Awesome Moments In Otherwise Average Films
When it comes to movies, it’s fair to say that plenty of them just don’t quite live up to expectations — that’s not to say that the entire film misses the mark. Every now and again a film will provide audiences with one scene or sequence that almost makes the film incredible! Here’s my top 10 list of awesome moments in otherwise average movies.
Duel of the Fates – The Phantom Menace (1999)
Kick-starting the prequel trilogy was no easy task and The Phantom Menace is regularly slated as being the worst Star Wars film to date. With cheesy puns, annoying child actors, Jar Jar Binks and many other major downsides to the film, it’s no wonder it has such a reputation. However, there is a diamond in the rough. During the final showdown between the Jedi and the Sith, we are treated to a phenomenal combination of lightsaber dueling and an incredible score composed by John Williams.
As far as awesome moments go, this one certainly delivers. Many Star Wars fans still view this as being one of the most awesome moments in the Star Wars series to date as it offered a lightsaber battle unlike any other so far in the series. Sadly, the fight ends in the death of Qui-Gon Jinn at the hands of Darth Maul. Thanks to his young apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi, his death is avenged.
Time Montage – X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
There aren’t a lot of great things that one can say about the X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie. The premise itself may have been pretty interesting. I mean who doesn’t want to see how the gritty anti-hero started his story? Unfortunately the inconsistencies, the clichéd story and the unmentionable characters (I am of course referring to Deadpool) make this movie pretty unbearable. Wolverine deserves a better telling of his origin story!
The film even manages to get your hopes up at the very beginning by showing audiences a cleverly done montage. In order to reflect the immortal-like nature of brothers Logan and Victor, we get a glimpse of their lives across a span of several decades. Travelling through the Civil War, WW1, WW2 and Vietnam the montage highlights the divide between the brothers as well as their violent background. Unfortunately the rest of the movie manages to be rather average. This isn’t the only time an X-Men movie makes it into this awesome moments list though…nor is it the only montage.
War Montage – Watchmen (2009)
Watchmen was not an awful movie by any means…it just wasn’t great either. It manages to combine truly awesome moments with truly dull ones. One thing is for sure: it was a refreshing take on the superhero genre and manages to create a movie of caped crusaders that certainly isn’t aimed at younger audiences.
Perhaps one of the most awesome moments in the film is the opening credits. Featuring a montage that highlights the struggles of both the superheroes and the world in general, the accompanying soundtrack of Bob Dylan’s ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’’ really packs an emotional punch. Combining real world events with the fictitious characters just adds to the heartfelt introduction. You actually feel like you’re watching these events happen in front of your eyes. It does an excellent job of setting the tone for the rest of the movie.
Evolution Montage – Noah (2014)
To end our string of montage-related awesome moments is a scene from the biblical movie: Noah. The film was criticized by religious audiences for taking liberties with the biblical account as well as undermining many beliefs within Christianity. Unfortunately, non-religious audiences don’t view the film in a positive light either. There are certainly worse movies though and there was one moment that stood out above the rest.
Starting off with the phrase “…let there be light…” Noah (played by Russell Crowe) tells his family the creation story. One of the interesting aspects of this scene is the contrast between the visual story and the verbal story. Noah is talking exclusively about the biblical creation account. The montage, however, explores the creation of stars, planets and systems within space. It then focuses on the theory of evolution as the fascinating montage follows each step of evolution from cell to fish to lizard to monkey. It then returns momentarily to the biblical account before showing an interesting representation of the endless wars of humanity.
Plane Crash Scene – Knowing (2009)
While we’re on the topic of religion, we may as well explore Knowing. Starring Nicolas Cage and Rose Byrne the film has massive religious overtones. The plot itself centers on a set of number that has been lifted from a time capsule after 50 years underground. They seem to predict disasters around the world. The film itself is pretty entertaining and has moments of high intensity and even fear. There is one moment that highlights this perfectly.
John (played by Cage) is trying to work out what all the numbers mean, certain that they represent disasters. Discovering that the numbers include latitude and longitude, he stumbles upon a traffic accident. With the number of casualties not adding up to those predicted by the piece of paper, John and audiences alike begin to wonder if maybe the numbers are meaningless. That is until a plane suddenly comes crashing down through pylons, the line of traffic and into the ground. It’s awesome moments like this that make your heart stop as you sit anxiously on the edge of your seat.
