We all know that movies, much like any other form of art such as music, painting, comedy, etc., is subjective and therefore what some people love, other people despise and loathe. Movies are probably more subjective than most other forms of art because they are so visual and therefore open to much more interpretation. Whether the movie’s source material comes from a book, to which many of us already have our own ideas of what the movie should be, or the movie is a fresh and new idea, either way a movie can divide people’s opinions on whether it was good or not.
Because of this, it is difficult for movies to please everyone and therefore there will always be people that walk away disappointed and let down by what they’ve just seen. However, although people can’t often agree on what a great movie is, a lot of us can agree on what a terrible movie is. But sometimes even the worst movies out there have some redeeming features about it and can kick up a great scene or two. With this list we look at 15 terrible movies that have some truly great scenes.
15. Independence Day – Welcome To Earth
The first entry on our list is more of a great moment than an actual scene. Independence Day saw an alien spaceship coming to Earth in order to invade and destroy us and it was left up to a scientist, a military man, and The President to save us. This big budget blockbuster made great use of the technology and CGI of the day and blew us all away with its special effects, and of course The White House being blown to bits.
CGI aside, the movie left a lot of people feeling a bit disappointed. Independence Day was definitely more of a “style over substance” movie. However, in the middle of all the explosions and alien carnages, Will Smith‘s character goes one on one with an alien, punches it in the face and says “Welcome to Earth,” complete with cigar in his mouth. This scene alone is worth watching, even if the rest of the movie isn’t.
14. Superman Returns – The Plane Rescue
The world’s most famous and popular superhero has had a bit of a tough time on the big screen. Currently, Superman is having a bit of a reboot in the movies with The Man of Steel and Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, although many people believe that the current interpretation of Superman is a bit too dark and broody and not the happier, hope-inspiring character that we know and love.
But before that, the last time we saw Superman on the big screen was in Superman Returns. Before this movie, we hadn’t seen Superman on the big screen in decades, so expectations and excitement were high. Unfortunately what we got was a long, drawn out and, quite frankly, boring movie. That is, except for the beginning of this movie in which Superman burst back onto our screens and saved a plane from crashing. This scene shows us all what Superman should and could be and for that reason alone, this scene needs to be watched.
13. Alien Vs Predator – The Fight
Our next entry sees two of the movie’s biggest monsters pitted against each other. Alien Vs Predator was billed as the blockbuster of the year as two great franchises came together. However, the movie didn’t live up to expectations and the critics panned it. Many people felt let down by the plot and even the human element to the story, after all we just wanted to see these two monsters go for it.
Many people felt that this movie was always meant to be silly and therefore must be enjoyed in that way and not to be taken too seriously. To some extent we agree but to have such big movie characters wasted in one movie is a little disappointing to us. However, with all the bad things in this movie, when Alien and Predator did finally go at it with each other, it was a truly glorious moment for all of us movie fans.
12. Spider-Man 3 – The Sandman Scene
Back in 2002, Spider-Man hit our screens for the first time and paved the way for all future comic book movies, especially with its sequel Spider-Man 2, which many still argue is the best comic book movie around. However, the third movie in the Spider-Man trilogy essentially killed the franchise and made both the director and actor leave the movies.
Spider-Man 3 tried to be too much, and with too many characters, plots, sub-plots and villains all wanting attention, the movie became a big mess with pacing issues and story. However, in the middle of all the confusion, a truly great scene came along in which convict Flint Marko became The Sandman. Being stuck in a pit, Marko’s body slowly started to change as he lost his physical form and it was replaced by sand. The scene is slowed down and without any dialogue; it really gets to the heart of the character and the journey he has. If the rest of the movie had been given this much love and care, then it probably would have been the best of the three, but unfortunately it wasn’t.
11. Star Wars: Phantom Menace – Lightsaber Fight
The number one entry on our list is possibly one of the most disappointing and hated movies of all time. When it was first announced that Star Wars would be getting a new movie, the entire world went crazy. After all, it had been nearly two decades since Return of the Jedi. Because of the hype and excitement surrounding this movie, it couldn’t possibly live up to expectations, but unfortunately Phantom Menace wasn’t just an anti-climax of a movie, it was a truly terrible movie. With the introduction of new characters, in particular the offensive Jar Jar Binks, the boring storyline, the painfully unfunny jokes, the list honestly goes on and on…
However, through all the bad things that this movie is guilty of, it actually gives us something glorious and that’s possibly the best lightsaber battle ever. With the two Jedi masters pitted against Darth Maul, the scene is set for the ultimate showdown. The fight scene that follows, particularly Darth Maul and Obi-Wan Kenobi, doesn’t disappoint and just shows what the Star Wars prequels could have been if it didn’t focus so much on the politics of the universe.
