Movies that Disappointed the Most

So coming off of the disappointment of Prometheus I was thinking of other anticipated movies that were huge disappointments. What’s that you say? You didn’t think Prometheus was that bad? OK, but did it live up to your anticipation? 

Now there are some obvious ones of course. The Star Wars prequels are the obvious #1 choice. Followed closed by Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. But pointing to George Lucas is just too easy. What else is there? 

Here are my choices

Blade: Trinity I loved the first film, despite the flaws of its ending. Del Tor’s sequel was no where near as good (and the action was made goofier) but it still was a good time. The third film though was a horrible mess. It really bugged me just how bad that final film was. And I went in with low expectations!

Godfather III  Now before the Star Wars prequels arrived I think this was the most reviled sequel in history. I honestly don’t think it that bad a film, despite Sofia Coppola. It’s just that it pales compared to the first two films.

Batman Returns The original Burton films haven’t held up well, in my opinion. Probably primarily due to it being impossible to see them except in light of Nolan’s films. However when Schumacher took over it was a return to the cheesy television of the 60’s. I know a lot of people put Batman & Robin as the disappointment but honestly, did you really expect anything from it after Batman Returns?

Spiderman 3  Once again I don’t think this is as bad a film as some make out. But compared to the first two which were near perfect this was a mess. Primarily due to the horrible script foisted upon Raimi. Although the Saturday Night Fever dance homage in the middle is entirely laid at Raimi’s feet.

Superman 3 Most of you are too young to remember this. But after a reasonably good sequel they inexplicably turned Superman into a comedy starring Richard Pryor. Even as a young child I knew I was in trouble when it opened with a silly opening involving windup penguins.

Superman Returns I sense a trend here. Lots of superhero films. I actually liked Superman Returns. It had some huge flaws – primarily due to remaking the first Superman film. Had they put a more serious Lex Luther or a different character and dropped the whole kid subplot it would have been a great film.

From Dusk till Dawn After Pulp Fiction I think a lot of us were really expecting something great from Tarantino.  This wasn’t it.


40 thoughts on “Movies that Disappointed the Most

  1. The first Star Trek movie. I characterized it as “disappointing” to anybody who asked, and was afterward berated for having been way too generous.

  2. Good pick. By that measure all the odd numbered Star Treks weren’t great. I guess I just never anticipated any of them much. I liked 2, 4 and 6 but that was about it.

    To go along with From Dusk Til Dawn that was also extremely disappointing because a lot of us loved Desperado. He never lived up to the expectations we had. After that we got The Faculty and a bunch of bad kids films. The we had Once Upon a Time in Mexico which was ostensibly a sequel to Desperado via the Man With No Name trilogy. It sucked.

    Joe Carnahan disappointed about as much as Rodriguez did. I loved his short for BMW and Narc. Then we got the Tarantinoesque Smokin’ Aces and A-Team. Ouch. (I haven’t seen The Grey although I heard it was good) Of course by the time A-Team rolled around I’d largely given up on him. But Smoking Aces was a huge, huge disappointment.

    You could also point to Guy Ritchie. Although his misfortune was marrying Madonna. We had Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and then Snatch. Both of which I loved. Then there was his Swept Away starring Madonna. I didn’t include it just because the pre-hype was so disastrous everyone knew it was a bomb long before it was released.

    A movie that wasn’t bad but was still a huge disappointment was Fincher’s Panic Room. After the disastrous Alien 3 he made a slew of excellent thought provoking films. A lot of people had the audacity to start calling him the new Kubrick. He then followed up Fight Club with the inexplicable Panic Room. It was as if he took an old script from the 60’s with the “people trapped in house” model and just added lots of unnecessary flourish and CGI. It was fine for what it was. It’s just that a lot of us were really hoping for something special.

  3. Yes. The second film I think could have been seriously fixed with some judicious editing. The third film however… Wow that’s bad.

