Here, I run through a list of my personal picks for the top 5 most overrated films in recent memory. No particular order…
After his earlier efforts, Anchorman and The 40 Year-Old Virgin gained cult popularity, 2007′s Superbad was probably the most talked about and anticipated movie from Judd Apatow. Telling the story of two guys simply trying to break into the popular social circle of sex, booze and killer one-liners by simply acting like a couple of idiots. By no means is Superbad a bad film, because it actually does what it does to an ‘ok(ish)’ effect. But after a torrent of hype surrounding the film it was very difficult to go into this film without believing it to be an instant classic comedy hit – complete with unextinguishable quotes that I could show my Grandkids.
2. American Gangster
Denzel Washington is horribly miscast as a prominent Manhattan kingpin who is fast becoming a thorn in the side for the long arm of the law as he traffics heroin from Asia. Everyone’s favourite brawler from down under, Russell Crowe, is the detective who strategically plans to take down Washington. During a considerable running time of the film, Washington’s character (Frank Lucas) is painted as a hero, a pillar of society, and well-respected. But it soon changes and the dark pattern starts to emerge after the pursuit by Crowe (Richie Roberts) becomes more stressful and burdening for him.
I found it rather annoying that the plot seemed to play on Washington’s status as an actor, rather than the terrible real-life criminal he was playing. Whereas Roberts is depicted as a womanising mess, with relationship and family issues. And this is the good guy! But yeah, Lucas… The role, the character, even some of the scenes where he’s just talking just seem really un-Denzel Washington. Playing the bad guy or the criminal just does not suit the guy at all. I’ll give it to him, he’s undoubtedly the best African-American actor working today – but his prowess and ability just doesn’t shine here. It just makes for uncomfortable viewing. Oh and Crowe’s New Yorker accent…. Fucking horrendous.
3. Anything That Has Danny Dyer In A Starring Role
I understand this might be abit of cop-out. And I mean no disrespect to actors that have worked with this man, because he genuinely just ruins everything for me. From the annoying tit in Human Traffic, to the ‘I’m getting remorseful’ hooligan in Football Factory. Danny Dyer is a blight on British cinema and an embarrassment to actors, past and present. His portrayal of any character harkens back to the man himself and really makes not conceivable effort to differentiate between the two. It is so obvious you don’t need to look for it – I hate this man’s mindless fortitude to call himself an actor.
A hate rant on possibly the best director around and my favourite working today? Well… sort of, but not quite. Memento, which was Christopher Nolan’s breakthrough film, is the story of a man’s troubling quest to find his wife’s murderer, coupled with a condition that inables him to store new memories in his mind. Nolan is well-known for alternating timelines in his films and using unconventional methods of storytelling. The sypnopsis is intriguing and intellectually well-manifested, but my problem is with the narrative of this film.
It’s very difficult to pinpoint where I got lost in this and it took about 4 full-viewings before finally piecing together the erratic timeline changes. I will credit Memento on its uniqueness and different take on the ‘revenge’ movie, and Guy Pearce is probably in his defining role as the lead. However its complexities are far too over-powering and really does unforunately tarnish its very smart premise.
5. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
A real stinker. Directed by Gavin Hood, ‘Wolverine’ is the prequel to the original and very popular X-Men trilogy, helmed by Bryan Singer (X1 & X2) and Brett Ratner (X3). With comic book movies, there is always the chance of alienating that core fanbase - by actions such as disregarding source material, shift of focus from premilinary or core characters, or muddled up, uninspired casting choices. With this film, Hood along with studio, Fox. Totally ignores the establishment of the previous three films and kind of make a mess along the way. Wolverine’s character is drastically altered from the one we’ve come to know, and his origins are very much bastardised in the name of fan-service which comes to harm this movie even more.
There are a host of problems in this film. The plot is full of ‘craters’, from start to finish, the CGI effects are, in a word.. TERRIBLE for these times, and there are just laughable moments during certain scenes that eye-rolling couldn’t have a place for. The movie was not well-received by critics but was popular among some fans which has given Fox the greenlight to pursue a sequel. Talented director, Darren Aronofsky was slated to direct, but has since left the project due to constraints against his personal life. Thank the maker!