Film Fails: 25 Movies With Great Concepts but Poor Executions

It can be disappointing when a movie never reaches its potential, especially when it has a great premise. Film fans in a popular online forum discussed the movies they thought could have been better. Here are the top 25 responses.

1. Army of the Dead (2021)

Army of the Dead Nora Arnezeder
Image Credit: Netflix.

This movie didn't know what it wanted to be. One commenter alluded to the fact that it could have been a better movie with some focus instead of trying to do multiple things. It was also mentioned that the dialogue was pretty bad overall. There were also scenes where the actors were filmed separately, which translated onto the screen.

2. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne
Image Credit: Buena Vista International.

Casting was the problem here, with the leads in the film having absolutely no chemistry. Unfortunately, that affected the whole movie, and it didn't help that the lead actor and actress looked like they could be related.

3. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

This movie had around two and a half hours of build-up, but the fight the film was named after was over in approximately 10 minutes. It also suffered from what many DC movies need help with, with a terrible build-up leading to the movie's release.

4. Justice League (2017)

Justice League Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

DC wanted a big movie with many characters similar to the Avengers but didn't put in the work ahead of time like Marvel did with their universe. The films leading up to this weren't particularly strong and, as a result, neither was this one.

5. Jumper (2008)

Image Credit: Regency Ent.

This is an example of a movie with a great concept, but the execution needed to be improved. The studio had the source material since the film was loosely based on a novel of the same name. Still, the studio introduced some characters in the movie that didn't really work. As is usually the case, the book is highly recommended, but your mileage may vary with the film.

6. In Time (2011)

In Time, Justin Timberlake
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

The concept of a whole economy based on time is interesting for a movie. Unfortunately, it never quite came together due to some plot holes. One person mentioned that it felt “dumb” that someone could steal time from someone else without any type of code. With that being the case it would be open season on the rich when the poor realize their time is almost up and need more. Also, no one at the bottom would buy anything — no one with 12 hours left to live is going to spend five minutes getting a cup of coffee.

7. The Purge (2013)

The Purge
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

This movie had a lot of hype due to an interesting premise, but unfortunately, it didn't go anywhere. Some even went so far as to say the studio used a bait-and-switch tactic leading up to the movie. The premise was that all crime is legal and anything goes within a specific allotment of time, but in reality, it just turned into a generic horror movie that takes place inside a house.

8. Brightburn (2019)

Brightburn 2019
Image Credit: Screen Gems, Sony Pictures Releasing.

Brightburn is a film that had an ambitious concept but didn't quite stick the landing. Despite the interesting premise, some film fans said the movie was predictable and dull. Others called the writing lazy, as they used something like a spaceship signal to explain part of the story when there could have been a better way to do it.

9. Absolutely Anything (2015)

Absolutely Anything
Image Credit: Lionsgate.

This movie has a really cool idea where aliens will put a society to the test by giving one citizen omnipotent powers. How this person chooses to use these powers determines the fate of the society. Unfortunately, the overall execution wasn't as good as it could be and some other movies with a similar premise did it better.

10. World War Z (2013)

World War Z Brad Pitt, Fana Mokoena
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

According to one movie fan, this is another example of the source material being fantastic but the film not living up to that standard. This feature turned out to be a generic zombie story instead of using the original concept from the books. Someone commented that if the movie had a different name it might have been received more positively.

11. Bright (2017)

Will Smith and Joel Edgerton in Bright (2017)
Image Credit: Matt Kennedy/Netflix.

Bright is an interesting concept with some big names attached to it, but unfortunately, it didn't deliver on its promise. One person described it as a “weird 90s buddy action cop movie that had orcs, elves, and magic.” Another said they hoped this would be like the old show Alien Nation but they were disappointed.

12. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, John Hurt, Shia LaBeouf, and Ray Winstone in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

This appears to have been a movie with a great concept, but the execution left something to be desired. One reason was they almost used too much technology in it. Some people pointed out that previous movies in the franchise had grand set pieces and used practical effects instead. 

