2021 is dashing towards the finish line, and I've officially started my best and worst end-of-year rankings. Today, we've got our best and worst movie moments of the year. These are the worst. These are the scenes that made me cringe the hardest. The scenes that made me want to puke. The scenes that made me uncomfortable. The scenes that had bad acting or writing. You get the idea. These worst lists are fun to write, but also make me so angry. It's funny. There's a lot of personality in this ranking, because I have a very strong hatred for a lot of these scenes. So, yeah. Here are my fifteen least favorite scenes of the year. Be sure to check out my fifteen favorite scenes of the year by simply clicking on this sentence.
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SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THE FOLLOWING MOVIES
Tom & Jerry
Zack Snyder's Justice League
The Woman in the Window
Space Jam: A New Legacy
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
The Sandstorm (Dune): Full of CGI and simply boring. Too long and uninteresting.
Dragon Nerd (Raya and the Last Dragon): The only bad writing in this movie.
Harley Quinn Falls in Love (The Suicide Squad): But why?
Lily Unlocks the Temple (Jungle Cruise): I don't understand what happens in this scene.
Arishem Tells Sersi Everything (Eternals): The laziest of lazy ways to do exposition.
The Police Station (Malignant): Meant to be scary, but just looks stupid.
Reusing the Jokes (Coming 2 America): Nobody thinks a joke is as funny the second time.
Cynthia Pressures Evan Into Speaking (Dear Evan Hansen): Unlikable character moment.
Anna Meets "Jane" (The Woman in the Window): Anna should be immediately sus but isn't.
Heidi Meets the Murphys (Dear Evan Hansen): Stilted dialogue and cringy performances.
15. Cipher Escapes and Becomes the Villain...for a Minute (F9)
I hate F9. It's a movie that starts off as an entertaining enough popcorn flick, but then turns into this nauseating mess of a film. It absolutely collapses in the third act. And one of the devastating blows came from Charlize Theron's awful villain, Cipher, escaping and fighting our heroes...for like five minutes. It's a pointless addition to the story that makes you wonder what drug the screenwriters were on when they wrote this part. It's terrible storytelling. And it affirmed my hatred of this movie.
14. The Opening Scene (Ghostbusters: Afterlife)
Ghostbusters: Afterlife was somewhat of a disappointment for me, and I think the opening scene immediately reset my expectations for the movie. It opens with this ear-piercing bang and then continues to attack your ears with extremely loud noises that made it hard to pay attention to what was going on. There's a lot of CGI in this opening, and I think that the combination of that and the atrocious loud noises made this scene simply unpleasant. I really didn't like what they did with it. Egon Spengler deserves a better death scene than this.
Sorry about the picture quality. Ghostbusters: Afterlife is still technically in theaters, so a lot of images from the movie aren't available online.
13. The Electromagnet Does the Impossible (F9)
As I said before, F9 is just awful in the third act. Another reason that it sucks is because it just waves all logic goodbye. I know that a lot of these blockbuster action movies do that, but this does it too much. They set up this electromagnet as a plot device to be used in the third act, but it's set up in a certain way with certain rules. And, by the time the final battle rolls around, those rules don't exist. This small electromagnet, that was only supposed to attach metal to the other cars, is somehow able to flip over this gigantic tank-like truck. Physics doesn't even exist in the Fast & Furious world!
12. Preeta Asks Kayla for Advice (Tom & Jerry)
Imagine you are getting married at a hotel. And you meet this woman that is maybe 24 years old that helps you carry your luggage upstairs and tells you she follows you on Instagram. The next day, for some reason, you question your engagement. So you ask said 24-year-old woman for marriage advice. You just met this woman. She's barely out of college. Why on Earth would you do that? That's the situation that plays out in Tom & Jerry. It sounds bad on paper, but is executed even worse because of the non-existent charm from Chloe Grace Moretz and Pallavi Sharda. This scene is hot garbage and makes me cringe so hard. I hate thinking about it.
