5 Great Scenes from 5 Otherwise Terrible Movies


It seems as though for every good movie, there are at least a dozen terrible ones.  It’s pretty sad that nowadays, if you leave the theater and really enjoyed what you just sat through for the past two hours or so, it’s surprising.  What’s even more frustrating is that during a viewing of one of these terrible movies, you’ll watch a scene and think to yourself, “wow, that was actually pretty cool. 

If only the rest of the movie could have been this enjoyable.”  It’s frustrating, in a sense, but at least the movie had some redeeming value.  Do you know what I mean?  If not, then the video clips after the jump should help.  Enjoy five great scenes from five otherwise terrible movies.

Southland Tales – The Liquid Karma Hallucination Scene

Richard Kelly’s follow-up to Donnie Darko was ambitious, but that’s really the only good thing you can say about it.  Calling Southland Tales a train wreck would be like calling the sinking of the Titanic as a boat crash.  It was horribly miscast, had inconsistent tones (hard science fiction and black comedy just don’t mix), and a story that was so absurd it bordered on insane.  One scene, however, stood out from the rest as particularly memorable: Justin Timberlake plays an Iraq war veteran who uses a drug called “liquid karma.”  Apparently, liquid karma enables the user to speak to God.  What exactly does that mean?  The above scene, featuring a track from The Killers, helps to illustrate.

Ultraviolet – Motorcycle Chase Scene


Aside from Dazed and Confused and The Fifth Element,  it’s pretty much a given that any movie with Milla Jovovich is going to stink.  Ultraviolet is no exception.  It’s a movie about some sort of vampires-but-not-really-vampires, the weirdo creepy kid from X-Men 3 and Running Scared, and a lot of flashy nonsense.  That’s the best I can do at explaining.  Anyway, Violet (Jovovich) has a plethora of guns and gadgets at her disposal, and one such gadget is able to somehow “shift” the pull of gravity.  It’s a cool concept and actually excecuted quite well, as seen in the above clip.

The Phantom Menace – Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon Fight Darth Maul


I shouldn’t have to explain why The Phantom Menace was so terrible.  Just mentioning Jar-Jar Binks and a young Anakin Skywalker should be enough.  It’s one thing to not compare to Episodes IV-VI, but to suck as hard as Menace did is simply inexcusable.  One thing that didn’t suck, though, was Ray Park’s Darth Maul.  He was a bad ass sith wielding a very sweet variation on the classic lightsaber, and it’s a damn shame he didn’t survive long enough to appear in the sequels.  Thankfully, even in a Star Wars movie this crappy, we still got a great lightsaber fight.  I love when Darth Maul, temporarily blocked from Qui-Gon by the force field, paces back and forth, staring at him like an animal.

Eurotrip – Scotty Doesn’t Know


Eurotrip probably isn’t as awful as the rest of the movies in this article, but it’s a mostly bland, generic comedy that offers nothing we haven’t seen before.  Even the title is somewhat generic. It’s probably worth sitting through, though, just because of the concert scene at the end.  Matt Damon looks the part as a punk rocker, and his mannerisms and ridiculous antics help sell the idea, too.  In fact, I’ve spoken to people who didn’t even realize it was him.

American Wedding – Stiffler Eats Dog Feces

By the time the third American Pie movie had come out,  we had seen pretty much all that Jim, the flute girl, and Stiffler had to offer.  Stiffler had become incredibly predictable and one-dimensional, more of a caricature than a character.  Predictability is just about the worst sort of affliction from which a comedy can suffer, so American Wedding was a huge disappointment.  There was one scene, though, that really cracked me up – and it wasn’t the Stiffler dance-off scene, either.  It was when Stiffler picked up a fresh, steamy turd and, in an attempt to cover his own ass, plopped it into his mouth.  I distinctly remember – and I’m not joking – a girl sitting in front of me in the theater getting up to run to the bathroom and vomit.  Well done, Stiffler.

Any movies you guys think are terrible but happen to contain a scene you think is great?  Let me know.

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  1. @ Lyleus

    I think the chateau fight – especially with Dougan’s score – is one of the best fight scenes ever. Unlike the rest of the world, though, I don’t hate Reloaded. I actually love it.

  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ntc0YyQWdBU

    This fight scene from “The One” was the best part of an otherwise dumb movie. Even the fight scene at the end where Jet Li faces off against himself at the end failed to live up to the coolness on display in this sequence. I remember when I first saw “The One” – because this was the first fight of the film, I expected every subsequent fight to be just as amazing. Boy was I let down.
    Also, Jason Statham should never attempt an American accent.

