What makes an iconic scene? Is it action? Is it the excitement of not knowing what happens next followed by a satisfying resolution? Or is it tension and drama-building, emotions at the brink of breaking?
In the very best scenes, it can be argued that all of these together are necessary. This is why it makes perfect sense that many of the most iconic scenes in recent memory are set in a Las Vegas casino, as they offer audiences the perfect mix of action, excitement, and tension. Read on to find out our picks for the most iconic casino scenes from the last decade!
Daniel Craig’s first stint as Agent 007 birthed many iconic moments. But none exude the coolness of James Bond more than the poker scene in Casino Royale. This is the scene where Bond wins a thrilling game of poker against the terrorist Le Chiffre, played by Mads Mikkelsen. This scene emphasizes how calm and collected Bond is at all times, as he is always able to make the right call no matter how high the stakes are. Bond knew what he had, and he was willing to risk it all for the prize. This is exactly what partypoker’s guide to the game lists as one of the most crucial tips for any player – if you know you have a good hand, bet strong. Bond does this without hesitation, as he bets all his chips that amount to a whopping $40,500,000. There are sighs of relief from onlookers as he wins with a straight flush.
Todd Phillips has been the talk of the town with the release of his latest film, Joker. What some may not know is that he directed a film with a different kind of joke back in 2009 – the first of The Hangover trilogy. The film has a lot of good moments, so much so that it merited a win at the 2010 Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. One scene remains memorable, and still makes rounds on social media. It’s the scene where Alan, played by Zach Galifianakis, heads down to the casino and proceeds to win over $82,000 playing Blackjack due to his Rain Man-like card counting abilities. NPR’s article on card counting explains that it works by assigning a value to each type of card, and then keeping track of the count and playing your cards right. And this is exactly what Alan does, albeit with comical floating math computations filling the screen – now immortalized as a meme.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
The galaxy far, far away has its own version of the Vegas scene. While Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been a rather divisive addition to the storied franchise, most can agree that the whole Canto Bight casino sequence was a welcome addition to the Star Wars universe. It not only added another interesting locale with loads of character, but also quite a few great moments like when the alien gambler tried to use BB-8 as a mobile slot machine. Canto Bight also features heroics and ingenuity from Finn, played by John Boyega, and Rose, played by Kelly Marie Tran, both showing hints of on-screen chemistry that may be explored further in the next film.