11. Joy's Story (Tom & Jerry)
Joy the bell girl. One of many failed comedic elements inside of Tom & Jerry. It's like the screenwriter said this to himself: "Hey, Kevin, wanna know what would be a great idea? Let's have the really creepy bell girl tell a story FOR FIVE MINUTES but take so long that she never gets to the punchline! Ha! Absolute knee-slapper!". It's not funny. It's awkward. It's cringe. It's terrible. And it contributes to the dumpster fire that Tom & Jerry is.
10. Frank's Revival (Jungle Cruise)
Jungle Cruise started off as a stupid but fun adventure film and slowly digressed into this abysmal mess that just falls apart in the third act. In this movie, Professor Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) and sea captain Frank Wolff (The Rock) are trying to get to this magical plant that can cure diseases before the bad guys get it. There’s a twist in the middle of the film that reveals that Frank will turn to stone or something…I don’t really know. But he does turn to stone. Earlier in the movie, he told Lily that he was okay with being turned to stone. He doesn’t want to live in the outside world. And, despite his wishes, Lily revives him with the plant. And then they kiss. Neither of those payoffs were set up. There was no hint of romance between the two of them. And Frank didn’t want to be revived. Terrible writing.
9. LeBron Gets Mad at Dom for Playing Video Games (Space Jam: A New Legacy)
In the beginning of Space Jam 2, Dom James is playing a video game on his rich, giant basketball court. Sorry, not playing. MAKING. He is making this insanely complicated basketball video game that anyone in their right mind would think is cool. But, instead of congratulating his son and being proud of him for just, you know, designing this video game that could be ground-breaking in its technology, LeBron gets mad at him and tells him he should be playing basketball. It’s so forced. It’s so cringy. And it’s simply not believable. I get it. This is a movie where LeBron James teams up with the Looney Tunes to play robot/video game basketball. But that part is meant to be fantastical. This is where the movie is trying to be realistic, and it fails miserably.
8. The Wedding (Tom & Jerry)
The climax of Tom & Jerry goes all out insanity. This couple, Preeta and Ben, that have been in love for a while, have this grandiose wedding that is so over-the-top and ridiculous. It’s a kid’s movie, so I understand that part, but then Preeta, this whiny jerk, complains that Ben is making it too over-the-top. And, even though he knows it bothers his fiancée, Ben keeps making it bigger and more extravagant. The result is a wedding with elephants and with Tom and Jerry destroying everything. But it’s pure chaos. There isn’t a flow to the scene. Instead of laughing, like you should be doing, you are blankly staring at your TV and wondering “What the hell is happening right now?”
7. The Great Protector vs. The Dweller-in-Darkness (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings)
I didn’t mind Shang-Chi for most of the runtime. I didn’t love it at all, but I was having a little bit of fun. And the final battle between Shang-Chi and the Mandarin was great. That was one of my favorite parts of the movie. However, it was followed up by the worst of CGI battles. After Shang-Chi has fallen in the water, he discovers a huge dragon called the Great Protector to fight off this other, more monstrous dragon called the Dweller-in-Darkness. Marvel went so cartoonish and so CGI with this. I hate it when they do that. The CGI didn’t even look good. And this scene went on for so long. It then finished off with Katie, Awkwafina’s character, shooting the Dweller with an arrow because the Great Protector couldn’t beat it. And she gets lucky. She hits the exact, perfect spot so that the Dweller-in-Darkness dies. Ugh. This was the scene that cemented my disliking of Shang-Chi.
6. LeBron and Dom Reconcile (Space Jam: A New Legacy)
After Dom is betrayed by Al-G Rhythm, he joins up with his dad and is immediately forgiven for almost trapping thousands of people in an eternal life in a computer. That, in and of itself, is terrible. But then LeBron and Dom hug. And LeBron’s performance switches from monotonous to this sappy, over-the-top, almost satirical emotion. He tearfully says, “I love you, son.”, but it sounds like something out of a meme. I understand LeBron isn’t an actor. But if he’s not an actor, don’t make scenes where he has to legitimately act.
