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The 10 Most Disappointing Movies of Summer 2016

18 August 2016 | Features, Film Lists | by Ryan Anderson

most disappointing movies summer 2016

The summer time has been the home of blockbusters and surprise hits for decades now. We did not have the most classic summer series of blockbusters this year, but we did have a few hits (Finding Dory, Captain America: Civil War), some bombs (Ice Age: Collision Course, The Darkness) and some disappointments (see below).

Here, I have collected some of the biggest disappointments of the summer. The films were chosen by critical, commercial, and viewer success, or lack thereof.

Most of these films had some level of hype to them and were highly anticipated by fans and critics alike. However, they were disappointing in some fashion. I’m not saying these films are bad, but maybe not as good as they could have been.

 

1. The Legend of Tarzan

The Legend of Tarzan

Yes, another film about Tarzan. This one features lots of CGI, a darker tone, and lots of shirtless Alexander Skarsgård. The Legend of Tarzan was Directed by David Yates and written by Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer, the film stars Alexander Skarsgård as the title character, with Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, Djimon Hounsou, Jim Broadbent, and Christoph Waltz in supporting roles.

A really great cast and a superb director in Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter films, could not save this film. I don’t know if too many people were surprised that this was not that great, but based on the trailer and who was involved, it at least looked pretty good.

However, The Legend of Tarzan received a rating of 35%, based on 192 reviews, with an average rating of 5.1/10. It was praised by many for having more on its mind and making Tarzan more a of multi-leveled character, but blasted for its generic plot and sluggish pace.

As Peter Travers said, at least it is watchable, in summertime, that can be enough praise for a movie. I don’t know why we needed another Tarzan feature, but we got one, and it was disappointing. The film also failed to recoup its massive budget, so many we won’t get another Tarzan feature for awhile.

 

2. Suicide Squad

suicide-3

This entry really depends on who you ask. Many fans and some critics were completely satisfied with Suicide Squad, which is of course based on characters from DC comics. Many critics however, found the direction and editing choppy, the plot muddled, and the characters thinly-written, though the cast’s’ performances received praise.

I don’t think the film deserves its 27% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes or its score of 40 out of 100 on Metacritic. Those both seem too harsh to me.

Admittingly, I am not the biggest fan of all of the superhero and supervillain movies, but I thought Suicide Squad was pretty good. I would least give the film around 2 ½, 3 stars out of 4. However, due to the film’s hype and never ending publicity for the quality of the final product, I had to place it on this list.

Besides the film overall, some were disappointed in the actual amount of screen time and characterizations of the Joker and Harley Quinn. Screentime more Jared Leto as the Joker and as critic David Fear from Rolling Stone noted they underserved both Harley and the actor playing her, Margot Robbie.

Many did say they thought Leto’s and Robbie’s performances were the standouts from the film and can’t wait to see more from the characters in the future. Overall, the quality of Suicide Squad and if someone found it to be disappointing varies from person to person, but because of the never-ending hype and the less than super amazing end result, Suicide Squad lands here.

 

3. Warcraft

Warcraft

It seems like every time someone tries to adapt a video game franchise in a movie, it fails miserably, at least on the critical end of things. Warcraft is no exception.

Adapted from the Warcraft series of video games, games brimming with success, a huge fan base and tons of lore. Yet, the film was not financially successful enough, thanks to a $160 million budget. It is the highest grossing video game adaptation of all time, grossing $433 million worldwide, and it was still a financial disappointment.

It was a critical disappointment on top of that. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a rating of 29%, based on 185 reviews, with an average rating of 4/10.

The adaptation itself was itself critiqued for being ridiculous because the original game was not supposed to have a deep narrative. Many saw problems in the lack of character development, overuse of CGI, and sometimes clichéd dialogue.

It was almost too strong of an adaptation, to a point where to the more casual audience member; the story doesn’t make much sense. There is too much lore and core specifics from the game that it alienates casual audience members.

The film was really a waste of director Duncan Jones, who is quite talented when not surrounded by such mess. To top off the disappointment, we are getting a sequel to this movie.

 

4. Independence Day: Resurgence

Independence Day Resurgence

We waited 20 years for this? Independence Day: Resurgence was included on my list of films to look forward to this, as some of the cast of the original was coming back and it could be a humorous yet human enthralling adventure we all wanted. No. It was explosives, some funny bits, and more overblown action sequences.

