Creating a list of worst 10 films sounds easier than creating a 10 most disappointing films of the year. For one thing a person can immediately refer to the most rotten movies on Rotten Tomatoes. Besides it be way too easy to add a film like The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, Resident Evil 5, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Total Recall, Battleship and Playing for Keeps type of films on the list, so why even bother creating a list like that. When I say disappointing, I mean it just did not live up to the hype, predecessors, and/or genre. We get so many screenings, and pay for so many tickets, but all in all, it’s just impossible to see every single movie in a year. But not every movie we see will be a guaranteed hit. So these are my top ten films that were the most disappointing. Hit the jump to see them all.
10 – Brave
Pixar’s first fairy tale-based film didn’t quite live up to Pixar standards. And there in lied the problem, the fact that Brave used the very safe, unchallenging, and predictable fairy tale formula. The voice work was also a little off. There was just no chemistry in the voice work, and despite a majority of the film centering on Merida and her mother in bear form, there was just no heart and soul in that relationship. But that has more to do with the fact that the cast did not record their voices together. The soundtrack was also a little lackluster and the songs were just too cliche and nothing like Randy Newman‘s work in any Toy Story or was reminiscent and special as Thomas Newman‘s Down to Earth. The film’s saving grace was obviously its animation.
9 – The Amazing Spider-Man
Many said that it was too soon to reboot the Spider-Man film franchise, but I was willing to give the film a chance, for a couple of reasons. After the way Sam Raimi’s third installment ended, the franchise needed new blood and fresh ideas, and Marc Webb almost gave us that. But rather than create those fresh and new ideas, Webb’s film felt like an extension of Raimi’s Spider-Man universe. Sure there were a few elements that made it Webb’s work, but overall it didn’t feel like it. Characters appeared and then disappeared for unknown and unexplained reasons. Characters that were suppose to be mentors acted more like troublesome and annoying mothers. The trouble with The Amazing Spider-Man was that nothing was at stake and New York never really felt like it was in danger until the very last minute. Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) may have been the webslinger, but it looked like he had no purpose, he was just saving New York from low-level crime. Plus I didn’t believe for one minute that Rhys Ifans was or could be a doctor.
8 – Men In Black III
From the start Men In Black III had its share of problems, from conflicting schedules, a perpetual phase of constant rewrites, and a decline of any real interest in seeing or even remembering this movie. As the problems kept stacking, the quality of the movie was declining. The jokes weren’t hitting their target, Will Smith was pretty much the same character since the beginning, some of the supporting characters didn’t need to be there. For the most part Men in Black III wasn’t a monumental disaster, there were some redeeming qualities, which mostly came from Josh Brolin’s performance. But overall, the film was nothing like the original and was just a smidge better than its predecessor, thus making Men In Black III forgettable and something that I wished I never went out and purchased a ticket for.
7 – Dark Shadows
Normally a Tim Burton and Johnny Depp collaboration would be a cause for celebration amongst the Hot Topic community, but this film was just so bad that I nearly forgot about it until it was brought to my attention. That’s how bad it was, wiped from my memory, only to have it haunt it once again because I was creating this list. The film just lacked everything that needed to be a film. Characters lacked heart, there is absolutely no pacing, and Dark Shadows could not decide what it wanted to be. Meaning, it did not know if it wanted to be a horror, comedy, or just an extended remake of the show.
With absolutely no direction, Dark Shadows was going no where fast. It just never found its footing and continued to stumble along as the time past. Burton should have forgotten about the fact that he was working with Depp again and focused his efforts on making a good movie.
6 – Snow White and the Huntsman
Rupert Wyatt tried to offer a decent effort by giving the classic Snow White tale a dark twist, but it was more of a swing and miss. Once again Kristen Stewart dazzled the audience with her lack of range and depth in acting. Chris Hemsworth wasn’t so bad, but I prefer his Asgardian god performance for this one. Sam Claflin was there for reasons unknown. Charlize Theron was pretty good too, but nothing too memorable. For all the visual spectacle the film was, it ended up being just that, it looked good, but when it came to the story and its pacing, it was just awful. Some of the characters would have been better off not being in the film, and the overall story was just a chaotic mess.
5 – The Bourne Legacy
The fourth installment of the Bourne franchise kind of started anew. While there were strong characters in the film, the story itself wasn’t too interesting. It’s as if director Tony Gilroy was more focused on Bourne conspiracy rather than telling a good story and balancing it out with action. Sure Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, and Edward Norton were fun too watch, but most of the time their characters really didn’t do much except talk alot. But those discussions did provide some interesting plot twists.
Those twists and turns were okay, but they can only take the audience so far. Without Paul Greengrass to balance it out with some great action – and some shaky cam as well – The Bourne Legacy just couldn’t stay on course. Still, the film did prove that there is more to the conspiracy than we are led to believe.
