Now days there is so much hype and excitement behind upcoming installments in a film franchise. While some manage to find their traction there are still those movies that feel like we had been waiting our entire lives to see it, just to be left disappointing. Or better yet, those films that we are anticipating and even after we watch it we are in complete denial of how bad the film actually was. Let’s put this into scenario, they announce the production of a movie you have been waiting for. You see the first trailer of that movie and you are filled with a giddy excitement for the release of that movie. Its opening night now, you’ve got your family or friends to come with you, you either got your snacks and treats from the concessions or just stuffed your pockets with outside snacks and snuck them in. You sit in your seat, the trailers showcase other movies for you to get excited about and do the exact same thing. Then the lights go down and the movie you feel you’ve been waiting your whole life for begins. You watch the film intently until the credits roll, once they do you start to walk out of the theater and praise the movie. Talking about how great, exciting and wonderful it is while your friends or family stare at your with a strange look. They try to explain to you that the movie wasn’t good, but you don’t care, you find every reason to justify the movie you saw. But eventually after re-watches and nitpicks, you finally come to the realization of how bad that movie was… Those are the films we are talking about today.
The Last Airbender (2010)
In a world divided by four nations that have mastered the power of Earth, Air, Water and Fire. The sudden arrival of a young boy named Aang arrives and is said to be the legendary Avatar, who can control all four elements. With the help of Katara and Sokka, they will fight along Aang to stop the Fire Nation from enslaving the other nations. When the animated series aired between 2005 and 2008, there was so argument it was one of the best cartoons to hit television. Beloved by children and adults alike, the anticipation for a live-action adaptation was real. How far cinema has come with its evolution in special effects, as well as attaching a director as appreciated as M. Night Shyamalan. There was no way this movie could have failed right? Yet, we were proven otherwise. Choppy and unimpressive special effects, inaccurate representation of the characters, and some of the worst child acting in a film left us disappointed when the film was finally released. Thankfully, many of the actors have gone on to redeem themselves in other films including Dev Patel who played Prince Zuko in the movie, has since received an Oscar nomination for his performance in the film Lion. However, despite Shyamalans other incredible films like The Sixth Sense, Signs, and Split there has still been hasn’t been much forgiveness for this film.
Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)
After the devastating battle between Autobots and Decepticons decimated most of Chicago, the CIA believe the remaining Transformers are to be hunted down and eliminated. Self-proclaimed “robotics expert” Cade Yager stumbles upon an old down truck that turns out to be Optimus Prime, Cade finds himself in a battle between the Autobots and the CIA who have teamed up with Galvatron (Megatron reincarnated) to finish the remaining Autobots. Makes sense right? The CIA want to eliminate transformers, but if we are going to do that then lets team up with the bad guys to take out the good guys. Or better yet, let’s just try making out own and see how that turns out. The Transformers has been a part of many lives for years, so when the first film came out in 2007 it was everything fans wanted and lived up to be a pretty fun and exciting movie. Of course with the success of the first movie came a sequel, which ended up making so much money but crushing the franchise. But of course, money talks and a third film was released. Luckily, Transformers: Dark of the Moon turned out to be not better than the first but better than the second. Even after Michael Bay stated he was finished making Transformer movies, he just couldn’t give it up and came back for a fourth film. However, things seemed to look up a bit more. It would be coming off of a win with the third movie and they would be abandoning Shia Labeouf’s character story arc and replacing him with a new character brought to life by Mark Wahlberg. At the time, this seemed like a pretty good idea. Then it came out… and it was still bad. For some reason they made a fifth film with Transformers: The Last Knight which surprisingly was worse, but fans have not yet given up on the franchise especially since Bumblebee saw turned out to be good.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
I am going to do my best to summarize this film. After the events of Man of Steel, Bruce Wayne decides a being like Superman is too dangerous to be kept alive. Dawning his cape and cowl once again, he makes an attempt to stop Superman. While the rest of the world also remain concerned and struggle with the idea of an uncontrolled super being that can wipe out an entire city. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor also takes a dislike in Superman but an interest in Kryptonian technology. So he manages to pit Batman against Superman, while also creating the monster Doomsday. Also, Batman discovers more meta-humans and by the end he decides Superman is actually a hero and they need to form the Justice League. If my summary of the film seems scrambled, it’s because that is how the plot of the movie is. Before this movie, we had been given a lot of Superman and Batman movies but never one with both of them in the same film. The hype for this movie was high and not only DC fans but comic book fans in general were waiting for a movie like this. However, it almost seemed like every decision made leading up to the film just didn’t seem right and something felt very wrong. First there was the announcement of Ben Affleck casted as Batman, which riled up many people but since the film’s release has proven us otherwise and made fans beg for a Batffleck Solo movie. Then they showed us the first look at Wonder Woman, which turned out to be one of the best choices they made. Then Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor that turned out to be a disappointment. While the film has gained appreciation since its release, it was difficult at the time to accept its jumbled plot and crowded character appearances.
