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3 Really Awesome Scenes From Really Bad Movies

Giphy Images.

No film is undeserving of praise, and no movie is unworthy of criticism, but even the most significant pieces of garbage can have their redeemable moments. Here are three that stand out. If you enjoy any of these movies, that’s fine. Film will forever be subjective.

The Attack On Pearl Harbor in “Pearl Harbor”

I know of a fair amount of people who weren’t crazy about this sequence (from what I’ve heard, it features some borderline offensive historical inaccuracies). Still, because the rest of this three-hour film is full of a lame love triangle, terrible dialogue, and Josh Hartnett pretending to act, this scene feels like it belongs in a better movie. Michael Bay, for all his flaws (and boy does he have quite a few) does destruction better than almost anyone. This movie was released in 2001, and the CG still holds up remarkably well for the time. Long action sequences have a tendency to get on my nerves, but considering this movie is called “Pearl Harbor,” I’m glad they were able to get the Pearl Harbor part right.


The introduction of Sandman in “Spider-Man 3”

I know that “Spider-Man 3” has its defenders, and I was one of them for a long time. But having rewatched it recently, I can assure you that outside of many meme-worthy moments involving Tobey Maguire dancing, this film is a mess…with one notable exception. This birth of Sandman is a scene that perfectly reflects the movie that Sam Raimi desperately wanted to make with “Spider-Man 3.” Raimi loved this character and desperately wanted him to be the main villain of this film along with James Franco’s “New Goblin.” I love that this is one of these scenes that tells us so much while saying so little. Not a single line of dialogue is spoken, and yet you learn almost everything you need to know about the character. It’s the last great scene from a series that is still my favorite interpretation of the character despite its weak final act.


The “Duel Of The Fates” lightsaber fight in “Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace”

When I think of great scenes in bad movies, this is always the first one that comes to mind. This movie is one of the single most boring blockbuster films ever made. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fascinating just how bad and dull it is. I have no problem dissecting every minor issue with the prequel trilogy. But for 5 minutes or so, it’s fantastic. In a career full of bangers, this may be my favorite piece of music that John Williams has ever conducted. It’s so epic and deserves to be in a better movie. For the most part, I find most of the lightsaber fight sequences in the prequel trilogy to be overly choreographed and a bit ridiculous, but this was the one that got it right. This scene blew the mind of 3-year-old Chris in 1999 and blew the mind of 26-year-old Chris in 2022. It’s one of my favorite scenes in any Star Wars movie, and it came in what is, to me, the worst film of The Skywalker Saga.

What are some of your favorite scenes in bad movies?

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