Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Len Wiseman!

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

Movie Jail Banner

This is Movie Jail, a unique maximum security prison that houses some of the worst writers, directors, actors and producers from Hollywood and beyond. Their crimes? The offenses vary from convict to convict but most of these inmates have contributed negatively to the film world to some capacity* and his or her misdeeds have covered a long enough period of time that the authorities had to intervene. In each column a defendant is put on trial, arguments are made, and then it is up to YOU, the jury, to decide if the person is guilty or not guilty of crimes against cinema. Their lives are in your hands, dude.

The Defendant

Total Recall Len Wiseman

The Case

The Prosecution: Total Recall, Underworld: Awakening (screenplay), Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (producer), Underworld: Evolution, Underworld

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Len Wiseman doesn't have a ton of big screen credits (and jury members will likely complain about that fact), but with his involvement with the negatively reviewed Underworld series (and his 2012 megabomb Total Recall) the prosecution believes there's been enough bad from the filmmaker to put him up for Movie Jail.

The Underworld movies have never received high marks from critics, and all four installments are below 35% at Rotten Tomatoes. While Mr. Wiseman only directed the first two (he co-wrote the Underworld: Awakening script and produced Underworld: Rise of the Lycans) his name is still synonymous with the franchise. The series does have a loyal following and the films have done pretty well at the box office, but they certainly aren't great or even good movies. Maybe that's why many people rejoiced when it was announced that Mr. Wiseman had left The Mummy reboot.

Besides Mr. Wiseman's stylish vampires vs werewolves flicks, he also directed the previously mentioned Total Recall remake, and a decent (but still considered by many to be inferior to the previous films) entry in the Die Hard series with Live Free or Die Hard. Mr. Wiseman can handle action scenes, but overall the prosecution has been very unimpressed by his directorial efforts, and we are recommending a steep sentence for the filmmaker.

Underworld Len Wiseman

The Defense: Live Free or Die Hard, Underworld series

Ladies and gentlemen, my client isn't known for directing prestigious films, but that doesn't mean Mr. Wiseman belongs in prison, and the prosecution is probably just jealous he gets to go home to Kate Beckinsale every night. Most critics would rather take a stake to the heart than give any of the Underworld movies a good review, but the series does have its fans (all four movies have an audience score over 60%) and in the defense's opinion they aren't so offensive to cinema we need to lock him up.

Total Recall isn't as bad as many people make it out to be, and the defense believes there wouldn't be so much hate for the movie if it was an original film and not a remake, sort of like the Robocop reboot. Some have argued that Live Free or Die Hard is where "superhero" John McClane got his start, but the defense still enjoyed Mr. Wiseman's Die Hard movie, and it's certainly better than A Good Day to Die Hard.

The defense would like to see more from Mr. Wiseman since he's only directed two non-Underworld movies, and we think he is a talented action director. Perhaps he does need to step up his game a bit, but at this point we don't believe Mr. Wiseman should be sent to Movie Jail.

Live Free or Die Hard Len Wiseman


Are you a fan of Mr. Wiseman's Underworld movies, or are they just as bad as the Twilight films? Does he belong behind bars because of Total Recall, or should we cut him some slack? Is director Len Wiseman GUILTY or NOT GUILTY?

*The cases for and against a defendant going to Movie Jail by the author are not necessarily his views and opinions but they are some of the beliefs that one would use to effectively make an argument for both sides. Not quite a devil's advocate but you get the point. Anyway, this is all in fun so don't take it too seriously. We have a separate jail for those people called "Troll Tower" and believe me you do NOT want to go there.


Len Wiseman Kate Beckinsale


Simon West

Simon West was found NOT GUILTY of all charges in last week's trial, and although Con Air definitely helped save the director's bacon, (weirdly enough) many jury members also said they thought his The General's Daughter was a solid crime movie. (Note: I'm honestly not trying to be a dick here, but have any of you seen The General's Daughter recently? It hasn't held up well.) Mr. West is free to work on his planned The Blob remake and John Stratton movie starring Henry Cavill, but if either film ends up being a disaster, the director will likely find himself on trial again.


GUILTY Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Vince Vaughn, Tim Burton, The Farrelly Brothers, Michael Bay, Jessica Alba, Ice Cube, Gerard Butler, Halle Berry, Marlon Wayans, Julia Roberts, M. Night Shyamalan , Katherine Heigl , Cuba Gooding, Jr., Tyler Perry, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Ashton Kutcher, Happy Madison Productions, Jennifer Lopez, Bruce Willis, Paul W.S. Anderson, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brett Ratner, Rob Cohen, Renee Zellweger, Shia LaBeouf, Renny Harlin, Diane Keaton, McG, Demi Moore, King Joffrey (Game of Thrones Special), David Spade, Spike Lee, Kevin James, Joel Schumacher, Ehren Kruger, Chris Rock, Mark Steven Johnson, Mickey Rourke, Ashley Judd, Uma Thurman, Josh Duhamel, Saw Franchise (Halloween Edition), Zach Braff, Sam Worthington, Melissa McCarthy, The Wachowski Siblings, Kate Bosworth, Garry Marshall, David Goyer

NOT GUILTY Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Nic Cage, John Travolta, Oliver Stone, Ben Stiller, Jim Carrey, Wes Craven, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Rodriguez, Kristen Stewart, Roland Emmerich, Kevin Costner, Sandra Bullock, Hilary Swank, Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves, Kevin Smith, Channing Tatum, Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, Anna Faris, Robin Williams, Charlize Theron, Ray Liotta, Jason Statham, Paul Walker, Will Smith, Salma Hayek, Michael Cera, Johnny Depp, Ryan Reynolds, Milla Jovovich, John Singleton, Jon Voight, Jack Black, Brian De Palma, Jerry Bruckheimer, Nicole Kidman, Justin Timberlake, Freddy Krueger (Halloween Edition), Johnny Knoxville, Orlando Bloom, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dan Aykroyd, Sylvester Stallone, Gavin Hood, Jason Lee, Jennifer Garner, Carrie-Anne Moss, Kate Beckinsale, John Cusack, Chris Columbus, Clive Owen, Terrence Howard, Andrew Niccol, Drew Barrymore, Steve Martin, Joel Silver, Michelle Rodriguez, Kiefer Sutherland, Dario Argento, Susan Sarandon, Dennis Quaid, Rob Reiner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mel Gibson, Pierce Brosnan, Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman, Ivan Reitman, Stephen Sommers, Shawn Levy, Jai Courtney, Ridley Scott, Peter Jackson, Jamie Foxx, Luc Besson, Jason Reitman, Mila Kunis, Jennifer Connelly, Sienna Miller, Ben Barnes, Simon West

UPDATES: Robert De Niro, Nicolas Cage and Roland Emmerich, Jim Carrey, Robert Rodriguez and Gerard Butler, Jessica Alba, Julia Roberts and The Farrelly Brothers, Ben Stiller, Tim Burton and Shia LaBeouf, Johnny Depp, Kevin Smith & Chris Rock


About the Author