The 5 Most Disappointing Movies Of 2010

Published 4 years ago by , Updated September 18th, 2012 at 7:51 am,

Iron Man 2

iron man reviews1 The 5 Most Disappointing Movies Of 2010

Summer 2010 brought us many-a-blockbuster and surely one of the most anticipated was Iron Man 2, the sequel to the hit 2008 comic book movie. Director Jon Favreau and leading man Robert Downey Jr. returned for the sequel as director and star, respectively, bringing along with them a sense of hope that this might be one of the few sequels to improve upon the first one. Sadly that didn’t turn out to be the case.

Before we get to the negative, I just want to say that I consider Iron Man 2 to be a lot of fun, with a memorable villain in Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), some hugely entertaining set-pieces (the Monaco race track sequence stands out in particular) and some stunning special effects work.

However, when you compare Iron Man 2 to the resounding success that was the first film – it feels like a let down. To begin with, the first film managed to strike the right balance of Tony Stark (DowneyJr.) being cocky and smarmy but still likable, whereas the sequel made him more arrogant than anything else. This lead to it being harder to care about the main character, since he was acting like such an ungrateful ass a lot of the time.

ScarJo and RDJ in Iron Man 2 The 5 Most Disappointing Movies Of 2010

Secondly, the final showdown between Iron Man, War Machine and Vanko was too reminiscent of the finale of the first film. It wasn’t exactly the same, but the general “machines hitting and shooting each other until only one (or in this case two) is left standing” felt repetitive and rather unsatisfying, in my opinion.

Lastly – and perhaps most importantly – the film felt less like a standalone feature and more like a hold-over for the big Avengers film to come in 2012. The subplot about S.H.I.E.L.D. wanting to recruit Stark/Iron Man for The Avengers was referenced in the first film but didn’t get in the way of things; in Iron Man 2 that point was belabored and detracted from the main storyline of Iron Man trying to stop Vanko and Stark’s arms-dealer nemesis Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell).

iron man 2 stark fury The 5 Most Disappointing Movies Of 2010

While Iron Man 2 is still a very fun and entertaining summer blockbuster, when you take into account just how good the first one was, the sequel can easily be labeled a disappointment. Here’s hoping that Iron Man 3 – which will have a different director now that Favreau won’t be returning – gets back up to the level of the first movie. It will have an easier task doing so, considering it will come after The Avengers and won’t have to serve as a bridge film, as was the fate of Iron Man 2.


The Last Airbender

the last airbender review aang The 5 Most Disappointing Movies Of 2010

A lot of people were looking forward to the big-screen adaptation of the famed animated series The Last Airbender due to the first teaser trailer. It featured a mysterious shrouded figure performing martial arts in the middle of a circle of candles, ultimately blowing all them out with his mystical powers – and finally unveiling himself as a mere boy. Cut to outside of the cave where a massive fleet of warships launching fireballs hinted at an epic battle soon to unfold.

It’s amazing what one teaser trailer can do, and this one definitely made people sit up and take notice of The Last Airbender, despite the name M. Night Shyamalan being plastered all over the film’s posters and trailers. As it turns out, their anticipation would have been better placed somewhere else as this was not only a disappointing film, but one of the year’s worst as well.

the last airbender review The 5 Most Disappointing Movies Of 2010

From the poorly-written dialogue (“We must go there” is about as sophisticated as it gets) and characters, to the lackluster action and boring storyline, the film made for one memorable experience… but not in a good way. The Last Airbender stuck in my mind for all the wrong reasons and proved that Shyamalan should probably stay away from making action/fantasy films altogether.

Even the admittedly impressive special effects weren’t enough to make The Last Airbender worth checking out. If you were lucky enough to have missed this one in theaters, do yourself a huge favor and avoid it on DVD/Blu-ray.

Final nail in the coffin: Despite the implications of the Clash of the Titans debacle, The Last Airbender tried to also go the post-conversion 3D route, and turned out even worse than it already was, with colors so dark and murky it was like watching a movie with sunglasses on. Just awful.

Continue to a disappointment 3 years in the making…

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  1. alice and iron man 2 dont deserve to be on this list……they were awesome

  2. Yup Tron and Iron Man 2 were awesome. Seen both 3 times!

  3. I guess the biggest disappointment for me this year was Iron Man 2.

    From the opening MTv-ish Vegas show shot to the comically bad battle between Rhodie and drunk Stark, let’s not forget the Whiplash, can live through a car slaming into him and a wall, (Starks bodygaurd doesn’t carry a firearm???) No its more practical to carry a prototype Iron Man suit and let Stark battle it out for himself ??? Wtf???
    What was with the Starks Dad/Walt Disney-ish (Disney’s take over of marvel) inlfuence of the final act,,, puke!

