A lot of things are dependent on the advertising campaign for a movie. And this campaign is the reason why we sometimes end up getting caught up in a beautiful trailer and feeling extremely disappointed and cheated after watching another unsuccessful “masterpiece.” In addition, the audience feels even worse when filmmakers fail to turn a brilliant and hit-promising idea into reality, the way it was supposed to happen.
ViralSection looked through the premiers of the last couple of years and picked the ones that didn’t meet the expectations of both the critics and the audience.
Dark Phoenix was supposed to become a powerful final part of the entire franchise.
What we expected: The culmination of the franchise about X-Men — their final case. The story was announced as being about a girl named Jean Grey, who, as it turned out, possesses a cosmic power that makes her one of the most powerful mutants — Dark Phoenix. But everything is not that simple. Due to a fight with her inner demons, Jean gets out of control and it leads to a breakup in the X-Men family, as well as a desire to destroy the planet.
What we got: Something that can hardly be called the final of an almost 20-year-old franchise. Rough dialogues, a weak plot, and the ever-changing motivation of the characters — all these things didn’t leave the audience with a single chance to fall in love with the movie.
The director, Simon Kinberg, had to reshoot the end of the movie because it was too similar to Captain Marvel, that was released a bit earlier. But even this didn’t save Dark Phoenix from getting the lowest rating from cinema critics over the entire existence of X-Men.
The Hustle was expected to be a witty comedy about the best-in-their-sphere swindlers.
What we expected: A remake of a popular comedy from the past (1988) called Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. It was expected to have a plot that was rethought, more modern and sharp jokes, and, of course, new and brilliant heroines.
What we got: The movie’s main idea is that women are better swindlers than men, because no man will ever believe that a woman is smarter than he is. This declaration (even though it’s quite delicate) would’ve worked perfectly if the heroines were using their brains instead of their bodies in their work. The remake copies the original almost 100%, except for the dirty and vulgar jokes that make the audience want to either cry or laugh in shame.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms was supposed to be a Christmas fairytale that returns the audience to their childhood.
What we expected: A family fantasy based on the famous fairytale The Nutcracker and the Mouse with courageous heroes, thrilling plot twists, and that eternally classic music. 2 directors who are loved by everyone worked on creating this movie: Lasse Hallström, who once presented us with the screen version of a story about the most faithful dog, Hachikō, and Joe Johnston, who presented us with the world of Jumanji.
What we got: A beautiful picture with a surficial plot where the creators are trying to talk to the audience about serious topics, but it doesn’t get further than mechanical dialogues. The main heroine is an emancipated person who understands technical stuff better than others and is ready to explain the laws of physics to everyone around her. She is also courageous enough to lead soldiers to the battles and fights better than anyone else. The Nutcracker is a nominal character who meekly performs everything that is required from him. Cinema critic, Jeff Mitchell, compared this movie to a beautifully packed present that contains 3 pairs of white socks inside. Would you like this kind of Christmas gift?
People wanted to see the continuation of the Unbreakable and Split movies’ success in Glass.
What we expected: The final part of the trilogy started by M. Night Shyamalan in 2000, with the movie Unbreakable. Almost 20 years later, the director unites the characters with the help of Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, and James McAvoy and intertwines their stories. He places the characters in a mental institution where the staff tries to convince them that they are normal and unremarkable people. However, it turns out to not be that easy to accomplish.
What we got: Fabulous stories about superheroes that are depersonalized, having their whole past in question, and seeing their previous films being depreciated. The movie drowns in twists and plot turns where the main characters get left behind and forgotten. Critic Karen Han has successfully outlined that “every curveball in Glass ends up whiffing.” The plot tries hard to explain everything that was already understood a long time ago. All this drastically slows down the story and overlaps the slightest surprise that could have arisen.
Robin Hood was supposed to become a starting point for an exciting adventure movie series.
What we expected: The rethought version of the ancient English legend about a brave and noble robber Robin Hood. A classic with the elements of the modern world and a cheery, dynamic, funny, stylish, and high-quality action movie.
