Hype can be defined as an extravagant or intensive publicity or promotion. In cinema, hype is often a by product of a filmmaker’s stature and reputation or the iconic global status of a film franchise. The hype surround a movie is fired up by various other factors too including the production house, the star cast, the subject of the film and so on and so forth. What’s worrying here is how much people’s judgement gets clouded by the legend that such a hype brings on to the film. So when is it that you feel a film is over-hyped? That is, a film gaining more recognition and popularity than what it really deserves. I know such a statement sounds downright provocative and offensive but let’s face it, we all have a few set of films about which we can never stop ranting or fail to understand what makes them so universally appealing. Of course, it all comes down to personal choices but I’ve managed to scribble down my thoughts on top most overhyped films ever that I feel are massively overrated for various reasons. You can stream some of these most overhyped movies on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
10. Prometheus (2012)
Ridley Scott has often been more of a hit-or-miss director; when he hits, its gold but his misses are more than disappointing considering the vastly ambitious subjects he chooses and the amount of hype his films usually receive. And ‘Prometheus’ was no exception. Part of the highly popular Alien Franchise, ‘Prometheus’ was one of the most anticipated movies in recent times with Scott returning to direct the film which piqued the interest of fans of the original movie. The film depicts the journey of a team of explorers who arrive on a distant world seeking the origins of humanity. Don’t get me wrong on this, ‘Prometheus’ is by no means a bad film but what it suffers from is a lack of precision and clarity in vision that enfeebled the film to an extent that it shattered our hopes of seeing something at least remotely close to the original flick. The predictable, lazy plot elements wrecked the script as it took a wild turn turn to tell an entirely different story that hardly does justice to its thrilling original.
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9. Snakes on a Plane (2006)
A classic example of internet phenomenon, ‘Snakes on a Plane’ snatched a great deal of attention prior to its release due to its bizarre title and story-line and casting. The film stars Samuel Jackson as an FBI agent assigned to protect a witness while flying from Honolulu to Los Angeles on a plane full of deadly and poisonous takes. With an almost ridiculous plot-line, the film merely goes beyond the lines of mediocrity and has a scenery-chewing Samuel Jackson who would later be seen in indistinguishable avatars in many films post this one. The film gave rise to a massive loyal cult fan base before its release but also fell startlingly short of expectations at the box office as it slipped to sixth place in its second weekend and was later declared by the press as a “box office disappointment”.
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8. Twilight (2008)
For fans of Stephenie Meyer’s epic fantasy romance novel, ‘Twilight’ is quite simply the greatest love story of all time. Frenzied lovesick teenagers drove the hype as it broke records at the box office, going on to becoming one of the most commercially successful films of all time. But besides the endearing charm of its leads and Catherine Hardwickle’s atmospheric direction, what lies underneath is an unabashedly naive, cliched romance that lacks any sort of depth for a romance of such epic scale. ‘Twilight’ hardly appeals to a more mature section of the viewers and comes off as downright silly and cheesy for people who aren’t fans of the novel.
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7. Transformers : Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
Michael Bay’s over-hyped sequel to his original robot venture is another reminder that big budgets and flamboyant display of visuals alone don’t make for a good film. It’s naive to believe that a Spielberg or a Zemeckis is born everyday but expecting a decent popcorn flick isn’t a sin either. Bashed mercilessly by renowned film critics including Roger Ebert and Peter Travers, the film could almost serve as a model on how to make a bad film. With a ludicrous story-line, laughable acting and bland script, the film is a shot by shot cinematic torture that even fails to replicate the graceful absurdity of its original.
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6. Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
An erotic romance novel that sold sold over 125 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 52 languages. Yes, we get the hype. ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ tells the story of a college graduate who develops a sadomasochistic relationship with a business big shot. The problem with the film is it hardly adds up anything to improve a not-so-good novel and turns itself into an overly glossy, uninteresting affair that takes itself way too seriously and comes off as a very shallow piece of work despite its seeming flamboyance and showiness. With a better script and cast, the film could have easily turned out to be a disturbing character analysis of harrowing impact but sadly it falters on almost every level and leaves us utterly unsatisfied.