    If that wasn’t a kissmybt tribute to Walt Disney I don’t knw whts going on.
    Overall the film was aweful,,, made me sick. Blah,,,

  4. How you could’ve expected anything from Tron Legacy is beyond me.

  5. Tim Burton’s Alice was also done in “fake 3D.” Numerous critics were telling people to see it in 2D not 3D. Interestingly enough, Harry Potter was going to be released in fake 3D and Warner Bros. pulled it just weeks before its release, probably because they were afraid of the same thing happening.

  6. I’d pick The Last Air Bender as the most dissapointing of the pack.
    Tron was worth the wait, you guys are accurate about the rest.

  7. Wow!!! all the praise that TRUE GRIT has gotten is baffling. It was just alright the acting was good, not great. Thats like saying Barney should have won an emmy for best dinosaur. It belongs right here in this category along with Tron, Clash of the Titans, and The Last Air Bender And the Expendables!

  8. Disagree with Alice and Tron. I watched Alice in 3D and really didn’t see the problem with the 3D. No stomach turning. As for the bright visuals, why are you complaining? Alice in Wonderland was always meant to be a bright, colorful world. The plot was probably not suspenseful nor exciting because everyone already knows it! lol. For these reasons the movie is a disappointment?

    And Tron as a disappointment really? Aside from the somewhat weak plot, which I can agree with you on, the movie is exactly what I expected. What else were you expecting but visuals? The second I saw the first trailer I knew I wanted to go on that ride.

    For awhile I’ve taken reviews/opinions from this site into consideration when making a decision about watching or not watching a movie. I guess not anymore. Lately, everything that I’ve watched and later on read the review of on this site was in complete disagreement with my own. It’s as if all of a sudden everywhere critics are expecting every movie to be worthy of an oscar and are “disappointed” when it the credits roll and it isn’t.

    To be honest this top 5 “disappointments” of 2010 sounds more like top 5 “nitpicks” which in turn is like the lonely opinion of the usual, crazed, banished Avatar-hater. lol

  9. You obviously have no movie taste. Clash of the Titans’ 3D was amazing, as was Alice in Wonderland (the 3D was pretty bad, I have to admit). Then there was Iron Man 2 and The Last Airbender, and I’ve never seen Airbender but Iron Man 2 was one of the best movies of the year.
    And don’t even get me started on TRON: Legacy.
    TRON: Legacy is the best movie of the century, unless they release an even better Tron 3, which is in production, as you know. And if people don’t think that everything was amazing from TRON: Legacy, they have no movie taste.
    Which is why I recommend you actually watch movies before you make movies look absolutely terrible when they are missing out on something amazing.

    • Nate troll harder.

    • I agree wholeheartedly, Nate. I myself am a cud-chewing, goggle-eyed sock puppet; a drooling, grunting, lard-brained zombie; a gurning, hooting, thick-fingered excuse for a human being; a slump-shouldered, knuckle-dragging, empty-headed mollusk with opinions like unset blancmange.

      You rumbled me, buddy. Nothing left for me now but the plastic carrier bag and hairy string.

  10. Last Airbender was worst for me. I am a huge fan of the cartoon and was looking forward to seeing the movie. I couldn’t sit through the first half hour. I was so disappointed. Did anyone who made the movie even watch the show?

    • according to M. Night Shyamalan (sp?) he loves the show lol and watches it with his kids whenever he can

  11. The first Iron Man was mediocre, and the second was one of the most boring, stupid big-budget films I’ve ever managed to sit through. The only thing it had going for it was Scarlett Johansson’s costumes.

  12. … Prince of Persia…?

    • foopher,

      That’s not on the list because we never expected it to be good. 8)


  13. Why is JessSayin’s comment 5 days ago always on the bottom?

  14. I agree with you on Tron Legacy. It tried to be sophisticated and elegant along with slick and sexy. But it just came across as boring..did anyone else feel like they were going for a Blade Runner type film as far a space and mood?

    But my biggest disappointment is The Expendables. Words can not express how much of a let down that was. Geeze, even bad for an intentional B Movie

  15. Its interetsing to see how many have been disappointed by TRON LEGACY. I myself find it strange that TRON LEGACY, just like AVATAR, is a film I very much enjoyed at the theatre (on iMax of course) but for some reason have no interest in subsequent vieweings. I’ve tried several times to watch AVATAR on my big screen at home on HD BluRay since its been out and darned if I can finsih it.

    The true mark of a good to great movie is one where subsequent viewings of it are enjoyable (even if not as much as the first viewing) and you can watch it once every 1-3 years and keep enjoying it each time. For me this would be:


    all of which I watch at least once every 1 to 2 years.

  16. # The Last Airbender was true to the characters i guess, notable visual effects, nice martial arts and all in all like the anime. Don’t know what people have expected.

    # Clash of the Titans was totally okay, why the hell did someone watch it in 3D if it wasn’t filmed with 3D technology? Your fault, the movie was okay.

