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Friendly Enemy / Film

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Friendly Enemies in movies.


Animated

  • Megamind: Megamind and Metroman are an interesting example, although they appear to dislike each other at the start, it's later revealed that Metroman likes Megamind, calling him "little buddy", and Megamind loses all motivation when he thinks Metroman's dead. This is because there's no indication that Metroman has a Secret Identity or life outside his heroics, and Megamind spends all his time in prison planning to destroy Metroman, or in his lair trying to do so. Add to that the film's Lois Lane expy never dated Metroman and it all falls into place, they have no life or meaningful relationships apart from each other; they're friends by default.
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  • In Wreck-It Ralph, since Ralph is a Punch-Clock Villain and Fix-It Felix a Punch-Clock Hero, neither bears the other any particular enmity and they actually get along pretty well in their off hours, Felix even trying to keep an anniversary celebration a secret so as not to hurt Ralph's feelings, and inviting him in when he does find out so Ralph doesn't feel left out. The Nicelanders, though, treat Ralph as if he actually is a villain, and ostracize him to the point it nearly causes their game to get unplugged.

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Live-Action

  • In American Gangster, although drug baron Frank Lucas and cop Richie Roberts don't meet until the final 20 minutes of the film, Lucas immediately displays a grudging respect for Roberts when the latter turns down his offer of a bribe. The closing montage shows the amicable relationship evolving as the two work together to bring down NYPD's corrupt officers.
  • Burton Mercer, played by John Candy, in The Blues Brothers. He never seems anything other than amused at the brothers' antics, and insists on watching their show before arresting them.
  • Bridge of Spies: Unlike his fellow Americans gripped by anti-Soviet hysteria, defense attorney James Donovan always treats Abel with dignity and respect, even when it endangers himself or his family. Similarly, Rudolf Abel is always well-spoken and deferential to his American captors.
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  • Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) and Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains) in Casablanca are a textbook example until the closing scene, when, impressed by Rick's heroic sacrifice, Renault does a Heel–Face Turn. Rick famously declares, "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
  • Early on in Casino, mobster Nicky Santoro sends his son to a little league team coached by a Las Vegas police detective; the two are seen chatting pleasantly about his son's progress. This is when Nicky was newly arrived in Vegas and before his increasingly Axe-Crazy antics made him public enemy number one.
  • Catch Me If You Can: Frank Abagnale Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks). This is based on real life. While Hanratty was a compilation of the men that chased Abagnale throughout his criminal career, he remained friends with several of them after he went straight.
  • In Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Peter Bretter tries his best to hate Aldous, who has cuckolded him for over a year. However, Aldous' cheerful personality and lack of malice makes this so difficult that he eventually gives up.
  • French Kiss has one between Jean Reno's Inspector Cardon and Kevin Kline's thief, Luc. Luc once saved Cardon's life, and Cardon believes that Luc will go straight if he has a chance, despite having stolen a $100,000 necklace. Fortunately, he's right.
  • The Fugitive. Richard Kimble calls US Marshal Sam Gerard as soon as he's found his wife's killer, despite the fact that the man has been pursuing him and tried to gun him down a few hours earlier, having clearly recognized him as someone he needs on his side.
  • Gods and Generals has a rather touching scene of a Union soldier and Confederate soldier standing sentry duty on Christmas and commiserating across a river (including about how General Burnside is a General Failure). They then each walk out to the middle of the river and trade a few puffs on a pipe for a mug of coffee.
  • Heat: Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) and Neil McCauley (Robert de Niro). The two men are both dedicated to their professions (one is a cop, the other a criminal), but they understand each other very deeply.
  • James Bond movies:
    • General Gogol, head of the Soviet KGB in a number of Roger Moore-era films, is very much this character. He convinced M to have Bond and Anya work together in The Spy Who Loved Me, treated Bond as a Worthy Opponent in For Your Eyes Only, and later appeared as a Reasonable Authority Figure in Octopussy, in contrast with the main villain Orlov.
    • General Pushkin in The Living Daylights continues the pattern, as he and Bond appear to, at the very least, have a healthy mutual respect for each other. When given the order to assassinate Pushkin when it appears that he's an insane hardliner, Bond initially protests because he can hardly believe that Pushkin is the kind of man he's being depicted as. Sure enough, Pushkin is being framed, and the two end up working together to the point where Pushkin has a minor Big Damn Heroes moment for Bond at the climax. This is likely because the role was originally intended to be filled by General Gogol, but by the time filming started the actor was too ill for anything beyond a cameo appearance at the end.
    • Valentin Zukovsky occupies the same role, as Bond's ex-KGB counterpart in the post-Soviet Pierce Brosnan-era films. They two are briefly hostile in their first reunion in Goldeneye but quickly but their differences aside to help Bond's mission, and in The World Is Not Enough despite enduring considerable misery at his hands, Zukovsky even goes as far as to rescue Bond from captivity.
  • In The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015), the CIA and KGB handlers, Saunders and Oleg, are friendly with each other, to the point of Saunders sending regards to Oleg's wife and being on a First-Name Basis.
  • All the main characters are this at various points in Pirates of the Caribbean. Most notably are Jack Sparrow and Captain Barbossa who are almost consistently on opposite sides and have a personal quarrel with one anothernote , yet they are consistently quite friendly with one another and work incredibly well together.
  • In The Princess Bride, the Man in Black and Inigo Montoya start off as this, merrily discussing fencing techniques and complimenting each other's swordsmanship during their duel. Of course, the "Enemy" part doesn't last too long.
  • Pulp Fiction: Marsellus Wallace seems to be the film's Big Bad, but he is the employer and friend of the characters in the first and third story, and even in the second story, where he is the main enemy, greater antagonism comes from the minor character, Zed.
  • In Reservoir Dogs Joe Cabot is friends with Mr. White, but Mr. Blonde is definitely far more evil than Joe, and Mr. Orange, who is the policeman among them is an enemy of Joe and Blonde.
  • In Robin and Marian: Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham have grown into this. Just before their Duel to the Death, the two old enemies kneel in prayer, side by side. Robin then helps the Sheriff to his feet, and the Sheriff tells him: "God be with us, Robin."
  • Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs display a surprisingly genuine respect for one another, in spite of their contrasting alignments.
    Hannibal Lecter: Clarice, people are going to think we're in love.
  • They Shall Not Grow Old: British veterans of World War I featured in the documentary almost universally praise the captured Germans, describing them as boys much the same as the British who just wanted the war to end. There are many shots of British soldiers and German POWs posing, smiling and playfully exchanging hats. One veteran appreciatively notes how so many Germans would immediately volunteer for stretcher duty without being asked.
  • Subverted in The Watcher between David Allen Griffin (Keanu Reeves) and Joel Campbell (James Spader). David thinks that this is what their relationship has become, but Joel does not agree.
  • Magneto to Charles Xavier in the X-Men Film Series. As in most incarnations, they started out as very close friends who eventually found themselves on separate sides due to their ideological differences, and some friendship still remains. The two play chess together at the end of the first film, and Magneto is genuinely horrified when Xavier is disintegrated by Phoenix in The Last Stand, sincerely grieving for him and promptly shutting Pyro up when he tries to talk disparagingly about Xavier:
    Magneto: Charles Xavier did more for mutants than you will ever know. My single greatest regret is that he had to die for our dream to live.

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