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The 15 Biggest Movie Disappointments of All Time

15 July 2017 | Features, Film Lists | by Dan Barnes

Picture the scene. You’re sitting in a movie theatre, counting down the minutes, as the film you’ve been excited to see for months is finally about to start. You’ve seen all the trailers, you’ve read the articles, and you’ve pre-ordered your ticket weeks in advance. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for.

You’ve got your popcorn and an over-sized drink, and you’ve told all your Facebook friends what you’re about to see. The lights dim, the opening logos appear, and the movie starts.

Gradually, alarm bells start ringing. Things just don’t seem right. It’s not all adding up. Your excitable smile begins to look more and more confused as the film goes on. Then, the credits roll.

It’s over. You sit in your seat contemplating what just happened. That wasn’t half as good as you’d hoped. In fact, it was pretty bad.

We’ve all been there, right? At some point, we’ve had to suffer at least one crushing disappointment at the movies. It’s one of the risks you take on as a serious film fan. It’s safe to say that Hollywood has let us down far too many times to count, but these are their biggest disappointments.

 

15. Batman & Robin

Batman-and-Robin-Mr-Freeze

You know things are bad when people are still apologising for your film 20 years later. Yes, it’s hard to believe that it’s now been two decades since this atrocity first hit theatres, and George Clooney has never lived it down. His performance as the Caped Crusader was far from the best but, as Clooney himself puts it, Batman & Robin was a ‘difficult film to be good in’.

Even director Joel Schumacher has recently come out and apologised for letting fans down. Watching the film, it’s not hard to understand why so many people were angry.

There’s no time to fully delve into why this film was such a failure, but a good place to start would be with the bat nipples, Alicia Silverstone’s inexcusable Batgirl, or Mr. Freeze’s never-ending ice puns. In fact, the entire film feels like a collection of cheesy lines that would’ve been far better suited to the Adam West era.

Any fans looking forward to finally seeing Bane on the big screen would have been disappointed to see that he was made into some generic over-sized muscly man, who just walked around saying things like ‘Bane’ and ‘bomb’. Any fans looking forward to seeing what Uma Thurman would do with the character of Poison Ivy would have been disappointed to see that she did nothing but give Arnold Schwarzenegger a run for his money in their unofficial ‘pun competition’. It’s no surprise that Thurman went from an Oscar nominee to a Razzie nominee after this.

The disappointment of the film was lessened by the fact that its predecessor, Batman Forever, wasn’t exactly a masterpiece, but there is no doubt that Batman & Robin ranks as one of the worst superhero movies ever made.

 

14. Ocean’s Twelve

Ocean’s Eleven was clearly one of the most successful remakes that Hollywood has ever produced, and with a director like Steven Soderbergh and a cast that included some of the finest talent at the time, that shouldn’t come as any surprise. A sequel was inevitable, and the return of the entire ensemble cast along with some pretty fun trailers had gotten fans excited. The film itself left many feeling pretty let-down.

Ocean’s Twelve isn’t one of the worst movies ever made, but it is clearly lacking in the magic that made its predecessor so great. The banter between the characters is there, but the heist is not focused, the plot is far too convoluted and large portions of it make no sense or are simply hard to follow.

Add to that some of the film’s silliest moments, such as Julia Roberts playing herself and talking to Bruce Willis, and even a cast of this calibre aren’t able to save this film from being the mess that it is.

 

13. A Good Day To Die Hard

Die Hard is a franchise that has been through various highs and lows, but this film clearly was the last straw. It’s almost hard to imagine where the story of John McClane can go from here, given that most of the franchise’s biggest fans have officially lost interest.

This film was a disaster because it lost sight of what worked about Die Hard in the first place. McClane’s character has completely changed at this point. He’s gone from a likeable maverick, accidentally finding himself in messy life-threatening situations, to an unlikeable and arrogant man who is pretty much a superhero at this point.

The film is not gritty and edgy, but completely over-the-top and riddled with effects that look very out-dated. All of these things combined make this a Die Hard film that feels like it could be literally anything else other than a Die Hard film.

All that aside, it’s just not very good in any sense of the word. The plot is ridiculous, the dialogue is appalling, Jai Courtney is unconvincing as usual, and the action scenes are forgettable. Nothing about this film works, and it’s not hard to see why audiences just don’t care about these movies anymore.

 

12. Jurassic Park III

The third instalment in the Jurassic Park franchise was the final straw for most fans. The film’s predecessor, The Lost World, certainly had its fair share of flaws, but it was by no means a bad movie. It should come as no surprise that the low point came after Steven Spielberg left the director’s chair.

Joe Johnston’s third instalment was a total misfire. While it is by no means a terrible movie, it brings absolutely nothing new to the table. While many may not have liked the ending of The Lost World, it was certainly something different to the first film, but Jurassic Park III just feels like a complete re-tread of both the movies that came before it.