4 – The Man With The Iron Fists
Truly one of those films that just did not live up to its hype in terms of everything. RZA’s directorial debut was an atrocious mess, the action was nothing like the Kung Fu films we have seen in the past, and the story was just the worst. The film’s saving grace came in the form of Russell Crowe, who was a womanizing diplomat in search of justice, which is something all politicians should aspire to. And for someone who thinks of himself as a huge fan of kung fu films, you would think that RZA would have a minimal understanding of camera work and making the action fluid, but he doesn’t even have a miniscule understanding of what a kung fu film needs. But I’d like to think he may have bitten off more than he can chew when he decided to be actor/director/writer/producer for this film.
Overall without any sort of clear direction or anyone to explain to you what is happening, The Man with the Iron Fists is very difficult to comprehend and there is just no way you can defend a film like this with the numerous mistakes it makes.
3 – The Hobbit
Maybe it was the 48fps/High Frame Rate (HFR). Maybe it was how Peter Jackson forcefully put in Lord of the Rings material where it wasn’t needed. Maybe it was the pacing. Maybe it was the fact that there was no chemistry between the characters. Maybe it was the fact that I couldn’t tell any of the dwarfs apart. Maybe it was the fact that it looked like a remake of the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Actually it was all of that. Maybe it was the fact that it didn’t feel like anything was at stake. Everything that I mention above were the biggest problems that I had with The Hobbit.
HFR may be the wave of the future, but so much of it was just so difficult to see and made the action sequences look terrible. Characters, who didn’t appear in the novel, suddenly appeared in the film, which took away from what The Hobbit was suppose to be, which made it look like a remake of Fellowship of the Ring. We knew that these characters had to travel to reclaim their land, but I didn’t think that these characters knew themselves why they were trying to reclaim their land, and if they did, they didn’t look like they cared. And finally, if your going to stick with the dwarfs being pursued by a hoard of trolls, it’s best you stick with it until the end. Instead of undercutting the momentum by cutting away to brain teasing riddles and then cut back to the chase. With the kinds of problems suffered in An Unexpected Journey, I’m worried that we’ll see the same if not more mistakes in the latter two films.
2 – Prometheus
I pretty much added all the Prometheus trailers in our weekly editions of Trailers Weekly. Honestly it looked like Ridley Scott was really going back to his roots by creating a sci-fi horror that is more focused on the suspense instead of the gore. But the film was so bogged down by the terrible writing that I was left wondering “Does Prometheus really belong in the Alien canon?” So much of the people behind the film say it is, and there are elements that connect the two together, but it feels like that is all just some marketing ploy. Those hints and nods may help Prometheus be a prequel to Alien, but the film lost focus by asking too many questions to try to bridge the gap between the two. With so many questions, very few answers, and so many bad character decisions, lets just hope that Prometheus 2 or whatever Greek god they decide to title the film after, is a much better product.
1 – The Dark Knight Rises
Not only did Christopher Nolan’s final entry to The Dark Knight trilogy did not live up to the hype, not only was it the most disappointing of the entire trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises was the most disappointing film of the year. The first five minutes may have been the only time that I actually enjoyed the film, which was preceded by 160 minutes of dull, unorganized, and awful filmmaking. The film was honestly 35 minutes longer than it should have been. The Dark Knight Rises is just dense with sophisticated carefully calculated planning by Bane (who was just completely wasted and ineffective).
Then when it looked like Bane’s over sophisticated plan was falling into place, it was all undercut by the fact that Talia Al Ghul was the mastermind behind Gotham’s near demise. Nolan did an okay job getting the characteristics of Bane, but when it came to utilizing it, Nolan failed on that aspect. It never got to the point where I was terrified of Bane. Instead I found myself laughing at his voice and mocking his facial gestures. His politics seemed confusing at times as well.
Then there were characters who could figure out that Batman and Bruce Wayne were the same person just by looking at Bruce’s face. We also get Alfred in going through what looks like a elongated phase of whining and crying. But all of that are just minor when compared to the deeper and contextual aspects of the film. What happened to the strong mentoring Alfred that we saw in the last two films? Better question, why wasn’t Bruce even more motivated to protect Gotham after Rachel died? The Dark Knight Rises is just a plethora of contradictions, disappointments, elongations, dry spells, and character stupidity, that it\’s just so hard to defend this film.
No movie disappointed me more than The Dark Knight Rises. I really had high hopes for this film, even with the horrible announcement trailer that was released. I wasn’t so much bothered by the glaring errors and characters feeling more like plot devices than actual characters – those can be looked over – as I was by the length of the film, how the the film was devoid of any emotion, and by how the film attempt to address the financial instability and inequality was more of a nod to the crisis at hand than anything else. There were just too many things going on during the film, none of the scenes had any meaning, they just felt like scenes that needed to be there in order just to progress the movie.
The film\’s one and only saving grace was Selina Kyle. Anne Hathaway‘s charm and kick-ass take no prisoners attitude was the only thing that gave the film a faint heartbeat. Wally Phister’s amazing cinematography should also be acknowledged as an achievement in filmmaking. Without his work, The Dark Knight Rises could have been a lot worse.
So what are your most disappointing movies of 2012? What were some of the worst?