Top ten disappointing films of 2010

This list comprises of the films that were a bit of a letdown, they still entertained to some degree but didn’t live up to the hype, expectations or generally just didn’t fulfil the promise that the premise put forward. Before that though here a few films that are a worth a watch but have their own problems.

Mentions:

The Runaways – I wouldn’t say that this was a bad or poorly executed film, it has good moments (all of them centring round Michael Shannon’s director) but for a person who’s not familiar with Joan Jett or her music this film never made a case for me to get interested in The Runaways.

Cop Out – I enjoyed Cop Out, I’ve seen it on a few top ten worst lists and I don’t think it’s as bad as that. Considering the talent involved it should be far better than it was and I’m not sure whether Tracy Morgan and Bruce Willis were ever a good pairing. Willis seems to be on auto-pilot for most of the film and for a Kevin Smith film it seems tired and really clichéd. Decent watch but it really should have been a lot better.

MacGruber – Stupid but not quite stupidly funny, it missed more times than it hit and running jokes weren’t as effective as the film seemed to think they were.

The A-Team – watching this film in the summer I was absolutely disappointed in the final product. It seemed to lack what I liked about the A-Team. Problem was it wasn’t too fun and placed emphasis on the truly ridiculous so much so that it was hard to suspend your disbelief especially when some poor CGI could be seen in the final sequence. Although the Extended Cut is not too different from the theatrical, for some reason I enjoyed it more than the original release.

The Ghost Writer – I’ve seen this film on a few best of/honourable mentions list and while I think it’s watchable I also think it’s devoid of suspense or intrigue. It’s also hard to care about anyone or anything when watching the film.

Chloe – this was going so well, until Amanda Seyfried’s title character started doing rather wacky things which I won’t spoil. A competent and steamy thriller up until its denouement where things go a little awry.

London Boulevard – Tepid was the word I used for this film, I remember not having much of a reaction to this film. Very ‘meh’.

And now onto the top ten…

10 Tron Legacy

A lot has been said about Tron Legacy, I even had a few points to say about it in my review. Ultimately I enjoyed in spite of its many and numerous faults and the crowd I was with seemed to feel the same way I did about the film. When the film ended a few people tried to clap their hands and holler, it was quickly drowned out by indifference. Legacy suffered from never explicitly explaining the rules of its world to its audience (isomorphs?) and generally telegraphing every emotion you should be feeling at any given time. Daft Punk’s score and the visuals just about make up for its narrative deficiencies.

9 Iron Man 2

Despite seeing this film twice in the cinema it only confirmed that this was indeed a film that lacked a little cohesiveness and direction. The stuff about the Avengers isn’t a problem, you can tell a story about Tony Stark and S.H.I.E.L.D but that shouldn’t take away from the main story, which unfortunately it did. There simply wasn’t enough time to make Rourke’s Vanko and Rockwell’s Hammer anything more than incidental characters who stood in Stark’s way rather than genuine villains with real menace. The highlight is the Monaco grand prix sequence, the film seems to hold its breath once it reached that plateau and then exhale with the final sequence. A lot of action but a little too late to save the film.

8 Date Night

This reminded of all those 80s buddy flicks that disappeared sometime around the mid-nineties. It was also rather boring and despite having Tina Fey and Steve Carrell in the main roles surprisingly unfunny. I’m not sure if Shawn Levy has made a film that could be considered better than being distinctly average.

7 Alice in Wonderland

It’s a nice looking film and stoked some controversy with Disney reducing the number of weeks it would be available in the cinemas. It made one billion dollars and that success is not in proportion with the quality of the film. Tim Burton’s imagination is certainly on display but the film is so conventional and clichéd that it doesn’t rise beyond being a competent family film. Mia Wasikowska, who was fantastic in HBO series In Treatment, looks positively bored and delivers most of her lines with little to no conviction. Visuals stand out and so does Helena Bonham Carter’s childish Red Queen before the inevitable big battle conclusion which looks like a lot pretty CGI smashing into other pretty CGI.

6 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I’m not sure I can see where all the adulation came from for this film. Again like many other films detailed in this post, it’s competently made but 5 stars out of 5? Really? Naomi Rapace is great in her role but other than it’s all standard pot boiler thriller plot, not a stunning film in my eyes.

5 Clash of the Titans

Thank the Gods I didn’t see this in 3D. There were many things that were odd about this film whether it be Worthington’s accent, his buzz cut or the fact that titans rarely ever clashed. I mean that is the reason why it’s called Clash of the Titans right? Because titans clash with each other or have I managed to get this completely wrong? A rather typical men-go-on-a-journey story it starts to get pretty strange when Gemma Arterton’s Io comes back for seconds and Neeson’s Zeus says sorry. Interested in seeing what Leterrier’s original cut would have been if it had been released, perhaps it’ll get a Troy style makeover in the future?

4 The losers

Fun? In places. Conventional? Very. Entertaining? Just about. Coming in a year with other similarly themed films (The A-Team, The Expendables) and launching before any of them did it certainly has a sense of style but like those films it aims for being a throwaway piece of entertainment and succeeds. Forgettable and rather redundant piece of action filmmaking. The best scenes involve the villain and Chris Evan’s escape from the offices but not much else comes to mind.

3 Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

I think I explained my thoughts on this film in my review;

“Wall Street: Money never Sleeps disappoints. It still remains an entertaining film if light and insubstantial on the themes it wants to convey. It’s not the deep, satirical film we may have been expecting and says very little that we don’t already know about the banking crisis. It’s biggest failing is not having much of a reason to exist as like Gekko it tries to find its way but stumbles and misses its point. It doesn’t work very well as drama and lacks the outrage and caustic wit of a satire. It’s entertaining enough but you can’t help feel that like Gekko it’s a relic, an item of the past that should have been left untouched.”

2 Get him to the Greek

A Judd Apatow production was all the rage a few years ago, now it seems to be showing its age and creaking a little bit. It may be down to Hollywood not really making a genuinely brilliant comedy for what feels like years but this film, in much the same way as Forgetting Sarah Marshall and I Love You Man, is funny in places, absolutely hilarious in others but often listless and aimless. If the actors are improvising as it seems like they are then someone needs to tell them to stop and for the filmmakers to get down to making script that’s funny in the first place.

1 Machete

Again I think my review more than sums up my feelings for this film.

“A disappointment then, one that makes me think that Robert Rodriguez is running out of imaginative tricks to play.”

After watching this film there was a feeling that Rodriguez is getting a little too comfortable going over similar territory again and again that’s becoming very tiresome. With news that he’s gearing up for yet another Spy Kid’s film I’m not sure when he’s going to do something that’ll look like a challenge. Instead he seems content in his ‘comfort’ zone regurgitating the same stuff we’ve seen from him for a decade. If you ask me, he’s beginning to fade as an interesting director.

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Posted on 04/01/2011, in Lists and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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