This is without a doubt the golden age of the comic book movies. Even if there are equally passionate defenders and detractors of the DC Extended Universe, nothing can change the company’s incredible cinematic legacy.
Long before Marvel’s big screen success, DC changed the game in the late ‘70s with Superman: The Movie and again in the late ‘80s with Tim Burton’s Batman. However, even the best movies have their awkward moments and these classics were no exceptions.
Over time, as the age of the comic book movie blossomed, more and more DC characters wound up making it to the big screen. These awkward, jarring moments only became more and more frequent.
They crept into even the most acclaimed superhero features, and the worst ones became defined by them. Even the bad movies have moments that feel completely out of place, that don’t even feel like they’re a part of the same feature.
These are the moments we’ll be looking at on this list– the scenes that feel like they’re there for no reason, or don’t work at all the way the filmmakers intended them to, the scenes that even if they’re aiming to be great, just leave people scratching their heads.
With that said, here are the 15 Jarring Scenes That Take You Out Of DC Movies.
15. Ares Shouting “I Will Destroy You” in Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman is without a doubt one of the best DC movies, even one of the best superhero movies in general. It changed the game. It offered everything that made the original Superman film great, but from an entirely different perspective.
In a decade populated by so many increasingly cynical comic book adaptations, Wonder Woman is inherently optimistic. It deals with hard truths about the world, but never loses that sense of hope. It’s often warm, but never cheesy.
Until the final battle, that is. At that point, all the cheese that had been held back so successfully just comes pouring out. In a movie that had been so powerful and sincere only moments prior, it’s completely jarring to see David Thewlis in a CGI Ares armor shouting “I will destroy you!”
14. Superman Flying Backwards Around the World in Superman: The Movie
When it comes to comic book movies, Superman is the gold standard. It’s the film that will always be most associated with the superhero genre– and for good reason.
It laid the groundwork, it was faithful and respectful of the source material and delivered some dynamite performances and iconic moments, not to mention the John Williams score. But it absolutely has its over-the-top moments.
Those moments usually fall on Lex Luthor and his lackeys, though, not on the serious, dramatic beats—with one major exception. There’s the infamous, legendary moment when Superman realizes he was too late to save Lois.
In frustration, he flies backward around the Earth, causing it to change rotation, somehow rewinding time so that he can save her life. Suspension of disbelief goes a long way in this classic, but that scene might be the breaking point.
13. The Kung Fu Laundry Scene in Batman Forever
Batman Forever is full of bizarre, cheesy, and often cringe-worthy moments. There are several scenes devoted to Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones trying to out-ham each other in their respective performances as Riddler and Two-Face.
There are even more scenes devoted to Chase Meridian desperately coming onto Batman to the point of using the Bat-Signal just to arrange a date.
Those scenes all fit with the over-the-top glam of what Batman Forever is. However, in the middle of what is a pretty decent stretch of Dick Grayson’s origin story, the audience is treated to a bizarre scene of Dick doing his laundry.
12. The No Brakes Parker Posey Chase in Superman Returns
Superman Returns is mostly known for being a bit of a boring movie, though not an outright terrible one. It’s much more focused on the romantic elements than it is on any kind of action or heroics.
Those moments do happen in places, though. In some instances, they’re dynamic comebacks like the plane crash that reintroduces Superman to the world, or lifting an entire island on his back at the end. However, then there are those little moments throughout the feature that have to remind the audience that Superman has a job to do other than stalking Lois.
This scene is easily the weirdest in the movie. Parker Posey, as Luthor’s main lackey, is meant to cause a car chase that will keep Superman distracted, but it’s such a bizarre moment that it kind of manages to distract the audience as well, especially when she starts very aggressively coming onto him.
11. The Unnecessarily Long Krypton Opening of Man of Steel
When reinterpreting the Superman mythos to launch the DCEU with Man of Steel, Zack Snyder and company really wanted to recreate Krypton as a fully-realized world.
Audiences would not only see familiar characters like Jor-El and Zod, but they’d also see the council, buildings, hieroglyphics, the planet’s animal life, and receive unnecessarily complex details about Kryptonian breeding.
This whole sequence takes up almost the first twenty minutes of the movie, before the audience is even introduced to young Clark, let alone the adult version.
It throws off the pacing of Man of Steel, a movie that does have some great moments, right out of the gate. It’s a tough sequence to recover from, because it’s so jarring and it takes the viewer out of the experience right at the very beginning of the movie.
10. Superman Throwing the ‘S’ in Superman II
By and large, Superman II is considered to be almost as great as its classic predecessor. Some fans even prefer it. Either way, it’s a more than worthy follow-up.
Yet, just like the first, it has a moment at the end that still leaves fans scratching their heads. While plenty of people consider Superman to be overpowered, most people still have a good grasp on what those powers are.
Except for this moment, when Superman takes advantage of an ability he had never used before nor would ever use again, throwing the “S” insignia while fighting Zod, Ursa, and Non in the Fortress of Solitude.
9. Heather Locklear and Swamp Thing Get Intimate in Return of Swamp Thing
Alan Moore’s Saga of the Swamp Thing defined comics in the ‘80s. It’s widely considered to be one of the best, if not the very best comic book runs of all time. In that respect, it’s kind of amazing that the closest fans have come to seeing it on the big screen is Jim Wynorski’s B-Movie exploitation effort Return of Swamp Thing.
As a sequel to the Wes Craven movie that was released just before the comic’s seminal reinvention, Return is schlocky monster fun but a far cry from the depth achieved on the page, to be sure.
