Disappointing things can be fun.
2018 is upon us, and with it comes an enthusiastic optimism that maybe, just maybe, this year will see our spirits lift, our joy multiply, and our troubles melt away.
Or, at least, that would be the response to the new year, were it not for the fact that both 2016 and 2017 ended up being so universally loathed.
2017 was not a good year for movies. While there were a few standout stars (like “Get Out” and “IT”), the majority of big blockbusters released during the last year have ended up disappointing or otherwise upsetting large chunks of the moviegoing public.
A lot of big blockbusters (such as films in the “Transformers” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchises) failed to wow audiences last year, and even critically acclaimed movies like “Blade Runner 2049” failed to find an audience.
“Justice League” let down a lot of people, too – as did, controversially, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”. These were big movies that were expected to draw great praise from their incumbent fanbases, but ultimately, they proved divisive, with even the most loyal fans arguing over whether the films were worth watching.
Bearing this in mind, now might be the time to start preparing for the worst for 2018.
First up is going to be “Black Panther”, which looks pretty sweet from the trailers, but which could very easily turn into a generic Marvel origin movie – especially considering that, in true MCU fashion, the film appears to feature at least one fight in which the hero fights an evil version of himself.
We’re getting a new “Deadpool” movie, which will probably fail to live up to the hype somewhat. It’s hard to top the massive unexpected popularity of the first film, so no matter how good the sequel proves to be, many people are going to be disappointed (for reference, see audience reactions to “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2” last year.
“The Incredibles 2” is almost certainly going to be a let-down. This is a big, long-awaited sequel to a phenomenally popular movie. There’s no way it can actually satisfy the expectations of eager fans who have been building this up in their minds since the literal closing moments of the first film.
This isn’t to say that it’ll be bad, but it would have to give viewers literal superpowers for it to live up to people’s hopes, and even then, some people would complain that the first movie had a better narrative.
“Pacific Rim: Uprising” stands to let down fans of monster movies. Too many factors have changed between films, and while John Boyega looks like he’ll do a great job of carrying the movie in the absence of Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba, the fact that this movie won’t be directed by Guillermo del Toro will be enough to sink the film.
“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” looks to be falling into all the traps of the classic “Jurassic Park” sequels, sticking too closely to the plot of the first movie, and relying on in-jokes, references, and throwbacks in place of actually solid new ideas.
There’s a chance this could be good, but this far, it’s not done anything too impressive in the trailer.
“Infinity War” is by far the most anticipated movie of the year, and as such, it has the most potential to go horribly wrong.
Marvel has played a risky game by assembling all of their different action figures together into a single movie – if the balance isn’t absolutely perfect, this could end up really letting people down.
The worst-case scenario for Marvel at this point isn’t that “Infinity War” turns out to be a bad movie. If “Infinity War” turns into a disjointed mess (which seems unlikely, given the studio’s track record thus far) then the movie will live in infamy, with people talking about it for years to come, still watching it regularly out of gleeful enjoyment of the time that Marvel messed things up.
Instead, the biggest potential danger is that, as with “Age of Ultron”, Marvel might turn out a forgettable film. If their next big “Avengers” movie ends up being generic, formulaic, and forgettable, Marvel will have a harder time convincing people to actually care as their enormous money train continues to roll forward.
While all of these movies hold the potential to disappoint, at least some of them should, as per the law of averages, turn out to be a lot of fun.
They all pale in comparison to the movie that’s most likely to be the biggest disappointment of 2018: “Solo: A Star Wars Story”.
Things have not been going well in The House That George Built. Lucasfilm has been really struggling, as the Disney Empire has been forcing the studio to churn out movies at an alarming speed in an effort to turn “Star Wars” into the new Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It’s clear that this method of production doesn’t really suit Lucasfilm, nor their biggest intellectual property. “Rogue One” was the first warning sign, with lengthy reshoots meaning that the movie was only barely ready in time for a premiere. Even “The Last Jedi”, with a relatively smooth production process, has clearly turned out to be a far more divisive film than Disney was hoping for.
“Solo” is the most risky, and tumultuous, movie that Lucasfilm has ever made. The premise was difficult enough to start with, as audiences have always seemed hostile to the idea of any actor replacing Harrison Ford as Han Solo. This was only compounded when the movie’s original directors, Chris Miller and Phil Lord, ended up getting fired for (reportedly) going off-script and improvising too much of the movie.
There are still fresh rumors circulating that Disney is unhappy with Alden Ehrenreich’s performance, and while these are probably complete bantha poodoo, it’s hard to ignore the negative effect that such rumors can have on the movie leading up to launch, as audiences find themselves overly scrutinizing a performance that they already weren’t really willing to give the benefit of the doubt.
This movie is supposedly still scheduled for a May release, which is a ridiculously fast turnaround for a movie that still has so much editing and special effects work to be completed. If this thing doesn’t end up feeling rushed and awkward, it’ll be a miracle – or else, Lucasfilm will reluctantly push it back to December, in order to try and salvage an embarrassing project.
Here’s hoping that the writing on the wall proves to be wrong. Let’s all cross our fingers and wish that “Solo” ends up being a good time.
At present, though, the next “Star Wars” movie looks dead set to be the most disappointing film of 2018.