There are many, many kinds of bad movies out there. Comedies that aren’t funny, Horror that doesn’t scare, Misguided melodramas etc. The most painful for myself are the movies that could have been brilliant, if not for a few bad filmmaking decisions. One of the most egregious of these bad decisions are movies that strike the completely wrong tones with the stories they are trying to tell. The project had all the ingredients for success, a great premise, cast and crew, it all just didn’t come together as a whole in the end. An audience member can only shake their heads at the end and think of what could’ve been.
Having said all that, most of the following movies are not outright awful or without merit, it’s just imagine what they could’ve been with just a change of genre or tone. In some cases just sticking to one genre instead of meandering though many of them would’ve done the material wonders. Let’s start our walk down ‘What Could’ve Been Lane’, shall we?
10. Last Action Hero
What We Got: An Action-Comedy, with A Coming-Of-Age Tale Jarringly Added In.
What It Should’ve Been: A Straight-up ‘Hot Fuzz’ Style Parody
Arnold Schwarzenegger teaming with ‘Die Hard’, ‘Predator’, and ‘Hunt For Red October’ director John Mctiernan to do a parody of the testosterone fueled action-movies of the 80′s and early 90′s, sounds like a match in movie heaven, right? Now, I could cite the meandering plot, endless pointless cameos or elongated running time as the main problems behind this misfire, but the biggest issue is the kid who acts as our audience stand-in as he gets transported into the ridiculously explosive world of Schwarzenegger Action movies. The film suffers from an acute case of what I like to call “90′s kid syndrome”, because this lead is annoying as all-hell, pointing out all of the action movie tropes that the film is trying to satirize, which isn’t funny when it’s a 12-year-old highlighting them out one-by-one. The script tries to put a coming-of-age spin on the proceedings by having ‘the kid’ differentiate fantasy and reality, only padding the already convoluted parallel world story-line. This first entry is one of the easiest to fix, just remove the damn kid and make the film a straight parody of all the ‘Lethal Weapon’ and ‘Die Hard’ knock-offs that were prolific around this time.
This premise had the means to work, Arnie shouting inane ludicrous movie catch-phrases, all the action movie cliches firing off one after another and Movie Arnie coming face-to-face with Schwarzenegger in reality, hell we even have Arnie doing Shakespeare while playing Hamlet at one point. All the possibilities in the world this could’ve have been ‘Hot Fuzz’ a whole 14 years earlier, and instead we got a kid who cannot shut-up and who needs to learn some life lessons… great.
This article was first posted on June 3, 2013