10. Masters Of The Universe – Skeletor’s Almost Victory
Next we come to a movie that was inspired by the cult classic 80s animated TV show, and toy line, He-Man. The Masters of the Universe took He-Man and revamped him into some kind of Star Wars themed science fiction epic that had He-Man and Skeletor battle on Earth. Although the movie has gained some kind of cult status over the years, at the time the movie was panned by critics and bombed with the audiences.
However, throughout all the silliness and over the top scenes in this movie, Masters of the Universe does have one saving grace, one great reason to watch it, and that’s Frank Langella, the man that portrayed Skeletor. In every scene that he’s in, Langella steals it but one particularly good scene is the one in which Skeletor is on the cusp of victory and has He-Man defeated. Langella commands the screen better than anyone and almost gives this movie some gravitas. We did say almost!
9. Tomb Raider – Training Sequence
In today’s movie world, it seems as if every other movie is based on a comic book, and while those movies are proving popular and successful, movies based on video games don’t seem to do as well. We’re not sure what the reason is but video game movies don’t seem to work with either fans or critics. A good example of this is the Tomb Raider movies starring Angelina Jolie.
The first Tomb Raider movie, and in fact its sequel, Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life, didn’t really set the box office on fire and over the years has been pretty much forgotten. However, during the movie, Lara Croft gets to show us all what she’s really about in a training sequence in which she tests her fighting skills against a robot. The scene is action-packed, exciting, and a perfect depiction of the video game that inspired it. It’s unfortunate that the rest of the movie couldn’t be the same.
8. Die Another Day – Credits
Next we come to the longest and possibly the most successful movie franchise in history. James Bond has been saving the world, and kicking butt, for over 40 years now and in 24 movies. Throughout all his adventures, gadgets, and, of course, women, many people feel that Pierce Brosnan‘s last outing as Bond in Die Another Day is the worst. It had an overly complicated plot, plus the overuse of CGI and special effects ruined it. Even in the world of James Bond, an invisible car is ridiculous!
The movie performed so badly that the entire Bond franchise was re-evaluated and rebooted with a new a different approach to the character. However, even though Die Another Day didn’t quite hit the spot for Bond fans, the opening sequence is one of the best from any Bond project. The opening stunt saw Bond engage in a hovercraft chase, plenty of explosions, and Bond’s capture and torture. This was the first time we saw the 007 agent being properly tortured and it made for a great set up to the movie.
7. Alien 3 – Ripley’s Death
The movie world of Aliens is now back in our lives as the long awaited sequel is out. Before that, however, the Alien franchise was much loved and adored by fans, well, the first two movies anyway. It was always going to be difficult to top both Alien and Aliens, so we never had much hope for Aliens 3. The movie itself wasn’t anything special, shifting from horror science fiction to a full-blown action movie wasn’t the worst thing about it.
Pretty early on, Aliens 3 decided to kill a lot of characters off and most of the movie suffers from this and is pretty much a let down in the Alien franchise. However, the death of Ripley is a truly great moment. After being impregnated with the alien, Ripley realizes that help isn’t on the way, in fact, they want to use the alien as a weapon. Because of this, Ripley decides to sacrifice herself by jumping into the furnace. It’s possibly one of the most heroic moments in movie history and it’s done expertly. However, the following sequel Alien: Resurrection undid everything that scene stood for. But nonetheless, this is still a great scene.
6. Troy – The Face Off
Next we come to a movie that was supposed to be a true epic on the big screen but unfortunately ended up being flat, boring, and far too long. Troy took inspiration from Homer’s Iliad and told the tale of the Trojan War. In this movie, two heroes come together in a truly great fighting scene. Hector, the champion and protector of Troy comes face to face with the greatest warrior and hero, Achilles.
The scene in question was actually one of the best fight scenes in any movie. The two heroes go at it in a perfectly choreographed fight that doesn’t go for the “over the top” angle that a lot of movies do. The scene is subtle and purposeful as the two character both believe they are the heroes and they are doing the right thing. Even the music is more of an undertone to this scene rather than an epic orchestra trying to force emotion. Unfortunately, this is the only good scene in an overly long and drawn out movie.