Roland Emmerich, the director of the first film returns to wreak more havoc on the big screen, and takes whatever emotional and human aspects we saw in the original and tosses them out the window. By the end of the movie, I didn’t care if these people were gonna die, “I say, let ‘em crash”.

There was no emotional connection and the Earth ending consequences didn’t seem too dire to anyone involved in the picture. It should be dumb fun with a bit of sap, but it ends up being dumb.

The main problem I have with the film is it completely sets itself up for a sequel, which has not really even been planned that thoroughly. This Hollywood need to constantly make everything into a franchise is just becoming too much.

Why can’t we let the movie stand by itself and decide later if it needs a sequel? We are probably gonna get it, because Resurgence was financially successful and the ending of the movie is so sequel oriented that it makes no sense without one. What a mess!

 

5. Alice Through the Looking Glass

Alice Through the Looking Glass

A Memorial Day bust, the third in recent memory from Walt Disney Studios, including Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Tomorrowland. We didn’t really need the sequel to 2010’s Alice in Wonderland, but it made a billion dollars at the box office so Disney was for sure going to make another one.

This sequel is not helmed by original director Tim Burton, who now serves in the executive producer role, but it is still very Burtonesque. All of the original cast comes back in their roles including Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen and Mia Wasikowska as Alice.

Much like the original film, what they create is beautiful to look at, but overall mediocre in execution. I, like many, were hoping they would rebound and create something different enough from the original story to be different and better.

The film, unfortunately opened the same week as X-Men: Apocalypse and could not keep up, earning just $27 million dollars in the first weekend, down 70% from the original’s opening weekend.

I would have to agree with critics Matt Zoller Seitz, who called it the most offensive kind of film, “one that spends an enormous amount of money yet seemed to have nothing on its mind but money.”

The characters were not fleshed out well enough and did not really respect the source material, which is what I always wanted out of these films, but Hollywood tried to make them into loud and crazy blockbusters and it worked the first time, but not the second. Disappointing because I thought they could turn the franchise around, but they just drove it into the ground.

 

 

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  • Unkle Dee

    The Neon Demon is not a dissapointment for me. Like most movies by Refn it got mixed reviews. But its ####ng Refn. Its stylish surreal campy horror (with fantastic sountrack) as director intended, and its one of the most interesting movies of summer so far, the most cinematic for sure. For me The Nice Guys was dissapintment. Its art direction is neat, but dialogue and writing overall is a miss. After fantastic Kiss Kiss. And speaking about Tarzan.Yeah, its kind of mediocre, but I wasnt excpecting shit from this kind of cgi hollywood stuff, but really enjoyed it, nice old school adventure, awesome Samuel L. Better than soulless independence and shitty suicide squad

    • ttt

      i respect your opinion but personaly i think that soundtracks was mostly cheesy, just like the movie. There were so many awesome soundtracks in last couple of years, that make Clif Martinez and young Refn work on Neon Demon look childish

    • itachi uchiha

      same here, so im surprise

  • Jed Leland

    Give Neon Demon a second viewing.

  • Nick Owens

    See, the thing about lists like this is that it’s completely a matter of opinion, and many people will agree and many people will disagree with the list.
    For example, I thought Suicide Squad was great, I am a comic book fan and I didn’t find the film disappointing at all.

  • Bobby Calloway

    I must be the odd one out. I thought Suicide Squad was garbage but I loved X-Men: Apocalypse. I do admit though that it wasn’t anywhere near as good as Days of Future Past.

    • Patrick McIlhone

      X-Men: Apocalypse has a really flat villain. What is his motivation? He wants to rule the world and build a better one? Isn’t that just a do-over of Magneto’s ambitions, though his were much more fleshed out. Oscar Isaac is totally wasted on this silly character. Very superficial …

      The other huge problem with this film is Olivia Munn’s Character. She said barley anything and seemed to be almost just a prop. in the background. This movie just felt lazy on every level.

  • Juan Miguel Carvajal

    Suicide Squad deserves less than what it got. I feel i lost my money on its ticket. It is so bad i’d rather eath poop than watching it again. Terrible style, terrible joker, and most of the characters are really bad developped. The humour it’s just poor and forcing it to be funny in a lot of parts.