The most bizarre standout moment is actually a scene that tries to recapture some of the source material, but is done in such a weirdly sleazy way that it doesn’t work at all.
8. The Ending of The Dark Knight Rises
For all the hate that fans love to throw its way, there are great moments in The Dark Knight Rises. In fact, there are several of them. For a few long stretches, it’s one of the most endearing, introspective superhero efforts of that year.
The problem is just how much of the great scenes in the first two hours are completely undone in the third act. Bane, an idealistic revolutionary, turns out to be a lackey. Batman comes back to stop a bomb that— while tacky— is meant to symbolize his self-sacrifice.
That doesn’t happen either. The scene that stands out in The Dark Knight Rises features Alfred at a restaurant seeing Bruce and knowing that he made it out alive. Not only is this enough to suggest that Bruce has gotten over a lifetime of isolation and trauma, but Selina Kyle is seated beside him as well.
7. Superman Day Drinking in Superman III
Superman III is not known for being the best of its franchise. Even if it’s not as big a trainwreck as its immediate follow up, that would be like praising Jaws 3 for not being Jaws: The Revenge.
Despite the good idea of splitting Superman into his light and dark sides, Superman III is not a very good movie. Richard Pryor is thrown into the mix, simultaneously bogging down the movie while sincerely trying to save it.
The biggest problem, though, is that Christopher Reeve is so perfectly cast as the stalwart hero that it’s impossible to take his “evil” Superman seriously.
6. The Go-Kart Track in Green Lantern
Even if it’s kind of by-the-numbers, Green Lantern gets off to a pretty decent start. Hal Jordan’s motivations are clear, a threat is clearly being built up, all of the training stuff on Oa is a great introduction to that world and the rest of the Corps. It’s really this moment that truly lets fans know that this is not, in fact, the adaptation they were waiting for.
When a superhero’s entire power hinges on imagination, it requires the filmmakers to show some imagination in order for the action sequences to be appropriately dazzling.
Here, a go-kart catches a helicopter in a cartoonish sequence that feels more lazy than anything else. Not only is it the most jarring scene, but it set the stage for further uninteresting applications of Green Lantern’s willpower.
5. The Jolly Rancher Scene in Batman v Superman
There are quite a few bizarre, head-scratching moments in Batman v Superman. Most of them are weird, little eccentric beats that the movie doesn’t spend much time on, letting them drop and moving onto the next scene.
However, then there’s this extremely uncomfortable moment in which Lex Luthor not only sets up just about all of his motivations, but also stuffs a red Jolly Rancher into a politician’s mouth as he’s talking.
The craziest thing about this scene is that the things Luthor is saying are crucial to his character and the plot, so to make the audience squirm in their seat with this lingering shot of Lex stuffing candy into another human’s mouth is almost doubly head-scratching than it would have been had the scene just been an out-of-left-field gag.
4. Battling Newly Resurrected Superman in Justice League
Most of the random battles thrown into Justice League are actually a lot of fun. The Themyscira sequence probably doesn’t need to be half as long as it is, but it also happens to be one of the most exciting, genuinely tense scenes in the entire movie.
The resurrection of Superman is something that’s clearly necessary to the movie’s plot, as everything hinges on how the world— and especially the team— are affected by his absence.
Yet his resurrection not only feels weirdly forced, it leads to an action sequence that slows to movie to a complete stop. It’s long and unnecessary, especially since it ends with Superman just flying away, which he easily could have done in the first place.
3. The Bat Credit Card in Batman and Robin
No one’s going to pretend that there aren’t dozens if not hundreds of incredibly over-the-top, goofy moments in Batman and Robin. It’s a cheese-fest from beginning to end.
Yes, it’s going for a recreation of the tone and style of the original Adam West TV series, but it’s also maybe the most commercial superhero movie ever made. The production was infamously dictated by the toy company, to the dismay of the filmmakers.
That corporate attitude is easily best showcased in the most jarring scene, when a roomful of Gotham’s most rich and powerful are bidding on a night with Poison Ivy— already an uncomfortable thing— leading to a bidding war between the dynamic duo.
2. Katana’s Introduction in Suicide Squad
More than any of the other DCEU efforts, Suicide Squad just feels like an incomplete mess of a movie. So many threads were abandoned, so many characters shuffled around and re-organized, so many tonally different reshoots.
There are whole lengthy scenes that feel like they were made up on the day. Even still, it has a visual style on its own and tries to keep a certain attitude, but then there are moments like the tone-deaf afterthought introduction of Katana.
The last member of the Squad to be introduced, she also barely gets a line in throughout the whole film. Flag’s monologue of “This is Katana, she’s got my back…” has deservedly gone on to become a meme for how flat it is in both in the script and in its delivery.
1. The Basketball Scene in Catwoman
All of the other entries on this list have something in common with their comic book counterparts, even if it’s only visually. That’s really not the case with Catwoman. Originally planned as a spinoff for Michelle Pfeiffer in the early ‘90s, the idea circulated around Hollywood until it became its own thing years later.
The Catwoman in the finished movie would not be a character who had ever appeared in comics before, nor would she share any similarities in terms of abilities or skill.
This scene is not only the most jarring, it’s also sadly the scene that embodies everything this movie is in terms of an over-sexualized, over-stylized parade of weirdness.
The basketball scene is meant to be a flirty moment for the main characters and that’s what might be weirdest of all, let alone the fact that the entire movie feels like a halftime show for the MTV Movie Awards.
Can you think of any other jarring scenes from DC movies that completely ruin the experience? Let us know in the comments!
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