The Top Ten Biggest Movie Letdowns

17 Sep

Every year hundreds of movies are released worldwide,  across every decade there are thousands. Some films have a little more anticipation tagged to them than others and as a result have unequivocally disappointed. Here is a list of the ten biggest culprits:

10. Star Wars Episode II: The Attack of the Clones

The Star Wars franchise has taken a beating as of late, and here is one of the principle reasons why. Following the exploits of Anakin and Obi-Wan as they do something involving a threat to galactic security and for some obscure reason, negotiate trade agreements with amphibians and somehow end up fighting robots, the story fails to achieve real grip. Factor in Mr Christensen’s remarkably leaden acting and the overall lack of magic that the series possessed, this is an easy number ten.

9. Planet of the Apes (2001)

For unexplained reasons, at one point in his career, Tim Burton decided to spend the rest of it doing adaptations. Sometimes successful, sometimes not, this is the absolute worst of the crop. This film is a perfect example of the golden rule: special effects do not a good film make.  With an uninspiring Spartacus-wannabe performance from Mark Wahlberg, a truly mystifying ending and the charm of the 60’s era effects, this film is a true let down.

8. The Golden Compass

Every so often, a classic children’s book series is adapted into film. The Golden Compass shows how to do it wrong. New Line wanted this film to be the next Lord of the Rings; indeed they advertised the film as such. However, in their eternal wisdom, they neglected to add essential elements. For example: heart. When you allow one of the writers behind the Nutty Professor 2 to both write and direct, you can surely expect something dismal. Indeed this film’s soulless script is the low point among many lows, and thus the film makes an easy entry on this list.

7. Jumper

Occasionally it is also the case that a certain respected director does not make a movie for a while. Understandably his first feature after an extended hiatus has certain expectations attached. Doug Liman manages to let down on every level with this unwatchable film. Hayden Christensen teleports! He’s chased by Templars (sort of)! Samuel L. Jackson has white hair! Thus the essential subtlety of the plot is conveyed. With no heart and no soul, Jumper makes for painful viewing, thus its entry on this list is well earned.

6. Highlander 2

For many of you, this may be a surprise and obscure entry, nonetheless, this film’s place is well earned. The original Highlander film, although by no means a masterpiece of the silver screen, had a certain lo-fi charm and an endearingly bonkers plot that saw it gain a reasonable following. In this film we find that not only is Christopher Lambert not Scottish, but neither is Sean Connery! No, they are both from outer space and need to return, urgently. To fight.  Highlander 2, with an incoherent script, nonsensical settings and highfalutin airs, exists but for lists like this.

5. The Simpsons Movie

The Simpsons has been on air for twenty years now. As the longest running prime time show ever, The Simpsons has understandably taken a dip in quality as time has gone by. With new seasons failing to capture the simple essence of the cutting satire and relatable stories of the beginning, it has become a cartoon ever more than before. The movie represented a chance to reverse this trend. It did not. It only proved to be unfunny and soulless, and thus resides at number five.

4. Transformers 2

As has been seen so far, sequels usually fare poorly when compared to the originals. Transformers 2 does not break the mould. The film is an extended advert for Hasbro and General Motors punctuated by explosions with a lot of added Megan Fox boobs (Megan Fox is also in the movie, albeit in a slightly more sporadic role). Indeed Michael Bay treats the audience as he always does, numpties willing to pay top dollar for tits, guns and explosions. Even in a film rated 12 he somehow gets away with this. Nuff’ said.

3. Southland Tales

Imagine a film about renewable energy, set on the eve of world war three. Now also imagine it being in the future, and in Los Angeles. Now cast the Rock as the lead, involve something about a porn star and twins and parallel dimensions and you’ve got Southland Tales. The first film after an extended hiatus for Richard Kelly, once renowned director of student favourite Donnie Darko, Southland Tales disappoints and confounds on many levels, and so is here at number three.

2. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

The expectations could not have been higher for this, the fourth in the Indy series. Thus this film could not have ever lived up to expectations. However it let down on an unforgiveable scale. The plot has no feeling to it that the 80’s originals had. We’re led to believe that not only can a geriatric archaeologist outwit and outfight professional soldiers, but that aliens leave ornate crystal skulls lying about for anyone to find, Shia LeBoeuf is related to Harrison Ford and a fridge can save you from a nuclear explosion!

1. X-Men 3

Words cannot express how bad this film is. I’ll try anyway.  Director Brett Ratner throws away the complexity of the previous films by having Jean kill everyone. Before that he has Ian McKellan lift a bridge and Vinnie Jones call Juno a bitch. After that Patrick Stewart is reincarnated as a freaky baby and everybody is happy. Except the audience.

Sean Cameron

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