The unique designs of the show and philosophical merit in which it was derived, makes it one, I think a long time fan of anime should at least give a chance on.
This one particular instance in the movie is not a real worth wile reason to avoid it all together.
I am however one of the proponents that it is a series that was not as earth shaking as all the hype given it. However, it does end up being one that gets talked about years after it's release. Not very many get that distinction.
Anyhow, there are a set of movies that are coming out in Japan. That are a retell of the series. Maybe if you are not wanting to follow though with the series, you could just wait till all of them are released, and just watch them. #1 came out last year, #2 is either out now, or out soon, # 3 next year, and #4 (the end) is slated for the year after.