The Most “WTF” Movie Moments of 2017

WTF 2017

When “end-of-year recap season” rocks the film journalism world each year, I find myself drawn to recalling those weird and obscure moments that exemplify the glorious unpredictability of cinema. These are the “WTF” moments. You know, those particular scenes that make you want to spring from your seat and scream “What the f––k!” at neighboring theatergoers. So, in order to qualify for a list of most WTF movie moments of 2017, there must be a true shock and awe value – sometimes for the best, other times quite the opposite.

Just to clarify, we’re not talking about entries that’d notch on a “Most Disturbing” list (I already wrote that one). This article is all about being flabbergasted, awestruck and stupefied, either positively or negatively. Happy little surprises or doggone illustrations of ill-fitting logic.

Naturally, spoilers for many 2017 movies follow.

the shape of water

Sally Hawkins And Her Fishman Lover (The Shape Of Water)

Guillermo del Toro made quite the extravagant splash with 2017’s unconventional The Shape Of Water, a splendidly sensual romance between woman and fish creature. Sally Hawkins could win an Oscar for her shared aquatic chemistry with costumed gillman Doug Jones, as she whimsically lulled audiences into accepting the film’s audacious premise through compassion and human complexity. The Shape Of Water is a romance only del Toro could dream up – old Hollywood fantasies rushing alongside a current of emotional bliss.

Yet, even with the eccentric del Toro at the helm, we all pondered one simple question – will Sally Hawkins actually copulate with her sideshow companion? And, if so, how would it play on screen? Del Toro calms our nerves through presentation, even going as far to demand Jones’ costume feature a tight, squeezable rump for Hawkins to ogle, but we still don’t believe until actual sight confirms underwater intercourse is a go. A moment so beautifully fearless, a payoff so lustily divine…Guillermo del Toro, forgive us for questioning even in the slightest.

Call Me By Your Name music video

“That” Peach Scene (Call Me By Your Name)

Timothée Chalamet takes an opportunity in Call Me By Your Name to challenge American Pie for cinema’s most memorable “food porn” sequence, but Luca Guadagnino’s intent is hardly comedic. Chalamet de-cores a soft, runny peach, pushes apart the flesh and messily places…I mean, you don’t need a play by play. It’s organic self-gratification that certainly comes out of left field, but also represents such a carnal awakening for Chalamet’s conflicted romantic. A boy who’s realizing his desires may not be considered “normal” – so fantastically open, raw and representative.

Much like Sally Hawkins’ waterplay in The Shape Of Water, Chalamet’s sexual exploration is also momentously applaudable and somehow becomes even better when Armie Hammer walks in on his crush and taunts him with the “finished” peach. It’s first jovial, as Hammer threatens to eat the “discarded” fruit, but then Chalamet bursts out crying. Maybe because he’s ashamed and now embarrassed, or maybe because of something far deeper. Do not let the inherent “WTF-ness” of the peach scene distract from a larger significance, for that would be a foolish misunderstanding.

The Mummy Clips

The Dark Universe Objectifies a Mummy (The Mummy)

There’s one-million-and-one reasons why the Dark Universe has failed “so far,” none more confusing than the hyper-sexualization of Sofia Boutella’s Ahmanet. Director Alex Kurtzman wastes no time rejuvenating her otherwise crusty cadaver into “hot wrapped corpse who Alex Kurtzman definitely wants you to fantasize about” form. Then she’s chained up by Russell Crowe’s Jekyll, Ahmanet made to writhe and moan like some male-gazey, BDSM influenced “horror” take that is like a bullet to the head for genre fans. I mean, I’m not saying you can’t be attracted to a mummy – no kink shaming here – nor do I suggest mummies themselves cannot be beautiful, but such a distraction confirmed how little Universal’s “Dark Universe” braintrust understood about what horror audiences craved.

2017: the year cinema wanted you to screw a fishman, ripened produce and a mummy who ends up being, quite honestly, the most insignificant part of a movie titled THE MUMMY. Good riddance, Dark Universe.

Power Rangers - Rita Repulsa - Elizabeth Banks

Rita Repulsa is Seeing Stars (Power Rangers)

Dean Israelite’s Power Rangers reboot squandered the Saban property with its oddly “gritty” reimagining, but one specific moment turned a wasted screening to a slightly-less-wasted surprise. No, not the Krispy Kreme tie-in. I’m talking about when Elizabeth Banks, as Rita Repulsa, finds herself the recipient of a Megazord attack that shoots her into outer-freakin-space. It’s staged so seriously as Rita lunges towards Megazord in a final act kind of way, only to have the conjoined mech backhand her into oblivion. Granted, Repulsa is a space lord who might someday return, but that doesn’t make this hilarious swat any less perfect.

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