10 Action Movie Flops That Deserve A Second Chance

Flop movies are not bad movies.

white house down blu
Columbia Pictures

The trouble with living in a world where everything is about now is that nothing is ever afforded a second chance. If one huge-scale action movie disappoints the audience, everyone shrugs and prepares for the next one the following week.

There is, as we all know, no “best” of anything and time is the only critic whose opinion matters. Some movies that disappoint on their initial viewing may, if given the chance, become future favourites, while movies that stunned in their day become clunkier as time goes by.

Who would’ve thought that a movie like Big Trouble In Little China, which didn’t even crack the US top ten on its original release, would enjoy an afterlife (and a mooted remake starring Dwayne Johnson) while Top Gun, the same year’s biggest hit, becomes campier with each viewing?

In the name of posterity, every movie needs to be given an even break. Well, okay, maybe not Platinum Dunes’ remake of The Hitcher because that was a soulless abomination whose name shall not be spoken above a whisper for the love of God. The offer is good only for movies not produced by Michael Bay.

Here are 10 to consider.

10. Barb Wire

white house down blu
Gramercy Pictures

It's the not too distant future - well, 2017 - the Second American Civil War is underway and the last safe place in the country is Fort Steel Harbor, but if you want to get there alive, you’ll require the services of Barb Wire (Pamela Anderson), a nightclub owner who moonlights as a bounty hunter in a slow month and will kill any man that calls her “babe.”

While it’s easy to mock Anderson, her character is basically a dominatrix with a machine gun, in which respect she’s well cast and with her in the lead you know there won't be any long and boring speeches. Even Roger Ebert conceded that the movie “has a high energy level and a sense of deranged fun”, and who are you to argue with a Pulitzer Prize winning critic?

Taking its visual cues from previous comic book adaptation The Crow, Barb Wire knows it's not Richard III and never attempts to take itself too seriously. It promises a fun time and delivers it. What’s not to like?


Ian Watson is the author of 'Midnight Movie Madness', a 600+ page guide to "bad" movies from 'Reefer Madness' to 'Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead.'