  4. You know what had to have been an incredibly disappointing movie, and is also one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen? Howard the Duck. Produced by George Lucas (back before the prequels tarnished his reputation), it was also Lea Thompson’s follow up to Back to the Future.

  5. While not a bad movie at all, last summer’s Tin Tin movie was overall a disappointment. Just look at the talent involved: Stephen Speilberg, Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, with voice talent from Daniel Craig, Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, etc.

  6. Tin Tin was actually much better than I was expecting. I loved the books as a kid but figured it’d be the typical sort of thing. But I surprised myself with how much I liked it.

  7. The only reason people say that the Matrix sequels were a disappointment is that the original set the bar so incredibly high. The sequels were not bad movies per se, they just suffered by comparison with the original.

  8. City Heat (1984) starring Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds. Being disappointed requires having expectations, and I expected that Eastwood and Reynolds together would be fun to watch.

  9. You’re entitled to your opinion, Clark. Even if it’s wrong. The sequels were great action movies with stunning visuals and effects. Had they not been preceded by the original, which was pure genius, they would have been very successful action films in their own right. But by failing to live up to the fun and originality of the first movie, they ended up being disappointing.

  10. Let’s be honest, both Matrix sequels are horrible. A women who sued the Wachowski brothers (or should I say siblings?) claimed they stole her ideas for the first movie. Part of her argument was that the sequels were so awful because they couldn’t steal her ideas to make the second and third movie. True story.

  11. The matrix 2+3- made everything amazing about the first one ruined.

    Cars 2- the only bad Pixar movie?

    Every Roberto rodriguez film since el mariachi

    2001 a space odyssey- I wanted to love it, but I fell asleep

    5th Element- amazing ad campaign, Bruce Willis, special effects, hot chick, bad writing, stupid villains

    Godzilla- the American one. Yuck.

  12. Got to agree. Matrix 2 and 3 were awful, even when judged by their own merits. Stunning visuals and effects do not a great movie make.

    I kind of liked 5th Element, but I wasn’t really expecting much from it.

  13. I went in to Tintin with big expectations (I’ve been a fan since I was 6). Not quite as good as I had hoped (the long action and chase scenes were too long), but I still thought it a pretty good movie.

  14. Cars was my least favorite Pixar movie (although the kids loved it). But yeah. Cars 2 was bad. I’ve heard mixed things about Brave – primarily that it’s a good Disney film but disappointing as a Pixar film.

    Matt, 2001 still is in my top 3 films of all time.

    5th Element was fun but I wasn’t expecting great things. I ended up buying the DVD which is more than I can say about most movies. I bought the second Matrix film because I thought the car chase scene made up for a lot. The third film was so bad I’v only seen it once since the theatre – and then just to see if it was as bad as I remembered.

  15. I think Batman Returns was possibly the second best Batman film after The Dark Knight. It just had a certain darkness and feckless attitude toward violence that really captured the tone of the comics at that time. I also thought Catwoman was the embodiment of the modern femme fatale, and i loved, LOVED Danny DeVito as The Penguin. Plus it had added Christopher Walken.

    Cars sucked. Although Pixar films are mostly individual works, they kind of feel like universe sequels, much as Tarantino films are. In that instance Cars was easily the worst film Pixar have ever done, and made even more bitter by the fact that it feel right in the centre of Pixar’s Achilles heel trilogy of the underwhelming The Incredibles and away from the mark Ratatouille. I will no doubt come under fire for that comment, but I’m sticking to my guns.

    Crystal Skull broke my heart, and left my childhood in tatters.

    This is actually quite difficult, as i often try to disavow all knowledge of films which disappoint me…..

    The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (remake) was quite a let down. It felt as though Fincher was just indulging and trying to shake off the poster-boy image he was garnering for The Social Network. It really felt like he was just treading in the footsteps of the Swedish original and hiding behind Larson’s brutal text to push buttons. The film feel cowardly and intellectually numb, almost like Eli Roth had been branching out into making films with a plot….actually, that is exactly how this film felt, like a well made Eli Roth movie. I love Fincher, but i was quite disappointed with him after this. I mean the man has made a plethora of excellent films, so it was bound to happen.

