Looking back a year full of movies you have to remember the bad with the good. We can celebrate the best of the best and express our love and appreciation for them, but for the sake of balance it’s important to look back at the ones that we expected more from – the ones that didn’t deliver on expectations or hopes. These are the titles we see in theaters and leave saying, “Man, I wish that was better.”
As the year comes to an end we can look back at our lists of Most Anticipated Movies from January and find out where we went right and where we went wrong – and this is a list of the latter. For various reasons to be explained, these films were unable to live up to our aforementioned expectations or hopes and instead left us wanting more. These are the most disappointing movies of 2012.
There are two films that were released in 2012 that caused me to leave the theater in a bit of a rage – and Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows is the first on the list. It should have been simple: take a silly, gothic soap opera from the 1960s, borrow its themes and characters, and create a cool little early-in-the-year star-filled scare-a-thon. But that’s not what we saw. The script, written by Seth Grahame-Smith, is spectacularly lazy, filled with meaningless relationships, hollow characters and no sense of pacing, but there’s also the fact that the movie never decides what it wants to be, be it a comedy, a horror, a spoof or a thriller. Burton was able to save a little face this year by releasing Frankenweenie, a solid, fun bit of stop-motion animation, but I will not soon forget the truly awful experience that is watching Dark Shadows.
Ridley Scott’s Prometheus was meant to be one of the best movies of the year. The director’s first science-fiction film in three decades and his first return to the Alien universe since 1979, everyone went into the theater thinking that his latest was going to have a breathtaking impact on the genre – but what we got was simply a beautiful disaster. Unlike some of the other titles on this list that have a laundry list of major issues, this entry could have worked if it weren’t for the Swiss cheese-like script. Scott’s visuals and performances by Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, Idris Elba and Charlize Theron try to hold the whole thing together, but at the end of the day most of the movie doesn’t make any sense and is so riddled with plot holes that all the stuff that does seem clear ends up getting muddled. We wanted Prometheus to revolutionize sci-fi, but all we ended up with is disappointment.