5. X-Men: Last Stand – Angel’s Childhood
Since the very first X-Men movie hit our screens, the X-Men franchise has had a bit of a difficult time. Whether it’s the confusing and overly complicated timelines, the constant rebooting of that timeline, the way in which they handle some of their characters (like the first introduction of Deadpool and Juggernaut, for which a lot of us still haven’t forgiven them for), a lot of people have slammed X-Men: Last Stand as the franchise’s worst movie, or at least the movie that started to derail and confuse the franchise.
The original trilogy had one theme that ran strongly through every movie and that was the prejudice and treatment of mutants. After all, that’s what fuels Magneto’s actions and makes him do some pretty terrible things. Even though The Last Stand was a let down as a movie, the scene in which a young Angel is tormented and treated so badly that he locks himself in the bathroom and cuts his own wings off, is possibly one of the best scenes in the whole franchise that depicts the treatment of mutants in a very raw and emotional way.
4. Watchmen – Opening Sequence
Next we come to Zack Snyder‘s adaptation of Alan Moore’s classic Watchmen comic book. While the movie stuck closely to its source material, in particular the dark and gritty take on the superhero genre, the movie itself was a little disappointing to some fans as the over complicated plot and long running time put a lot of critics and fans off.
Set in a dystopian alternative 1895 during the height of the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union, superheroes have pretty much had their day and have retired, until one of them is killed and the rest of the superheroes set out to solve the crime. The alternate timeline and the history of this world is perfectly played out onscreen at the beginning of the movie in a montage to the soundtrack of Bob Dylan‘s “The Times They Are A Changin’.” Unfortunately for many, this was the only highlight of the movie.
3. X-Men Origins: Wolverine – Opening Sequence
As we’ve already mentioned on this list, the X-Men franchise has had its ups and downs. The biggest down it has had, and in fact a movie that was so bad that it has pretty much been forgotten about within the X-Men timeline, is X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The movie is one big pile of mess as it tries to tell too much and it introduces too many characters, and also treats them so badly. Deadpool and Gambit are the worst offenders.
When the news came out that Wolverine was to get his own movie, we all got excited and couldn’t wait for it. When the movie started, we were treated to a truly great opening scene in which Wolverine’s life was played out in a montage of every major war from the American Civil war to the Vietnam war. The scene was action packed, gripping, and told a history of Wolverine’s character in a great way. If the movie had ended after this scene, it probably would have been a more successful movie.
2. Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice – Opening Scene And Warehouse Fight
A lot has been said recently about the recent reboots of the world’s most popular superheroes, Batman and Superman. With the two movies Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a lot of fans and critics have been disappointed at the gloomy and miserable world that our heroes now find themselves in. Even so, the thought of Batman and Superman sharing some screen time had everyone excited. Unfortunately what we got was one giant mess as DC tried to put too much into their movie in order to set up their DCEU on the big screen.
However, what we did get in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is two great scenes involving the Dark Knight. The first scene is at the beginning in which the events of Man of Steel have buildings falling down and everyone panicking, all except Bruce Wayne. While everyone is running away from the disaster, Wayne heads straight towards it. It was a great scene that shows how fearless he is, even without his batsuit. The other scene is in the warehouse in which Batman takes out a load of bad guys. The scene is tight, stylish, and shows Batman’s more dangerous fighting style.
1. The Matrix: Reloaded – The Car Chase
When The Matrix hit our screens in 1999, it completely changed everything about the movies. With its groundbreaking special FX and fighting style known as “Bullet Time,” plus the great storytelling and cast, The Matrix became an instant hit. Because of this, any sequels were always going to be difficult to live up to the original, but The Matrix: Reloaded in particular was a big disappointment in the trilogy. Many fans felt the sequels were too heavy and philosophical, that they lost their way and forgot how to tell a great story.
But in the middle of these sequels came a scene that was completely mind blowing and is possibly one of the greatest car chases ever seen in the movies. Cars and motor bikes weaving and whizzing down the highway. Agents crashing and smashing cars as they leapt from one to the other. As we came to expect in the world of The Matrix, the stunts were jaw dropping and left us all exhilarated. It’s just a shame that the rest of the sequels couldn’t match this scene.