Matrix Revolutions (2003)
The third installment in The Wachowski Brothers Matrix trilogy, turned out to be the most disappointing. As Zion prepares for their inevitable battle with the machines, Neo is trapped in The Merovingian and is trying to be released by his allies who believe he is “The One” to put an end to the war between humans and machines. But things take a turn when a third party edges their way into the battle and complicates the results of the war. When The Matrix came out in 1999, it was a fresh new movie unlike anything anyone has seen before. Combing eastern style of movie making with a western production and reinventing the use of special effects to become one of the pioneering films in cinema history. Matrix Reloaded was the follow up film and the consensus was a bit of mixed bag to say the least. But as we got ready for the finale to this incredible story that promised us to be the greatest and most ambitious entry in the series, we unfortunately left theaters dissatisfied. While the first movie was imaginative and ambitious, they seemed to abandon those ideas later throughout the films. What was once of the most compelling and intriguing new ideas turned out to be boring and uninspired and felt more like a cash grab. Matrix Revolutions should have focused more on wrapping up what it had set up in the previous film, but instead it didn’t contain much plot and just filled it with useless subplots that had no conclusions. Both Reloaded and Revolutions are two hour a piece, probably could have been condensed down to a two and a half or three hour movie to create one epic sequel.
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
This might not entirely be the worst installment in the series, but it is the one that sent us home dispirited. After Jean Grey sacrificed herself to save her fellow mutants in X2: X-Men United, she is found to be still alive. Unveiled by Professor Xavier that he has been keeping a mental blockage on her due to her overly dangerous power, Jean now unleashes her powers as the Phoenix. Meanwhile, the government seeks to put an end to mutant kind by creating a vaccine that can cure the mutant gene. Magneto and his Brotherhood of Mutants chose to fight against it and wage war to decide who is the dominate species, now the only thing standing between Magneto and the humans are the X-Men. X-Men was released in 2000 and was one of the leading comic book adaptations that started to become popular, X2: X-Men United continued that trend and was even better than the first. We believed the X-Men was becoming one of the definitive comic book movies ever made, until Brett Ratner took over for Bryan Singer who went on to make Superman Returns. Don’t get me wrong, there are X-Men movies worse than this one. When talking about bad X-Men movies this one definitely falls into the same category as X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix. But what caused this one to be our pick for this list, was the excitement that came with it due to its successful predecessors. Thankfully, despite how bad this movie was 20th Century Fox has since made up for it with X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Logan.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
If you don’t fully understand the impact this film had on fans, just watch Season 12, Episode 8 of South Park. Indiana Jones returns years after recovering the Ark of the Covenant, escaping sacrificial ritual, and discovering the Holy Grail to now search for the mythical crystal skull. This time he is joined by Mutt Williams played by Shia Labeouf along with the return of Marion Ravenwood played by Karen Allen. New characters join the cast with Cate Blanchett as the villain Irina Spolko who is using Indiana Jones in the search for the crystal skull. Where do we begin with this movie? The only thing that really works in this movie, is Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. But that is something that will always work, since 1981 is has always been a pleasure to see Harrison Ford dawn that brown hat, leather jacket and that amazing John Williams score playing in the background. However, everything else in this film just takes a massive nose dive. For some reason, everything just looks very clean and pristine, regardless of the intense scenes where most people would be getting dirty or covered in dust. Many scenes look like it’s all shot on a set, combined with below average special effects that completely take out of the realism of some scenes. And let’s not forget the artifact used in this film that Indiana is chasing after, the crystal skull. Something that got audiences excited to see unraveled in the film, turned out to be… aliens? Indiana Jones vs Aliens? We have come to accept the supernatural aspect of the Indiana Jones stories, but for some reason in this film its take on Aliens just seems like too far of a step taken. Don’t get us started on the Mutt Williams Tarzan scene.
Justice League (2017)
Finally the movie DC Fans have been waiting for that made Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice looks like a masterpiece. After the sacrifice Superman makes to defeat Doomsday, Bruce Wayne and Princess Diana come together for an coming threat. Gathering Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash to fight against the threat and figure out how to bring back the Man of Steel. For those who don’t know the story behind the scenes, let us explain. During the making of this movie, director Zack Snyder had to leave production to attend to a family tragedy. Warner Brothers brought on Joss Whedon to do reshoots and finish the film, leaving us with a film that came off as just mediocre. Cutting out much of the grittier style of the DC Universe and lightening it up with a brighter color grading, along with a raid of forced jokes. As well as cutting out much of the footage fans were excited to see just made the movie so scrambled and uncertain what the tone of the film is. Some parts feel like a Whedon scene and others feel like a Snyder scene, but with only a 120 minute run time that just wasn’t enough time to tell the entire story that needed to be told. Thankfully it has been announced since then we will finally get Zack Snyders unfinished version of Justice League will be released next year and while some have asked if it really could be better than the theatrical Justice League, well… it couldn’t be worse.