5. Ethan Meets Anna (The Woman in the Window)
Ethan Russell was one of the weirdest characters ever. In the novel The Woman in the Window, he’s a troubled kid that suffers from his parents screwed-up relationship. I mean, he’s really a sociopath and the main villain of the story, but the troubled kid is the façade that he puts on. However, in the movie, he emits disturbing vibes from the start. He meets Anna and is extremely creepy. He talks about how he likes the feeling of cat tongues. Anyone would realistically be weirded out, but Anna Fox is not. She acts like she does in the novel; she’s generous and caring, even though this kid clearly has something wrong with him. Fred Hechinger (the actor) and the writers of this movie totally missed the mark when it comes to Ethan’s character.
4. The Meeting at Warner Bros. (Space Jam: A New Legacy)
Space Jam’s third entry on this list is the meeting at Warner Brothers. In the film, Al-G Rhythm wants to get LeBron to be the face of Warner Bros. so that Al-G can gain more recognition. So, he somehow proposes that to the business people at the studio. They call LeBron in and pitch the idea. And it makes no sense. They basically have a montage where LeBron replaces famous characters, like Harry Potter and Mr. Freeze, but, like, why would anyone do that? LeBron’s response is reasonable. He thinks it’s a terrible idea. But he goes on and on about how bad of an idea that is. He’s so mean about it. And the words that come out of his mouth are so bad it’s funny. It’s probably about thirty seconds of him bashing Warner Bros. in the most ridiculous way. And it’s just so that Al-G can hear him and starts to hate him. The scene is so clunky and so cringy. It’s hard to even think about.
3. The Interrogation Scene (Tom & Jerry)
After Tom and Jerry get thrown in jail, Michael Peña’s character, Terrence, comes in and tries to pit them against each other to ruin the wedding. I don’t remember why he wants to ruin the wedding. But he knows that if he pits Tom and Jerry against each other, they will destroy it. So, to do this, he interrogates them both in jail. The scene is directed like a retro, 60’s montage with strange transitions and mysterious music. It doesn’t fit at all. Michael Peña’s heart clearly is not in this performance. The writing is atrocious. I don’t know what else to say about this scene or this film. Both are hot garbage.
2. The Rap (Space Jam: A New Legacy)
Have you ever wanted to see Looney Tunes legend Porky Pig put on a hat backwards, wear a chain, and bust out a rap? Me neither. But it exists now. And I am traumatized. Words cannot express my hatred for this scene. I cannot believe someone actually said the words “We should have Porky Pig rap in this movie.”. It’s just unthinkable. On top of the fact that I am watching one of my childhood icons rap, the background is filled with the other Looney Tunes and LeBron James dancing to this. This scene makes me want to barf. I started cracking up when I watched it for the first time. On the surface, I was laughing, but deep down inside, I was dying. It causes me physical pain that someone put this in a movie.
1. The Aquaman Women Sing (Zack Snyder's Justice League)
I don’t hate this scene as much as the rap. But it’s very close. The difference is that I actually like Zack Snyder’s Justice League and I think Space Jam 2 is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. But this scene…oh my god. Snyder’s Justice League was an improvement over the original in every way…except for the runtime. That was my big complaint. If this movie was three hours long, I’d probably love it. But because it’s a ludicrous four hours long, I can’t say that I love it. My frustrations are summed up with this scene. After Aquaman rejects Batman’s offer, he dives into the water and swims away. Then, this random-ass woman proceeds to pick up his clothes, smell them, and begins to sing this awful song in a language that I don’t know. It goes on for about three minutes. It doesn’t service the plot. It doesn’t do anything. It just kills the pacing of the movie and adds minutes to the runtime. I don’t even know why this scene was filmed in the first place. I’m totally befuddled. For as much high as the Snyder cut has, the lows are very low. And this scene is certainly a low.