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Enemy Mine / Live-Action Films

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Enemy Mines in live-action movies.

  • In AVP: Alien vs. Predator, the humans end up helping the preds kill xenomorphs by bringing them their ancient weapons.
  • In Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) and its remake, the remaining personnel of a soon to be shut down police station must put their trust on criminals within it to fight worse criminals laying siege on the place.
  • Blade II:
    • Blade teams up with the vampires to fight a subspecies of super-vampires that prey on everyone. The vampires end up betraying Blade two-thirds of the way through the movie. Nomak (the lead super-vamp) points out the trope: "Is the enemy of my enemy my friend? Or my enemy?"
      Scud: So B-man, what do you think?
      Blade: Sounds like a plan.
      Whistler: What do you really think?
      Blade: They're gonna fuck us the first chance they get.
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    • Also demonstrated during the helicopter flight to the vampire HQ, when Nyssa seems disappointed with Blade over how easily he allows himself to be taken to a place where he may become a prisoner. Scud convinces Blade to show Nyssa his vest made of Semtex, enough to level a city block. Nyssa looks impressed.
  • Boa: As the giant prehistoric snake starts rampaging through the facility, the scientists and prison staff are forced to cooperate with the inmates to escape.
  • In the third film of the Descendants franchise, protagonist Mal (daughter of Maleficent), the Big Bad of the second film Uma (daughter of Ursula), and their respective crews join forces to stop Audrey the daughter of Princess Aurora from destroying the kingdom of Auradon.
  • In Dick Tracy, Tracy considers this trope when deciding whether to accept The Blank's help in defeating Big Boy. Instead, he finally realizes "The enemy of my enemy is my enemy."
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  • This is what prompts the partnership between Wikus and Christopher in District 9. Christopher has spent 20 years collecting enough fluid to power the aliens' buried shuttle so he can take the mothership and get help, but just as he gets the last of it, his shack is searched by Wikus, who accidentally inhales some of the fluid and starts transforming into an alien. On the run from his own company, Wikus teams up with Christopher to get the fluid back from MNU, on the condition that Christopher change Wikus back into a human. It doesn't really work out that way, but by then Wikus has had enough Character Development to be okay with it.
  • The Sci-Fi movie Enemy Mine (1985) (directed by Wolfgang Petersen), starring Dennis Quaid as a human space marine and Louis Gossett Jr. as an alien soldier. In the midst of an interstellar war between their species, both crash-landed their vessels on a desolate planet and must work together to survive. Years later, after the alien soldier gave birth to a baby alien and died from complications, Dennis Quaid's character raises his adoptive alien son and must protect him and himself from human scavengers who use captured aliens as slaves (in a literal mine), until they're both finally found and rescued. It is implied that this event helps to end the war. The short story the movie is based on is the Trope Namer.
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  • Will Smith's character in Enemy of the State pulls an on-the-fly Batman Gambit which ties up two troublesome loose ends by getting them to deal with each other. Through some fast talking and well chosen ambiguous language, he sets up a Mexican Stand Off between a rogue NSA team that has taken him hostage and a gang of trigger happy goodfellas who are looking for a fight. It does not end well for any of them.
  • In Ernest Goes to Camp, the two ringleaders of the group of smarmy bullies who spent the entire movie hassling the Second Chancers and Ernest, ride up on an ATV to help them fight off Krader Mining and save the camp.
    Butch: I thought you ran away with the others.
    Pennington: I think they missed us.
    Brooks: We wouldn't want you guys to have to get into a fight without us.
    Bobby: C'mon.
  • Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer has the titular team teaming up with Dr. Doom to get the Silver Surfer. Eventually the Fantastic Four team up with the Surfer after Doom betrays them and takes the Surfer's board for himself. And probably after to prevent Galactus from destroying Earth.
  • Free State of Jones: The Free State of Jones tries to make common cause with the Union Army based on this, but get little support.
  • Godzilla:
    • Mothra convinces her enemies Godzilla and Rodan to stop Ghidorah in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster.
    • Battra and Mothra, mortal enemies of one another, joined forces in order to stop Godzilla in Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth.
