Some of these movies I actually enjoyed somewhat but ended up not living up to the expectations I had. Also, just so you know these are my subjective picks for disappointing films, not an offical “these were the DEFINITIVE disappointing movies of 2011.”
10. The Hangover 2 - 2/10
The only reason this movie isn’t higher on this list is because I had a feeling that it was going to be a train wreck and good God it did not disappoint in that respect. This is one of the most utterly worthless movie experiences I’ve ever had in my life. I liked the first Hangover film, but it wasn’t THE FUNNIEST MOVIE EVER for me like it apparently was for many others. When I heard they were making a sequel, everything about it just screamed cash grab to me and I was 100% right on the money with that assumption. It’s like they literally took 30 minutes to write out the basic story structure on cocktail napkins and just recycle everything from the first with no ingenuity. Complete trash and I wouldn’t be surprised if they went back to milk the cow for a third one SMH…
9. Transformers: Dark of the Moon - 6/10
To be honest, I enjoyed quite a bit of Transformers 3, but that doesn’t mean the movie as a whole was good. The only reason this wasn’t higher on my list is because after Transformers 2, my expectations were dwindled quite a bit. I remained cautiously optimistic after the trailers for this one hit because it looked good, but so did Transformers 2 from the trailers. The CGI, 3D effects, and action were all pretty good, but anything tying those things to any resemblance of a plot or characters was utter shit. If this movie was a 100 minute balls to the wall action excursion, I would’ve loved this movie, but instead we got a bloated 153 minute movie filled with inane story beats and unfunny gags.
8. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - 6/10
I generally liked the first Sherlock Holmes film. It was light on the detective work and a little more heavy on the slow motion and action, but it was a fun romp. All I wanted out of the sequel was more of the same, but what I got was an over the top version of the first one with even less heart and brain. I’m not going to lie, I enjoyed it as a popcorn action flick, but when I see that “Sherlock Holmes” name on the title I kind of expect more than just that.
7. Cowboys & Aliens - 6/10
Another film that I still found enjoyment in as a popcorn flick, but considering the pedigree of the people involved one would expect the next great summer blockbuster. Directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), executive produced by Steven Spielberg, produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, and starring a plethora of the biggest names in Hollywood including Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, etc. Those filmmakers with that cast should have created something incredible, instead we got a lukewarm film that is totally forgettable.
6. Cars 2 - 5/10
It’s Pixar… these guys have never made a bad movie. Cars was easily their worst film, but it was still enjoyable. When they said they were making a sequel to Cars though, I started hearing those sirens go off in head that screamed “CASH GRAB!” I knew that Disney made billions off the toy licensing of Cars and making a sequel would be a good excuse to make even MORE. I had faith in Pixar though because they wouldn’t just make a movie to make money, but maybe I was wrong. After the first 10 minutes of this movie and the opening action set piece I thought “Fuck the critics! This is going to be awesome!”, but then everything else hapened. Whoever thought it was a good idea to make Mater the main character really needs to have their fucking head cut off. This movie would have been bearable had he not been in it. Pixar’s next film Brave looks worlds better than Cars 2, so hopefully they’ll be back on the ball this year because Dreamworks Animation has been kicking their asses lately with the Kung Fu Panda series and How to Train Your Dragon. As David Chen from the /Filmcast put it: “2011 was the year we saw a Brett Ratner film reviewed better than the Pixar film,” and that is a fucking shame.
5. Pirates 4 - 4/10
Fuck everyone involved in this fucking movie. I thought that now that they didn’t have to worry about multiple plotlines and wrapping up everyone’s story that we could finally get a Pirates of the Caribbean movie on par with The Curse of the Black Pearl. Clearly I was wrong. This is one of the most lifeless movies I have ever seen in my life. The most I can say for this movie is that I didn’t fall asleep and the mermaid sequence was cool, but that’s about it. Whoever decided that Captain Jack should be THE main character should kill themselves (he was always a brilliant diversion from the Will/Elizabeth plotline). Whoever decided that having Penelope Cruz on board should be beaten down. Whoever cast the bad ass motherfucker that is Ian McShane and then decided to not have him do anything needs to be savagely eaten by panthers. As my friend once said, “Rob Marshall can eat a fat one,” FUCK THAT GUY. Also, Sam Claflin, I really hope you’re in like 10 minutes of Snow White and the Huntsman because you really fucking suck. FUCK THIS MOVIE!
