10 Biggest Movie Disappointments of the Last Decade

Tuesday, January 5, 2010 at 6:08 pm

This list of the 10 biggest movie disappointments of the last decade is my attempt to document the films that failed to live up to my lofty expectations from 1999 to 2009. I still enjoyed some of the movies on this list, but nowhere near as much as I’d hoped. If you’ve got a bone to pick with my selections, or you want to nominate a few films of your own, be sure to make your voice heard on our comments section.

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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – The guys from South Park had it right. Basically, this film is 124 minutes of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg raping poor Indy and our memories of him. The Russians aren’t nearly the movie villains that the Nazis were, and even Cate Blanchett (and her dorky wig) can’t elevate the proceedings. The action is sluggish and routine, the overall plot is underwhelming, and Indy’s advanced age reminds us all that we’ve got one foot in the grave. What a bummer.

King Kong – The climactic scene with Kong loose in New York still looks great, but the rest of Peter Jackson’s overlong remake fails to deliver anything new. Adrien Brody and his mammoth nose are unconvincing as Kong’s romantic rival for the affections of actress Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts), and the same can be said for Jack Black and his non-comedic turn as an opportunistic filmmaker. A perfect example of why some movies just don’t need to be remade or “re-imagined.”

The Matrix Revolutions – The first Matrix movie was an innovative piece of action cinema. The sequel wasn’t quite as good, and this third and final entry was just groan-inducing. The fortune cookie wisdom of the previous films had long ago grown tiresome, and repeatedly encounters between Neo and Agent Smith failed to break any new ground. Combine that with an unsatisfying climax, and you’ve got a lock for one of the 10 biggest movie disappointments of the last decade.

Wild Wild West – The television version of Wild Wild West was inventive and lots of fun – two things that the movie version was not. Will Smith implausibly plays a black secret service agent in the late 1800s, and the villainous Dr. Loveless is rewritten from a genius dwarf into a crippled Civil War veteran (played by Kenneth Brannagh). Wacko producer Jon Peters finally got his giant mechanical spider inserted into a film, after insisting on the same thing for two other projects. No wonder Robert Conrad was pissed off.

The Wicker Man – I have no idea why I was looking forward to this one. I suppose it was because the original was such an enjoyable film. The Nicolas Cage remake wasn’t anywhere approaching enjoyable, and it was loaded down with scenes that were unintentionally hilarious. If you’ve ever wanted to see Nicolas Cage punch out a bunch of women (once while dressed up as a bear), then this is the movie for you.

The Love Guru – I laughed at all the Austin Powers movies, so I figured the next Michael Myers comedy would be money in the bank. Boy, was I wrong. Even the amazing hotness of Jessica Alba couldn’t keep this stinker from being all kinds of annoying. Fortunately, it lost money, so we’ll never have to see Guru Maurice Pitka ever again.

Battlefield Earth – How I could’ve possibly been looking forward to a movie adapted from the works of hack writer L. Ron Hubbard is beyond me. It did star Barry Pepper, John Travolta, and Forest Whitaker, but the latter two stars were dressed as nine-foot-tall aliens sporting ratty-looking dreadlocks. If you love bad cinema, though, you won’t be the least bit disappointed. After all, where else can you hear Travolta utter such lines as “Ratbastard,” and “Exterminate all man-animals at will”?

Speed Racer – This adaptation of the legendary Japanese cartoon is filled with colors and CGI effects, but it’s only suitable for small children jacked up on a sugar high. Anyone over the age of 10 will be bored to tears by the endlessly interchangeable races and 135 minute run time. Even the presence of a wacky chimpanzee can’t help this film.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace – While I didn’t hate The Phantom Menace, it certainly wasn’t as good as I would’ve wished for. Racial stereotypes abound, acting plays second fiddle to CGI effects, and young Anakin wears out his welcome within a few minutes. And that’s not even mentioning Jar Jar Binks, perhaps the most annoying movie character ever created. This was the first film that George Lucas had directed in 22 years, and the rust is painfully obvious.

Catwoman – Halle Berry is the heroic, undead Catwoman, and Sharon Stone plays the villainess. That alone was enough to get my attention, but the silly Egyptian cats and defective beauty product angle were enough to sap my enthusiasm. A total of 28 writers were involved with Catwoman, and it certainly shows. Berry would go on to win a Golden Raspberry award for Worst Actress, an honor she personally accepted with her Oscar clutched in the other hand.

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This list of the 10 biggest movie disappointments of the last decade barely scratches the surface of Hollywood mediocrity. In the coming days, I’ll also be covering the worst films of the last decade, so be sure to check it out. In the meantime, you can also kill off a few brain cells by perusing the following:


This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 5th, 2010 at 6:08 pm and is filed under Bad Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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