While many moviegoers love watching action-packed films, not all of them are created equal. Like The Last Airbender, some films are so riddled with bad dialogue, horrible acting, and awful special effects that it’s hard to follow the storyline.
Keep reading because here are the action film genres most epic misfires.
Batman & Robin
Joel Schumacher has since apologized for his epic failure in the Batman franchise, Batman & Robin. Even so, people won’t be soon to forget the anatomically correct bat-suit, the campy dialogue, and one too many ice-related puns coming from Mr. Freeze.
Oh, and let’s not forget Alicia Silverstone giddily stating “I’m Batgirl” with no formal introduction to the character.
First off, if a director wants to rip off every post-apocalyptic movie out there, they might want to make it a bit better. Solarbabies, on the other hand, was too riddled with every end-of-the-world cliche and stereotypical ’80s dialogue that it’s really nothing more than horrible.
When Jami Gertz’s character Terra screams, “Get out, you creature of filth!” she might as well have been speaking of the film.
With a lame and boring plot, not even action film-veteran Sylvester Stalone could make Backtrace good. Film Inquiry writer Kevin L. Lee reviewed the movie, saying, “It is no exaggeration to say that Backtrace was the cinematic equivalent of a headache.”
“It’s too ridiculous and underwritten to be a full-fledged crime thriller and too self-serious to be an enjoyable B-movie.”
One of the worst action films to come out of 1999 is arguably Virus, a film about an alien entity bent on making the human race cyborg slaves. While the action scenes were alright, the plot was very predictable. Even lead actress Jamie Lee Curtis thinks it’s a bad movie!
According to Curtis, she even tried to get director John Bruno fired because she thought the movie was that bad!
The superhero film Zoom might have been advertised as an action-comedy, but it noticeably came up short on laughs. It followed the story of a ragtag group of teenage and child superheroes as they’re trained by Tim Allen to be Earth’s new heroes.
In theory, the film sounds great! But it was a major flop at the box office, only making $12.5 million from a $75 million budget.
King Kong Lives
Even if a person can look past the absurd plot of King Kong finding a mate and starting a family in King Kong Lives, there really is nothing going for this action film. The special effects look to be done by an amateur, and the actors look beyond bored with what they are doing onscreen.
Filmink even said the lead actors, Linda Hamilton and Brian Kerwin, could have been cut from the film!
Besides staring at an early 2000s cast of Sophia Bush, Channing Tatum, and Aaron Carter, the only thing Supercross has going for it are the stunts. Otherwise, it’s nothing more than a horrible movie with underdeveloped characters and a mediocre plotline.
And “mediocre” is putting it mildly! The film is another “we have to win this race and get the bad guys off the track” story.
Beverly Hills Cop III
When the star of a film goes on record calling it “atrocious,” that’s never a good sign. But that’s exactly what Eddie Murphy said about Beverly Hills Cop III.
A joyless storyline that sees the wisecracking character of Detective Axel Foley fall short, it’s no wonder Cop III was nominated for two Golden Raspberry Awards.
Beyond The Poseidon Adventure
When Beyond the Poseidon Adventure was released in 1979, people weren’t thrilled with how similar it was to the original. Even so, it would have been alright if it was at least good. (It wasn’t).
According to film critic Gene Siskel, the movie was “virtually the same story as the original disaster film, with shoddily painted sets; tiny studio-created fires all of the same size; and dialog that could be written by a 1st-grader.”
Even Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry couldn’t make the action thriller Dark Tide good. Shallow and lacking anything that would make a daring dive into shark-infested waters suspenseful, the movie received the rare rating of 0% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Seriously, how in the world is a movie about sharks boring?
The 2015 superhero action film Fantastic Four was so poorly received that the sequel was canceled in favor of redoing the first film!
Dull, boring, and lacking any of the color and fun that makes the Fantastic Four fan favorites, the film completely flopped and currently holds a 9% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie
Considering all of the source material Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie had to work with, one would think it would be a pretty epic action flick. Wrong!
Not only were the special effects and acting nothing to write home about, but the fight sequences were so poorly choreographed that Joe Leydon of Variety called it “high-camp cheesiness.”
When it comes to the film Max Steel, Christy Lemire for RogerEbert.com says it best, “For a movie about developing the greatest energy source in the universe, Max Steel is surprisingly bland… a movie based on a toy should be a whole lot more fun than this.”
The action film lacked, well, good action, and the underdeveloped characters did the story no favors.
The 2015 film Extraction was too generic to be considered good. Yes, the movie has decent action and fight sequences throughout, but they weren’t good enough to overshadow the poor dialogue.
Upon its release, the Bruce Willis-led film was met with negative reviews, a 9% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a staggeringly low $988,548 at the box office.
The Last Airbender
Amazingly, M. Night Shyamalan wasn’t kicked out of Hollywood after releasing his 2010 film The Last Airbender. Almost unwatchable, the movie takes a beloved cartoon and completely butchers its content.
Between the horrible acting, insanely bad special effects, and eye-roll-worthy attempt at re-creating bending, more than one person wishes the movie didn’t exist.
Universal Soldier: The Return
When it comes to horrible action films, Universal Soldier: The Return is one of the “best.” Literally, nothing went right in this movie, even though all Jean-Claude Van Damme had to do was reprise the character.
Alas, the subpar performances, boring plot, and mind-numbing fight sequences almost had film critic James Berardinelli dozing off twice!
The 2013 film Getaway was so focused on making a fast-paced, action-packed movie that it forgot about everything else, including character development, deep dialogue, an engaging plot, and even coherent editing.
IGN reviewed the film, saying, “Not even the gruffly likable Ethan Hawke can make the murky, messy car chase movie Getaway worthwhile thanks to its inane script and poorly conceived action sequences.”
As far as Nic Cage movies go, the action film 211 is one of the worst. The film is so riddled with cliches and action movie stereotypes it’s almost as if director and screenwriter York Shackleton meshed together every cop sequence he’d ever watched.
Currently, the film holds a solid 4% on Rotten Tomatoes.
When Freddie Prince Jr. auditioned for the role of First Lieutenant Christopher “Maverick” Blair in Wing Commander, it was a totally different script. The first day on set, the entire thing had been rewritten for the worst.
A simple story with all of the sci-fi action cliches known to humankind, this particular film is one that the lead actor “can’t watch one scene of.”
Cannonball Run II
According to film critic Roger Ebert, “[Cannonball Run II] is one of the laziest insults to the intelligence of moviegoers that I can remember. Sheer arrogance made this picture.” That’s not exactly the words of someone who enjoyed the action film!
In fact, this is one of the worst to come out of the 1980s.