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)
We could have easily talked about Attack of the Clones or Revenge of the Sith, but instead we will pick on the film that kicked it off. The Phantom Menace tells the story of a young Obi-Wan Kenobi and his mentor Qui-Gon Jinn as they unveil the true nature of the Trade Federation has in the galaxy, during the mission they encounter young Anakin Skywalker who has outrageous midichlorians and a strong connection to the force. Qui-Gon Jinn takes in Skywalker to be trained by the Jedi and hopefully bring balance of the force. Coming off the incredibly successful original Star Wars trilogy, fans were excited to see the origin of Anakin Skywalkers journey to the sinister Darth Vader and a young Ben Kenobi during his padawan years. However, we were introduced to characters like Jar Jar Binks but I won’t go off on the character simply because everything has already been said that needed to be said about this character. When we finally meet Anakin Skywalker to see this child that we are expecting to be dark or disturbed, just turns out to be the downfall of Jake Lloyd rather than the rise of Darth Vader. There was just too much hype behind a movie like this and it ended up being such a massive disappointment. Luckily, the things that came from this movie made up for the atrocious film like its various video games and toys. And I mean, we wouldn’t have Darth Maul without this movie, or the amazing Clone Wars series without the setup of this movie.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Just when you think they couldn’t possibly make another movie like this one, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 comes out but let’s talk about the movie that did it first. Now that Peter Parker has established himself as the superhero Spider-Man, he is tested when his starts going through personality changes caused by the arrival of his new black suit. Meanwhile, his Uncles death is being reinvestigated, Eddie Brock starts to muscle Peter out of his job, a love triangle ensues when Gwen Stacy enters the mix, Harry continues to blame Peter for his father’s death. If that felt like too much to follow, it’s because it is. Spider-Man was a blast to see in 2002 and then in 2004 we got the even better Spider-Man 2 that at the time set the standard for comic book films. Spider-Man 3 came out and we were excited to the next installment to the titular trilogy with the promising arrival of Venom. However, nearly everything that was supposed to work for this movie just ended up disappointing fans. While the previous two films didn’t solely rely on CGI, this one just had an overabundance of it that took us out of the film completely. Furthermore, the film became overly crowded with characters that created so many subplots that lead to a massive mess of a movie. While some aspects of the film can be forgiven with moments like the creation of Sandman, oh wait… did I forget to mention Sandman was also in this film? Yeah apparently he ties into the film more than you might think. Overall, it’s all just a mess and not a worthy follow up to how incredible the previous entry was.
Every Terminator Movie since Judgment Day
We could have singled out any of the films after Terminator 2, but it felt like each installment after Judgement Day just couldn’t live up to the first or second movie. You might argue that we could have said the same thing about any of the other entries on this list, but due to the massive hype and promises made about each entry it was too hard to just single one out. Producers and film studios made promises with each Terminator movie that was going to introduce something new and better, but they ended up just leaving us disappointed and wishing they were like T2. Every entry in the Terminator franchise comes off as great action movies, which is completely true about all of them, in some way or another they are all fun to look at and exciting to watch. But what made the first and second movie soar to greatness was the interesting and compelling narrative that followed. A prime example of this comes in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines that replaced a great story for massive action set pieces. Next we had Terminator Salvation which had a lot of fascinating ideas, none of it felt executed the way it the way you might think. Exploring the world of the future with an older John Conner as he leads the Resistance against SkyNet, as well as introducing the ideas of Terminator/Human hybrids. Terminator: Genisys was also another film that attempted to bring in some fresh ideas by revisiting many of the events that took place in the first movie and the fracture in time that might have changed things. But for some reason, while John Conner is one of the core elements to the series they just can’t seem to get him right. Making him the villain of the Genisys as a Terminator himself and completely betraying the ideology of the character. Which leads us to the most recent installment, Terminator: Dark Fate. Dark Fate once again doesn’t know what to do with John Conner and decided to just kill him off completely. While seeing Linda Hamilton return to her role as Sarah Conner and creating an inventive way to incorporate Arnold’s T-800, there just wasn’t anything that the film had to offer.
There are so many films out there that got us excited to go to the movie theater and see what would happen next to some of our beloved characters. Honorable Mentions include Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 & 2, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tide, Batman & Robin, Superman III, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. However, the films picked for this list are the movies a vast majority of fans and audiences were so excited to see and left the theater feeling a little empty inside. Experiences like those will come and go in cinema, but we still look forward to the movies studios get right and satisfy the excitement we have.