If The Shape Of Water seems like an unusual film to release
in the UK in time for Valentine’s Day, bear in mind that far less appropriate
films have been released to American multiplexes at the same time over the
Guillermo Del Toro’s film does at least have a romance at the core of its story (even if it turns out to be Fifty Shades Of Abe Sapien) which is more than you can say for The Dogs Of War, where Christopher Walken leads a group of mercenaries into war-torn Africa and takes a beating for his trouble.
There’s also The Beast Within, the merry story of a rape victim whose offspring eventually transforms into a monster. Or how about Terrorvision, where a family’s TV satellite picks up a transmission containing a flesh-eating alien? These are not movies whose release dates were scheduled with romantic couples in mind.
The following glimpse at the kinds of films that have played to American audiences on Valentine’s Day will convince you that romance is, if not dead, then the invention of the Hallmark greeting card company.
Caveat lector: the first movie on the list is truly horrifying.
10. A Good Day To Die Hard
Well, it was never going to be a big summer movie was it?
Playing more like a very poor man’s 24 movie than a Die Hard picture, sequel #4 is the ginger-haired stepchild that deserves to be beaten at every available opportunity. Just ask the couples who separated after paying to see it when it reached American theaters in 2013.
There isn’t a single memorable moment in the entire film, and nothing in Skip Woods’s screenplay suggests he did anything more than dust off an unproduced script, change the character names and ask the studio, “Will this do?”
You’re off to a bad start when a character who hates flying has no problem taking a plane to Russia on a moment’s notice, but why stop there? Randomly throw in an unexciting chase sequence, add a few flat and unremarkable villains, sprinkle with crap one-liners and – presto! – you’ve made a worse movie than Under Siege 2: Dark Territory.