13. Downsizing (2017)

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Downsizing is a movie that lost its way halfway through. It became a completely different film during the second half, to the point where some people wondered if they were watching the wrong movie. One film fan even jokingly commented it was wild that shrinking didn't affect the plot whatsoever, except for one instance.

14. Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

Liam Hemsworth in Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)
Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film.

The potential was high after a very successful original film. Still, it felt more like a remake with aliens coming back to Earth. There was an assault on the alien's home world that was teased at the end. Had they actually gone with that idea, it would have greatly benefited this movie and might have been seen as more of a true sequel.

15. Prometheus (2012)

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

This is a movie that started out well but then quickly lost itself. The scientists weren't very smart, and one person lamented how they woke the engineer. He felt this could have been a great way to explore various themes and ideas that could have taken the movie to another level. That didn't happen, unfortunately.

16. Sucker Punch (2011)

Sucker Punch
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

In some movies, the premise has a lot of potential but isn't realized. Sucker Punch didn't even have a good premise though, according to one movie fan. In the film, a girl who gets a lobotomy escapes into a fictional world where she is in random action hero sequences. It is such an overly complicated idea that it simply doesn't work. They tried to do multiple things simultaneously instead of just doing one thing well.

17. Mortal Engines (2018)

Mortal Engines
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

This was a situation where the world was done well and its development was fantastic. Unfortunately, the main characters are incredibly generic, which takes away from the movie. One person mentioned they could have spent 90% of the time world-building and only 10% of the time on the characters, and it would have been a much better film.

18. Don't Worry Darling (2022)

Florence Pugh in Don't Worry Darling (2022)
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

This is a movie with an intriguing concept and a great aesthetic. The problem with this film comes from the director, who was described as “unprofessional.” As a result, the concept, while a great one, never reached its full potential.

19. Tomorrowland (2015)

Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

In this case, they tried to do too much within the approximate two hours they had. The story had a lot going on, but the problem was that most of your understanding of it relied on extra content from the DVD called Plus Ultra. One person suggested that if they turned this into two movies it would have been better received overall since they would have then had the time to fully explore everything they wanted to do.

20. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

One individual commented that if the movie's events had been more focused on what happened in the opening montage, it could have been a fun movie. Instead, we received a story where an adamantium bullet gives you amnesia somehow. One film lover made the reference that it was almost like Mr. Burn's amnesia from that Simpsons episode.

21. Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Captain America: Civil War Chris Evans, Elizabeth Olsen, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan
Image Credit: Marvel Studios.

The question of accountability for these superheroes is an interesting one. Unfortunately, it is dropped quickly, and as a result, the story itself is fairly bland, outside of some of the action that took place. They could never settle on why they were fighting, so the whole thing felt like a mess.

22. Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

Top Gun: Maverick Tom Cruise
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

The narrative choices made here are why this made the list. There was some weird storytelling, with them introducing a conflict with drones and aviators only to abandon it fairly quickly. Then there are the young aviators who the movie should have been about but needed to be given the proper attention. It would have benefited the overall film if the narrative had been more cohesive.

23. Looper (2012)

Looper Bruce Willis
Image Credit: TriStar Pictures.

This movie has a great concept with fantastic world-building — unfortunately, the time travel aspect isn't handled well at all. The main issue here is they made time travel paradoxes a key part of the story. However, they didn't follow their own rules in certain instances.

24. Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Jupiter Ascending Mila Kunis
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Another project with great world development, great technology, and nice overall ideas. The movie is hampered, however, by some terrible character interaction and the plot progression also has its own issues.

25. Cam (2018)

Cam (2018)
Image Credit: Netflix.

This is an interesting and topical subject matter where the main character gets locked out of her computer by a computer-generated image of her. With this type of content being a hot topic of conversation for the past few years, this could have been a fascinating concept. The movie never goes anywhere though, and the mystery isn't explained, leaving a potentially interesting idea as a disappointment.

Source: Reddit.