With a higher emphasis on blockbusters and franchise films, 2017 broke the generic mold studios have been banking on for years and brought forth a variety of movies that appealed to both hardcore cinephiles and general audiences. Never has a year been so diverse for blockbusters and big-budget tentpole films as 2017. The year had something for everyone.
No one can truly know if a movie is good or bad until they've seen it, but in a world where the hype train begins months before the movie hits theaters, some movies are bound to not live up to expectations. Nowadays, almost every film gets a teaser and at least two trailers which dominate social media and theaters. This marketing formula leads many audience members to be disappointed when their most hyped films are simply mediocre or flat-out terrible.
With so many franchise films and wholly original films coming out, it's hard for every movie to live up to the hype, especially when fans are so invested in the project/production. For every movie that lived up to the hype, there are those that genuinely disappointed audiences.
With that in mind, let's ruminate on which 7 2017 Movies Didn't Live Up To The Hype (And 8 That Did).
15 Over-Hyped - Alien: Covenant
After the mixed reception of Prometheus's narrative, fans thought that Ridley Scott would have taken a few notes with the film's sequel, Alien: Covenant. The marketing surrounding the film focused on a large, diverse crew that would be hunted by the titular Alien, just like the originals, but the film instead doubled down on the mythos and ideas of Prometheus, making the alien nothing more than a villain that occasionally shows up to annoy the heroes.
One of the few horror films this summer, the film failed to live up to the stellar marketing, as well as the word of Ridley Scott, who promised something that was more in line with the original film. The film does have its fair share of fans who appreciated Scott's vision of God and existence, but the majority of fans left the theater disappointed.
14 Lived Up To The Hype - Blade Runner 2049
For many, Blade Runner 2049 was the most anticipated and hyped sequel of all time. Ever since the end credits of the original Blade Runner, fans were patiently waiting for the next installment in the franchise. After almost 4 decades, fans rejoiced at the film finally being greenlit with Ridley Scott on board to produce, Ryan Gosling as the leading man, and visionary director Denis Villeneuve at the helm.
Continuing the story of Harrison Ford's Deckard, Blade Runner 2049 managed to be the rare sequel that lived up to the expectations of fans, as well as being a great continuation of what came before it. The film managed to surprise everyone with its mature storytelling, stellar visuals, and all-around faithfulness to Ridley Scott's original film.
13 Over-Hyped - Kingsman: The Golden Circle
After the unexpected success of Kingsman: The Secret Service, Matthew Vaughn returned to helm the film's sequel, a first for the director. Seeing how specific Vaughn is with the projects he tackles, The Golden Circle should've fared much better than the over bloated mess audiences received. While the plot and tone of the film must've looked golden on paper, the final product was an overlong, boring, and exponentially ridiculous film when compared to its predecessor.
Forgetting about what made the original so fun and self-aware, Vaughn and crew attempted to make a much more global, eccentric sequel that lost all the charm the original brought forth. With a villain that was boring, a runtime that could've easily been trimmed by 30 minutes, and several off-kilter narrative choices, fans were left disappointed when the action-comedy film came to an end.
12 Lived Up To The Hype - Logan
Ever since Wolverine made his cinematic debut back in 2000's X-Men, audiences have been wondering what Fox would do if he was allowed to have his own R-rated movie. While that idea was more of a long-shot in the early 2000s, it slowly became thanks to Deadpool's success.. In comes Logan, a dark, heavy, and bloody rendition of Wolverine that gave fans exactly what they craved.
Logan was subject to huge expectations mostly due to the fact that this would be the last time that Hugh Jackman would portray the character he had playing for seventeen years. The film was meant to be a farewell to the character, along with Patrick Stewart's Professor Xavier. When the film came out, it completely surpassed everyone's expectations by having a personal story, grounded action, two great performances from veteran X-Men stars, and an instantly iconic new character in Laura (Dafne Keen).
11 Over-Hyped - Justice League
Many assumed that Justice League would crash and burn the moment it hit theaters and, while it wasn't the worst film to come out of the DCEU, it was a disappointment for audiences. Some fans held out hope due to the great ensemble of cast and characters, along with the more upbeat tone that was sorely missed in Batman v Superman, but the film barely managed to avoid being flat-out terrible.
Justice League was more of a Frankenstein monster as the film struggled between the vision that Zack Snyder had and the version that Joss Whedon reshot. Beyond the horrible CGI and boring narrative, the film felt more like a 2-hour TV pilot rather than a major tentpole film, despite a $300 million budget.
Justice League is a testament to the fact that no matter how hyped a film is, audiences will eventually learn and stop seeing disappointing films altogether.
10 Lived Up To The Hype - IT
Stephen King movies are usually either great or horrible, and the latest iteration of IT was considered by many to be the former. The second adaption of IT, after the '90s television mini-series, the 2017 version of the story was an eerie, nostalgia-focused horror-fest that came off more like a coming-of-age film.
On almost every front, the film succeeded; allowing audiences to marvel at every intricate detail in the saga of The Losers Club. Both a commercial and critical success, IT managed to be a worthy adaption of Stephen King's lengthy adaption while also taking enough civil liberties to differentiate it from the literary masterpiece. Hopefully, the second film in the duology, which is scheduled to hit theatres in 2019, is able to live up the hype of the first one.
9 Over-Hyped: War For The Planet of The Apes
After the runaway success of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, audiences were eagerly anticipating the finale to the latest Apes trilogy. War For The Planet of The Apes was hyped as a film that would double-down on the efforts of the previous film. Fans expected the third film in the franchise to end off everything smoothly along with a fast-paced, action-oriented picture about the ongoing battle between humans and apes. The marketing certainly teased that.
