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Great Concept, Disappointing Movie

Great Concept, Disappointing Movie

Some movie concepts are so great that you imagine there’s no way they can mess it up. You see the trailer, get all excited and think “yes! I definitely have to catch that!” Then, six months later, you do catch it, and it’s all just a bit… meh. It’s not even bad, just… pffft. Here’s our list of the worst offenders.

Sucker Punch

The synopsis for this movie reads like Zack Snyder Googled the word "awesome" and threw the first ten results pages into a screenplay. Hot chicks! Samurais! Dragons! Heavy Artillery! Here was a production that seemed to be saying: “You want a entertaining movie? Well, here’s an entertaining movie!” And sure, let’s not pretend there wasn’t a large part of our brains telling us this was going to be a total train wreck, but that didn’t stop us from being seriously disappointed when it actually was. It turns out you need more than a bunch of random cool stuff happening on screen to make a proper motion picture. Who knew!

Aliens Vs Predator

Just as when musicians get together to form "supergroups" the results are often far patchier than you would expect considering the combined amount of talent involved, so movies that mix n’ match franchises are, more often than not, pretty spotty affairs. You’d have thought it would be easy to make something at least somewhat entertaining from putting the antagonists of the two most iconic sci-fi horror franchises on screen together, but apparently things just ain’t that simple. Aliens Vs Predator is a glum, forgettable flick that somehow manages to nullify everything interesting about either Aliens or Predators through its uninteresting plot, slow direction, and bad dialogue. And if that wasn’t bad enough, they did it all over again three years later with Aliens Vs Predator: Requiem! Come on Hollywood! Learn your lessons!

Street Fighter

It says something about how disappointing a movie is when it kills an entire potential screen franchise. Although Street Fighter video games are bigger than ever these days, so universally panned was the 1994 live action adaptation that no major studio has attempted anything similar since. The production itself was fraught with problems. Capcom kept meddling, insisting that more and more of the game’s characters were added to the central cast. Jean Claude Vann Damme (improbably cast as Guile) was unreliable and often didn’t turn up on set. The whole production had to be brought forward to accommodate the fact that Raúl Juliá (M. Bison) was dying from stomach cancer. The result is a movie that feels at times like it’s been strung together just in time for deadline—which is probably close to the truth.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Admittedly, there can only be so many people who were truly excited about the Hollywood adaptation of Alan Moore’s comic book series about a superhero league comprised of the heroes of Victorian literature, but, for those that were, this was a real flop. You wouldn’t guess it from the movie, but the original series is an edgy, violent, and intelligent collection of books written with a clear sense of respect for the characters that it adapts. But this? This is just a standard big budget flick in high-concept clothing. The edges have all been dulled down, the dialogue made generic, and all the characters drawn broadly enough for it not to matter if you don’t actually know who they are. Even Sean Connery putting in a consistently entertaining performance as Alan Quartermain can’t save this from being anything other than mediocre.

I Am Legend

There are plenty of people that think I Am Legend is a great movie. And it is—for the first sixty minutes or so. After that, things really start to tail off. Perhaps part of the problem is how far it diverges from its source material. The book The Omega Man ends with a clever shock twist, revealing that its protagonist has come to be viewed by the vampires as a type of boogeyman himself–someone whose habit of going around and killing them while they sleep has turned him into an object of fear and hatred. It’s a neat little surprise that gets you thinking about the nature of perspective and our willingness to side with whoever happens to be telling the story. How does I Am Legend end? There’s some generic post-apocalypse stuff about a rumored safe zone and then Will Smith blows himself up with a grenade. Hardly the same, is it?

What was your saddest, most disappointing movie going experience?

Tags: movies, sequels, man of steel, disappointments

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