5. Rambo: Last Blood
Another example of fans convincing themselves that the movie is better than it is due to it being part of a bigger franchise is Rambo: Last Blood as it holds a 6.7/10 on IMDb. Marketing itself as the final movie in the franchise, Rambo: Last Blood created high expectations for itself. The end result was a self-indulgent movie that thought it was better than it was. The dialogue managed to be simplistic and pretentious at the same time, the plot dull and cliché, and no sense of scope or ambition to finish the character’s story.
The movie was totally uninspired and the end in which it goes through a montage of Rambo’s best moments throughout the franchise (including scenes from itself) just feels cheap and unearned. After a solid fourth installment that provided an entertaining and suitably bombastic return for the character, Last Blood couldn’t hold its own and fans of the franchise have to realize that it was a misfire and not embrace it as a suitable ending for the character.
4. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile
The appeal for this movie came in the form of Zac Efron’s admittedly dedicated work in the lead role and audiences rewarded his efforts with a 6.6/10 on IMDb. This is a bit generous as there was little else in the movie to commend. Ignoring for the moment the fact that the movie seems to sympathize to an extent with Ted Bundy, the technical aspects were lacking. No other actor stood out, the script focused too heavily on scenes that the audience wasn’t interested in, and it moves at a pace that, the movie obviously thinks it earns but, viewers thought was far too tedious.
Add to all of its technical flaws the fact that there seems to be an odd sympathy for the main character, making it a slap in the face to all of the victims who deserve better and you have a recipe for something not too great. Ted Bundy’s personality and, obviously, actions make his story very enthralling especially for fans of true crime biopics. With that said, there are tasteful ways of portraying such things and Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile does not smoothly do so.
Polar currently holds a 6.3/10 on IMDb which it absolutely does not deserve. It’s never good to get political when trying to talk about movies objectively but it must be said that Polar seems to be overtly and gleefully misogynistic. When its female characters aren’t being treated like sex objects, they’re portrayed as helpless individuals that require a man’s aid to live. Beyond that, there’s a lot that’s just lazy about the movie. The story, the dialogue, the editing all feel rushed and half-heartedly done.
The movie looks like the editors just put on a default LUT that came with the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite. Mads Mikkelson’s character is a wannabe Ryan Gosling in Drive, walking around in a perpetual state of brooding moping. One wishes that there would be some kind of animation in his character but the dialogue is even worse and the audience realizes that they actually enjoy it more when he doesn’t talk.
Vanessa Hudgens does a respectable job with her performance but instead of embracing that, the movie spends its time demeaning her character’s competency and value. The end result is an edgy, ultra-violent comic book movie that hits all the wrong notes.
2. Pokemon: Detective Pikachu
Audiences were excited to see a beloved cartoon and video game brought to the live-action stage. However, with a score of 6.7/10 on IMDb, it’s hard to imagine that any adults rated it on the site. The CGI is simplistic and fake, the young actors over-act every dimwitted line they’re given and the one saving grace for the movie (Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu) is reduced to a PG version of Deadpool, which is a lot less fun.
None of what’s exhibited in Detective Pikachu resembles the things that made the animated program so enjoyable. The heart is gone, the intrigue is gone, and somehow all of the human characters feel more 2-dimensional than the animation in the original show. The humor is mind-numbingly dull and one gets the sensation that the actors feel the same way. The movie is aimed at kids so audiences shouldn’t expect any sophisticated humor to be in it.
However, the humor they come up with somehow undercuts even the children’s limited intelligence. To top it all off, the movie’s overall narrative tries to be some social critique of the 1% and their desire to be in control of humanity which the kids won’t even understand and the adults will already have fallen asleep at.
1. Avengers: Endgame
It was not surprising to anyone that Endgame ended up with positive reviews upon release. Most people had decided that they loved it before it was even released. Of course, die hard fanboys wouldn’t even consider giving it an inferior rating evidenced by it holding an 8.5/10 on IMDb. By IMDb’s calculations, this score makes it the 50th highest rated movie of all time, above the likes of Rear Window, Apocalypse Now, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Nobody will criticize someone for enjoying this movie but even the most dedicated Marvel fans should be able to take a step back and realize how absurdly high this rating is. Perhaps most importantly though, this rating suggests that Avengers: Endgame should be judged on par with cinematic classics and it shouldn’t. Martin Scorsese (in)famously said recently that Marvel movies are not cinema.
Whether you agree with that claim or not, the reality is that they are movies made with a lot of money to make a lot of money. So, when the motive is not to have an artistic voice, it can’t be compared on par with masterpieces like Apocalypse Now (which, again, it inexplicably has a higher rating than).
Audiences should also be objective about the quality of Endgame. It’s concluding a cinematic universe and naturally needs to pack a lot in it but, somehow, the movie has time for jokes about the Hulk eating tacos and Thor playing Fortnite (no, this is not made up, there is an actual scene where Thor is playing Fortnite). This is objectively bad and unnecessary in a movie that has dozens of loose ends to tie up efficiently and satisfactorily.
There are also elements like the emotional baiting that came through the forced father-son dynamic between Iron Man and Spider-Man. This is all added to the fact that if Endgame hasn’t already, it certainly will just fall into the bunch as more and more superhero movies come out. If the cinematic universe is content moving on, the audience will be too and realize how offensive it is that such a movie has the rating that it does.