It's time for Bob to face his final destiny. The Evil Overlord is on the roof, preparing to launch his master plan, and the only thing to do is go up there and face him. So, Bob gets in the lift, maybe saying a last few words to Alice. They check their weapons, make their peace, and wait for the door to open at the top.
The elevator ride serves as a good pause point in the action to resolve some loose ends, or just prepare for the final battle. The quiet ascent —or descent— is the calm before the storm and really builds up what is about to unfold.
It needn't be before the actual climax. A good semi-climax will do, so long as it's dramatic and looks like it might be the real thing.
See also Roof Top Confrontation
, which often follows. Not to be confused with Climbing Climax
or Elevator Action Sequence
, since the action doesn't actually happen on the elevator.
- Just before the final battle of Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, Spike takes an elevator up to the top of the tower to fight Vincent Volaju where he is initiating his terrorist attack on the Halloween parade.
- Before their final fight with the gone-insane General Ulube, the Shuffle Alliance ride a huge freight elevator in their Gundams and discuss how they will defeat the Dark/Devil Gundam merged with the Japan Colony.
- Total Recall (1990). Quaid takes an elevator ride up to his final showdown with Cohaagen over the fate of Mars.
- In Aliens, Ripley rides down an elevator deep into the soon-to-be-exploding colony to rescue a little girl. She takes this time to ready all her weapons.
- Happens in Vanilla Sky as well. Tom Cruise's character meets with "Tech Support", who proceeds to explain what exactly's been happening to him throughout the film. To drive it home, the elevator ride is impossibly long, making it clear that Cruise is in a dreamworld.
- The movie The Brave, written and directed by Johnny Depp, ends with him taking an elevator ride up to meet the Snuff Film makers with whom he has a debt.
- The Punisher (1989). Mafia boss Franco and the Punisher are going up into a skyscraper to confront the Yakuza. Franco stops the elevator with the lift key for a moment to ask why he's driven to kill so many people. "Revenge has its limits." The Punisher just replies, "Maybe I haven't reached it yet."
- RoboCop (1987): RoboCop takes one just before he confronts Dick Jones about his complicity with the crimes of Clarence Boddicker, but this isn't anywhere close to his final confrontation with either.
- Runaway. The police officer protagonist has to take a robots-only elevator with No OSHA Compliance up a building site to confront the villain for a Hostage for MacGuffin trade, despite his fear of heights.