully. And that is definitely cool.
You might retort: isn’t this rather retributive for a Christian worldview? No, I don’t think so. We still want the bully to repent and reform, of course, but standing up to bullying as it occurs is always cool.