Squandered opportunities: Biggest movie disappointments of 2014 So Far

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Movie Disappointments of 2014

With the passage of time, the number of disappointing Hollywood flicks of 2014 is only escalating. The year 2014 that is, was high on numbers of anticipated film. Releases from Marvel to Walt Disney to Paramount pictures and other mega production houses meant 2014 could be a big year on cinema. While many certainly delivered and even outdid their expectations, there were a good number of films that fell short of their expectations. These are not necessarily bad films, but mostly here because these failed to capitalize the potential of their respective scripts to the fullest. Here are some of the most disappointing Hollywood flicks of 2014 so far.

  1. Godzilla

Movie Disappointments of 2014

A fan of the previous Godzilla movie, one that features a behemoth monster ripping off an entire city, would expect nothing short of EPIC in this latest remake. I already felt bad about missing the movie on big screen but as it turns out, I didn’t really miss out on a lot and could actually save several hundred bucks that would go into the pricey multiplex tickets and popcorns.

Godzilla started off with a lot of promise, so initially you would definitely be hooked to the story. However, then the progression turns into a monotonous loop and that loop soon enough falls into a mess.

Coming with an emotional subplot, Godzilla is the story of two newly hatched but hibernated-for-years and radiation-eating monsters named ‘MUTOs’. These two are now in the run to reunite, sending of weird mating calls to one another that can be heard from thousands miles away. In the process, the two savage cities in their path and worse of all, stirs the mighty beast Godzilla.

With two additional monsters, this movie had every element to be awesome. Conversely these two fail to save the film as the titular and overly anticipated creature appear for only a good few minutes on screen. All Godzilla needed was a good story, some kick-ass action sequences featuring everyone’s favorite monster supported by some top-notch CGI. Sadly, all it offered was a super convoluted plot that seizes away from the entire graphical offering of the film.

True it went onto earn millions, raking $525 million in global takings but acceptance is never a gauge for being a good film. Three words for you should you beg to differ with this notion- The Twilight Saga.

 

  1. Maleficent

Movie Disappointments of 2014

Maleficent had HIGH expectations- a Disney film, starring the ultra- glamorous and superlative performer Angelina Jolie, featuring one of the most popular Disney stories- The Sleeping Beauty and that too in a new light. This should have been one Great film; sadly enough, Maleficent only borderlines on average.

Maleficent tells the story of one of Disney’s most iconic ‘villains’, Maleficent that is, demonstrating what led her to turn into a stone cold evil sorceress, challenging the age old notion about her.

Maleficent had a great plot to start with, not to mention a power-house performer on the lead. Sadly however, it lacks profusely in character development which probably should have been its key concern. The sequences seem rushed with poor portrayal of Maleficent’s struggle with either her coming to terms with her inner grudge or her growing bond with Aurora. The supporting cast is not so great either, so one is less likely to develop an empathy with any of these characters.

Jolie is the saving grace where her mere presence feels beguiling. Then again, she doesn’t even get any good dialogue to say. There is only so much she could do in the absence of a decent screenplay. Since so much of the ‘meaningfulness’ that the makers were trying to achieve has been left to imagination Maleficent turns out emotionally vague.

Maleficent has been adored by audiences. No judging there because it does have a brilliant plot complemented by the immense screen presence of Angelina Jolie. But is it a good film? My vote goes to the critics’ take where the majority slammed it. Like a movie critic said “All would be forgiven if the film had more magical feeling”. Its plot was its biggest asset, but the over-simplicity only makes it a bland affair. Maleficent could and should have been a great film.

 

  1. Transformers: Age of Extinction:

Movie Disappointments of 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction, as you predicted, is another story of the human race being in danger, thanks to the several menacing forces that loom in the galaxy and also on planet Earth. But how can we count on Optimus Prime to save the day as the Autobots race is under attack by humans with the help of an ominous ally.

It is not like the other movies of the franchise could do a lot to impress the critics but yet the addition of Mark Wahlberg held promise for the franchise.

Now where does it go wrong? For one, Transformers: Age of Extinction is really like REALLY long. Exclusion of the redundant and ineffective emotional drama could have saved at-least half an hour from its 165 minutes length. The fight sequences are so long and frequent that it’s hard to not get distracted. Howbeit, it must be pointed out that the film has some real cool kick-ass moments and actions sequences that one would expect from a sci-fi action thriller. So much so, that you would adjust in your seat and probably lean forward in excitement and anticipation. One give-away: Dinobots! Yet, to our disappointment, the action sequences would then just keep going on and on and on, making you return to your laid back position once again.

The makers could easily do with fewer elements that would have allowed it to hold its thrall. By keeping the narrative otherwise simple, the impact of the bigger moments could have been amplified. Apparently, this installment of Transformers is like a child having too much fun with his Lego set that he just went on to keep adding to his building blocks no matter how hideous the end result turned out. With a great plot ruined by unnecessary subplots, Transformers: Age of Extinction is just another example of a squandered opportunity.

 

  1. Grace of Monaco

Movie Disappointments of 2014

As is the case with any biopic, anticipation was high with Grace of Monaco – if not Box office wise, at-least on critical acclamation ground. It could impress neither.

Grace of Monaco tells the story of Grace Kelly (Nicole Kidman,), a former Hollywood star who is now married to Prince Rainier III (Tim Broth) of the very small country Monaco. The film focuses on Grace’s role as a princess and as a wife, during the period of elevated political tensions between Monaco and France.

Nicole Kidman, playing the titular role clearly hoped for an award winning project but the unexciting direction offered no redemption from the tiring screenplay. In-fact the height inconsistency between Kidman and Broth wouldn’t bother you as much as the poor performance by the female lead. One would expect better from this otherwise seasoned actress.
A great biopic often relies more on character and dialogue rather than the actual story itself. Grace of Monaco had a pretty strong premise to work on, but it needed to refurbish Grace’s character, dialogues and the subplots to turn it into a worthwhile watch. It is neither inspiring nor entertaining. A massive disappointment, Grace of Monaco will only be counted as one of the worst biopics ever made. The only award Nicole will probably manage to grab is the Razzies.

 

  1. Transcendence

Movie Disappointments of 2014

Any Johnny Depp movie automatically takes up its place in the most anticipated movie of the year list. He manages to turn even the most retarded of scripts into sheer delight through his ingenious acting nuance. In his latest sci-fi thriller however, Johnny Depp fails to create any magic whatsoever.

Transcendence is the story of Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp), an expert Artificial Intelligence researcher. His ambitious project involves creating a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of all things while coming with human emotions. In the process he does not please the anti-technology extremists. The latter in their attempt to sabotage Will’s project end up making Will a participant of his very own transcendence. The film thus once again poses the issue of ‘technology control and the consequences its absence could bring in human lives’

On paper it does sound like a good story but on motion, it definitely contradicts. Transcendence is directed by debutant Wally Pfister whose preference is clearly on style over substance. The movie lacks massively on coherence and excitement. It is so boring that it could cure insomnia or you could even improve your arithmetic skills by counting the innumerous plot holes in the script. Transcendence does tick off on visual appeal though but you would expect so much more from a movie starring A-listers like Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall and Morgan Freeman who are now accused of being paycheck-hungry.

Transcendence is not the ethically-provocative film it intended to be, let alone be a thrilling watch that is expected of a Johnny Depp movie. It should suffice to say that a ‘skyped’ performance by Johnny Depp is not enough to keep audiences glued to the screen. With so much promise in the premise, this movie like those mentioned above, drifts off in the abyss of disappointment.

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