2019 had plenty of great TV and movies, but it also had no shortage of complete bummers.
Is there anything worse than feeling let down by something you were originally excited about? Probably, but that’s not what matters now. What matters is that 2019 was a year full of major bummers in the world of movies and TV. It’s something we’ve all had to deal with at one point or another–the feeling of elation when a first teaser trailer drops, the prickling sense of excited, nervous energy approaching a theater or tuning into a premiere, and then the crushing feeling of defeat when it’s all said and done. That thing you thought was going to be so great wasn’t so great after all, and now you’re left to sweep up the pieces as best you can.
Of course, that’s not to say all disappointments are inherently soul-crushing. Some of our biggest bummers of 2019 had some great ideas and others only managed to fudge one or two critical components or the ending–the sort of thing you can turn a blind eye to if you’re really determined to enjoy something. Take It Chapter 2, for example, a let down in the shadow of the first film, but ultimately populated with enough strong performances from a lovable cast that it doesn’t feel like a total loss. A disappointment? Sure, but not a wash. But on the other side of the spectrum, we have things like the new Hellboy which, much to our dismay, seem to be irredeemable.
Whether we were all aboard the hype train from the jump or even just cautiously optimistic, totally let down or just frustrated at squandered potential, we’ve organized our thoughts on some of the biggest disappointments of the year.
1. Men in Black International
After seeing Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson’s chemistry in the wildly entertaining Thor: Ragnarok, pairing the duo up for a new Men in Black movie seemed like a great idea. And the director of the film was F. Gary Gray, the man behind Straight Outta Compton and Friday. What could go wrong? Apparently, everything. MiB: International is painfully dull, unimaginative, and uninspiring. It’s the film equivalent of watching paint dry on an abandoned house you’ll never see again in your life. The chemistry between Hemsworth and Thompson is gone, and the story could have been decent, but it overall is just incredibly bland. The aspects that made the first three MiB movies fun, exciting, and intriguing, and all that’s left his an empty shell. — Mat Elfring
For a long time it looked like there wouldn’t be another Hellboy movie. Guillermo Del Toro’s two films based on Mike Mignola’s cult comic book were popular with fans and critics, but not big enough box office hits to warrant a third movie. But when it was announced that Hellboy would be getting a reboot, with Stranger Things star David Harbour playing the demonic anti-hero, there was a lot to get excited about. Director Neil Marshall stated that the movie would be dark, violent, and more in line with Mignola’s comics, and the first images of Harbour in character were very impressive. Sadly the movie itself was a crushing disappointment, with a messy narrative, terrible CGI effects, and extremely variable performances. Harbour does his best with a poor script, but his portrayal of Hellboy lacks the humor, compassion, and camaraderie that Ron Perlman brought to Del Toro’s movies. And while the movie is certainly darker and more violent than the previous films, it’s never scary, and an over-reliance on cheap-looking digital gore quickly becomes tiresome. Unsurprisingly the film was a box office bomb, with subsequent reports of major behind-the-scenes conflicts, and we’re unlikely to see a fourth Hellboy movie any time soon. — Dan Auty
3. Godzilla King of the Monsters
How did they get it so wrong? Gareth Edwards’ 2014 reboot of the classic Japanese big monster franchise was a huge box office hit, and while some viewers criticized the decision not to reveal the Big G for a long time into the film, that restraint really paid off in terms of building tension and expectation. For the sequel, director/co-writer Michael Dougherty and his team seem to have taken these comments to heart and–as the title suggests–deliver big monster action from the start. There’s not just Godzilla but three other iconic creatures from Toho’s original classics, namely Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidora. But it’s simply not enough–the plotting is at times incomprehensible, the dialogue is wretched, and a talented cast (Vera Farmiga, Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobby Brown, Charles Dance) are totally wasted. But worst of all, the big monster fights are rendered almost unwatchable at times by the decision to edit them to death and make most of them take place in darkness, rain, or thick smoke. What’s the point of making a movie about four of the greatest movie monsters of all time if you can’t see what they’re actually doing? — Dan Auty
4. John Wick 3: Chapter 3
The third movie in the hit action series doubles down on everything that made the first two entries so enjoyable, but ultimately comes up short. The action certainly delivers–it has two or three of the most exciting action scenes you’ll see all year–and Keanu Reeves gives everything to the physical demands of the role. But the movie does nothing to further the story of John Wick or the world he lives in. Chapter 2 was a serious escalation in scale (and budget), but it never forgot to put the emphasis on Wick and his attempts to return to a post-assassin life. Chapter 3 simply has the character move from one action scene to the next–while these films have never existed in the “real” world, the ludicrousness of the assassin underworld is starting to stretch the boundaries of the rules that they have established so far. The film ends with Wick in exactly the same situation he started in, making it feel more like the middling episode of a TV series than a movie that works in its own right. Here’s hoping Chapter 4 puts Mr. Wick back on course–and maybe considers giving the story an ending. — Dan Auty
