Lone Ranger got treated to some rough justice at the box office this last weekend, and nobody shed a tear. But it's not the first flop that actually deserved its fate. Even though plenty of decent movies tank for dumb reasons, sometimes justice really is served. Here are 10 movies that bombed because they were awful.
It's not just that they gave her a terrible costume and a computer-generated ass, or that Sharon Stone is the worst supervillain ever. It's that this movie came out just as the Catwoman comics were at their absolute creative peak, with Ed Brubaker and Darwyn Cooke erasing years of Jim Balent purple slutmonstery.
Eddie Murphy has had a string of godawful science fiction/fantasy movies in the past decade, including Haunted Mansion, Meet Dave and A Thousand Words. But this one is not only the worst but the most iconic. And it was amazingly expensive — an estimated $100 million — for a film that absolutely nobody saw.
We couldn't decide between this and one of the TNG movies, like Nemesis. But Shatner's lone directorial effort was the bigger bomb, and feels like the bigger sin, too — he inherited a film series that was already going Warp 9, and instead of building on the successes of previous films, he took a sledgehammer to the foundations. Read the book his daughter wrote about the making of this movie sometime if you want to cry yourself to sleep.
Hal Jordan is one of the coolest comic-book heroes, and the concept of Green Lantern is both simple and awesome — a man gets a ring that can make anything, and he's called upon to use it to save people — but you would never know these things after watching this movie, which dunks Ryan Reynolds' smirking head into a fondue of CG. And sends him up against an epistemological fart monster.
Like Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd starred in a string of awful movies after the first Ghostbusters, but this is the biggest disaster and probably the most regrettable. Kim Basinger vamps insanely as an emotionless alien who's come to Earth to stop some project or other, and falls in love with Aykroyd's astronomer. Worth watching only to see Alyson Hannigan and Seth Green go on a date.
Can't really leave this one out — the great, foolish attempt to put L. Ron Hubbard's vision on the big screen, with John Travolta in crazy alien makeup and the fighter jets that still fly after thousands of years. Kind of a legendary disaster, but still worth mentioning.
And speaking of legendary disasters... This film is almost campy enough to get a free pass for how awful it is. I mean, at one point the hero is attacked by mutant lobsters and then escapes by flying away on a giant ostrich. But sadly, it's also incredibly boring and just sort of a terrible mess. Bill Cosby, not surprisingly, is not really made for this sort of "campy superhero spoof" role.
And here's another legendary fiasco — most notable because this film has a lot of the ideas that producer Jon Peters tried to shoehorn into a Superman film, like big mechanical spiders. Even Will Smith and Kenneth Branagh can't rescue this steampunk Western from feeling like a giant trainwreck.
Before Schwarzenegger went off to be Governor of California, his movie output was getting sadder and sadder — culminating in this movie where Arnie is cloned — and first fights himself and then joins forces with himself. All of the "regular dude in a crazy situation" mugging that got Arnie through other movies just does not work when there are two of him.
And finally... a Dungeons and Dragons movie could have been so awesome, if it had just been an excuse for fun sword-and-sorcery, Fritz Leiber-style. Instead, we get Jeremy Irons' absolute wackiest performance, opposite Marlon Wayans doing a performance that makes the first G.I. Joe look like a masterpiece. At least Tom Baker, playing a healer elf, knows what kind of movie he's in and just goes nuts with it.