Top 10 Exact Moments Movies Got Bad

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Top 10 Exact Moments Movies Got Bad

VOICE OVER: Ryan Wild WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
These horrible movie moments were responsible for more than just eye rolls. For this list, we'll be looking at movies that went completely downhill after one particularly infamous scene. Our countdown includes "Super 8", "Hancock", "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull", and more!
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Top 10 Exact Moments Movies Got Bad

Where did this shark come from and why is the movie jumping over it? Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Exact Moments Movies Got Bad.

For this list, we’ll be looking at movies that went completely downhill after one particularly infamous scene. Since some of these moments tie into plot twists, a spoiler alert is in order.

#10: Alan Did It Again
“The Hangover Part II” (2011)
From the get-go, “The Hangover” sequel treads on familiar waters with a blackout, a missing friend, and an animal companion. That’s just the basic setup, though. Surely once the Wolfpack hits the streets, something original will be added to the formula, right? Nope! Every story beat is virtually the same, right down to the revelation that Alan drugged the guys… again! At this point, it dawned on audiences how derivative the film was going to be. It was just going to be the first movie again with no changes. Repetition aside, Alan comes off as too stupid and irresponsible here. Yeah, we know that he’s supposed to be a doofus, but after pulling this twice, we’d rather take Alan to rehab than party with him.

#9: Bad Things Happen
“Super 8” (2011)
In his review of “Super 8,” Roger Ebert wrote that the first hour “was like seeing a lost early Spielberg classic. Then something started to slip.” For many, the film stumbles with the reveal of the alien, which looks like a “Cloverfield” knockoff. What pushes this over the edge, however, is when young Joe calmly talks to the alien. Joe essentially tells the alien to let go of its pain and… this works! The giant, buglike monster that’s been terrorizing the town apparently comprehends English and subsequently retreats from Earth. We understand what Abrams was going for and maybe this scene could’ve been effective if the alien was better-defined, like E.T. As is, this resolution is too forced, too corny, and too silly.

#8: The Mandarin
“Iron Man 3” (2013)
Most would agree that the villains were among the weaker aspects of the first two “Iron Man” movies. Well, “Iron Man 3” is finally going to compensate for that with the Mandarin, a calculating terrorist who has it out for Tony Stark. Before these two even meet, we can feel the rivalry brewing between them. All of this tension is flushed down the toilet when Tony meets the so-called “Mandarin,” who’s really just a bumbling actor named Trevor Slattery. While this twist isn’t without some clever social commentary, we were promised the legendary Ben Kingsley as one of Marvel’s most formidable foes. Guy Pearce is a fine actor, but Aldrich Killian is a lame replacement compared to the character that Kingsley was starting to develop.

#7: They’re Listening
“The Forgotten” (2004)
“The Forgotten” has a phenomenal premise right out of a classic “Twilight Zone” episode. Julianne Moore plays a mother who is seemingly the only one who can remember her presumed dead son. It’s an idea that invites so many fascinating and emotional possibilities. And what’s the big revelation? Aliens with ambiguous motives did it! Come on, that’s the most generic explanation you could possibly give and it doesn’t even fit the movie’s tone. On top of that, let’s talk about how the aliens go about abducting people. They just yank them off the ground and into the sky, leaving huge holes in ceilings. Even if they erase everyone’s memories, who’s going to clean that mess up? This isn’t a psychological thriller. It’s a “Monty Python” routine.

#6: Getting Small
“Downsizing” (2017)
“Downsizing” establishes early on that it’s not going to be like other shrinking movies. Director Alexander Payne takes a unique approach, exploring how shrinking would function in a society burdened by climate change, overpopulation, and financial struggles. Once our main character shrinks down, however, the film abandons its initial premise. The tiny world he inhabits is identical to our own, except occasionally an item is slightly larger. Why shrink a character down if you’re not going to give him a creative environment? Aside from not being visually interesting, the plot is basically on autopilot going forward with a lot of drawn-out conversations about human existence that aren’t very profound. For a film that wants to ask big questions, it does little with its intriguing setup.