What we got: The story about a person becoming a hero the way we all remember in a format that most cinema industries are trying to stay away from because the audience is fed up with it. Moreover, the screen version of the 2010 version had already covered this part of Robin Hood’s life, and it was actually done quite well. The style of the movie can be called an advantage, but it noticeably fades away by the end of the film. As a result, all the action looks meaningless and disappointing.
The movie Pet Sematary was supposed to repeat the success of the book.
What we expected: The screen version of one of the most popular Stephen King books with its inherent gloom, suspense, and atmosphere of mysterious horror. Those who haven’t read the novel wanted to see the story about a family that moved to a new house located near a pet cemetery. When their cat dies, the father buries the animal beyond the borderline of this cemetery, after listening to someone’s advice. Soon after that, the cat comes back home alive, but not the way he used to be.
What we got: The movie trailer shows us everything except the ending. The question, “Why even go and watch the movie?” arises after seeing it. Generally, the movie looks like a trivial horror that’s packed with weak screamers, clichés, and other attributes of a B-movie. The script squeezed the book so much that there was almost nothing left of a meaningful and distinct plot.
A Wrinkle in Time could be on the same level as Alice in Wonderland and The Chronicles of Narnia.
What we expected: A fantastic story about an astrophysicist who made an incredible scientific discovery — he found a way to teleport in time and space. Unfortunately, during the experiment, a man goes missing, leaving his wife and 2 children alone. Since that moment, the daughter and son dream of finding their father and returning him home. They meet 3 mysterious strangers, with whom they go on a dangerous journey through distant worlds.
What we got: The screen version of a popular kids’ book A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle that ended up becoming a high-budget movie with huge holes in the plot. The characters keep repeating common moral truths from “happiness is the center of the universe,” to “a wound is a place where the light enters your body,” to “be a warrior,” etc. As a result, the film turned out to be too childish, naive, and primitive.
Serenity was expected to be a high-quality thriller that could be recommended to friends.
What we expected: A stylized thriller with top actors as the stars. The quiet life of the captain of a fishing vessel collapses when his ex-wife turns to him with a desperate request to save her from her new, cruel husband. Her return into his life brings the man back to a life that he was trying to forget. While he is torn between right and wrong, his world dips into a new reality that can be different from what it seems.
What we got: A good twist that was wrapped in something multi-layered and meaningless. When watching the movie, you get a strong feeling that the director and the scriptwriter, Steven Knight, first came up with the main twist of the plot and later started to add the other actions of the characters around it. Instead of devoting more time to the characters’ worries and issues, the audience is shown conversations about fishing, preparations for fishing, and fishing itself.
The Addams Family was supposed to take its place among other cult animations.
What we expected: the return of Halloween’s main family — the gloomiest and sarcastic characters are on the big screen again. The first animation comedy about the Addams was supposed to become an unusual, funny, and ironic addition to popular culture, and a sarcastic parody of family sitcoms.
What we got: While it had a pretty high rating age-wise (PG13), the intellectual part of the cartoon stayed on the level of pre-school and elementary school students. There is nothing left from the previous horror atmosphere that could be united with the comedy genre. Movie critic Cath Clarke said that the cartoon that is supposed to be talking about resisting social pressure, as well as the importance of being unique, has a storyline made of dozens of family movies that everyone has already seen. The thing this animation can’t find is a heartbeat.
The Goldfinch was predicted to become the best film of the year.
What we expected: An atmospheric screen version of the bestseller with the same name for which the author Donna Tartt got the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The movie had a high chance for success and high box office expectations. It was also believed that it was going to get at least a few “Oscars.”
What we got: The script could not fit in an 800 page novel. The filmmakers didn’t manage to unfold the characters within 2.5 hours or to reveal them so that the viewer would start to understand their motives. The rhythm of the narrative turned out to be sluggish, which differs it from the original source drastically and conversely.
Donna Tartt wanted to take part in writing the script, but she was deprived of the opportunity, according to the contract. Critic Kevin Maher outlined that The Goldfinch was the movie that “you want to pick up and cuddle, and stroke its befuddled head, and say: ‘There, there, it’s all right, you did your best.’”
Which movies from recent years didn’t meet your expectations? We would be glad to hear from you in the comments!
Preview photo credit The Hustle / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer