Talkback: What Were 2012's Greatest Unintentionally Awkward Moments In Film?
2012 was a strong year for film, delivering numerous high quality event movies and also a ton of very excellent serious fare as well. But perhaps it's the overall high quality that made us take note of the moments in which we were wrenched out of our suspended disbelief, or maybe it's just that the gods of moviedom knew something had to be done to prevent people from taking themselves too seriously. Either way, the year was blessed with some rather amazeballs moments of unintentional awkwardness that really forced us to step back and gasp, "Did that really happen?!" [SPOILERS!]
Talia Al Ghul's death in The Dark Knight Rises
We can spend hours picking apart the problems with The Dark Knight Rises (and we did!), but the film probably could have glued itself together were it not for the moment Marion Cotillard was revealed (da-da-daaaa) to actually be the daughter of Ra's Al Ghul (Liam Neeson) from Batman Begins. Not only did this reveal come out of nowhere, but it turned very quickly into a punchline when she died less than 10 minutes later, delivering her death monologue like she was having a ham-off with William Shatner. “My father's work... IS DONE! Gasp. Gasp. GASP!”
(Bonus points for the goofy look of disbelief on Jim Gordon's, Batman's and Selina Kyle's faces. Even they know how silly this is.)
Skyfall is almost the perfect Bond film, right down to the amazing theme song. But the film nearly ground to a halt during the contractually obligated moment where Javier Bardem's Silva has been captured and is interrogated by M - not because the scene isn't awesome, but because for some reason, Silva's already-creepy personality and damaged brain wasn't enough for the film's creative management. So they went and gave him the worst dentures ever.
Every other moment Bardem is onscreen is truly terrifying, but this just felt like a bad parody.
It almost seems unfair to mention it, but even a film series littered with spectacular amounts of knowing camp managed to take itself very, very seriously at precisely the wrong moment: The moment in which a werewolf TOOK A TODDLER AS HIS SOULMATE. The Twilight series' discomfort that began in Part One with Jacob's baby-imprinting peaked in the Breaking Dawn Part 2 flash forward that showed Jacob (Taylor Lautner) and a grown Renesmee canoodling as a happy and ostensibly legal-and-totally-not-creepy-anymore couple.
Every time Gale shows up in The Hunger Games
I feel bad for Liam Hemsworth because he did a perfectly fine job playing Katniss' childhood bestie/first love interest, Gale. Unfortunately, Hemsworth interpreted Gale as though he just walked in from the cast of Magic Mike, delivering the bro-iest take on an oppressed citizen of a dystopic, post-apocalyptic dictatorship in recorded history. I saw The Hunger Games three times in the theater. One of them was a press screening and even there, I heard snickers every time the camera panned to Hemsworth. Hopefully he bros it down a notch for the sequel.
What about you, readers? Let us know your favorite moments that disrupted disbelief in comments.
MORE END-OF-YEAR 2012 TOP TENS:
One Of The Last Top 10s Of 2012, By Brian Brooks
Mash-Ups, 'Moonrise,' And 'Miami' Connections: Jen Yamato's Top 10 Movie Moments of 2012
Amy Nicholson's / Top 10 of 2012 / Written In Haiku
The Masters: Movieline Critic Alison Willmore's Top 10 Films of 2012
They Turn Us On, Dammit! Movieline Critic Alison Willmore's Top 10 Overlooked Gems of 2012
Ross Lincoln is a LA-based freelance writer from Oklahoma with an unhealthy obsession with comics, movies, video games, ancient history, Gore Vidal, and wine. Follow him on twitter (@rossalincoln).
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