2015 was a great year for movie fans. Looking back at the films that we saw, there was more than enough to satisfy even the toughest critics.
That being said, 2015, like any other year, was also a filled with dissatisfaction. There were plenty of movies that could have, or even should have, been epic, but failed to deliver. Here are the most disappointing, almost epic, movies of 2015.
The Transporter Refueled
The Transporter: Refueled is a reboot of the franchise that began in 2002, starring Jason Statham. This time around, Ed Skrein plays the role of the Transporter, who is thrust into the middle of a vengeful bank heist.
Why it disappoints: If you’re looking for a sure-fire formula for failure, look no further than the offering that is The Transporter: Refueled. The original Transporter film, and indeed the entire trilogy, has a strong cult following and helped to, along with a slew of other films, catapult Jason Statham to superstardom. But Refueled has none of the charm, wit, and Statham-ness (it’s a thing, trust me) of the original. It has some cool action sequences, but the confusing plot and poor acting make Refueled an unworthy entry in the series.
The first two Terminator films were revolutionary, and are still, to this day, considered classics. Terminator 2: Judgement Day even shares its name with one of the very best movie-to-video game adaptations of all time. Unfortunately, Genisys doesn’t live up to the greatness of its predecessors.
Why it disappoints: Our review for Genisys begins with the sentence, “Can this franchise just end already?” That’s not a good sign. The newest Terminator is just another rehashing of the same old plot that has been permeating the entire series since it began in 1984. The trailers for the film absolutely spoiled the movie’s greatest twist, the plot is more than confusing, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, made young again through the magic of CGI, looks awkward and out of place.
Jupiter Ascending is the newest film from the Wachowskis, of The Matrix fame. I’d tell you more about the plot if I could. But I just simply can’t, because I still don't understand it.
Why it disappoints: Unlike The Matrix, which was enchantingly confusing and layered with symbolism, Jupiter Ascending leaves audiences with a giant “WTF” expression on their faces for the entire two hours. It makes no sense, the acting is beyond miserable, and the few bright spots of gorgeous visuals and a great musical score can’t even come close to redeeming this befuddling blunder.
Pixels is the dream of every gamer who found themselves getting buried just a little too deep in the games that they are playing. When 80s arcade games are recreated by an alien race to destroy the planet, a group of retro gamers are Earth’s only hope for survival.
Why it disappoints: The visuals are eye-catching, and the plot, though not necessarily engaging, is at least a fresh take on the alien invasion genre. At its worst, Pixels is an unfunny attempt to win audiences over with familiar faces, an all-star cast, and a constant barrage of nostalgia. At its best, Pixels is a missed opportunity. It had potential, and could have been great had it starred anyone other than Sandler & Co.
If you’ve ever been to any Disney-themed amusement park, then Tomorrowland will stand out in your mind as the futuristic, science-filled, and sometimes curiously steampunk section of Disneyland/World. Following the debatable success of Pirates of the Caribbean, Disney followed in their own footsteps to create another film based on a popular theme park attraction.
Why it disappoints: Tomorrowland is by no means the worst movie on this list. At times, it is genuinely enjoyable, and is always fun to look at. But it seems that director Brad Bird, who is known for directing other fantastic movies like The Incredibles and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, got so caught up in making the movie look pretty that he forgot to tell a story or make us care about the characters. In short, uneven pacing, shallow acting and a general sense of unoriginal familiarity drag Tomorrowland down and prevent it from reaching its full potential.
Following the failures that are the first two Fantastic Four films from 2005 and 2007, 2015’s Fantastic Four serves as a reboot for the franchise that promised to bring this important group of superheroes back into the limelight and restore their former glory.
Why it disappoints: This movie disappoints because it is filth. There isn’t even an inkling of humor or fun to be found throughout the entire movie, the character designs are poor, they ruined Doctor Doom by making him everything except the awesome character he should have been, and the special effects look trashy. Fantastic Four promised to the better than the one from ten years ago, but it couldn’t even achieve that goal, the most un-lofty goal known to man.
Point Break is a remake, or at least a retelling, of the cult classic film from 1991 starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze. Johnny Utah, a junior FBI agent and extreme sports enthusiast, hunts down a group of terrorists who commit crimes while performing feats of human endurance and extreme danger.
Why it disappoints: Let me be clear, right off the mark. The action and extreme sport sequences in Point Break are stunning, and are second to none. The surfing, free climbing, wingsuit gliding, and snowboarding adventures of Johnny Utah are fantastic. But the plot and the acting? Spare us, please. Point Break would have been better off if the plot had simply been a bunch of bros doing dangerous sports together. But instead, in between these epic action sequences, Point Break tries to tell an inane and shallow story of terrorism, environmental awareness, and becoming one with nature. I’d watch it again, but with my thumb held firmly on the ‘skip’ button.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
The follow-up to 2012’s massively successful Avengers film promised more action, more heroes, and the biggest, baddest villain that we’ve seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Why it disappoints: Disappointing doesn’t necessarily mean bad, and that is certainly the case with Ultron. It’s fun, full of great action, humor, and the characters we know and love. I initially reviewed the movie quite favorably, but after I took my Marvel goggles off and examined the movie more closely, I realized that it isn’t anything special.
Ultron is such a great character in theory, but in the film, he is just too weak. It should not have taken an entire team of superheroes to defeat him, and he could have easily been one of the lesser villains from the standalone films. The Black Widow/Hulk love story is ridiculous, and the plot is told in a really awkward and uneven fashion. At least Marvel finally had the guts to kill a character, even if he was only a good guy for like fifteen minutes.