    Die Hard With A Vengeance. [Flush!]

    The Weather Man [snore]

    The War Horse [sorry, what? Babe Pig in the City was a more engaging]

    30 Seconds or Less [i guess Zombieland was a one off]

    Captain America [adults need not enrol for this bumbling mess]

    The Incredible Hulk [i was one of the few who thought Ang Lee’s version had good subtext and character study – giant poodles be damned]

    Scott Pilgrim [self indulgent hipster drivel]

    Most Will Ferrel films

    The Village and Lady in the Water [M. Night – Good.Night]

    Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End [gag]

    Funny People [huh!?]

    Actually on that previous note, most Adam Sandler films. Forget once bitten, twice shy, as i seem to be incapable of learning my lesson and always expect more from him.

    I could go on now, I’m on a roll. But i won’t.

  16. That should have been 30 MINUTES or less

    Also, i really hated Kingdom of Heaven and World Trade Centre. Both of which i was expecting to absolutely love.

  17. I loved Captain America except for that 3rd act where it suddenly became a montage. They needed to cut out the entire 3rd act and make the 2cd act broader and more interesting. Then make an other movie. But they were pushing so hard to get that Avengers movie made. I think it was all the more disappointing just because the direction and first two acts were so great.

    Kingdom of Heaven was much better in the director’s cut – but yeah. It still was a disappointment. Ridley Scott is interesting. He’ll go through stretches where everything he touches is gold and then stretches where it’s all a mess. Robin Hood should have tipped me off that he was in his bad stretch.

  18. I’m going back aways here, but “Mad Max: Thunderdome” was a real disappointment to me, after the glorious visceral thrills of “The Road Warrior.” Too many kids, and the stunt casting (Tina Turner) didn’t work for me.

    Terry Gilliam’s “Jabberwocky,” his first attempt at a post-Monty Python film, although it featured nearly the entire Python team. Some nice scenes visually, but there were just too many sh*t and pi*s jokes. It’s one of the few movies I actually walked out of before it ended.

  19. The Incredibles and Ratatouille were both excellent. Don’t know what you want out of an animated feature if neither of those were to your liking.

    I liked The Village a lot, but Lady in the Water made no sense.

    I liked The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo until the end.

    I haven’t seen Captain America yet, but I have been wanting to see it.

  20. I love Pixar films, so for me, those particular ones were just such a let down. But all is well that ends well….Wall-E, Up, Toy Story 3. All of these were more than enough to make up for it.

  21. The Incredibles is probably my #1 Pixar film. I liked Ratatouille although it was much more for adults than kids. (As opposed to Cars which is primarily for kids and not adults)

    The Village was when I lost my love for Shyamalan. It showed he was just a one trick pony in some ways. (I still love Sixth Sense and Unbreakable though) It was a huge letdown for me too. (I didn’t even bother with Lady in the Water which was supposedly an “answer” to all the critics of The Village) And of course I can’t forgive him for ruining The Last Avatar potential for film.

    Mudhead, you should watch Thunderdome again. It’s a movie I was so-so on when it came out but somehow it’s gotten better with age rather than worse (the way most movies go).

  22. Matrix 2 & 3 are alright, but I really can’t even explain what happened at the end of 3, so I would have to characterize that as a huge letdown.

    After that I thought V for Vendetta was alright but Speed Racer is universally hated.

    Cars was too long for both kids and adults and too derivative of Doc Hollywood. Oddly I think Cars 2 had better pacing and I wonder if some of the hate for it was due to a realization that Cars wasn’t that good.