4. Green Lantern - 4/10
It takes a lot for me to get bored during a movie, but I was bored as hell during Green Lantern. I checked my watch about a dozen times during this movie and couldn’t believe how brutally slow it was going. One cool action set piece does not redeem your entire movie of crap. Martin Campbell… what the fuck, man? The cast is talented but entirely miscast; in what world does Ryan Reynold, Blake Lively, and Peter Sarsgaard (who all look about a decade older than another) grow up together!? One of the most uninspired films I’ve seen in a long time.
3. In Time - 6/10
I enjoyed In Time somewhat, but I can’t help but be disappointed because Andrew Niccol wrote The Truman Show which is one of my favorite movies ever. I guess I shouldn’t be as disappointed as I was because I thought Lord of War was all right and that was also written/directed by Niccol, but the concept of this film was so cool! I was so disappointed at how little he got out of this premise, hopefully someone remakes it in a few decades.
2. Warrior - 6.5/10
Probably the best movie in this entire bunch, but the reason it’s so high on this list is because I expected an AMAZING movie. Critics unabashedly LOVED this movie and I had heard things like “Warrior does for MMA what Rocky did for boxing,” THAT is the level I expected this film to get to and I don’t think it ever got there. The performances from the main three actors were phenomenal, but everything else about this movie felt so trite and tired. They were just laying on the cliches and stereotypes so thick that I couldn’t buy it. Also, I have no idea what the people who are praising the fights in this film are talking about because I thought the fight choreography was horrendous. Shake the cam as much as you can and cut to so many different angles that you can’t even tell who just got thrown down or who’s winning! Do it over and over again! NOW! Not to mention the fact that the fights for each brother are EXACTLY the same! They might as well have shown us the EXACT SAME fight on replay leading up the championship. The only thing this movie had going for it was not knowing which brother would win but after seeing each fight end in EXACTLY the same way, the movie shows its hand and removes that element.
1. Battle: Los Angeles - 3/10
An amalgamation of the worst that Hollywood has to offer. I can imagine the conversations that took place before this film was greenlighted by the studio a few years back. “What do people want to see? Well District 9 just did really well, we could make it about aliens. Yeah! We’ll make a sci-fi action flick where aliens invade. Okay, what about the story? We’ll throw in one for everybody! The sergeant who comes back for ONE last job! The young upstart who thinks he’s prepared to be a leader but finds that in the heat of the moment he’s not! Bonus point, he has a pregnant wife as well! The guy who’s about to be married! The virgin guy! The guy who messed up on the last mission and has to redeem himself!” The trailer for this film was SO GOOD, but the movie ended being such a colossal waste of time.
Here’s to better films in 2012 (hopefully).
I generally enjoyed the first Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes film that came out in 2009. While it had a ton of flaws and was lightweight on the detective work, it was still a fun popcorn flick and I thought that the Downey/Law chemistry as Holmes/Watson was pitch perfect. The first film was a huge success so of course they immediately greenlit a sequel. Would the sequel improve upon the negatives of the first and deliver the same goods that made the first such a crowd pleaser?
Unfortunately, this is probably one of the most brainless movies I’ve seen in a long time. There is very little going on in the intellectual department of this film. This film suffers from even more of the problems from the first film which was too much action and not enough detective work. Off the top of my head I think there were about 6 or 7 action set pieces and while they were fun to watch at times, they became tedious, repetitive, and tiresome very quickly.
On a popcorn “turn off your brain” level Sherlock Holmes 2 is a fun romp. This movie is unfortunately what you get when you let Hollywood run rampant with the “Sherlock Holmes” name: a ton of action and barely any detective work.
