Top 10 Movies That Should Have Sucked But Are Actually Good
Who would have thought that HOT TUB TIME MACHINE would have turned out to be a decent comedy, let alone one worthy of a sequel. But, here we are on the opening weekend for HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2. This got us thinking about the movies out there we all thought would suck but turned out to be pretty damn good movies. Here is our ranking of the best movies that defied expectations. See if your favorite made the list or feel free to add others we may have missed to the talk backs below.
There is not exactly a good track record for movies adapted from board games, but CLUE stands apart. A hilarious and original screenplay is brought to life by an all-star cast of comic geniuses ranging from the late Madeleine Kahn to Tim Curry, Michael McKean, Christopher Lloyd, and more.
Jason Statham was stereotyped by his role in THE TRANSPORTER which resulted in several very similar movies. CRANK looked like it could have been just another clone of the standard Statham role but ended up being a completely off the wall and batshit crazy rollercoaster ride that is actually pretty damn fun and atop the best of the actor's action work.
Putting Seth Rogen and James Franco together usually doesn't defy expectations for the general movie-going audiences. After PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, most folks likely had their minds made up about THIS IS THE END as another cheap comedy but it ended up being one of the top reviewed movies of 2013. Paying homage to all sorts of apocalypse films, THIS IS THE END ranks as one of the best.
After a long development cycle, Max Brooks' acclaimed novel was the subject of several accounts of behind the scenes strife between director Marc Forster and star/producer Brad Pitt. Rewrites, budget issues, and more had everyone expecting a complete debacle of a film. But, WORLD WAR Z ended up being a decent film. While it didn't adapt the source material as many expected, it did end up being a success with a sequel in development.
The JACKASS franchise is not exactly high filmmaking. The first two movies were big screen explorations of pain and male stupidity and I never expected a third film. When it was revealed to have been shot in 3D, I still didn't expect much but Johnny Knoxville and the JACKASS crew turned in a great use of the technology and gave us an in-your-face experience unmatched by most films using the premium format.
Zombies have been on the verge of becoming played out over the last few years. With SHAUN OF THE DEAD making the zombie comedy an acceptable sub-genre, along came ZOMBIELAND. It looked like a small film with burgeoning stars in Emma Stone and Jesse Eisenberg. But, ZOMBIELAND ended up becoming a fan and critical favorite and one that allowed the blending of genres otherwise unexpected.
James Gunn is now one of the most in demand directors thanks to his work on GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, but the one time SCOOBY DOO screenwriter directed a horror movie called SLITHER starring Elizabeth Banks and Nathon Fillion. What could have been a complete bomb ended up becoming a favorite along the lines of CABIN IN THE WOODS but instead got a fun, infinitely rewatchable horror movie.
Lindsay Lohan was a star thanks to MEAN GIRLS. Tina Fey's high school comedy looked like another throwaway teen flick but has morphed into one of the most memorable films of the last decade. Amanda Seyfreid and Lizzy Caplan began their success with this movie that was really Lohan's last big hit. Still, MEAN GIRLS will remain one of the iconic high school films of all time alongside FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH and THE BREAKFAST CLUB.
Before Johnny Depp was a box office mainstay, he took a risk with Disney's adaptation of their theme park ride. No one had any hope for Gore Verbinski's film to be anything more than a moderate success at best. What we got was a fun swashbuckler full of memorable characters and the immortal Jack Sparrow. While it may have been followed up by mediocre sequels, the first movie remains one of the best movie surprises of all time.
We all instantly recognize Bruce Willis and DIE HARD as kindred spirits. We cannot think of one without the other. But, in 1988, DIE HARD seemed like a huge gamble. Willis was not an action star but rather a comedic actor from the small screen. The risk the film took casting such a guy in the hero role paid dividends as it is now one of the most unexpected and most enduring surprises in big screen history.