Another year of movies has come and gone – and everyone is producing lists of their best and worst movies of the year. We have already unveiled what we thought were the 10 worst movies of 2010 and the top 10 movie moments of 2010 but we thought we would also do a list highlighting which movies we found to be the most disappointing.
While 2010 brought us its fair share of thrills, excitement, drama and laughs in such films as Inception, Kick-Ass, Black Swan and Toy Story 3 (to name but a few) the year inevitably brought us its fair share of disappointment, too.
NOTE: To be clear, this list is not representative of what we consider the worst that cinema had to offer in the past 12 months, as some of the selections do have redeeming qualities. Rather these are the movies that we expected a lot from – but they just didn’t quite deliver. For our “worst” list, click on the link above.
So let’s get to it, shall we? Here is Screen Rant‘s selection of the most disappointing movies of 2010 in order of release (and don’t forget to vote in our poll on the last page):
Alice in Wonderland
We start off with Alice in Wonderland, popular Gothic director Tim Burton’s take on the classic Lewis Carroll tale about a girl who falls down a rabbit hole to the eponymous land of Wonder (or “Underland” as it’s called in this version). Burton put a fresh spin on the material by making Alice a few years older and purporting that she’d already been to Wonderland and just couldn’t remember, although the residents of the weird and wonderful land certainly remembered her (“It’s the real Alice!”).
When it was announced that Burton was going to be taking on this classic tale it was like a match made in cinematic heaven. The filmmaker’s off-beat, quirky and distinctive style seemed perfect for the story, and getting his faithful movie star Johnny Depp to play The Mad Hatter was a perfect piece of casting if ever there was one.
So where did it go wrong?
Well, first off, the 3D format of the film didn’t serve to enhance the titular Wonderland but rather detracted from the experience. 3D is supposed to immerse you in a film’s world, not give you a headache – the scene in which Alice tumbles down to Wonderland, for example, not only had my head banging and spinning but my stomach was none too pleased either!
Aside from the 3D, Burton’s version of Wonderland was just a little too zany and overly busy, with the bright visuals getting annoying very quickly and characters that, despite being distinctive on paper, became sort of indistinguishable from one another. The plot didn’t help matters either, with a narrative that was muddled and often confusing instead of suspenseful or exciting. All this led up to what has to be the most disappointing final showdown of the entire year.
Burton and Depp’s seventh collaboration wasn’t a total disaster, with some fun to be had in segments here and there, visuals that are stunning (before they got quite tiresome) and some inspired casting including Michael Sheen as the White Rabbit, Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, Stephen Fry as the grinning Cheshire Cat and, of course, Depp as The Mad Hatter. However, to our disappointment, this particular vision of Alice in Wonderland wasn’t the magically memorably ride we were hoping for.
Clash of the Titans
Next up we have Clash of the Titans, the one and only remake on this list (if you can believe it). Director Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk) had some of the richest mythology in history (no pun intended) to play with and a budget that could be used to run a small country. And yet, despite all it had going for it, Titans was indeed one of the biggest disappointments of 2010.
Despite having more big-scale action sequences than you could shake a stick at, there were only a couple that were in any way memorable: The scorpion attack scene in the desert and Perseus (Sam Worthington) flying on Pegasus, ducking and diving around the dreaded Kraken. Apart from that, the action scenes were either bland, boring, unmemorable or just plain silly. The latter description also applies to the dialogue, which seemed to try everything it could to stop us from being able to take it seriously.
A special mention must go to the disappointing 3D. Instead of shooting the film using 3D cameras, as should be done, Warner Bros. decided to shoot Clash of the Titans using standard cameras and then convert it into 3D during post-production over a very short 8-week period. Who would care, right? 3D is 3D no matter how it’s done, isn’t it. Wrong! Titans had some of the worst 3D in recent memory, with most of the visuals looking less like a realistic enhancement of the onscreen events and more like cardboard cut-outs looming out of the screen at the audience. Quick tip, Hollywood: If you’re going to go the 3D route then do it properly.
So while there is admittedly some fun to be had with Clash of the Titans, overall it was a huge disappointment, made all the more dissatisfying because of the fact that it arguably had one of the best trailers of 2009.