10 Most Boring Blockbusters Of All Time

Bigger, blander and boring.

Man Of Steel Behind The Scene
Warner Bros.

Nobody goes to the multiplex for great art, just two hours of popcorn that doesn’t leave them feeling like they’ve been had. A hero to root for, a villain to hiss, some zingers and a climactic confrontation in a collapsing skyscraper - who could ask for anything more?

Alas, the simple act of giving the masses what they’ve paid to see eludes most filmmakers, who’re more likely setting up a franchise, linking their picture with a parent corporation’s products or just indulging in a bit of shameful product placement. Inspiration’s a fleeting thing, and you certainly won’t find it in a sequel to a movie based on a theme park ride.

Speaking of the Pirates Of The Caribbean sequels, they serve as a pretty good illustration of everything that’s wrong with modern blockbusters. There’s always something happening but there’s no real story, everybody shouts and runs around a great deal but it’s not particularly exciting and the cast are trying so hard to keep your attention that after a while you start to pity them.

How do $300 million juggernauts manage to be boring? By draining the charm out of the characters and throwing them into ludicrous plots littered with unexciting action sequences, that’s how.

For 10 more examples, step right this way.

10. The Last Airbender

Man Of Steel Behind The Scene
Paramount Pictures

There was a huge audience waiting to see a big screen adaptation of the Nickelodeon animated series, but unfortunately Paramount gave the movie to M Night Shyamalan, whose previous anti-masterpieces included The Village, The Happening and Lady In The Water.

Adopting Ed Wood’s storytelling style, Shyamalan keeps things unpredictable by giving you no idea as to what’s supposed to be happening before providing an explanation that turns out to be gibberish. After being informed that the Spirit World keeps balance in this universe, a character asks what the Spirit World actually is and is told, “It’s not a place made up of things you can touch. But it exists, nonetheless.”

There’s a protagonist with magical powers, some characters you know are pure evil just by looking at them and lots of special effects, but it’s never even remotely engaging. If it wasn’t for some hilariously awful dialogue (“I offer my condolences on your nephew burning to death in that terrible accident”), the movie would be used by vets to put animals to sleep.

In this post: 
Man Of Steel
First Posted On: 

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.'