For a bit of fun, I thought for this article I’d share my personal list for the worst movie adaptations (be they adapted from books, games, whatever). Now it is important to bear in mind that these aren’t necessarily widely considered bad movies, although most are, but rather they’re the movies that I was most disappointed with. This also means that any movies I haven’t seen won’t make the list, and I’m limiting it to one movie per franchise (e.g. If I picked a Harry Potter, I couldn’t pick any more Harry Potters). So without further delay, let’s get going!
10. I am Legend
This movie admittedly only just made it to the list, but it’s still here, so let’s do this! This movie, if you have never read any of the materials it is based off of, is pretty decent. But here’s the problem, it changed too much from the original materials that it became bad to all that had read them. For example those who were infected and mutated were made to look much more gruesome than they are in the source material because otherwise it might not have been obvious enough that they were no longer human. Then throw in the weak ending (for which they actually had a better one that they chose not to use!) and you’ve got yourself a pretty poor adaptation.
Well, didn’t take long for a video game movie to get on here did it?! Yep, Doom disappointed me more than most video game adaptations because of one simple thing that I’ve said before and I’ll say again; it wasn’t Doom! This is a classic example of a movie company getting their hands on a popular franchise from another medium and just not delivering. They took the key, basic elements of Doom and went their own way from there. An absolute waste of a potentially great horror movie.
8. Green Lantern
Oh Ryan, you are so lucky that you turned it around superhero-movie-wise with Deadpool, because this could’ve been the nail in the coffin for you for this genre. Green Lantern was such a bad adaptation that even those involved in it make jokes about how terrible it was! And don’t even get me started on the CGI…
7. Gulliver’s Travels
Jack Black is back and to be honest, is it that surprising that this movie sucked with him as the main character? Now I’m not saying Jack Black is a bad actor per se, but in what world did they think that Gulliver’s Travels, a classic of political satire literature, would make an appropriate Jack Black styled comedy movie? You knew what you were letting yourself in for just from seeing that Jack Black was taking on the main role for this movie that is supposed to be a satirical look at politics and the way the world works, not jack Black bumbling his way through the land tripping up and teaching a mini Jason Segel how to seduce the mini ladies. This was just poor thinking from the get go, and it’s not surprising that this movie flopped in the reviews.
6. X-men Origins: Wolverine
Oh look! Another superhero movie! Yep this one was just insulting. Now the movie can be seen as entertaining to those that don’t know the origins of any of the characters in this movie, but to those who do, this movie is just insulting to the highest level. It also doesn’t help that Gambit, my favourite of the X-Men barely had any screen time in the movie and only used his playing cards to attack once.
To stop myself ranting too long, let’s just look at the biggest dissappointment from fans; Deadpool. Deadpool was so unrecognisable for the sake of this movie having a big final fight that it’s unreal. When you throw in the completely incorrect origins, the wrong list of powers, the swords coming out his arms, and the mouth sewn shut, you have just gone so far that this isn’t even close to being the right character anymore, and it left fans (myself included) very angry.
5. Green Hornet
Hey look at that! Another adaptation that shouldn’t be a in your face comedy turned into an in your face comedy! Now don’t get me wrong, it’s fine to throw in some comedy every now and again, but Seth Rogen suffers from the same disease as Jack Black; If it’s not a in your face comedy, then I don’t know what to do! So sure enough this absolute classic was turned into an almost slapstick comedy movie, with some crime fighting thrown in on the side.
4. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
I think I can actually feel my heart breaking. This movie, hell this whole franchise, could’ve been so much better if they’d taken the dollar signs out of their eyes long enough to actually plan this trilogy properly. But why did I choose the second movie to go on this list and not the other two? Quite simply because this is the movie that had me shouting angrily at the screen when they kept throwing bullshit after bullshit at us! To name a few of the many, many liberties they took with the source material; The elf chick romance, Legolas magically being in the story, and my biggest rage attack of them all… the damn dragon chase scene with the golden melty statue! I honestly couldn’t contain my rage after this sheer disregard for the source material.
3. Super Mario Bros.
Ah the one that started it all. The patient-0 of the video game movies disease. Super Mario Bros. was doomed from the start. It resembled absolutely nothing of the game and was even a train wreck during filming. Why they thought this would be a good adaptation I have no idea, and to be honest by the end of it, I think they were just happy it was over with. I mean I can’t sum this disaster up any better than with a nice/horrible little fact about the main lead, the fantastic, Bob Hoskins (aka. Mario): He didn’t know they were filming a video game movie! Enough said…
2. Avatar : The Last Airbender
Honestly, I couldn’t decide between this and number one, but number one just edged it out. The Last Airbender is a disgrace of a movie that never came close to the hugely successful source material. Now I know that most of the ones on this list are like that, but this was just awful to a new level.
The element benders were sluggish and took an age to do anything, the acting was abysmal, and the story was so rushed to make up for the slow pacing of the fights that this film just became an absolute mess. I can’t stress enough how much I hated this movie and I am overjoyed that they didn’t get the go ahead to do the rest. But this movie is nothing compared to number one…
1. Dragonball Evolution
Where to begin with this train wreck?… Well, let’s just lift up this mangled corpse from the wreck, oh look its the story, alright let’s go from there…
The story is an absolute joke to the source material. The ages of the characters are wrong, the meeting of characters are wrong, the origins of characters are wrong, even the personalities of the characters are wrong. I mean, how can you mess up so badly that the characters very essences are wrong?! Oh look, another corpse… ah yes, the CGI.
The CGI in this movie is beyond abysmal, it’s just unforgivable! It looks like something anyone could do after a day or two of practice with Adobe After Effects. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s actually who did it. But maybe I’m being too mean, I mean surely there’s something good about this movie?… right? I mean… maybe the acting?
NOPE! The acting sucks, the pacing of the movie sucks, the story is wrong, the CGI is terrible, any character development if it exists is damn near impossible to spot (and that’s despite them actually “trying” to do it). Overall this movie is absolute garbage and deserves to rot in movie hell.
So there you have it! My list of the worst adaptations I’ve ever seen. What did you think? You think I’m wrong? Let me know!… although I’m not wrong because this is a personal list but hey-ho, what you gonna do?