How To Know If You’re Watching A Terrible Movie
Everyone loves a good movie. There’s nothing better than sitting in the cinema with a loved one or close friend and enjoying two hours of quality celluloid entertainment. However, not every movie out there is good. Sometimes movies, even ones that have a great director and looked really cool in the trailers, can end up being bad. Very, very bad. But how can you be sure that you’re watching a terrible movie? Well my friend, here are 5 things to look out for:
1. Nothing that happens in the film makes any sense
In a good film the characters and their motivations drive the plot and we can see exactly what their aim is in any given situation. In a terrible movie characters do whatever the scriptwriter needs them to do to get them into the next dumb situation. Lesbians fall in love with men at the drop of a hat (Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez disaster, Gigli) and some films have plots so full of holes that you suspect the screenplay was a Swiss cheese. While watching a film like this you may find yourself chucking bits of popcorn at the screen and yelling like a baboon as your brain struggles to comprehend the stupidity you’ve just witnessed. Sometimes plot holes can be forgiven, indeed many great films have glaring plots holes, but if the film is chock full of them we don’t really care about anything that happens in the movie anymore.
2. You’ve lost complete track of the plot
At first glance this may seem similar to number 1, but this is when the plot of the film may make sense to somebody, but most of the audience are too confused to keep up. You may find yourself asking the person next to you what’s going on, but unfortunately they’ll probably be just as in the dark as you. The second two Matrix films are full of moments like this, due to the vast amount of vague explanations and bizarre reasoning that is given for practically every decision the characters make. To overcome this problem, bring a nerdy friend to the cinema who can explain to you afterwards how it all makes sense if you’ve read the novelization.
3. You want all the characters to die
This is definitely a bad sign. In a movie you’re supposed to identify with the hero or heroes and want them to succeed on their quest. If you’re shaking your fist at the screen and wishing a long and painful death on the protagonist for being a chump, then the filmmakers haven’t really done their job. In the first Star Wars prequel, The Phantom Menace, we’re introduced to Jake Lloyd as Anakin Skywalker, the future Darth Vader, as an annoying little kid. While it’s slightly morbid to wish death on a child, it’s hard to not want some form of harm to befell the little brat. At the time it was hard to think this performance could be topped, but Hayden Christensen managed it playing an older Anakin in the sequel, Attack of the Clones. Together these diabolical excuses for acting make it impossible to watch the original Star Wars films without remembering what a whiny little git Anakin was before he wore the big black suit. “I’m a person, and my name is Anakin!” *shudder*
4. Everything is a toy
This is a phenomenon common in action/sci-fi/epic fantasy movies. Movie studios want films to make money, obviously, but sometimes their greed goes too far. They fill movies full of as many colourful and irrelevant characters as they can so they can all be made into toys. Batman and Robin, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and the Star Wars prequels are all guilty of this. They may have made a ridiculous amount of money from sales and merchandising, but cinema-goers had to endure two to three hour adverts disguised as films. If you find yourself sitting in the cinema wondering when the main film is going to start after two hours of action-figure promotions, I’ve got some bad news for you: you’re watching the film. And it’s rubbish.
5. You start crying (and not in a good way)
Everyone knows that a great film can bring a tear to the eye, but so can a kick to the testicles – and that’s exactly how a bad movie feels. If you start openly weeping during a dull action sequence, naff piece of dialogue or another contrived plot twist, you’re probably crying because the film is bad. This is a common response during a movie that ruins a beloved franchise (Spider-Man 3, Batman and Robin, The Phantom Menace) as you’re witnessing something that was once great transform into a twisted, deformed wreck. right in front of your eyes. This may also occur when watching a star who was once funny ham it up in a godawful comedy (Mike Myers in The Love Guru, Steve Martin in every film he’s made in recent years). Weep all you want, but these films will never go away. They’re part of cinematic history and will be around forever.
Hopefully this list will help you decide whether the film you’re watching is a terrible movie. If in doubt, ask the person next to you at the cinema. If they tell you to shut up, chances are you’re watching a good film. If they engage you in conversation, they’re probably just as bored as you are because the film is awful. Do yourself a favour and go home and read a book instead.
“Mum, this is much better than Kingdom of the Crystal Skull!”