    Alice in Wonderland – I haven’t seen it, it looked too much like an LSD trip and I don’t do drugs.

    Iron Man 2 was a true failure except for Robert Downey Jr. The “The Shield” story interruption was bugging me the whole time. Samuel L. Jackson is an AWEFUL Nick Fury. Wtf.

    TRON: Legacy – I’ll watch it tomorrow i guess.

  17. I must say this article hit the mark of the most disappointing films of 2010. My motto, if it is over advertised–over hyped, then it probably sucks.

    Wonderful 2010 Screen Rant. I am looking forward to what 2011 will bring us!

  18. I agree with you on most points except iron man. it was brilliant. tony stark seemed dislikable, but that’s how he is in the comics in the beginning. he’s arrogant and goes through a depression as an arrogant drunk in one of the pivotal arcs and exceotional arcs in the comics. yes, some audiences might be turned off by the marvel universe interruptions, but it is in no way a bad movie. great one liners, tempo and some good laughs. it is one of the best movies of 2010. only the critics it seems fell negatively(no offence but you guys rarely explore the source material). many people i know pointed out certain annoyances but said overall it was brilliant.
    the last airbender was of course horrendous. nothing, no scale, no comparison, no excuse. and it really really any curiosity that would make people watch the original series, which set a new yard stick for programming.

    • I really don’t care if a drunk, dislikable Tony Stark made a good comic-book storyline 40 years ago. Iron Man 2 barely had any story at all, not to mention almost no action (I think there were all of 4 action sequences, and it took a half hour to get to the first one!), and what little action there was was unimaginative and dull. Calling the characters paper-thin would be generous. Every one was either a dumb caricature or entirely devoid of personality.

      If I want to see the heroes win by “crossing the beams” I’ll watch Ghostbusters again. At least the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man didn’t just stand there waiting to get blown up!

      • Ironman & Warmachine didn’t just stand there waiting to get blown up, they reacted to what Ivan’s remark meant & thats when they notice the drones were remotely rigged to blow along with Ivan.

        • Ah, thanks for the clarification. I was talking about Ivan, but I must’ve missed that line. (My brain was probably completely numbed by that point.)

          At any rate, that whole fight sequence was still boring and unoriginal. :)

          • Oh i see. Its easy to know still Ivan’s armor was thicker too, especially when being attacked one on one by the both Ironman & Warmachine. It the ending of Ironman 1 all over again sort of speak till the two blasted at Ivan at the sametime.

  19. I thought that Tron Legacy was pretty good!
    They placed a lot of lines and quotes from the first one and the music way way better.
    But that’s just my opinion.

  20. i just watched last airbender. it wasn’t that bad. it was a kid’s movie, not some oscar contender. kinda what i expected. i’m not a huge fan, but everyone gets on m. night’s case for not delivering, yet there are worse directors out there. i never watched the cartoon, but adaptations are rarely spot on and faithful, and even when they are people complain. i’m just waiting to see the 3rd night chronicles film, which is supposedly his idea of the planned unbreakable sequel.

  21. @DK Kuul A

    I agree. There was just no drama in that fight. One thing you can add is that neither Iron Man or War Maching actually get hurt in the final battle. Okay, so they get beat up by Vanko for a bit, but nothing major like parts flying off. Look at the final battle in Raimi’s SPIDER-MAN. The Green Goblin was picking Spider-man apart.

    Whiplash was supposed to be a “threat” to Iron Man, but his electric whips have no affect on Iron Man or War Machine. So what, it shorts out the power in the suit, but it doesn’t damage it beyond repair or shut it down. That kind of drama would have made for much better fights. IRON MAN 2 makes Iron Man out to be invincible, and it just doesn’t work. You have to make your main characters feel pain in order for the audience to care.

    But that’s just one complaint I have about the film.

  22. Alice in Wonderland was great for me, I love wacky worlds… but I didn’t watch it in 3D because I was broke that day. (well actually I had spent most my money that day before going to the movies… oops)

    TRON bored the crap out of me, if it wasn’t for bright lights and stuff I’d probably fall asleep.
    But the biggest disappointment was “The Last Airbender”. Really, I’m a big fan of the Avatar series and well lets just say the movie doesn’t do the series any justice. No.

  23. I thought Alice in Wonderland was the bees knees! However I was quite high when I watched it soo… Depp was brilliant – one of the few characters where he hasn’t got on my nerves or wished he would stop being so wooden. He was creepy, huggable, loveable and bewitching all at once. The Alice character was a bit annoying though, Queen of Hearts superb, thanks the Helen BC’s little constant finger taps and irritable face.

    Anyway, I dont agree Alice in Wonderland was a disaster movie 2011, but I completely agree with the other 4 films :)

  24. Skyline sucked.