Our picks for the Top 5 most memorable moments in a Movie this year include darkly comedic songs about COVID-19, the return of two beloved sci-fi heroes, and a shocking and heartfelt moment in the latest Spider-Man movie.
[This article contains spoilers for Another Round, Bo Burnham: Inside, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Spider-Man: No Way Home and The Matrix Resurrections.]
5.) Trinity Flys Too – The Matrix Resurrections
The ending of The Matrix Resurrections has hundreds of mindless bodies flinging themselves at Neo and Trinity in a big attempt to stop them from leaving The Matrix. It’s not a fight; it’s an escape. In that regard, it’s very different from other films in the franchise and the genre. But the latest entry isn’t even the same genre as other films in the franchise, this is a romance, and its centre leans heavily on Trinity, not Neo. As she leaps off the building at the end of the film and she’s the one to fly Neo and herself off safely, it’s a crucial moment for the franchise that cements Trinity as more than just the woman who will love “the one.” They can only be “one” together, and now they’ll be unstoppable.
– Dylan Blight
4.) Peter Saves MJ – Spider Man: No Way Home
The great tragedy of The Amazing Spider-Man series not continuing is we never got to see Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker get a chance at redemption after the death of Gwen Stacy. Sure he comes in at the end to fight a man in a mech suit shaped like a rhino, but there is a big difference between fighting a villain and saving someone’s life, a distinction we see in the first Amazing Spider-Man when Peter saves that kid in the car hanging off the bridge. Saving people made this Peter more than just a vigilante seeking revenge on his Uncle’s killer, it made him a hero. But then he could save Gwen, and we never really saw him deal with that loss.
Fast forward to watching this film in a packed cinema. Sure there were cheers when Andrew showed up and more cheers when Tobey did as well. But the biggest cheer came when Andrew Garfield’s Peter saves MJ from a similar fate to Gwen. I remember as Peter is diving down to save her, a man shout out “Go get her Andrew”. This moment of redemption was so incredible, as was perfectly built up to with Garfield’s Peter talking about how he had become bitter in the years since Gwen’s death and how he hadn’t been able to let someone else in. Garfield’s performance at that moment, and every moment he’s in the film to be honest, is truly amazing as he almost loses control of his emotions for just a moment as he takes in the significance of that moment. A beautiful redemptive moment for that Spider-Man that we never thought we’d have, and while there is no getting Gwen back, a moment that we hope will let this Spider-Man move on.
– Ashley Hobley
3.) “What A Life” – Another Round
Another Round is a magical film that fills you with life. In the bittersweet moments of the film’s final act, Martin (Mads Mikkelsen) loses his friend Tommy, and with Nikolaj and Peter, they mourn how they know how: a couple of drinks. But it’s the closing minutes of the film that truly elevate it to something special. As the teachers’ students pass in a bus, they meet them for some more drinks; Martin breaks out into a dance, something characters had been asking him to do all film. It’s a beautiful scene that shows the roller coaster of emotions that Martin is processing as he loses a friend, potentially gains back his wife, and finds a renewed sense of levity and passion for life.
– Dylan Blight
2.) Bus Fight Club – Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
This six-minute sequence made Simu Liu a star and Shang-Chi a character that everyone will remember. After getting to know Shaun and Katy’s normal life, with just one punch he shows he is anything but normal. A wonderfully creative sequence with some of the best fight choreography in a Marvel movie to date, this fight utilises every aspect of the bus to showcase just how skilled Shang-Chi really is while also revealing elements of his character.
Add on top Awkwafina as Katy, finding herself driving this bus down the hills of San Francisco, and Zach Cherry as a passenger live streaming and commentating this fight and you have one of the most entertaining sequences on film all year. Hearing about how much work, effort and time when into this part of the film reveals how make-or-break this sequence was in getting Shang-Chi over with the audience, and they definitely made it work.
– Ashley Hobley
1.) Pick Any Song – Bo Burnham: Inside
In all honesty, this is a bit of a hail mary pick as it’s more or less saying the entire movie is the moment of the year. But Bo Burnham’s Inside was such a culture piece and accurately captured how most of us feel during these last years. Each of the songs was either shocking, sad or a wild ride, and watching and listening to any of them was like a rollercoaster of emotion. For months on end, I would read someone’s digestive blog on the songs/movie or see someone on Twitter going through the several stages of post-Inside grief as they splurted their reactions onto Twitter from hilarity to confusion and then the final sadness.
– Dylan Blight
Dylan Blight and Ashley Hobley compiled this Top 5 list. The movies nominated must have had a theatrical release in a cinema, VOD or on a streaming platform within December 27th 2020 – December 27th 2021.
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