    Episode I was a huge dissapointment as were 2 and 3. The Red Letter Media reviews make the totality of the failure obvious. I think it would have been pretty simple to make a simple, good set of three movies that covered the ground of the prequels. Instead George went for a morass each time.

    The worst I have ever sat through was Norah Ephron’s Hanging Up. Given her track record you would think this would have some redeemable qualities. It does not.

  23. Oh man, The Godfather III was pretty disappointing to me as well. The first two are classic amazing films! If I thought about it more I could probably come up with a list of disappointing movies but one I can think of is all the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels didn’t do it for me. Especially the last one that came out with just Johnny Depp. It was awful and I didn’t even go into it with high expectations. I did think the first Pirates movie was pretty sweet and I still stand by it with all the crappy sequels.

  24. Quantum of Solace. It was a hugely disappointing second installment into the re-booted Bond series.

    Also, Temple of Doom was a pale shadow of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

  25. arI, I can totally explain what happened at the end of 3. Smith was a program created by the machines. He had become a rogue program that was assimilating all other programs in the matrix like a virus, but he was still just a program. So when he tried to assimilate Neo he couldn’t do it because Neo was connected to the machine brain, which created Smith and thus was able to destroy him.

    It’s not a terrible ending.

    Quantum of Solace was bad, but it has a good excuse: no script.

    Temple of Doom was awful. It gets my vote as biggest disappointment ever.

  26. Clark just hit the nail on the head for me. The Last Airbender movie was painful.I loved the show (still do) but man, that movie is an affront to the universe.

    I loved Temple of Doom.

    This is fun. it is interesting to see where we all intersect and diverge.

    Brave was good. it wasn’t “up” or “incredibles” good, but it was good. Worth watching for the hair alone.

  27. The first two Pirates sequels weren’t bad, but they were a disappointment. The fourth movie is a mess. It feels like there’s 20 minutes cut out that is necessary for the story. Also Jack does much better as a supporting character rather than the main character. That said I do like how they redid the Pirates ride at Disneyland with the movies.

    Quantum of Solace wasn’t bad – I’d argue its still among the better Bond films. But as you said it had no script and it was illegal for writers to write on it. So it was done ad-lib. But honestly my problems with Solace were the way the action sequences were filmed more than the script.

    I still like Temple of Doom better than Last Crusade. But both were disappointments compared to the perfection that was Raiders. And both still were good movies as opposed to Crystal Skull which was anything but a good movie.

  28. Definitely Star Wars Episode I. Especially considering the anticipation for the film from all corners, it couldn’t have been a bigger disappointment. Instead of making another movie for kids everyone was hoping he would make it for the same people that loved Episode IV and made it such a phenomenon (who were 25 years older by the time Ep. I came out). As in we wanted it to be dark and grown up, not a ridiculous extended toy commercial. I so hope he will allow someone else to make additional prequels/sequels. Such a great universe with the potential for many great stories.

  29. As far as “From Dusk Till Dawn” is concerned, although Tarantino wrote it, Robert Rodriguez was the director.

  30. Yeah, but a big chunk of the mess was the script. Admittedly a bunch more was the over the top B-movie silliness. The whole idea was a serious crime movie that turns into a cheesy B horror movie. Both Rodriguez and Tarantino love grind house films. However Tarantino loves lots of films and manages directorially to turn them into something far more than the sum of the parts. Rodriguez is just a modern grind house film maker. Not that Tarantino hasn’t had other misses. I honestly couldn’t make it very far in Death Proof. Despite the impressive car chase at the end. But I couldn’t even make it far in that beyond recognizing that Tarantino did an impressive job. Interestingly I love Kill Bill so make of that what you will. And I’m really getting excited about Django Unchained.

  31. I think Temple of Doom is cool. The action sequences are awesome and unforgettable: the mine car chase, the opening sequence with the jewell and the antidote sliding around on the floor, the shocking, flaming heart, the parallel fight with Indy and Short Round each fighting a foe. It lacks a certain something that Raiders had, and it doesn’t have the stunt casting of Crusade, but if I come across it on TV I always watch it for the action sequences alone.