    • In Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, Godzilla and Rodan start off fighting for the unhatched egg on Adona Island, Godzilla because it's a Godzillasaurus egg, Rodan because the egg's presence in the nest he had hatched in made the infant his surrogate brother. When the UNGCC eventually decide to use the newly-hatched Godzilla Jr. to lure Godzilla into a fight with Mechagodzilla, the two monsters get mortally wounded, and Rodan sacrifices what little life he has left to revive Godzilla.
    • In Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, M.O.G.U.E.R.A. is built as yet another anti-Godzilla machine. But when SpaceGodzilla lands in Fukuoka and starts growing a large mass of crystal across the surface of the city, the M.O.G.U.E.R.A. team ends up having to work with Godzilla to bring down the extraterrestrial invader. This trope is especially applicable for Akira Yuki, the M.O.G.U.E.R.A. captain who had been working to kill Godzilla as revenge for the monster killing his best friend Goro Gondo in Godzilla vs. Biollante.
    • In Godzilla (2014), the prologue deals with how MONARCH and the military tried to kill Godzilla in The '50s with nuclear "tests" in the Pacific. When the M.U.T.O.s awaken decades later and Godzilla starts going after them, Admiral Stenz enacts a plan to kill all three monsters with an even bigger bomb. But the M.U.T.O.s steal the bomb and use it to feed their nest. This foul-up convinces Stenz to accept Dr. Serizawa's suggestion that they ought to leave all the heavy work to Godzilla.

      Godzilla refuses to attack the military (who attack him on occasion) because they are opposed to the MUTOs. It helps, though, that it's quite quickly established that the military is effectively no threat to either of them.
  • The first act of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a slowly-escalating buildup of hatred between two conmen, Blondie and Tuco, to the point where they're inches from clawing out each others' eyes. Then Tuco learns the location of a graveyard where gold is hidden, Blondie learns the name on the grave where the gold is buried, and they're forced to work together, later uniting against the merciless Angel Eyes after he learns Tuco's half of the secret.
  • Defied in Guns Akimbo: At one point, Miles (The Hero, a programmer forced into an Involuntary Battle to the Death by Skizm, a tries to persuade Nix (Skizm's top fighter) to work with him to take Skizm down, giving a speech highlighting the typical points (Skizm doesn't cares about us, etc). She spends about three seconds pretending to think it over and then says no and attacks him.
  • In The Hateful Eight, Warren and Mannix were at each other's throats by the end of chapter 3, but after John Ruth and OB die after drinking the poisoned coffee, which Mannix also nearly drank, they have no one to trust but each other and have to work together against the Domergue gang.
  • Hell in the Pacific, about an American and a Japanese soldier trapped on an island together, and which inspired the film in the previous entry, natch.
  • In The Hobbit, the Dwarves and Elves are forced into an alliance to fend off the orcs. Unlike the books, there is no agreement or speech, just a wordless alliance to defeat their common, greater enemy. More specifically this is the case with Legolas and Thorin's Company in both Desolation of Smaug and Battle of Five Armies.
  • French horror film La Horde is about a group of cops and criminals joining forces against a horde of zombies. A particularly tense situation because the cops were searching revenge against the gangsters that killed a colleague.
  • Frequently happens throughout the James Bond films:
    • In The Spy Who Loved Me, when the UK and Soviet Union both have one of their ballistic submarines vanish, MI6 and the KGB join forces, putting their top agents, Bond and Anya Amasova, together. Later, we see the American, British and Soviet submariners band together to fight against the Liparus crew.
    • In Spectre, Mr. White and Bond decide to both go after Oberhauser, and try and protect the former's daughter. Though at the end of the meeting White kills himself. Bond still considers the alliance valid, however, and does pursue the daughter.
  • Jurassic World; Blue teams up with Mama Rex to battle the Indominus Rex (Given the the last time these two species met they tried to kill each other, this is a marked improvement)
  • The film Krull begins with this, as two rival kingdoms arrange a political marriage to unify them against the alien invasion. Sadly, it does them little good as the highly advanced Slayers storm the castle and kill everybody except for the heroic prince and his future bride, who is taken by the invaders.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Thor: The Dark World; Thor reluctantly teams up with Loki, as his knowledge of magic and secret pathways between the Nine Realms makes him adept at tracking Malekith and his forces.
    • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ultron persuades Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch to join him in an alliance, through their mutual hatred of the Avengers. Likewise, they eventually decide to ditch Ultron after seeing just how dangerous he is and team up with the Avengers, even though they aren't on good terms with Tony Stark.
    • After hunting the pair throughout all of Captain America: Civil War, Iron Man agrees to help Cap and Bucky hunt down Zemo before he can reactivate the other Winter Soldiers. It doesn't last.
    • In Thor: Ragnarok, Thor teams up with Loki again against Hela. However, Loki only sees this as a means of escape and refuses to help his brother in the climatic battle, although he eventually changes his mind and comes to help anyway.
    • In Black Panther, M'Baku and the Jabari tribe arrive to help T'Challa and the Dora Mijale fight Killmonger and the Border Tribe after T'Challa spared M'Baku's life in ritual combat.
    • The actions of Thanos and the Black Order in Avengers: Infinity War force the Avengers and the Secret Avengers back together, although it's implied that Rhodes was sick of the Accords by the events of the movie anyway. Their mutual hatred of Thanos is also what stops Iron Man, Doctor Strange and Spider-Man and the Guardians from destroying each other, although it's not without issues.
  • The Matrix Revolutions. Neo and the Machines must work together to destroy Smith before he takes over both the Matrix and the Machine World. After Neo allows Smith to possess him, the Machines use their power through Neo's body to destroy all of the Smith clones.
  • In the climax of Mean Girls 2, Jo's former friends decide they hate Mandi more than they hate her and agree to help her.
  • Mean Guns: After the initial round of killing in the Deadly Game and they all disperse, many criminals assemble into large groups for strength in numbers. Only three survivors are allowed to walk out of the building, so it stands to reason that they were intending to turn on each other after dealing with everyone else. It's also openly discussed when Lou, Markus, D, and Cam team-up; inevitably, one of them will have to bite it.
  • In Missile X: The Neutron Bomb Incident, the Americans and Soviets work closely together to foil the Baron's plot. This film was produced at the height of the policy of détente, i.e. thawed relations between the superpowers, which came to an abrupt end after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1980.
  • In Napoléon, the Corsicans may not agree which country is their Fatherland, but they all hate Napoleon.
    Corsican 1: Our Fatherland is Spain with Buttafuoco! Death to Napoleon Bonaparte!
    Corsican 2: No, our Fatherland is Italy, with the Duke of Savoy! Death to Napoleon Bonaparte!
    Corsican 3: No, our Fatherland is England with the Paoli! Death to Napoleon Bonaparte!
    Napoleon: (reveals himself by standing atop a table) No... our Fatherland is France... with me!
  • No Man's Land: A Bosnian and a Serb soldier wound up getting stuck in a trench together. They have to work together to call for help.
  • Kind of lampshaded in Ocean's Thirteen, when they decide to include Benedict in their plan:
    Linus: We've shaken every tree...
    Rusty: I really wanted to avoid it this time...
  • In Once Upon a Texas Train, the retired outlaws and the retired Rangers are forced to combine forces to combat a gang of younger, more ruthless outlaws.
  • In the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, every character views most of the others (with a few bonds between characters being the exception to the rule) as either enemies or incredibly stupid pawns, but will readily concede to work together when their priorities mesh. These unholy alliances tend to confuse casual viewers, who are convinced (très incorrectly) eg that the adversarial role Barbossa plays in the first film completely contradicts the compatriot role he plays in the third (which is to protect his life after getting another chance from both the EITC who will end all pirates and from the ressurector who expects recompensation).
  • Mentioned in Predators when Royce tells Isabelle that he intends to free the captured Predator and use that momentary trust to have him find the predator's ship and escape. Isabelle then adds:
    Royce: The enemy of my enemy...
    Isabelle: That doesn't make it a friend.
  • A very short alliance happens in Raiders of the Lost Ark, when Indy and a mook are struggling over control of a gun, when Toht says "Shoot them — shoot them both", and suddenly Indy and the mook cooperate to shoot the other mook pointing a machine gun at them.
  • In the end of Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice has to work with Albert Wesker to ensure the survival of the last of humanity against the Red Queen.
