We’ve seen some wonderful films released this year, films that captivated imaginations and changed the face of cinema as we know it.
This list, on the other hand, is full of films that promised much at the start of the year, but when they hit cinemas, left audiences with a bitter taste in their mouths.
So these are the films that we expected more of in 2015…
10. CHAPPIE – MARCH
What we were expecting: Neill Blomkamp’s return to the South African slums after the disappointing Elysium, in which a robot is given sentient by an idealistic programmer.
What we got: A loud, brash two hour long Die Antwoord promotion video.
Actors with the chops of Hugh Jackman, Dev Patel and Sigourney Weaver were cast to one side, as rappers Ninja and Yolandi Visser played around at being gangsters on film.
Blomkamp’s planned Alien 5 has been shelved in place for Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant, which means that perhaps the Hollywood feels that the legendary sci-fi series is beyond the South African.
9. TAKEN 3 – JANUARY
What we were expecting: Bryan Mills was set for a return to form, righting all of the mistakes that the underwhelming Taken 2 made.
What we got: No-one being taken this time, which was slightly different, but it had the Bryan Mills brutality dialled-down, while his ‘skills’ of hyper-competence, luck and surviving things that would kill a Terminator are just played-out and over-the-top by now.
Despite being heavily-panned, Taken 3’s tremendous box office return opens the door for another unwanted Taken sequel, and Liam Neeson is up for it too, so we can all look forward to not going to see that.
8. SPECTRE – OCTOBER
What we were expecting: Bond to build on the incredible job of Skyfall with another cool, gritty and surprisingly fun outing for 007.
What we got: While not the worst film on this list, and the highest-grossing Bond flick ever (and highest-grossing film of 2015); it seemed to falter in comparison to Skyfall and Casino Royale.
A mildly threatening villain, a humdrum plot and seemingly to tread closer to Roger Moore’s campy Bond than we’ve seen from Daniel Craig, provided us with a perfectly adequate action flick, but far short of what we’ve come to love from Craig (not including Quantum of Solace).
Also, Sam Smith’s theme was too whiny and, basically, he wasn’t Adele.
7. PIXELS – AUGUST
What we were expecting: A fun and inventive comedy featuring some wonderful effects and classic video game characters from our past topped off with a great comedy cast.
What we got: Adam Sandler filling another ‘comedy’ full of the same lazy, juvenile gags as the likes of Grown Ups 2, Jack and Jill and the rest of his disappointing recent efforts.
Based on the (superior) short film from French director Patrick Jean (watch it here), Adam Sandler laid the crap gags on thick as castmates like Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad considered sacking their agents.
With the potential to be this year’s Wreck-It Ralph, it instead was dubbed by critics with such damning terms as “abysmal,” “adolescent,” and “an overwhelmingly sad experience”.
6. JUPITER ASCENDING – FEBRUARY
What we were expecting: The Wachowskis did The Matrix, and if this is anywhere near as good as that, it’ll be pretty decent.
What we got: Nothing anywhere near as good as The Matrix.
As we probably should have anticipated, The Wachowskis provided an effects-heavy, incoherent, overblown sci-fi saga.
The Wachowskis may have ‘M. Night Shyamalan-ed’ themselves beyond repair with this one and might not be allowed near a high-budget, CGI-heavy film from now on.
5. PAN – OCTOBER
What we were expecting: A live-action retelling of the origins story of Peter Pan and Captain Hook – a more lavish prequel (of sorts) to family faveHook.
What we got: An overinflated pantomime full of colour, CGI and not a great deal else.
Pan spent its time trying to set up a franchise for itself that it never actual worried about making a good story, or seemingly a story about Peter Pan at all.
Plus, there was a whole outcry about the whitewashing of Tiger-Lily from Native American to the very white Rooney Mara.
4. TOMORROWLAND – MAY
What we were expecting: A wondrous family-friendly adventure film and Disney’s best live-action film since the last good Pirates of the Caribbeanmovie (whichever that one was).
What we got: A film which lacked George Clooney for a lot of the film, with attempts at an inspirational message that comes across more as environmental preaching in a choppy, uneven story with an underwhelming climax.
Disney thought they were onto a winner with the film that has been knocking around in various states since 2011, but, due to Disney’s vague marketing and the film’s middling final result, it became one of the biggest flops of 2015.
3. FIFTY SHADES OF GREY – FEBRUARY
What we were expecting: A faithful retelling of the E.L. James’ ‘housewife porn’ over-hyped bestselling story filled with all of the BDSM and raunchiness that an 18 certificate would bring.
What we got: A leading couple that didn’t really bring any enthusiasm or performance to their roles, not helped by a script seemingly written by a teenager, and some sluggish pacing to boot.
With the odd glimpse of (female-only) nudity and soft-core sex scenes, plus some highly inaccurate BDSM, which has been widely criticised for its lack of realism, considering some Fifty Shades fans will probably try it at home.
Director Sam Taylor-Johnson hated being hindered by the on-set creative demands of the book’s author, while the co-stars didn’t seem to want to be in the same room as each other – high hopes for the sequels then.
2. TERMINATOR: GENISYS – JULY
What we were expecting: (At least) the third best Terminator movie, and a well-crafted ‘soft reboot’ to kick-start the series.
What we got: A bullet-riddled time travelling mess that couldn’t capture any of the magic or chemistry of the first two films.
The ham-fisted attempts to explain the new timelines and an aging Arnie are feasible at best, while the relentless gun and explosion-filled action just gets Man of Steel-levels of tedious and unengaging.
Plus, the film’s super-exciting twist being revealed in trailers ruined the entire storyline before fans had even set foot in the cinema.
Paramount decided to greenlight two sequels before the film was released, and their decision was vindicated thanks to China, which contributed 25% of the film’s gross, adding $112.8 million to make a quite impressive $440 million global gross.
So expect more Arnie and his band of time-travelling misfits for another two explosion-saturated movies.
1. FANTASTIC FOUR – AUGUST
What we were expecting: A more grounded ‘Dark Knight-esque’ telling of one of Marvel’s best properties, and a far cry from the cartoonish versions from the mid-2000s.
What we got: An unnecessarily bleak origins story (which we’re bored of from every reboot now) with bad CGI, predictable one-liners and a general lack of anything gripping or enjoyable.
Director Josh Trank, who’d dazzled with his low-budget ‘superhero’ flick Chronicle, responded to critical backlash stating that it wasn’t his ‘version’, implying that the studio had been heavy-handed with their requests and feedback.
Extensive reshoots – including Kate Mara’s widely-derided wig – meant the film was choppy, poorly-paced, and has put pay to 20th Century Fox creating a Fantastic Four franchise similar to Marvel’s runaway successes.