A lot of films resort to their climaxes being the most incredible part of the film, the bit that really makes you exclaim 'WOW' to other members of the audience. But some films like to take the other route. Some films like to get viewers impressed from the word go. There are so many different examples and today and I wanted to list my favourites.
X-Men 2 (2002)
Now with the return of Nightcrawler to the big screen in Bryan Singer's X-Men: Apocalypse in 2016, I only saw it as fitting that this should be the first opening scene to mention. Alan Cumming was a perfect fit for the character back in 2002 when the hit-sequel was released by Fox, and it blew all superheroes and non superheroes fans away when we first saw and it still has that same effect. The choreography and effects were great and it was such an unexpected opening scene, which made it all the greater. It wasn't just a mindless Mutant attack, it later led into the main plot of the film and that's just one of the reason why this is such a great opening scene.
The Lion King (1994)
Now I think I can speak for all of us when I say that this opening scene was incredibly powerful when it was released. This opening scene is a classic that brings back so many childhood memories, at least for me. This brings back as much nostalgia as Star Wars does, and I am a massive Star Wars fan. The score for this scene was absolutely breathtaking *wipes away fake tear* and unforgettable. In a short span of 4 minutes, we were shown why, after so many generations, Disney is still so popularThe animation was great and each shot was done with such elegance. The team captured what we all thought a fantasy animal kingdom could be like. Honestly, well done Disney.
Saving Private Ryan (1997)
Sorry to jump from happy, fun and loving to the brutal realisms of war, but next up is Saving Private Ryan.For it's time, having an opening scene that was almost like a climax of a movie was very uncommon and for audiencesexpecting action sometime after the first act, the scene was rather unexpected at the time. But that's what made it such a hit. It did something different, something unique and it did it well. This scene showed the brutality of what war was like, especially D-Day. The other most popular film that portrayed D-Day was the 'The Longest Day' (1962) and in comparison to this film, D-Day wasn't shown to be that brutal. One or two.. people were shot when coming off the landing crafts and only an extra few were killed when coming up the beach, whilst blood and guts were to a minimum he psychological terror that the landings inflicted on soldiers in Saving Private Ryan was brutal and realistic. As great as the Longest Day is, it doesn't live up to the greatness of Saving Private Ryan and the realistic approach it gave other war movies to live up to.
Star Wars IV: A New Hope (1977)
For the opening of a movie that sparked generations of love and over-the-top fandom, the opening did a pretty good job of introducing us into the Star Wars Universe that we all know and love today. The opening crawl above space that instantly led into a space battle above Tatooine was great. It showed the power and unmerciful mite of the Empire and, of course, Darth Vader. This did this well, and the first appearance of the two ships left us all speechless. You didn't see that coming? Props to George Lucas and the team.
With James Bond hitting our screens for 49 years when Skyfall was released, this is by far one of the best ways a Bond movie has started, especially after the disappointing direction of Quantum of Solace (2008). We were brought back to the world of 007 in the best way possible. We begin in the middle of a mission as Bond tries to take back sensitive information belonging to MI6's security. It teases Bond's actual death (and what realistically should have been his death) This was a great moment and was definitely the USP (Unique selling point) of the film. Bond's death has never been on such a tense and dramatic scale, yes we knew the main character wasn't going to die 10 minutes in, but it was nice to see it directed in a way in which it could have been the moment when he might have died. Not too complicated, right?
The Dark Knight (2008)
With comic book movies becoming more and more popular, 2008's The Dark Knight raised the bar for all superhero movies, and it hasn't quite been topped since. The movie had you gasping from start to finish and that's what made this scene so awesome! For once, you don't know the plan of the villain. I mean in most films, you will see the antagonist plan out what he wanted to do and maybe the other villainous companions (the clowns) will have no idea of what was really going to happen. In this case, we are the villainous companions!
We had no idea that the team was going to get smaller after every step, and we had no idea that the Joker was there the whole time, even though the thugs under the Joker masks specifically said that he wasn't there. We knew nothing and they know nothing! It was such a shock to see Heath Ledger pull off the mask and surprise us all and it was genius, not only by Nolan, but the Joker's plan was genius itself.
I would love to do a part two to this post as there are so many movies that deserve to be mentioned. These are just my personal favourites. I hope you enjoyed them!
Also, can you find the Avengers: Age of Ultron reference I placed in this article?