Guy Ritchie kind of goes off the wall with his trademark use of rapid editing and insane slow motion. I thought his direction was one of the weaker parts of the first, but in this one he goes all out (for better and for worse). I dug the fact that they used “Holmes vision” more than twice (which was all they did for the first film). The action set piece in the woods was pretty phenomenal stuff. I’m very surprised that Warner Bros. didn’t force Ritchie to shoot in 3D, because that set piece would have been INSANE in 3D the way that he was zooming in and out of the woods and the way that the depth of the field/focus was employed. Many times the direction was completely headache inducing though. Rapid cuts with about 30 different shots all in order will do that to you. This film did seem to bear more of Guy Ritchie’s personality than the first film, whether you enjoy that or not is up to you.
What I disliked the most about this film, besides the fact that it felt really dumb, was how impersonal the whole affair seemed. The action of this film could have really driven the plot forward had they established a greater emotional connection between the characters at hand. Instead it sort of just feels like we’re trying to create an excuse for the next action set piece.
The detective work in this film is a joke. At least in the first film they go around and inspect environments for clues and try to piece the mystery together. In this movie Sherlock Holmes literally just looks at some stuff, cut to close up of item, and then later on in the movie he explains the relevance of it. That is on some National Treasure “the protagonist knows everything but you don’t” bullshit, and it doesn’t make for a compelling mystery because you can’t put those clues together yourself. The evidence he brings into play all require additional knowledge that the audience simply doesn’t have. The first film’s detective elements were weak as well, but at least they kept us informed about what each clue meant and didn’t just save it for later explanations.
Every character outside of Holmes and Watson feels wasted. Well, Jared Harris actually has some really nice moments as Moriarty, but other than that no one else in this film mattered. Noomi Rapace was merely okay as the female sidekick. Her character doesn’t really add anything to the film and while her performance wasn’t bad, it wasn’t anything noteworthy. Oh yeah, Stephen Fry does get to have some comedic relief moments, which was nice.
This film is basically the Bad Boys II of this Sherlock Holmes series. I love Bad Boys II unabashedly for the insane action, but almost everything else about it is stupid and I can fully admit that. Sherlock Holmes 2 takes everything from the first film and amps it up. More Downey/Law bromance, more insane editing/slow motion, more ridiculous action, and even less intellect than the previous film.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a crowd pleasing popcorn film, but I was certainly expecting much more than just mindless action and explosions from a film calling itself “Sherlock Holmes.” If you go in with the notion that this is just a fun flick to turn your brain off to, I think that you will find a lot to enjoy as I did, but if you go in expecting something more in the vein of Sherlock Holmes and detective work you will be very disappointed.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Trailer #1 (2011)
Just give me this film already! RDJ and Jude are fantastic as always, Guy Ritchie has a great adventure set out for viewers yet again, and a fun ride seems to be set up with this sequel. I can’t wait for December to roll around so I can see this!
OMG this looks like it’s going to be as fun as the first! I love the casting of Jared Harris as Professor Moriarty and it’ll be interesting to see Noomi Rapace’s introduction to American audiences. As long as they keep up the same fun tone and the Downey/Law bromance, it’ll be really hard to fuck this one up. I will say that this trailer (like the first film) looks like Sherlock Holmes is just kicking ass for the entire movie. How about showing a little detective work? Then again, marketing has to get butts in seats, but after the success of the first film, there’s NO WAY this movie won’t do bigger numbers on at least opening weekend. Notice how I’ve made no mention of Guy Ritchie until now haha, who I don’t really think is very well suited for Sherlock Holmes. I’d rather he make RocknRolla 2 than another Sherlock Holmes film after this. His direction isn’t bad, but it doesn’t seem very inspired to me. I will say that there were some cool shots in Sherlock Holmes and from the trailer for Sherlock 2, it looks like he upped the ante.
Only thing missing from this trailer though? Watson yelling “HOLMES!!!!!!!” I swear, that yell totally made the trailer for the first film for me hahaha.