The peaks and valleys of M. Night Shyamalan’s career have been as high as the tallest skyscrapers and as low as the lowest parking lots. With 2016’s James McAvoy-starring Split seeming to signal a minor resurgence, hopes were high for Glass, a follow-up to Shyamalan’s admittedly excellent 2000 superhero deconstruction Unbreakable. Unfortunately, Glass subverted our expectations in all the worst ways, ultimately promising a long-awaited, epic superhero showdown, and delivering, well, a parking lot. — Mike Rougeau
6. Game of Thrones
Anyone really paying attention to Game of Thrones’ last few seasons saw this coming from a dragon’s flight away (not that we actually have any idea how far that really is). But even the real-life Joffreys hating on the show up until now didn’t predict just how badly Game of Thrones’ final season would be botched. From an hour-long battle that was too dark to see, to a turn to the dark side at the toll of a bell, Game of Thrones Season 8 was more crushing than seeing Brienne’s crying face as Jaime rode away to his pointless death. — Mike Rougeau
7. Rick and Morty
If you judged Rick and Morty’s fourth season–or at least, the first half of its fourth season, which is all creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon could cobble together in time to air this year–on its stellar final episode alone, you’d be confused about why it’s on this list. But as a whole (err, half), Rick and Morty Season 4 (so far) hasn’t lived up to expectations. For every “you son of a bitch, I’m in,” there’s another 20 minutes of dragon-slut-shaming, or an episode entirely about pooping. Having waited over two years in between seasons, we were hoping for better. — Mike Rougeau
8. It Chapter 2
Nearly everything about It Chapter 1 back in 2017 was charming. Not only was it a fresh adaptation of a Stephen King classic, it managed to hit a perfect sweet spot of ’80s nostalgia and horror with a cast of adorable, scrappy kids. There was so much to love, which, unfortunately, only wound up only making the shortcomings of It Chapter 2 more obvious. Despite its stellar cast and creative repurposing of some of the details in the original novel, the most memorable part of It Chapter 2 is how little sense the story actually made. While it certainly felt like everyone involved was giving it their all every step of the way, the end result was a messy, nonsensical smear of sound and color that wasn’t scary enough to be horrific or cute enough to stand in the shadow of the Goonies-flavored adventure of the first film. — Meg Downey
9. Avengers: Endgame
It’s undeniable that the finale of the MCU’s decade-long Infinity Saga was an emotional experience for fans, but that ultimately proved to be its biggest shortcoming. By relying almost exclusively on the goodwill and investment garnered over the last ten years rather than a cogent or logical story, Avengers: Endgame wound up feeling like a clip show of the MCU’s greatest hits, barely strung together into a time travel narrative that crumbles the second it’s given more than just a passing glance. The established rules and conventions of the Infinity Stones were shunted away at random whenever it was deemed most convenient, all to build into a sacrifice for Tony Stark that, while coming in as an absolute tear-jerker, felt all-too-avoidable given the situation. And that’s to say nothing of the baffling 180 handed to Steve Rogers at the 11th Hour or the seemingly arbitrary death of Black Widow only a year before the debut of her first solo movie. Sure, Endgame may have been the pop culture event of the year, but with the resources and time spent on getting the MCU to the place it is now, we wish it would have been handled with more care. — Meg Downey
10. The Witcher
Netflix’s The Witcher is simply broken. Like the original stories, it begins in media res for Geralt of Rivia, so game fans hoping to learn more about the witcher himself won’t find an origin story here. And by trying and utterly failing to cram new and remixed backstories for Yennefer and Ciri in without making any attempts to place each plotline within the larger story, The Witcher completely falls apart. Game fans who haven’t read the books will be totally befuddled, and book readers will be scratching their heads just as frequently. If you’re utterly devoted to the world of The Witcher, you’ll certainly enjoy the familiar aesthetic and characters, but beyond that, this series is a massive disappointment. — Mike Rougeau
11. Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker
The Rise of Skywalker had an intimidating task to carry out: Close the Skywalker Saga, as well as the new trilogy of films. It’s a task that seems impossible, and the resulting movie shows it. Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker is one of the weakest Star Wars movies yet. It seems unsure of the exact story it wants to tell, while also being bogged down in both fan service and trying to over-correct its course after J.J. Abrams took the reigns back from Rian Johnson, who directed the previous film, The Last Jedi.
Johnson took big swings with his movie, veering away from the rehash of the original trilogy Abrams set up in The Force Awakens. In The Rise of Skywalker, though, the director attempts to reset the world the way he wants it. In doing do, he over-corrects and delivers a version of Star Wars that feels false. Certain characters and story elements introduced in The Last Jedi are shoved to the background or flat-out forgotten, while great strides are taken to link everything back to previous events in Star Wars lore. It’s as if, for the most part, he’s trying to pretend The Last Jedi never happened. When you’re creating the third part of a trilogy, it’s incredibly irresponsible storytelling to act like one-third of the story doesn’t exist, regardless of how some fans felt about it. — Chris Hayner
Source: Game Spot Mashup