  • In a Played for Laughs moment from The Rocketeer, it's gangsters siding with the police vs. Nazis. They may be crooks, but they're American crooks. And, yes, there's a jetpack involved.
  • Balthazar and Mathayas resort to this in The Scorpion King in order to take down Emperor Memmon.
  • Shakespeare in Love: When the Master of the Revels orders the Rose Theater closed indefinitely, thus preventing Shakespeare and company from premiering Romeo and Juliet, Richard Burbage, owner of rival theater The Curtain, makes a peace offering, saying that they should stand together against their common enemy:
    "The Master of the Revels despises us all for vagrants and peddlers of bombast. But my father, James Burbage, had the first license to make a company of players from Her Majesty; and he drew from poets the literature of the age. We must show them that we are men of parts. Will Shakespeare has a play. I have a theater. The Curtain is yours."
  • Desirée and the Countess in Smiles of a Summer Night may be romantic rivals, but they work together to untangle the Love Dodecahedron.
  • Senator Gracchus of Spartacus isn't a very nice guy, but he winds up pulling a Big Damn Heroes moment in the film's finale regardless... almost entirely as a way to put mud in the eye of his political rival Crassus, who is the Big Bad of the story. It's entirely thanks to Gracchus wanting to spite his enemy that the film winds up having a Bittersweet Ending rather than a Downer Ending.
  • In Star Trek Into Darkness, Harrison and Kirk temporarily team up to board and disable the Vengeance.
  • In Superman II, Lex Luthor, who has outlived his usefulness to General Zod, buys time by telling Zod the location of the Fortress of Solitude, resorting to a bit of subterfuge when he and Superman attempt to trick Zod into the molecule chamber, which removes a Kryptonian's superpowers. Superman goes into a chamber, which turns out to be a shelter as Zod's gang discovers that their powers are gone, with Superman and Lois Lane defeating the powerless supercriminals one at a time, with Non attempting to fly, only to fall into an icy chasm.
  • Thunderball. During the big underwater fight at the end, when sharks start to show up the SPECTRE frogmen and their opponents stop fighting each other and start attacking the sharks together.
  • Subverted by Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Prime and Megatron teaming up to battle a greater threat is fairly common in Transformers media, but this time when Megatron offers a truce, Prime responds by cutting his head off.
  • Trench 11: The Germans lost their tunneling expert while fighting their way back into the base and are forced to put Berton and the other Americans to work in detonating the explosives.
  • West Side Story: Despite their hatred of each other, the two gangs seem pretty united in their hatred of the cops—the Jets laugh when Bernardo mouths off to him, they pretend to be buddies to avoid suspicion, and when Shrank insults Bernardo, it's Riff who hold him back from attacking him.
  • In The Wrong Arm of the Law, the tactics of an IPO mob from Australia ends up making strange bedfellows of not only underworld rivals, but also the underworld itself and the police.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • The entire point of X2: X-Men United: the X-Men team up with Magneto and Mystique to stop a human villain from killing all mutants. Right up until Magneto and Mystique decide to invert the attack and have all the non-Mutants killed instead.
    • Wolverine and Sabretooth in X-Men Origins: Wolverine against In Name Only Deadpool.
    • The ending of X-Men: First Class implies that the Americans and Soviets had found a common enemy in the mutants.
    • In The Wolverine, Harada cites Viper as a "means to an end," and voices his displeasure towards her consistently. Viper seems indifferent to Harada attitude-wise, but she just sees him as another inferior underling.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Both the older and younger versions of Xavier and Magneto unite against the Sentinels that threaten all of mutantkind with extinction. Although young Magneto ends up attempting his own plans for mutant superiority and, ironically enough, winds up jeopardizing the plan to save mutantkind. Trask and Stryker are shown handing over their plans for the Sentinels to the Dirty Communists at the Paris Peace Conference. Trask is even grateful for the mutants for providing a common enemy which will unite humanity in a struggle for survival.
  • Zack Snyder's Justice League: A glimpse into a Bad Future reveals that after Darkseid enslaved the Earth, corrupted Superman into a minion, and killed several people like Aquaman and Wonder Woman, Batman formed a resistance and reluctantly let his enemies Deathstroke and the Joker in.

Alternative Title(s): Film


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