Warrior and Beyond: Our Top Brother-Against-Brother Film Rivalries
In honor of Warrior (out in theaters this past weekend -- so go see it ... no, seriously, it's really good), lets take a look back at some of the most epic male sibling rivalries in film history.
After the jump, it's brother against brother. And brother against brother against brother. And step-brother. And ... just jump.
Kevin McCallister versus Buzz McCallister Home Alone What do you do when you're the youngest in your family and neglected to the point that they absent-mindedly leave you behind over Christmas vacation and your big brother Buzz hates your guts so much that he makes you sleep with the family's notorious bed-wetter? You make the feeling mutual! Then you proceed to trash his room and go through all his stuff when you're home alone and single-handedly protecting the McCallister castle from a duo of brainless bandits. And you make fun of his girlfriend all while doing it. Buzz's girlfriend ... WOOF!
Brennan Huff versus Dale Doback versus Derek Huff Step Brothers This may be the ultimate showdown in cinema sibling rivalries, fought as literally as dirty as you can be; by rubbing you're testicles all over your (step) brother's drum kit. A hatred so deep for one another, fought over not blood but pure loathing and hostility for the very existence of each other.
And yet, something beautiful happens in which Brennan Huff (Will Ferrell) and Dale Doback (John C. Reilly) discover they're not so different after all. In fact, they are exactly the same -- true brothers in the bonding sense of the word. They love doing Karate in the garage (Yep!), slicing fruit and bags of Doritos with a samurai sword, and even simultaneously discover that if they were chicks, the one guy they'd both sleep with would be John Stamos. Yep, best friends they did just become, indeed. And with their glorious powers combined, they finally take down doucher Derek (Adam Scott). It's all about the Catalina Wine Mixer, folks.
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Bob Mapplethorpe versus Future Man Bottle Rocket When you have a car, you have exactly the skills needed to be a part of the ragtag group of robbers run by Dignan and Anthony (real life brothers Luke and Owen Wilson). That is unless your bully of a brother, Future Man (played by the third Wilson brother, Andrew) has anything to say about it. Unfortunately for Bob, not much conflict is resolved between he and Future Man but at least they seem to be heading in the right direction by the film's end (after Bob accidentally gets his brother thrown in jail for growing marijuana). Bob: "Yeah, but, you know, in a strange way, it's brought me and Future Man closer together. I mean, we went out to look for a new piano the other day and he looks at me and he says, 'Bob, just because you're a fuck up doesn't mean you're not my brother.' It kinda touched me. He doesn't normally open up like that.
Side note: If you ever wondered why the character in Wes Anderson's directorial debut is named Future Man, you needn't look further than his 1994 original short (also titled Bottle Rocket) that the full-length film is based upon. Quite simply, they call him Future Man because, well, he looks like he's from the future.
Joseph Grusinsky versus Bobby Green We Own the Night Maybe the most obscure film on the list, just for the fact that unfortunately not a lot of people saw this 2007 film from writer/director James Gray starring Mark Wahlberg as the law and Joaquin Phoenix as his brother on the wrong side of it. Hopefully its inclusion encourages you to seek it out and see it, as We Own the Night is a haunting tale about the bonds of brotherhood and bleeding blue for the ones that you love.
Cal Trask versus Adam Trask East of Eden Based on John Steinbeck's novel about the good son and the black sheep of a family living in WWI-era Salinas Valley (which in itself is based on the oldest of sibling rivalry stories; Cain and Abel), this 1955 film perfectly painted a portrait of the one thing that can truly drive a wedge between brothers; a girl. It also happened to introduce us to a then-unknown actor named James Dean.
Tristan versus Alfred Legends of the Fall An epic tale of brotherly love and hatred if there ever was one. One again, the thing that comes between brothers Tristan (Brad Pitt) and Alfred (Aidan Quinn) is the love of a lady. She loves Tristan but he doesn't love her anymore. So, she marries Alfred who also loves her but she still loves Tristan (who first met her because she was engaged to their brother, Samuel), most likely because Tristan is Brad Pitt with long flowing locks, and that's something sure to make you the favorite brother out of a any group of siblings.
Michael Corleone versus Fredo Corleone The Godfather Saga Most cinematic siblings work to resolve their differences by the end of the film. But not Michael Corleone (Al Pacino). When you double-cross him to get a little bit of the pizza pie for yourself, well, then it's time for your brother to "take it to the mattresses" on you and send you on a boat trip to swim with the fishes.
Cold, bro. That's cold.
Mickey Ward versus Dicky Eklund The Fighter Last year's heavy weight contender for the Oscars dramatized the true life story of underdog boxer "Irish" Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and his crack addicted half-brother and trainer Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale). What plays out on screen is heartbreaking enough, due in part to the film's based-on-real-life events, only to be knocked out by Wahlberg and Bale's performances.
If you liked The Fighter, then you're going to love Warrior. Imagine all the same heart, family drama, pitch-perfect performances and inspiring sentiments of overcoming the underdog status -- times two. Two brothers then fight each other, both for good causes, and you can't pick who to root for more. It's kind of like watching Rocky on two different screens at the same time.
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