  • Rudi

    The Neon Demon: best movie I’ve ever seen – 10/10
    X-Men: Apocalypse: Best X-Men together with X2 – 9/10
    Suicide Squad: Just simple, effective fun from beginning ’till end – 8/10
    Warcraft: Jones did a great job by making a fan movie that’s even easy to follow by people that don’t know the games – 7/10

    And I’m not one to give high marks usually. So to put it mildly, I don’t agree with this list at all. Although ID2 is a clear 1/10.

    • Michael Lang

      “The Neon Demon: best movie I’ve ever seen – 10/10” Seek help ASAP!

      • Rudi

        I’ve read your last comments via your profile and none of them actually say something. They’re all just empty oneliners clearly meant to do nothing but troll.

        I won’t attack you here, since that’d probably only feed you. But I do hope you’ll get over whatever that’s troubling you. It must be very hard to never get any attention in off-screen world.

    • Terek Brajan

      You need to watch more movies, if The Neon Demon is the best movie you’ve ever seen….Don’t get me wrong it’s not a bad movie, but it’s not a great one either….I mean the director of Neon Demon has at least 2 (Drive, Bronson) if not 3 (Pusher) better movies….

      • Rudi

        Do you even realize how pretentious you sound? If you just asked me instead of making these snobbish remarks I could have told you I’ve watched loads of movies, including the ones you listed. And yes, they’re great indeed. But not as great as TND in my book.

        • Terek Brajan

          Ok…..Do you really mean to tell me, that TND, in your book is better than any Kubrick’s, Hitchcock’s, Bergman’s, Fellini’s, Coppola’s, Melville’s, Scorsese’s, movie they done?! I sound pretentious?! No….The Neon Demon is pretentious…..But if TND is better then the Godfather, Seventh Seal, Clockwork Orange, 2001, Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Amarcord,Psycho…..There would not be TND if those movies didn’t exist…there is something wrong with your book and mark my words, this time next year, you will deny that you ever said that TND is best movie ever…..

          • Rudi

            How difficult is it to understand when I say The Neon Demon is the best movie I’ve ever seen? You can keep on throwing titles my way but I think you can guess my response.

  • Joao Ribeiro

    Anyone who includes Neon Demon in such list shouldn’t be allowed to talk about film.

  • Special_One

    How can anyone be disappointed by any of these films? If I were to make a “10 films of 2016 that will definitely suck”-list at the start of the year, I would have included like 7 or 8 of these.

  • Jon Hironimus

    The list is fine, I suppose, but I stopped reading the commentary under each heading due to the apparent lack of proofreading. I re-read the following sentence four times without success in finding its intended meaning:
    ” Screentime more
    Jared Leto as the Joker and as critic David Fear from Rolling Stone
    noted they underserved both Harley and the actor playing her, Margot
    Robbie.”

  • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

    I’ve only seen X Men: Apocalypse of these, and would agree that it was disappointing. If it had focused properly on Magneto becoming a fully fledged evildoer and the development of Storm, Cyclops, Nightcrawler and Jean/Phoenix, had a more engaging Apocalypse, and less crowd pleasing but empty stuff like the Wolverine cameo, rescue scene and firing of the nukes, it could have been superb. As it was it started strong but ended muddled and not really coming off.

  • hsmsgh

    why is The Neon Demon disappointing? You are being disappointing TOC

  • I would say The Neon Demon is the exact opposite than dissapointing. I love Only God Forgives and Drive, but after hearing that Nicholas Winding Refn was coming out with a new movie after OGF got so much hate, I was expecting the worst, and the movie was fucking amazing!

  • Marc Miralles

    I think that Suicide Squad shouldn’t be in this list actually, as a “disappointing” movie. I’m not saying that the movie is good at all, but just the contrary, I think it’s an awful movie seen from the plot and common sense point of view I guess. But the thing is, I didn’t expect just anything good out of this movie in the first place, so, at least in my case, I don’t think I could speak of a disappointment mainly because I already expected shit from the very first moment 🙂

  • AirieFenix

    I always think about this “most [number] disappointing [things] of [year]” very subjective.

    We can argue about a movie being a good or bad movie in general, but discussing what we expect from them is different from to person. X-Men: Apocalypse isn’t the best X-Men movie, far from it; it’s not even a great action movie. But since I wasn’t expecting a lot, it turned to be a good surprise.

    Suicide Squad was a mess from start of production to release so I literally expected nothing. Warcraft, meh, I was kinda waiting for a big flop.