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5. Suicide Squad (2016)
Where do I begin with this? Spewing out venomous criticism towards blockbusters have now become way too mainstream. But ‘Suicide Squad’ is seductively provocative for any cinephile who cares for the medium. Apparently, superhero movies are not meant to be taken seriously and shouldn’t be looked a lot deeper into the critical aspects of it. But ‘Suicide Squad’ was cinematic humiliation at its best. Rarely does a shockingly miserable script and a frustratingly bad edited piece get orchestrated on-screen with such blatant provocation and the undying need to dumb down the audience. Talks of Jared Leto bettering Heath Ledger’s iconic performance in ‘The Dark Knight’ as the Joker had already begun months before the film’s release and was one of the most anticipated movies of the year.
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4. The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
It is impossible to deny the influence that ‘The Matrix’ has had on the science fiction genre in American cinema. The Wachowski Brothers’ impeccable cinematic vision of a dystopian future triggered a frenzied cinematic revolution that gave birth to a new generation of cine-freaks and sci-fi manics. After an immensely satisfying sequel, The Wachowski Brothers teamed up again for the third and final installment in the series to close down the final chapter on humanity’s epic saga of survival in a world of distorted realities. However, despite the hype ‘The Matrix Revolutions’ failed to live up to its previous installments with a feeble story-line and a seemingly unimpressive inclination towards visuals over the thematic and philosophical aspects of the series that set the first installments apart. The lack of depth in writing and a forced approach to provide closure to the story-line ensured that ‘The Matrix Revolutions’ is hardly anything more than a decent, forgettable affair at best.
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3. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The modern day blockbuster genius of Christopher Nolan stormed to new heights in 2008 with the iconic superhero saga, ‘The Dark Knight’, that forever changed and redefined a genre that was synonymous with the word trash. There is absolutely no denying the fact that Nolan changed the way superhero films are looked at and perceived by blending the right elements of philosophy and entertainment that managed to please the most cynical film critics and snatch the attention of hard-boiled and tough-to-please cinephiles. And taking into consideration the various factors that contributed to the immense success and popularity of the first two installments of the trilogy, the hype surrounding the third and final installment was pretty much understandable. But let’s face it, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ does not hold a candle to its genre redefining prequels. What the film benefited from was the massive cult of ‘The Dark Knight’ that smoothed its marketing and promotion techniques and the much elevated god-like stature of Christopher Nolan among his fans. A messed up script with thinly written characters and convoluted, predictable plot-twists ensure that the final installment of what would have been close to being the greatest trilogy ever made was one of the major let downs in cinema history.
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2. The Godfather Part III (1990)
The build up to the final installment of ‘The Godfather’ series was expectedly massive. And why not? We’ve had two of the greatest films that changed the course of filmmaking in cinema, now waiting to receive an organic conclusion that would wrap up the famous story of the Corleone family. As a staunch ‘Godfather’ fanatic, my words would be filled with blood boiling anger and infuriating frustration here as Coppola royally goofs up his earlier masterworks with a melodramatic, convoluted cinematic mess of a drama that humiliates its iconic prequels. What made the first two Godfathers so brilliant was the subtlety displayed in every aspect. In the third installment, emotions are all over the place and the acting is infuriatingly over-the-top and downright ridiculous at place, especially by Al Pacino; the man who immortalized Michael Corleone with his electrifying eyes and dead eyed look that drove the narrative in one of the finest displays of character acting ever put on screen. ‘The Godfather Part III’, as a standalone, is a really good film but being part of an iconic trilogy, it does not deserve a singled out treatment and is, in my opinion, one of the biggest cinematic disappointments in history.
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1. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
George Lucas’ epic space opera franchise spawned generations of cinephiles and altered the landscape of blockbuster filmmaking in Hollywood. Sixteen years after the completion of his original ‘Star Wars’ trilogy, Lucas made his first prequel to the original movie and was unsurprisingly the most hyped movie of its time. The global cultural phenomenon the ‘Star Wars’ saga had cultivated over the years heightened the anticipation for the movie to a huge extent but the result, however, was a colossal cinematic disappointment. Lucas’ writing skills were exposed as the film suffered from thinly written characters and one-dimensional acting performances and relied heavily on its visuals. ‘The Phantom Menace’ was the beginning of a series of epic cinematic failures of a franchise that broke new grounds in cinema.
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