5 Movies That Didn’t Have To Suck

Every movie has the potential to be amazing. With proper casting and writing anything can be a fun watch from the random sci-fi actioner (Edge of Tomorrow) to the cheap cash in (Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones). Still a lot of movies show tons of potential but fumble the ball in multiple ways. They usually become a comedy franchise. What’s worse though? When a movie starts out good and for whatever reason absolutely lose whatever magic they had. The movies you say “what if” whenever you talk about them. Here are just five of those kinds of movies.

*****

iamlegend
I Am Legend
I just had to start here. The fodder for endless alternate ending lists on Buzzfeed 2007’s I Am Legend is the poster child for untapped potential. What people seem to focus on is the ending which is understandable. Quite frankly it makes no sense. That isn’t my problem with the movie though. No, my problems with the film arise much earlier…

How It Could Have Been Better?
The movie goes down the crapper once other people are introduced. If you remember the movie starts out with Dr. Robert Neville (Will Smith) and his dog. That’s it. Besides the really bad CG vampires it’s just Will Smith and it’s great. Alone in a decimated world the former Fresh Prince gives one hell of a performance. In particular there’s a scene of Neville at an old video store trying to act like nothing has changed. It’s brilliant scene that sells you on the loneliness and is some of Will Smith’s best acting. Filling out the rest of the movie is some amazing shots of a desolate New York, flashbacks to the world as it fell apart and monster killing Home Alone style. Quite frankly it’s a blast. Then he sees survivors and it all falls apart. To think it started off so well.

wolverine
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
On the surface Wolverine should be a pretty easy movie to make. One of the most popular comic book characters ever you can delve into his back story, have him slice up some dudes, introduce some new characters and let Hugh Jackman be charismatic. It’s a simple template that is all but guaranteed to work. As it turns out X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the “all but”. Despite following this fairly reliable formula they screwed it up by not having too much character development, introducing a series of awful new mutants, worse CGI and the absolute wost adaption of any comic character to date. There are a ton of ways to improve the movie that have been covered on a dozen other sites. Still there is one that stands above every other option they should have taken.

How It Could Have Been Better?
The film starts with a fairly decent, if melodramatic, introduction to our hero. Seeing a young James Howlett (Wolverine) reveal his mutant powers and run away with Sabretooth is a perfect beginning. Then we get the opening credits and some of the most potential lost the history of comic book movies. We see a variety of scenes of Wolverine and Sabretooth fighting in wars throughout history including the Civil War, both World Wars and Vietnam. Sure it’s ridiculous but you can’t convince me there is no potential there. Wolverine killing Nazis is basically a license to print money.

But lets say you’re the type of person that hates fun. Minutes later we get another great idea when the two join Team X, a mutant black ops team. Joining the two are Kestel, Agent Zero, Blob and Deadpool. Sure a bit more generic but between Jackman’s reliable performance and Reynolds’ perfect version of Deadpool I have a problem seeing this going badly. Those are two great ideas within the movie itself that would had been so much better than what we got.

annabelle
Annabelle
The Conjuring was a massive hit and for good reason. Following Ed and Lorraine Warren this horror film that is kinda-sorta based on a true story is great. Relying on mood and sound design it is the perfect, modern possession movie. One of the most intriguing parts was an early clip concerning the porcelain doll Annabelle. We get a tale of the doll haunting a couple and that’s it. No explanation, no history just a tight little horror short. When news came of a spin off it seemed like a great idea. As it turns out, not so much. Featuring a cliche ridden story and terribly boring leads the film was petty forgettable. As it turns out the best possible movie was right in front of them.

How It Could Have Been Better?
What made the original appearance of the demonic doll was the mystery of it all. We were given no real explanation and it worked out. That’s why my idea is forgo the origin tale we got and start with the couple we saw in The Conjuring. We already have sympathy for them and it could easily be fleshed out. Throw in a cameo by the Warrens near the end and you have the spin off The Conjuring deserves.

predators
Predators
Predators works on a lot of levels. The idea of Predators hunting the deadliest “predators” from Earth is genius. Taking them to a different planet of their own design? Even cooler. Producer Robert Rodriguez took a risk on director Nimrod Antal is perfect. There’s one major flaw in the movie, the casting.

How It Could Have Been Better?
Fairly obvious but they really shouldn’t have gone with Adrien Brody as the lead. While he pulls it off on the acting front I find it hard to take him seriously as an action star. He tries his hardest but I find it hard to convince myself that the guy I mistake for Alan Cummings is a bad ass. That’s why I’d cast it with a more traditional action star. It doesn’t have to be someone like Schwarzenager either. Someone like Bradley Cooper or Jeremy Renner would be perfect. Not only do they have the chops but they can pull off the grittiness needed for a movie like this.

mm-fury
Mad Max: Fury Road
Okay full disclosure, I dug this movie like everyone else. With a great story, great practical effects and exhilarating action it has been a great way to stat the summer blockbuster season. While catering to the mainstream it had the perfect amount of Australian genre film weirdness to it. It was almost perfect. I say almost because…

How It Could Have Been Better?
My god that green screen. While it looked okay some moments there others where it looked embarrassing. I specifically remember spots near the end when they were hopping cars. That’s why I’d just go all out and hire stuntmen and do it for real. Well obviously not for real-for real but it’d look real. While stuntmen aren’t used like they used to be it provides a certain grittiness that would have fit perfectly with a throwback like this. Surely a big summer blockbuster like this could afford it. Is this fixing a broken movie? No, far from it. But for me it takes something good and makes it great.

One other thing I thought of, and it’s more a useless twist, is that I’d just market it as a Furiosa movie. It was already her movie anyway so why not just go all out with it? Then at the end you could reveal it was Mad Max and blow some minds. Okay that’s a pretty bad idea but it would lead to more Imperator Furiosa movies and I can totally get behind that.

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About Douchebag Batman

If you found this blog, I probably know you personally. Basically I'm using this for movie reviews, MMA previews, and the occasional wackiness from out of left field. Shout out to the horror short Welcome to the Party for the hella boss avatar. I'm not very good at selling this, am I? Anyway just check it out. You'll be filled with laughter. From my actual writing or realizing "Wow this guy needs an editor".
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One Response to 5 Movies That Didn’t Have To Suck

  1. Pingback: Summer Reviews- Action Movies | The Further Adventures of Douchebag Batman

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