    As well, every fight scene from every Tony Jaa film should be on this list, becase the fights are incredible, but the plot/script of “Ong Bak”, “Tom Yum Goong/The Protector” and “Ong Bak 2” were all tripe. But man, can that guy kick ass.

  3. @ Gill

    Agree on the Ong Bak movies….I saw the first one in the theater, and it was AWFUL…but definitely worth watching, simply for some of those Tony Jaa fights.

  4. @ MacGyver1138

    I think Revolutions was OK – it has its flaws, for sure – but the Wachowskis kind fo wrote themselves into a corner.

    As far as Reloaded…I do think it’s great. The first hour is a little slow, but from the 100-Smith fight on, it’s terrific. Perfect mix of action, philosophy, and symbolism.

  5. I’m just gonna put it out there: I loved Southland Tales, I thought it was mind blowing.

    I also liked The Matrix Reloaded and I totally agree with the chateau fight.

  6. @ Sverrir Sigfusson

    I WANTED to like Southland Tales – it had a lot of very cool concepts, was very original, and unlike most movies, it TRIED. Unfortunately, it was a trainwreck and failed miserably. With a bigger budget and some tweaking here and there, maybe it could have been better.

  7. The Episode I Jedi fight between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan and Darth Maul is the second best lightsaber fight in the Star Wars series (behind the Episode III fight between Obi-Wan and Anakin, and Yoda and Emperor).

    It’s the first time you ever see an ACTUAL lightsaber fight not between old dudes, robots, and young boys guided by ghosts.

  8. The airplane crash from Knowing. Maybe the best crash I’ve ever seen effects-wise (and the single-shot followup of Cage walking throught the wreckage was great) attached to a horrible mess of a film.

  9. I love your lists. man, you should do a list of badass light saber fights done by fans. i’ve seen quite a few from youtube. some of them are even better than the movie fights.

  10. @Ant2206

    I’ve never seen Knowing, but I will now try to catch it on cable just for that crash scene. Thanks.

    @ zero

    Thanks a lot for reading. I will certainly take your request into consideration…

  11. Eurotrip: “It’s probably worth sitting through, though, just because of the concert scene at the end. ”

    Concert scene is pretty close to the start actually. Not that far in at all.
    Watch the movie before you write about it (or at least read a synopsis of it).

    I think eurotrips a hilarious movie.. roughly 10000x better than the crap that was roadtrip (or whatever other movies those same people have made with ‘trip’ in the title. euro’s the only funny/decent one).

  12. From movies I’ve recently watched:

    The Yeti scene in Mummy 3
    The water-wheel scene in Pirates 2
    The “oh hi Mark!” scene in The Room

    For my part, I enjoyed Southland Tales and the Matrix sequels.

  13. Also,

    The “give me the fucking map!” part in Tropic Thunder (which was really disappointing, not to mention Tom Cruise’s worst role),

    The Sweet Child of Mine singalong in Step Brothers (also disappointing),

    The bullet-time fight in Max Payne an hour in after the big twist is revealed,

    The part in Harold & Kumar 2 where NPH sees a unicorn,

    The scene in the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still where Grom disintegrates into billions of little man eating machines,

    The part in Smokin’ Aces (the worst movie I have ever seen) where Jason Bateman for some unexplained reason has a giant bunny costume laying around in his hotel room.

    I also want to cite something from Constantine but I actually really really like that movie. The ending, with Tilda Swinton and Peter Stormare, is incredible.

    Knowing, however, sucks. So, so so so so much.

  14. @ Tron

    I remembered the song being played during the movie’s ending credits. Maybe it was played earlier, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen it. At any rate, it wasn’t good.

    @ Axwage

    Sorry, Tropic Thunder was incredibly funny, as was Tom Cruise. Can’t agree there. Same goes for Step Brothers.

  15. The premise is good, but your choices are kind of lame. Some of the movies are actually good, some didn’t even have that redeeming moment. But at least you put your choices out there, and I give you kudos for that, just because I don’t agree with it doesn’t mean it was a bad article. Good job.

  16. @ THeat001

    Yeah, the whole point was to show that even if a movie is bad, it may have a scene that sticks with you. These five movies were examples of that for me; I am sure everyone could think of a few movies that fit that type.

    Thanks for reading.

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