In the end, audiences received a slower, more thoughtful film that featured Caesar on a personal mission during his breaking point. While some viewers liked that the film went the more dramatic route, many more were left disappointed that they never got the "war" they were promised, along with a story that was much more grander and, frankly, not boring.
8 Lived Up To The Hype: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Following up the financial and critical success of The Force Awakens was a tall task for writer/director Rian Johnson, but he succeeded in ways fans couldn't even believe. Breaking away from all we knew about Star Wars, The Last Jedi subverted many expectations and introduced a plethora of new ideas to the galaxy far, far away.
Slowing the world and story down, The Last Jedi was able to take a much more personal, independent approach with its characters, resulting in some of the greatest Star Wars moments ever put on the big screen. With 2 films of the new trilogy now release, fans will have to see if J.J Abrams is able to replicate Rian Johnson's mastery with Episode IX.
7 Over-Hyped: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2
Nobody expected Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy to be as good as it was, but audiences were surprised by the film's energy, soundtrack, and great cast of characters. Having quickly fallen for the ragtag Guardians, fans anxiously waited three years for the film's successor, Vol. 2, which teased a brand new soundtrack as well as the introduction of Peter Quill's father, Ego the Living Planet.
Unfortunately, the film never lived up to the mammoth expectations of fans. Thought it was a fun romp, it basically retread the jokes and character bears of the first film, without adding or developing too much. Beyond that, nobody enjoyed seeing the Guardians separated for most of the film, which showed that these characters only work well riffing off each other, not as separate entities.
6 Lived Up To The Hype - Spider-Man: Homecoming
Audiences can safely say that we haven't had a great Spider-Man movie since 2004's Spider-Man 2, which meant that Spider-Man joining the MCU was a big deal. Peter Parker was back where he truly belonged. After his introduction in Captain America: Civil War, - where he was met with great acclaim - Spider-Man was given his own solo film in the form of Homecoming.
Bringing Peter back to his high school roots and having him focus on a B-list villain served the film well, as it felt grounded within the MCU universe. Homecoming was also one of the funniest movies in the franchise without feeling overly unnatural. Fans rejoiced at the simplicity of the formula while applauding the complexity of Peter's character, which made Homecoming one of the best films in the MCU.
5 Over-Hyped: Power Rangers
With everybody cashing in on nostalgia these days, Sabban decided to reboot everybody's favorite superhero team: the Power Rangers. The 2017 reboot was going for a much more darker, mature tone that reflected the issues current high school students faced such as disabilities and sexuality, and while The Breakfast Club approach was interesting, it still led to a boring and shallow film.
The film came off more as a Chronicle remake, if anything, and was barely able to tell a cohesive story with any genuine stakes. Beyond that, Elizabeth Banks' villainous performance as Rita Repulsa was laughably bad, alongside the mediocre visual effects and performances. The film cemented the fact that the Power Rangers franchise should remain as a relic of the past for fans to occasionally look back on with nostalgia goggles.
4 Lived Up To The Hype - Baby Driver
After the falling out with Marvel over Ant-Man - a project he had been working on for years - fans were anxious about what Edgar Wright would create next, as he rarely takes a false step in the world of cinema. Wright took a look back at some of the ideas he had in his early days as a filmmaker and created Baby Driver, a euphoric, eclectic, film that came off as a remix of the musical and action genres.
Fans who were excited to see Edgar Wright tackle a heist film with Ant-Man were delighted when Baby Driver was announced as a heist film on wheels. With such an interesting premise and a stellar cast, audiences flocked to see Edgar Wright's rebound film after his bitter break-up with Marvel, and it just so happened to be his biggest success to date.
3 Over-Hyped - Lego Ninjago
Nobody initially expected that a film based on Legos would be even remotely good, but then everyone was surprised by how imaginative and complex The Lego Movie, which hit theaters in 2014, wa. That movie launched an entire franchise ripe with possibilities. Following the original film came The Lego Batman Movie, which completely reinvented what we thought a Batman movie could do.
The third film in the franchise was The Lego Ninjago Movie, the first to be based on an original Lego property, and the hype and hopes were high. When the film hit theatres, it was criticized for its lousy storytelling, jokes, and characters, which were all the things that made the franchise so great in the first place.
2 Lived Up To The Hype - Dunkirk
Fans of Christopher Nolan were somewhat confused when he announced that his next film would tell the story of the evacuation of Dunkirk, a pivotal moment in World War II. Fans were used to Nolan crafting his own complex narratives, so this felt like an exciting, new step for the director. Would it finally bring him an Oscar?
Nolan used Dunkirk as an opportunity to change how we see stories by forgoing a narrative and making the film more of a nightmare. You experience three different facets of the evacuation over the course of three separate timelines that have one thing in common: survival. Those who were excited by Nolan's brave new step were right - Nolan and film itself both nabbed Golden Globe nominations, with Oscar nods likely to follow.
1 Lived Up To The Hype - Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman had a lot to live up to after the string of critical disappointments that the DCEU had, along with the fact that this was the first major solo female superhero film and just so happened to be directed by a woman. With the hype so high, it was hard for the film to meet everyone's expectations, but it's safe to say that everyone adored Patty Jenkins' optimistic take on the DCEU.
Not only was Wonder Woman smart, funny, and action-packed, it also brought forth a message of optimism that was sorely needed in 2017. Beyond that, the film was able to inspire an entirely new generation of children who thought they too could be Wonder Woman. In addition to it being a stellar film, the solo movie can also be considered the DCEU's crown jewel, which makes it even more special.
Which 2017 movie was your favorite? Which was your least favorite? Comment below and let us know!