The difference here is that it is far more sloppily put together. The plot and, in particular, its ending are lazy, and the characters are extremely weak and hard to care about. There are also plenty of downright laughable moments, such as a scene in which Alan has a bad dream about a velociraptor talking to him.

Jurassic Park III feels like an attempt to mirror the success of the first two films, but with much less time and effort put in, leading to a film that is totally inferior and instantly forgettable.

 

11. Spider-Man 3

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man franchise had been going from strength to strength, with Spider-Man 2 arguably still the best-big screen version of the character, but the final instalment in his trilogy is a classic example of what can go wrong when the studio meddle in a production.

Fans were pretty excited when the posters appeared to show that Venom would be a major part of this film as we’d get to see a darker side to Peter Parker. Not only was Tobey Maguire’s performance as ‘Bad Peter’ unconvincing and laughable, but it turns out that Sony had forced Raimi to shove venom in briefly in the final act. It wasn’t just a waste of potential, but the film had failed to give the fans what they wanted.

This film is a prime example of what can happen when you try and use too many villains at once. It tried to juggle the Green Goblin revenge story, along with Sandman and Venom, while also trying to tackle the emotional struggles of Peter and his relationship with MJ Watson (again).

It’s a mess that never really works on any one level, and would have benefited from a much more focused plot. It’s a pity that Sony made a lot of the same fatal errors when they made The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Does nobody learn from their mistakes anymore?

Sam Raimi himself has described this film as ‘awful’. That should tell you all you need to know, and coming after a movie as amazing as Spider-Man 2, that makes this instalment one hell of a disappointment.

 

10. Quantum of Solace

People weren’t too keen on the idea of Daniel Craig as James Bond when it was first announced, but critics were soon silenced when Casino Royale proved him to be one of the best ever, as well as being just an exceptional film in every way.

After the destructive Die Another Day, Casino Royale had saved 007 from a slow death. With the fans on side, people were pretty excited for Craig’s second outing as everyone’s favourite secret agent, but were disappointed when they were given one of the most forgettable Bond films in a long time.

Quantum of Solace isn’t just forgettable, but it’s largely uninteresting. In a way, the film had the potential to be an exciting entry for the franchise. It was the first time a Bond film had directly followed on from another, with the character seeking revenge for the death of the love of his life. A Bond revenge story could’ve been quite brilliant, but it was wasted in a film that lost its focus and became unnecessarily complicated.

The movie has its moments. Craig is still good in the role, Olga Kurylenko is engaging enough, and it opens with a pretty neat car chase. However, the plot is complicated, the villain isn’t threatening, and the action scenes often come across as desperate rip-offs of The Bourne Ultimatum, which came out a year earlier.

The film isn’t atrocious, but it doesn’t flow and it’s certainly not memorable. If Casino Royale was one of the strongest Bond films, Quantum of Solace is one of the weakest.

 

9. Prometheus

Prometheus

A lot of people thought the Alien franchise would get back on track with the release of this movie. It was hard not to be excited at the prospect of an Alien prequel, with Ridley Scott himself back in the director’s chair. Fans were left pretty disappointed when Prometheus ended up being yet another misfire.

The main reason that fans were frustrated was simply that it wasn’t what they had been hoping for. What was billed as a prequel to the Alien movies was really just another weird science-fiction film that happened to be set in the same universe, with very few tie-ins whatsoever.

Fans were treated to a host of new characters and a new story. This is a perfectly fine idea, but it only works if your characters are interesting and your story is engaging. This film was neither.

The performances were fine, and the special effects were mostly pretty nice to look at. But, Prometheus was simply not what anybody wanted, and what they got instead was mostly boring, slow and riddled with plot issues. People were more pessimistic with the recent addition to the franchise, Alien: Covenant, but Prometheus let down millions of people, and that’s a mistake the franchise is still struggling to recover from.

 

 

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  • Zwei

    Ryan’s Daughter (1970)

    • Mortimer

      Yeah…I think it’s a good movie but not in the same league as Bridge, Lawrence or Zhivago. Not to mention that it was pretty old-fashioned for the year 1970.

  • Mortimer

    The Searchers (1956) – probably my biggest movie disappointment of all time.

  • Dave Anderson

    I really get sick of “all time” lists that only bother with films made since the 90s.

    • Jules F. Melo Borges

      True. Who is gonna remember BvS ‘disappointment’ in 20 years (Or even 10)?

    • Bergkamp

      I don’t wanna play devil’s advocate here, but I thing that happens because of the increasing trend of sequels that we started to see since.. well, the 90’s. And that’s where you noticed that crazy accumulation of endless of sequels from these major blockbuster things, basically shitty movies, that, don’t get me wrong, we obviously had shitty movies on previous decades too, but not to the same degree that we’ve seen over the last 30 years or so, where the sequelitis trend got more and more stronger and exhausting. Because you know, now we have more resources, technology, there’s the pop culture factor where as the term suggest, popularity with the media and such, plays a huge role in this. And like I said before, now that we have the so called “universe” with s great amount of financial success, combined with your social media, it’s gonna get even worst.

