The Worst Movie

matrix1.jpgI’ve been tagged by Professor Paul Butler to play this game running around the legal blogosphere of naming the movie I thought was the worst. That’s a tough one. I agree with Paul’s choice of Gone With the Wind for the reasons he states. The entire new Star Wars Trilogy (Episodes I – III) certainly comes in near the top of my worst list, with some of the most inane lines of dialog ever penned and some of the dumbest plot contrivances ever devised. One of the highlights is Anakin’s conversation with Yoda in Episode III, when he tells Yoda that he fears Padme might die. Yoda’s response: “Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not. Attachment leads to jealousy. The shadow of greed that is.” So the lesson in all this is that if you don’t want to turn into Darth Vader, let go of the ones you love. Don’t try to save them; let them die. Anyway, how do you screw up Star Wars? It actually took some creativity and effort to mess up the new trilogy so monumentally.

But the winner is The Matrix: Revolutions. The first movie in the trilogy, The Matrix, is one of my favorite movies. But the last movie in the trilogy, Revolutions, turns the story into a silly religious allegory, with Neo offered up to the computers crucifixion-style. All the themes of the series — reality vs. virtual reality, machines vs. humans, etc. — are tied up in a cheap simplistic manner. And Revolutions casts a dark light over the original Matrix, sapping some of my enjoyment of that movie.

I’d rather talk about the best movies, but that’s not this meme. But I’ll do my duty and keep it going, so I tag Deven Desai.

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8 Responses

  1. AYY says:

    Actually the meme is naming the worst movie you ever paid money to see. Otherwise there would be too many choices.

    Since Deven hasn’t picked up the phone yet, I’ll add mine. “A Fish Called Wanda”. Saw it about 15-16 years ago. It was just, well, bad, but not just bad, abysmally bad. I haven’t gone to the movies since. But then there’s not much point if you can rent something with Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall in it. Maybe their movies weren’t great, but they were all good to pretty good.

  2. Nate Oman says:

    When dissing the new Star Wars trilogy (and few movies are more deserving) it is important not to forget that they also contain the least compelling romantic dyad in the history of film.

  3. Joe Camel says:

    I loved “A Fish Called Wanda.” Seen it several times.

    My nominee for worst movie would have to be “Soul Man,” about a white guy posing as an African American guy to get a law scholarship. They kept showing these two other stereotyped white students making the most inane racist jokes every time they walked by. An unbeatable combination of poor writing, bad acting and pointless bigotry.

  4. greglas says:

    Another question that might be asked is — how early during the process of viewing the film did you realize that all hope was lost? Episode I kind of tanked as soon as they met the Gungans, but the conversations among the leaders of the Trade Federation blockade was a pretty clear signal as well.

    Revolutions, following Reloaded, already needed to redeem itself — so it didn’t even get the benefit of the doubt for me during the first few minutes.

  5. Bruce Boyden says:

    Dan, if Matrix: Revolutions is the worst movie you’ve ever paid to see, you’ve led a charmed life! My archetype of movie badness (as in “Spiderman III is bad, but it’s not as bad as X”) is “Mission to Mars,” which, yes, I paid money to see. Although it’s a close finish with “Ghostbusters II,” which is the only movie I’ve ever been tempted to walk out of halfway through.

  6. Bruce,

    There are certainly movies that head-to-head against The Matrix: Revolutions and the Star Wars Trilogy I-III would be worse. But I made my assessment in context. What made these movies so bad was that my expectations were very high, and these movies took very good material and made it bad. There are indeed bad movies that start with nothing and go south, but it seems worse to me to start with everything and end up with nothing.

    And yes, I paid money to see the movies above. By the time of Star Wars III, I knew I was throwing my money away, but I felt compelled to see it — not because I thought it would be any good, but because I felt I was already on the boat when it was sinking, and I might as well follow it to the bottom of the sea.

  7. greglas says:

    I saw SW II & III too, knowing full well what was in store. For me, it was not so much about going down with the ship — it was a morbid curiosity about how the only guy with both the money and the IP rights to tell a story so central to my childhood would ruin it. Approaching it that way, it really didn’t disappoint — it was kind of like a unintentional parody.

  8. Mike Madison says:

    A View to a Kill. Bond’s low point.