  32. @Clark: Actually, I did see Thunderdome again a few weeks ago, after not having seen it (and been disappointed by it) at the time of release. So I stand by my earlier comment.

    No one mentioned it, but I was also disappointed by the Return of the Jedi. I think most people realize now that The Empire Strikes Back was the best of the lot, in regards to acting, scripting, and directing. Jedi was overkill – if 20 Tie Fighters looked good, then 50 a second flying across the screen should be way cooler, right? (Uh, no.) And the wimpy “explanation” for the Darth Vader/Leia/Luke family business was a buzzkill. And don’t get me started on the Ewoks.

  33. Yeah – the writing was on the wall with Jedi. I don’t think it’s a bad film. It’s got some fantastic elements. But there were definitely signs of what Lucas would become.

    Best part of Temple. “You call him Dr. Jones!”

    The big difference was that Raiders (despite the fantastic elements) had this grounded reality that I think Doom lacked. Not that there weren’t silly elements in Raiders such as the 2000 year old temple with light activated arrows. But that whole “jump out of the plain on a raft” bit was silly. And the opening, as grand as it was, seemed like it belonged in a screw-ball comedy rather than the noirish Raiders.

    There were jokes and light hearted elements in Raiders but it had a seriousness and roundedness that both Temple and Crusade lacked.

  34. Oooo. Thems fighting words. Jonathan Ke Quan is no Jar Jar and was just as great in Goonies. Which in turn was one of the great films of the 80’s. Kids today honestly don’t have anything like that run of movies in the early 80’s.

    But there’s no doubt that despite enjoying Temple of Doom and Last Crusade they were both pale shadows of Raiders of the Lost Ark. And Return of the Jedi, while having some of the best elements of the series, has some horrid stuff. The overly cutsy Ewoks (should have stuck with Wookies like he originally planned), the Han character gets all stupided up after Empire, that band in Jabba’s lair. (And the redone music in the special editions is even worse) Even how they dispatched Boba Fett was disappointing. On the other hand you have the speeder race through the redwoods which is one of the great scenes in Star Wars. The whole meeting with the emperor is perfect (although screwed up a little in the latest BluRay) and even the fight sequence around the death star is pretty fantastic. Plus we get the octopus man yelling “it’s a trap!”

    Speaking of which I just have to link to this video for a . . . well I won’t spoil it. (Scroll down for the video)

  35. IMHO, the main problem with the Indiana Jones sequels was the fact that they conceptually blew their wad with the first one. I mean, how can you possibly top evil Nazis being defeated by the Wrath of God? (And a Cecil B. DeMille God at that!) The Ark of the Covenant is the Quintessential MacGuffin, and no sacred Indian stones or even the Holy Grail can challenge it as an archaeological treasure or WWII super-weapon.

    The Nazi villains in “Raiders” are more clearly defined and are more of a legitimate threat; Belloq is Indiana’s intellectual equal, the love interest better defined with Marian a strong heroine in her own right, etc. etc. Everything that Raiders did right, the others missed completely or came up short with. But the bottom line is the fact that they wrote themselves into a corner by creating one of the best action movie climaxes in cinema history with the last 15 minutes of Raiders, and no one could think of a way to top it.

    That said, I did enjoy Last Crusade, if only because the casting of Sean Connery was an inspired choice.

  36. Return of the Jedi. Only because it is the first movie I can recall being disappointed with.

    My friends and I drove over the mountain to Denver, stood in line all day. I was so excited to see it. I couldn’t have expressed it, at the time. There was something in Empire Strikes Back that was missing from RoJ. I knew it was missing. When the fight scene with the emperor came at the end, there was something ominous and real missing that had been present in Empire. Everything that is wrong in the ‘prequels’ is also wrong, to some degree, in RoJ.

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