#5: Mary Embrey’s Secret Identity
“Hancock” (2008)
“Hancock” spent more than a decade in development hell and it shows in the final product. The film starts off promisingly with several fresh spins on the superhero genre. What if a superhero was treated like a celebrity? What if the superhero was a reckless alcoholic? What if the superhero got a PR consultant to change his image? What if it turned out that the PR guy’s wife was also the superhero’s estranged wife who left him after he got amnesia? Wait, who wrote that last part? Yeah, this is where “Hancock” becomes overly contrived, tonally confused, and just kind of dumb. It’s a shame since the first half seemed to be moving in the right direction, but the writers simply didn’t know where to go.

#4: Paulie’s Robot
“Rocky IV” (1985)
The original “Rocky” was about a lowly boxer looking for his shot at the big time. It was a simple yet deeply human underdog story that connected with audiences everywhere. If we told you that this Best Picture winner would inspire a sequel with an 80s robot serving Paulie a birthday cake, you’d probably call us crazy. Lo and behold, though, Paulie now has a robot… who we think is also his girlfriend? Sylvester Stallone added the robot because it helped his autistic son. A noble gesture for sure, but wouldn’t a robot have been better suited for “Rambo,” “Demolition Man,” or basically anything other than a “Rocky” movie? This is too far removed from Rocky’s humble roots, setting a wacky tone for the film.

#3: Enter Jar Jar
“Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” (1999)
Even if you can’t follow all of that Trade Federation mumbo jumbo, there’s admittedly a lot to enjoy in the first several minutes of “The Phantom Menace.” You’ve got lightsabers, destroyer droids, and Ewan McGregor putting a youthful spin on Obi-Wan Kenobi. Alas, this prequel goes overboard quite quickly with the introduction of… sigh… our comedic relief. There’s not much that can be said about Jar Jar Binks that hasn’t been said already. He’s obnoxious, he contributes next to nothing, he’s only there to make children under five laugh… and he doesn’t even do that very well. We’re not saying his absence would’ve saved the rest of the movie, but from the second he showed up, we knew that this was going to be rough.

#2: Spidey Night Fever
“Spider-Man 3” (2007)
“Spider-Man 3” was already on thin ice with too many villains and nonsensical plot points. For every problem, however, there was a cool special effect, fun action set piece, or Bruce Campbell cameo to compensate. There was no coming back from Emo Peter strutting down the street, though. The “Alien Costume Saga” is one of the darkest arcs in the “Spider-Man” lore. Here, it’s almost entirely played for laughs, making it all the more distracting when the film does try to shoehorn in a dramatic moment. Even the most forgiving fans lost it when Emo Peter hit the dance floor. This scene couldn’t have been more ridiculous if John Travolta himself showed up. Oh, and way to reduce Gwen Stacy to “the other girlfriend” archetype.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few dishonorable mentions.

Zion Rave
“The Matrix Reloaded” (2003)
We Think It’s Time for a Bathroom Break

Special Enhancements
“Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” (2003)
Umm… Can the T-800 Also Do That with His… Pecs?

The Invisibility Car
“Die Another Day” (2002)
What If You Forget Where You Park or Can’t Find the Gas Cap?

Rolling Spacecraft
“Prometheus” (2012)
Run to the Side! This Isn’t Rocket Science!

#1: Nuking the Fridge
“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” (2008)
“Jumping the shark” is often used to describe moments when TV shows lost their mojo. In 2008, the cinematic equivalent to shark-jumping was coined when Indiana Jones stepped into a refrigerator. Following a reasonably fun opening chase, Indy finds himself at a Nevada test site where an atomic bomb is about to go off. Indy thus seeks refuge in a fridge, which keeps him perfectly preserved. We could go on forever about the impractical logistics of this scene. Even if the lead-lining protected him from radiation poisoning (which would be beyond miraculous), both the fridge and Indy’s 58-year-old body would’ve been totaled the instant they hit the ground. We know that Indy has improbably cheated death before, but this was a fridge too far.
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