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
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
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.
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
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
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.