Every year we see good movies and bad movies. Most of the time, however, we know which movies are going to be bad, and which will be good before they ever hit the theaters. When a movie that’s expected to be bad is, in fact, bad, it goes in and out of our minds fairly quickly. But when a movie that we thought was going to be good turns out to be less than expected...that’s when it hurts. Here are 10 movies from 2015 that gave us high expectations that they were unable to meet.
10. Fantastic Four
To be clear, we weren’t necessarily expecting the reboot of the Fantastic Four franchise to be great, we just really, really hoped it would be. The Fantastic Four are the first family Marvel, and in a world where every other comic property is experiencing a renaissance on screen, The Fantastic Four are conspicuous by their absence. Unfortunately, our worst fears were realied. The movie was a mess from start to finish. A great cast of actors had nothing to work with, and one of the greatest villains in the Marvel universe was reduced to...we’re still not sure what.
9. The Good Dinosaur
The Good Dinosaur was, well, good. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s quite possibly the most beautiful Pixar film to ever be put up on a big screen. The studio obviously used the delays in production to make the animation something spectacular to behold. The characters and story, however, are about as run of the mill as you can get. And, in a year that also included the phenomenal Inside Out that staggering averageness was even clearer. This wasn’t Cars 2 bad, but it could have been something special instead of just average.
Does anybody else remember when there was early Oscar buzz for Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance in Southpaw? Yeah, that was a thing that happened. Honestly, that buzz was probably the thing that put it on this list. If it had been presented as a run of the mill redemption story, maybe we could have at least enjoyed it. We know Gyllenhaal can do great things, and he does pretty great things here, too. He’s able to keep an otherwise completely forgettable movie from being completely forgotten, though as soon as the movie was released the Oscar talk went away.
7. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 2
This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper. The Hunger Games saga might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but the dystopian world certainly had it’s share of big action set pieces, and Jennifer Lawrence kicking ass is always something worth watching. Or at least it was. While you’d expect the final chapter to pull out all the stops, instead, it just stopped. It was an incredibly disappointing conclusion to the story. The studio is now considering prequel ideas to keep the franchise going, but we’re kind of done now.
Maybe nobody should have expected much about a movie which took its title and premise from a chunk of geography inside Disneyland. However, we had the same feeling the first time time they made a movie about a ride inside that very same theme park. The original Pirates of the Caribbean turned out to be fantastic fun, and so we had hopes that lightning would strike twice. Add to it the fact that it was directed by Brad Bird and starred George Clooney, and this should have been something special. It wasn’t. The story was so messy even the film didn’t know how to tell it properly.
5. Jupiter Ascending
The beginning of a new science fiction epic from the Wachowski’s. The Matrix was revolutionary. Cloud Atlas was one of the most original ideas we’d ever seen. We can’t wait to see what they have lined up next! It’s a paint by number "chosen one" narrative that literally goes through an identical series of plot points three separate times. It didn’t even do anything particularly new or interesting with the more technical aspects of the film. Original ideas like this are the reason everything else on the screen is a reboot.
Aloha is Cameron Crowe directing two of the most adorable people on the planet in a romantic movie, set in one of the romantic places on the planet earth. We assume the previous sentence was pretty much the pitch that got this movie made. We don’t really understand how else it could have happened. In addition to being adorable, Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone are also fantastic actors, but they have nothing to work with here. The movie is all over the place and yet it goes nowhere. This could have been one of the most fun movies of the year, but instead it was just annoying.
While Disney’s Maleficent wasn’t a perfect movie, it made the live action fairy tale a viable, and successful, concept for the House that Walk Built. Maybe we should just leave these to Disney. Pan took one of the most magical tales in literature and sucked all the magic out. Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard should have been a home run. Instead it was a big whiff. This was supposed to be a new franchise, and it was also supposed to be good. Instead, the only good news here is that we likely won’t see it again.
Spectre was the follow-up to one of the most critically acclaimed, and the most financially successful, James Bond movies ever. The writers, director, and star were all back. It’s still not clear what they were thinking. Instead of just trying to make another solid Bond movie, they tried to turn Spectre into The Avengers by making all the other Daniel Craig movies connect, but since it was obvious that had done zero actual setup, none of it worked. Add to it the big reveal of a villain that they had no business turning into a reveal, and it’s just one miss after another.
1. Terminator: Genisys
Do you remember how excited you were when you saw that first trailer? When the Mother of fucking Dragons knocked down a wall and said, "Come with me if you want to live." That was awesome. Terminator Genisys promised to be a rebirth for the franchise. James Cameron told us this was the Terminator movie we’d been waiting for. We were ready. We were pumped. We were...heartbroken. The movie tries to use time travel to do something new in the vein of Star Trek but instead relies on series nostalgia to try and keep our attention. It didn’t work.
CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.