TIME travel, supervillains, evil ghosts – it’s impossible to make those things boring, surely? Unfortunately if you’ve seen any of these films you’ll realise it’s not.
It’s directed by Christopher Nolan and it’s about reversing time, so it’s going to be like Inception, right? Yes, if you watched Inception after necking a handful of Mogadon. The main problem is that it’s lost in its own confusing universe, so you don’t give a shit what they’re actually reversing time for. Maybe it’s Chris Nolan’s dream to own a time machine so he can check what the weather was like last Tuesday. That could be the central premise of Tenet 2.
Moulin Rouge, 2001
Surely nothing could go wrong? It’s a sumptuous rendering of life in the sexy 19th century nightclub; Nicole Kidman and Obi-Wan Kenobi are in it; there are even pop hits if you don’t like normal musicals. So why is it so boring? Probably the grindingly hyperactive atmosphere and using songs you’ve already heard way too many times like Bohemian Rhapsody. It’s likely Satine didn’t die from consumption, but instead a rare, fatal, psycho-somatic condition caused by hearing Material Girl once too often.
Ex-special forces colonel John Matrix’s daughter has been kidnapped – okay, that’s more than enough plot. Every action film cliche is here – recoil does not exist, ammunition is infinite, never fire a gun from your shoulder – but the main problem is that the bad guys are so ineffectual that 250lb Arnie may as well be fighting the garden gnomes in B&Q. If only he was. At least there’d be one-liners like: ‘You should have ‘gnome’ I’d kill you!’
Star Trek: Into Darkness, 2013
Star Trek fans soon realised JJ Abrams has no ideas and just makes things bigger, more numerous, or drags them out longer. One of many examples is the incredibly long fight between Spock and Khan, with both taking countless blows but always coming back for more. It’s a lot like watching someone play Whac-a-Mole at a fairground, only you can’t alleviate the boredom in a cinema by pissing off to win an ill-looking goldfish.
Who’d have thought the Joker in a grittily realistic setting would be quite so uneventful? It’s a reimagined loser version of the Joker so there are no supervillain high jinks, but it doesn’t commit to the social injustice Arthur Fleck suffers either. Let’s hope they make a Lego film version. Kids would love seeing Lego Joker failing to get stand-up gigs and being depressed.
Paranormal Activity 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, various years
Ghosts are inherently scary, threatening unknown terrors from the realm of the dead, but these extremely formulaic films are like getting a job watching the CCTV in Boots. In fact the most interesting thing about them becomes looking out for the implausible reasons why the characters have left a video camera running to film a sofa they see every day.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, 2009
It’s hard to pick the worst Transformers film because they’re all identical apart from some not having Megan Fox in, which sadly enables you to focus fully on the ‘story’. Revenge of the Fallen isn’t the worst but it does feature Optimus Prime punching A. N. Othertron for what feels like a couple of days. It would actually be more exciting watching two fridges squaring up, because then at least you’d be wondering how the hell they were going to batter each other.