    Independence Day: Resurgence was kind of a mix if you asked me. Honestly I couldn’t expect a lot from it, it’s a Emerich movie after all but somehow I hoped it turned to be a decent catastrophe movie, maybe because I used to like the first one a lot as a kid. I think a four hours movie (I mean, a two-parts movie) would improve ID:R a lot. Not quite like making it actually GOOD but I do think the script was rushed at the last moment because they realized so many things were happening at the same time.

    • Patrick McIlhone

      Of course it’s subjective. Nobody ever claimed otherwise.

  • John Le Rouge

    They forgot Star wars the sh** unleashed

  • Patrick McIlhone

    This is a solid list. I disagree about The Neon Demon. Perhaps that film is better left off this list due to the very polarizing nature of it. Polarization doesn’t make a film a disappointment or a failure. I think it makes a film more worth watching. I enjoy the experience of knowing a film is divisive before I get in the theater, and then deciding for myself. Refn is just doing what he knows how to do.

    I’m dissapointed to hear your thoughts on Genius though. I haven’t yet seen it but I have it on rental so I will be soon! Overall, very good list.

  • yak188

    Oh my lord, so I went to theater for 3 movies on this list out of the total of 7 times going to theater this year? (Almost 4 because of Tarzan, luckily I was busy so I didn’t see it). I honestly don’t think Warcraft was that bad, some fans always want to complain meanwhile Diablo fans can only dream of such adaptation, it’s brilliant in a way that even for those have never play Warcraft can still understand the movie, and imho you shouldn’t be in the theater watching it anyway if you’ve never heard or know a little bit about Warcraft. Suicide Squad was okay, not living up the the hype but still wasn’t the most disappointing, I wouldn’t go to see it if it wasn’t for the discount I got tho. And for Independence Day, it was a bit disappointed, just like how it was with Jurassic World, thanks to the previous movies, it got people like me to go and see it, I don’t think I’ll go see any other sequel of these franchises, despite the fact that there is a possible sequel for Resurgence that could satisfy me but what is the chance that they’ll get it right? I think The Nice Guys should be on this list instead of the 20 best movies.

  • shiboleth

    To be honest, I think that none of those films were meant to be some big surprise so I don’t understand why make a ‘disappointing’ list. They are just standard production these days. If you really look for disappointment, look for films by Adam Sandler or Steven Seagal. That gives obvious clue to everyone …

  • Quelqu’un

    Suicide Squad is not disappointing at all it’s one of the worst films of this year

  • Melih Sancak

    To me , neon demon is not dissapointment .

    • Kurt Jensen

      I couldn’t agree more and it is the only movie that doesn’t belong on the list.

  • Pingback: The 10 Most Surprisingly Good Movies of 2016 « Taste of Cinema - Movie Reviews and Classic Movie Lists()

  • Peterick

    Am I the only one who thinks that Batman V Superman should be on this list? After the trailers I had hope that it wouldn’t be terrible but I think it was just one of the most pretentious and worst superhero movies. The plot was stupid, some things felt forced and the actual fight between Batman and Superman was a bit boring.

  • Melody Lanzatella

    Suicide Squad, that is what happens when you try to cram ALL of those characters into one film. None of them had enough time on the screen!

  • Deborah

    Independence day is one of my Favorite movie, I like to watch this movie again and again, I like to read about this movie also i like the read about Blogs, Where i can find the matter. I like to read from your website, I am also having a movie website, to know more please visit. http://solarmovie.stream/

  • Robert Owen

    The Legend Of Tarzan – generic plot? Sluggish pace? Seriously? There has never been a Tarzan movie like this one. Original storyline and brisk pace throughout, this movie delivered. It deserves a sequel. This Tarzan is closer to the character that Edgar Rice Burroughs created and deserves another film. There are many worlds of adventure to explore in Burroughs’ writings.

  • Suicide Squad: Didn’t disappoint me – it would have had to work really hard to live down to my expectations

    I don’t think the film deserves its 27% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes

    Agreed. Seems a little high to me. About 28 points too high.

    X-Men: Apocalypse hit just about where i expected. I was annoyed by the misuse of a couple of secondary characters from the comics who will, apparently, now never properly be seen in film.

  • Seriously… “Independence Day” as a “disappointment”???? The first one was total crap. So how a sequel to crap can be anything else than total crap?