No one goes into a movie wanting to be disappointed. Even if we choose to watch a bad movie, it is usually a special kind of suckiness that sticks with us. The best thing about the movies that disappoint is as much as it may bother us at the time, at least we soon forget about them. Here are the biggest letdowns of the last decade.
2010: The Book of Eli
Denzel Washington in a post apocalyptic future sounds like a winning formula. Denzel has played plenty of badasses, but his movies are always grounded in reality. Somehow the Hughes brothers (the movie’s directors) are never able to get it together. Predictable and sterile The Book of Eli has its moments, but constantly feels like it should have been something more. The weak twist does not help.
2011: Sucker Punch
In retrospect, this should have been obvious. But in 2011, Zack Snyder was coming off the Dawn of the Dead remake, 300, and Watchmen. Sure, he made the movie about the owls, but most directors have a weak outlier. And true, it was impossible to tell what the hell Sucker Punch was about, but chances are it was going to be awesome. Instead, it was boring and devoid of plot.
2012: Perks of Being a Wallflower
I talked about this gem on Adventures in Movies! I had heard nothing but great things about this movie. Praise was not just limited to “I liked it” either. People talked about Perks of Being a Wallflower as a generation defining movie. Granted, it is pretty much impossible for a movie to live up to those kinds of expectations, but it could at least have been good.
2013: The Hangover III
It is no surprise when the third part of any franchise is not as good as the previous entries. It is also no surprise to see a series try to reinvent itself to win back goodwill. The Hangover III seems more intent on alienating its fans. No one was expecting it to be as good as the first movie, but the change of direction made the film barely watchable.
Lucy is one of those movies you know is going to be good the second you hear about it. Luc Besson directs a movie starring Scarlett Johansson about a woman who gains psychokinetic powers after drugs are released into her blood. It’s fun and action packed but it soon becomes a little too nonsensical. Proof that too much science in your science fiction can be a bad thing.
Director Neill Blomkamp got off to a fantastic start with 2009’s District 9. Nothing he has done has been as good since. Chappie seemed like it would be a return to form. While the commercials made the movie seem formulaic, it was surprising just how generic it was. Filled with one note characters, the film tells a predictable story that ends up being very boring.
2016: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
This was the stuff every kid dreams of their entire life. The two biggest superheroes in history going to battle against each other on the big screen. It did not look like it would be a good movie, but that did not matter. We were finally going to see Batman against Superman. The film ended up being a convoluted mess that somehow managed to take all the fun out of a concept everybody wanted to see.
2017: It Comes at Night
In recent years, filmmakers have seen the value in telling methodically paced horror stories. This allows the tension and fear to settle in ways that are just as effective as a fast paced slasher. For whatever reason, this does not work in It Comes at Night. The main culprit is how short the movie is. The film quickly ends and it seems like nothing meaningful has happened. Powerful ending, though.
2018: A Wrinkle in Time
A Wrinkle in Time is a wonderful book. It is filled with imagination and should be required reading for every child. When the movie was announced, it seemed like everything was in place for a great adaptation. Instead, the movie seemed more concerned about bragging about its cast and crew than actually telling a good story. Which is too bad, because it was literally already written for them.
After the success of Get Out, Jordan Peele’s follow up movie was bound to be the victim of high expectations. Going in, it was reasonable to assume Us would not be able to live up to them. What was surprising was how average it was. There are some strong performances and the ending is a cool visual, but it was forgettable overall.
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