The Return of the King is an awesome movie. But, if you watch it again, you’ll notice that there are roughly seven different times where the movie could have comfortably ended, and then another ending scene is tacked on. You can argue the value of most of these unnecessary scenes, but not the part when Frodo wakes up in the enormous bed and then everyone comes in to excitedly greet him and have lots of weird slow laughter and creepy soft light that makes everybody look like cherub figurines. It’s embarrassing to watch.
For many Superman fans, Superman I is the Superman movie. It is a perfect gem of superhero goodness. Everyone who thinks that is correct, but they’ve also definitely forgotten about this incredibly stupid scene when Superman takes Lois Lane flying. I’m not even referring to the obvious physics flaw in her being able to fly straight when he’s just holding onto her hand, even though she would logically just be hanging beneath him. We can ignore that because this is a movie about a flying, invincible man. But we can’t ignore the weird, bad poem of Lois’s internal monologue. Why is this in the movie? Silent flying would have been 1000 times better.
The sequels to The Matrix were so bad that it can be hard to remember that the first Matrix movie was actually really good. It introduced a exciting world with an interesting and fresh look at the potential of technology. And it also had a bunch of really cool parts, like that bit when he stops the helicopter from falling, or when he dies but then doesn’t die. Remember those parts? So good. You know the part you probably don’t remember because you carefully wiped it from your memory? The last 10 seconds of the movie when Keanu Reeves steps out of the phone booth and then flies while Rage Against the Machine plays. Oof. We all knew the sequels could only be shit after that scene.
Get it? It’s a movie about liars and turncloaks and…rats. So, you know, wouldn’t it just be so poignant to have a rat just kind of walk by in the last shot of the movie? That way the audience will really get what this movie is about.
Ok, yes, pretty much every scene involving computers that was filmed in the 80s or early 90s was beyond idiotic, but this particular scene, in the midst of an exquisitely crafted climax, with every audience member trembling with perfectly timed terror, is just unbearably stupid. There is probably no moment in cinematic history that made more people look at a little girl and think, “Oh shut the fuck up.”
Kenneth Branagh’s four-hour film of Hamlet was critically acclaimed at the time, and is still considered one of the best film iterations of a Shakespeare play. But it also contains one of the absolute dumbest scenes in film history: Hamlet throws a fucking sword across the room and into Claudius’s chest. There isn’t even any point in me explaining what’s so stupid about it. Just watch.
Most the stupid scenes I’ve chosen to highlight on this list come from the ends of movies, which probably says something about how hard it is to end a movie well. Harry Potter and the entire magnificent series had a perfect ending after the Battle of Hogwarts, with the new dawn of freedom and potential. And then god damn J.K. Rowling slapped on a trite, sappy, all out fanfiction-y epilogue and ruined an otherwise ideal ending. She took these young, strong heros and made them chunky, bland parents. Fuck this fucking scene.