-The refrigerator scene in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. (Shia Labeouf swinging through the trees was perhaps as ridiculous, but I wrote that off as an homage to Edgar Rice Burroughs, and put it out of my mind.)
-Kevin Costner’s on-again, off-again accent in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
Then, I remembered one that positively sets my teeth on edge, and just about ruins an otherwise great movie. I’ve always been amazed that more people don’t afford the same level of derision to the movie Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom that they do to Crystal Skull, and it’s all thanks to my least favorite character of all time- Short Round. I can’t believe more people don’t consider him on par with Jar Jar Binks (or perhaps they do and I just missed the discussions.) The kid’s annoying in general, but one scene was over the top for me. When the slaves are set free, Short Round breaks out the martial arts and sends guys three times his weight flying with every kick. Admittedly, the “martial arts is magic” concept is a common Hollywood failing, but even as a teenager, this scene reach cartoon-level absurdity for me. I’m a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and I kick hard, but the only way I’m going to send someone significantly heavier than me flying backward is if he’s either taken unaware, or if he’s making no effort to resist. A solid kick might hurt my opponent, maybe knock him back a bit, but send him flying through the air? Okay, I’m getting annoyed at that movie all over again.
On that note, I’d like to pose the same question about books. Can you think of a book in which a single scene ruined or almost ruined the story for you?