Magneto loses his family – X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
The X-Men franchise as a whole is full of ups and downs. X-Men: Apocalypse managed to be an average film despite the immensity of the situation. Bumping up the powers of characters and bringing back the original mutant, the film had moments of poor acting (which doesn’t bode well for the Dark Phoenix movie) and felt too similar to previous movies. I mean how many times can we watch Magneto start off as a “good guy” only to turn on his allies?
Saying that, one scene of powerful emotion stands out from this movie. Magneto (Michael Fassbender) is living a life of peace with his wife and daughter. We’ve seen plenty of times when Magneto has been emotional. Usually he is angry or sad but this marked one of the few times he seemed happy. All that changes when his daughter and wife are accidentally killed when one of his co-workers (whose life had just been saved by Magneto) rats him out to the authorities. What we see is a moment of pure hatred and anger as Magneto kills well…everyone! Hunting down all those responsible much in the same way as in First Class.
Birth of Sandman – Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Speaking of awesome moments full of villainous emotion, let’s not forget Spider-Man 3. The Sam Raimi trilogy ends somewhat horribly with Spider-Man 3. The ridiculous combination of villains and too many smaller storylines ultimately left fans disappointed. I’m not even going to start on the emo jazz bar scene with Tobey Maguire.
There are several awesome moments in Spider-Man 3 though such as the bell tower scene with Venom. There is also the violent and vengeful fight between Sandman and Spider-Man. None of these come close to the emotional and visually incredible origin of Sandman. Looking past the sci-fi disintegration of his physical body, we watch him desperately try and fail to pick up a locket. The picture within the locket is of his daughter who we learn is sick and requires expensive medical treatment. This moment truly makes you feel for the character, someone you wouldn’t imagine would deserve your sympathy.
Jerusalem scene – World War Z (2013)
Adding to the zombie genre, World War Z is full of intense and awesome moments. Unfortunately, overall the film is a little disappointing. Rather than feeling like one story, it was more like watching one forced situation after another. The CGI hordes of zombies always felt super fake and it just felt like the same style of infected worked better in the smaller budget films such as 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later.
Saying that, there are some awesome moments in World War Z. One of these happens to be when the main characters are behind the wall at Jerusalem. Thinking that they are safe behind such a gigantic structure, Gerry Lane (played by Brad Pitt) soon realizes that all the noise will attract the hordes. As more and more of infected pile against the wall, they soon create a hill of bodies which allows the rest to climb over. This leads to an intense break for freedom from everyone inside the wall. Panic, terror and death are quickly followed by a desperate sprint through the streets.
Alien Ambush – War of the Worlds (2005)
War of the Worlds is a pretty successful remake of an adaptation. Starring Tom Cruise as the father of a broken home, this story tells of an alien invasion. With great special effects and a cool premise, it’s quite surprising that this film isn’t a favorite among sci-fi lovers. Sadly, the annoying children within the film bring the whole movie down a peg. I personally struggle to watch the movie anymore because their running away, screaming and whining (all understandable given the circumstances) is just beyond irritating.
It’s impossible to deny that there are some awesome moments within War of the Worlds though. The eerie scene of the tripods spraying human blood like fertilizer is hauntingly disturbing. There is also the initial arrival sequence which rewards the curious humans with disintegration. One moment in particular comes out on top. About halfway through the film, the family head for a ferry crossing. The crowds are moving calmly and it seems rather safe…until several tripods appear on the hills behind them. The panic onto the ferry is followed by an underwater attack. Anyone who managed to survive both incidents ended up being attacked on the other shore as well. Ray and his family can only watch in horror as tripods ambush the entire area. Chilling doesn’t even begin to describe it! If you didn’t think humanity was helpless before this moment in the film, you sure do after.
Arrival to Prometheus – Alien: Covenant (2017)
Alien: Covenant is yet another journey into the world of aliens, predators and engineers. The film received pretty varied responses with many fans annoyed at the overlooked Prometheus sequel. With that story essentially being skipped in favor of this one, it was even more disappointing to find very little originality. Seeing one Alien film would have spoiled the story line of this one.
But…every cloud has a silver lining and with a fairly uninteresting sequel, you do occasionally get one incredible scene. It may not be quite make it up there with the rest of these awesome moments but it’s certainly close. During Alien: Covenant, there is a scene where David tells the tale of how they ended up on the planet and what happened to the original inhabitants: Showing a ship of gigantic proportions coming into land only to drop biological weapons onto the city below. The scene is violent, graphic and cool to watch. Sticking to the formula of the franchise, it also raises more questions than the film is capable of answering!
Thanks for reading! What are your thoughts on these awesome moments? Got any more to add to the list? Comment down below!
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