      • Mortimer

        Not only sequels but also prequels, remakes, reboots, origin stories etc. I don’t see the ending of this trend soon because 90% of these movies make a ton of money at the box-office, unfortunately.

        • Bergkamp

          Exactly. How many movies do we have to see with the same characters (marvel, cof…cof!!.) and same plots and ideas over and over again. Now everyone wants their piece of these multi shared universe, everyone. Like you said, with reboots, prequels, characters jumping from one franchise to another one… I mean, where does it end?? and more important, where’s the originality??..

          That’s why I care a lot more about indies or a not so much.. Mainstream movies nowdays, because at least you get to see more original stories there. New and fresh, even if the execution it’s a little bit messy sometimes, still… I apreciate the intention of giving us something new, something that feels more out of the box.

  • glebsky

    How boring list. Also: 1. Alien 3 and Godfather III are very decent movies. 2. X-men and Spidermen are crappy movies to begin with

  • Jacob Lyon Goddard

    every crappy pop-culture website on the internet has some variation of this list, do we really need another one here?

    • Bergkamp

      Yeah, that’s why I stop checking sites like IGN or Collider, they always touch the same topics when it comes to movies, every single time you see the same movies and directors, actors and such, being discussed. Like if that’s the only existing movies.

    • Pedro de Pacas

      Taste Of Cinema at least come up with some original commentary…

  • Jules F. Melo Borges

    I’m not sure ‘Batman & Robin’ was a disappointment if no one expected anything out of it after ‘Batman Forever’.

  • Stephus

    I don’t think Godfather 3 belongs here because it’s good the only bad thing about it is Sofia Coppola’s performance. Star Wars episode 7 should have the first place on the list

  • Time and again, i keep mentioning ‘Spider-man 3’ and ‘Prometheus’ were not disappointments. People went and enjoyed these movies. Don’t write from your own point of view.

    • Spike Bowden

      Almost all these articles are opinion pieces. While I enjoyed​ Prometheus and Spiderman 3 well enough, I hear people ragging on them all the time so there was a significant number of disappointed people.

  • Billy Tyner

    I loved Alien III. All first three films had different styles but I enjoyed all of them.

  • Ocean’s 12 is awesome. I enjoyed the hell out of that film.

    • Pedro de Pacas

      Fuck yeah. Julia Roberts does look like Julia Roberts! (Not sarcasm, I loved that bit.) I thought we were down with meta these days?

      • I know. Plus, you watch that film knowing these actors are having a lot of fun and decided “fuck it, let’s just have fun and just do what we want and show people who we really are which is just cool guys”. What the studio essentially did was pay for a $100 million vacation where they were allowed to just fuck off. That’s what I loved about it.

  • Bergkamp

    That’s why a lot of people hate sequels. This list is full of sequels. At some point, this blockbuster things ran out of steam with absolutely no other way to go, and yet, people keep pushing these things because of the $ factor.
    I’m not saying that all sequels are terrible, but you need to know where to draw the line and stop things, instead of getting to the point where you’re going for the 5th entry on the same franchise or something like that.
    If you don’t have something truly valuable to add to your franchise, then… wait whatever you need to wait until you can finally can come up with something worthy. And thats something that unfortunately we don’t see quite often. Specially with these type of franchise,

    That’s why I don’t particularly enjoy these overmilking things that we see today, like the “marvel universe” or what about that crappy idea from Riddley Scott of creating an alien “shared universe” with God knows how many more movies to go, and apparently, he’s thinking to do the same with blade runner, by making a new movie every two years, like, oh!!.. I have this amazing idea for 4 or 5 more blade runner movies!!….god no, please, don’t over saturate things just for the sake of financial success.

  • Bergkamp

    I actually enjoyed Prometheus (a lot) and that’s it from this list.

  • bd

    It’s yet again one of the most generic lists of all time that can be found anywhere. If you go to the oldest page of articles on this site, it’s depressing how unique this place used to be compared to now.

  • Alex Kar

    I disagree at least wit h2/3 of this article… Some of them are actually some of my favorite and some also don’t deserve to be in that list.

  • Juan Diego

    Sucker Puch where are you in this list?

  • Deadly_Moogly

    Can’t disagree with #1, 2, 3, 6 and 7 : probably my 5 biggest disappointments in Cinema History.

    Alien 3 however wasn’t that bad, just a totally different movie from the 2nd. I was way more disappointed by Prometheus – although a superior movie in my opinion – exactly because everybody including myself was expecting a grandiose Alien movie, not just an OK Sci-Fi movie…