The Five Most Disappointing Summer Blockbusters Ever

Hey, did you know The Dark Knight Rises opens on Friday? No? Have you been living on the moon?

Seriously, I’ve been trying to dodge reviews and even comments about the movie for weeks now, but it’s almost impossible. I don’t WANT to know what people think of it, I don’t WANT to have any preconceived ideas going in. If I hear it’s amazing, then those are the expectations I’m going to have, and it’s going to be hard to meet them. If I hear it sucks, well, that’s just sad.

That said, I had crazy high expectations for The Dark Knight, yet that film managed to surpass them. Is it too much to hope for a repeat?

I got to thinking about other times this has happened where things haven’t gone so well. Where movies that were supposed to be amazing ended up being god-awful. As you can see from the blockbusters I’ve chosen below, nearly all are sequels, and it’s hard to live up to what came before most times. And being the third film of a trilogy? That’s a curse that won’t die. Hopefully The Dark Knight Rises can break it.

Spider-Man 3

Sigh. I’m depressed just thinking about this movie. It’s often said that the third movie a trilogy is usually the worst (I just said that a paragraph ago actually), though I can’t think of a disparity greater than the gap between the first two Spider-Man films and this last installment. It makes the Godfather Part 3 look Oscar worthy.

It just doesn’t make sense as to why this movie was so terrible. Sam Raimi got nearly EVERYthing right in the first two films, and the second managed to be even better than the first. But here? Between Peter Parker’s emo song-and-dance phase and the fact that there were wayyyy too many villains crowding up the screen, there was nearly nothing redeeming about the film whatsoever.

I ran into a lot of disagreement when I deemed Raimi’s Spider-Man better than the reboot that just came out, but I stand by that. I just think a lot of people have a bad taste in their mouth from Raimi’s series because the third film tainted the rest so damn much. In a way, this is the scariest film on the list because it mirror’s Nolan’s Batman trilogy so far. Both of the first films had huge box offices, and both of the second ones actually were better than the first and are two of the best superhero movies of all time. Let’s hope that the similarities end there, and Batman’s third film is a triumph, not a mess.

Star Wars – Episode I: The Phantom Menace

To be fair, this movie came out when I was 12, so in my eyes, it was pretty awesome at the time. In that sense, Lucas did his job. The film could entertain kids, but f***ing ANYthing can entertain kids, can’t it? Have you seen what’s on TV today?

The fact remained that for anyone past puberty, the film was a disaster. The biggest Star Wars fans were now older, and to see their beloved franchise reduced to and overly CGI’ed, horribly written turd was devastating, and many have never recovered from the shock

It could be said that each subsequent film was a huge disappointment as well, as there was hope that the previous effort was just a fluke. But Attack of the Clones introduced us to Hayden “Coarse Like Sand” Christensen and it was horrific, and Revenge of the Sith was only palatable because of how terrible the other ones were.


The only film on this list that ISN’T a sequel, Hancock has forever stuck with me as a whole lot of wasted potential. Will Smith as a crude and vulgar superhero was exactly what the genre needed, and he was pitch perfect for the part. The first half of the film is quite good, but then…something happens.

I don’t know what the hell they were trying to do with the second portion of the script, but a switch is flipped and the film goes from hilarious to dark and gloomy as they attempt to inject “lore” into a universe that has no need for it.

This could have been a franchise, it really could have, and I still hear rumors of Hancock 2 floating around from time to time. But as it stands, the film is something of a tragedy, and I remember being very bummed leaving the theater about what could have been.

The Matrix: Reloaded

Ugh, this movie and its sequel were so bad, it made me question the integrity of the Wachowski brothers themselves. What do I mean? Well, way back around when this film came out, there was a lawsuit floating around from a woman that said the Wachowskis had stolen nearly all of The Matrix from her. I can’t seem to locate the end result of that, but after seeing the next two movies, it didn’t seem so crazy anymore.

It literally seemed like they took a brilliant concept and plot (from someone else) and then once their film was a success, they didn’t know what to do with it as there weren’t any more notes to cheat off of. They had to actually invent a new plot and direction for the films, and the result was nothing short of a disaster.

This is of course all a conspiracy theory, and there’s the very real possibility that they just had a stroke of genius that faded away as they tried to expand on it, but The Matrix Reloaded stands as one of the most disappointing follow-ups of all time.

Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull

I’m not one to hate on this film as much as most, as I believe the central plot point that people complain about, the aliens, isn’t worth protesting. OK, Indiana Jones can fight biblical ghosts, voodoo magic and immortal knights, but not aliens? That’s a rather thin line you’re drawing people.

But the fact is, there is so much about this movie that is undeniably terrible in retrospect. Again, I don’t think Marion or even Shia LaBeouff’s Mutt is to blame. Rather, the film vastly overuses CGI in a George Lucas-ian way (gophers! monkeys!) that makes everything, especially the action sequences, look significantly less epic.

Additionally, Indy’s changed. Yes, he’s older, but previously he had no problem murdering scores of bad guys who where in his way. In this stripped down, kid-ified adventure tale, he kills exactly one person by blowing a dart into their throat. And that guy probably even lived. Indy kills bad guys, it’s what he does. He can punch out a hundred Russians and it won’t be a fraction as cool as the famed single bullet he fired in a swordfight.


  1. JB July 19, 2012
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