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Name your top nose dive films...

post #1 of 129
Thread Starter 
Call it a nose dive, fall from grace or whatever. What I'm getting at here is films that start off with a bang and end up, for whatever reason, completely losing their shit at some point. Was watching Danny Boyle's Sunshine last night and it's one of the most disappointing nose dives I've ever seen. It's even more pathetic when you think about how a such a promising film could shift into a last act that is so diametrically opposite in tone to everything that comes before it--completely abandoning intellectual ideas for a series of cheap, slasher riffs (Event Horizon lingers in my memory). But at least it inspired me to start a thread on this subject. Jeepers Creepers is another one that comes to mind. So let's hear it. Which are the films that have ultimately let you down by dropping the ball?
post #2 of 129
SUNSHINE shits the bed in the third act, but it beats the piss out of anything in EVENT HORIZON.

ADAPTATION, while thematically genius in its reasons for doing so, totally falls apart once the third act starts. I still love it, though.
post #3 of 129
'Die Hard with a Vengeance'. I love the first 90% of the film, but it totally falls apart with an ending that is completely unsatisfying from an action standpoint and from a storytelling standpoint.
post #4 of 129
The Village was a pretty strong film until it got to its obligatory twist.
post #5 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Merriweather View Post
SUNSHINE shits the bed in the third act, but it beats the piss out of anything in EVENT HORIZON.
Event Horizon is far grom a great movie, but it's not that bad. It's probably the best Paul W. Anderson movie. Sunshine fails even more because it's made by a great filmmaker.
post #6 of 129
I AM LEGEND.
post #7 of 129
"Jurassic Park III." After a fairly anti-climactic final showdown with the raptors, our heroes are rescued from the island by the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Why? Well, because Ellie's husband works for the State Department or something. Hey, it was set up in the first act. Totally plausible.

"Planet of the Apes" (2001). During the bloody battle at film's end, the monkey that Mark Wahlberg followed through the time vortex appears out of nowhere (never mind that the monkey entered the vortex BEFORE Mark Wahlberg at the beginning of the film) and brings peace. Why? Because it's a prophecy, duhhh!

"Batman & Robin." After the opening credits, the movie begins.
post #8 of 129
Dreamcatcher. Started interesting and tense and then about halfway through when an uninterested Morgan Freeman is seen shooting missles at hundreds of poorly rendered CGI aliens.... I checked the hell out. Poor Donnie Wahlberg.
post #9 of 129
WATERWORLD sadly abandons the gritty tone of the first half/two thirds when we get to the 'Dez (the rusting hulk of the Exxon Valdez that the Smokers use as a home base) where things quickly get silly. I still like the atmosphere and the ending on Dry Land, but yeah, Hopper and his crew really hurt the integrity of the film

Can't say that SUNSHINE takes a "nose dive" though.. I don't really like the direction that it goes, ultimately, but Melanoma Man is an interesting concept for a villain (someone driven mad by proximity to humanity's oldest and most primal god, the sun itself), but the shaky cam execution falls flat IMHO (and yes, I understand that alot of that is about weird physics/time distortions brought about by the star's gravity)
post #10 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradito View Post
"Jurassic Park III." After a fairly anti-climactic final showdown with the raptors, our heroes are rescued from the island by the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Why? Well, because Ellie's husband works for the State Department or something. Hey, it was set up in the first act. Totally plausible.
I don't know anyone else who had a problem with this except me. I was tearing my hair out watching it and everyone else just shrugged it off. Kudos to you.
post #11 of 129
Didn't they run out of money on JP3? They had some kind of epic dino scrap planned but had to cut it.
post #12 of 129
My mother quite accurately called the end of Jurassic Park III the "Crap! We ran out of money! See you when the sequel gets greenlit!" ending.

Of more recent films, LAW ABIDING CITIZEN doesn't just shit the bed in its final act, it vomits and the pisses on it too.
post #13 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Clark View Post
Of more recent films, LAW ABIDING CITIZEN doesn't just shit the bed in its final act, it vomits and the pisses on it too.
So true. I was watching it and finding pretty good. I just couldn't understand the shit it took. And then I did.
post #14 of 129
"Unfaithful" is the first example I think of for a movie that starts off promisingly, then shoots itself in the foot. I started it hoping for a realistic and fascinating story of how adultery can take place. I felt like I got exactly what I was looking for...until it jumped the rails and became ridiculous with the murder.
post #15 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Clark View Post
Of more recent films, LAW ABIDING CITIZEN doesn't just shit the bed in its final act, it vomits and the pisses on it too.
Yeah, I saw this just recently, and after being decent for most of its running time, it just sort of announces to anyone watching (or heaven help them, paid to see it) that if they went in thinking there was going to be some kind of payoff to this "high-concept" story, they were dead fucking wrong.
post #16 of 129
Pirates 3. That's less a nosedive, more a full on United 93 tailspin. You have that wonderfully dark opening scene, Jack Sparrow's abstract introduction, and...then everything else. Although it does pull up some at the end: Did NOT expect Will Turner's role in that to go where it did.
post #17 of 129
Batman Begi.....

What?
post #18 of 129
Sunshine and Die Hard WAV are the MVPs of this thread so far.

My most recent example is probably KNOWING, which has a fascinating premise and a fairly decent first half . . . and then wanders into the wilderness like Chris McCandless and never returns.
post #19 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianDyka View Post
Batman Begi.....
Your first sentence really took a nose dive in the 3rd act.
post #20 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastian OB View Post
I AM LEGEND.
That's what I was coming in to say. The first 30 or so minutes are near perfect. The unique thing about this movie is you can see the EXACT moment in peaks, and where the quality starts to decline, and it's in the very same moment. When Will smith starts yelling at a mannequin, asking if it's alive, it's both the very best moment of the movie and where it starts getting shitty.
post #21 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Ripoll View Post
That's what I was coming in to say. The first 30 or so minutes are near perfect. The unique thing about this movie is you can see the EXACT moment in peaks, and where the quality starts to decline, and it's in the very same moment. When Will smith starts yelling at a mannequin, asking if it's alive, it's both the very best moment of the movie and where it starts getting shitty.
I too came in here to mention this very thing. Also: Sunshine.

I have more too, I'm sure. I'll have to think on it. And I'm trying to think of things that aren't "twist" films, because those are easy.
post #22 of 129
Snake Eyes.

Brilliant opening. Everything else = wtf?
post #23 of 129
Adaptation? No way. That movie ends perfectly.
post #24 of 129
To a certain degree, 'Cliffhanger'. I enjoy the film, but there's really no denying the fact that the film never tops the opening sequence AND gets awfully silly in the third act.
post #25 of 129
By that standard, I'm gonna go with Body Double. Once the woman he's been following gets killed, and the main charcter meets up with Melanie Griffen, it just gets ridiculously silly (not that it wasn't kind of already), and for some reason, it seems like De Palma forgets how to direct. I know not everyone is gonna agree with this, but such is the legacy of Body Double already.

And Splice doesn't take a nose dive at the end, but its climax is a little too stock horror movie for what comes before it. Still awesome, though.
post #26 of 129
Also, You Don't Mess with the Zohan starts off surprisingly surreal and kind of hilarious, leading one to believe that the Apatow/Smeigle script is actually gonna make it a winner, but after the first ten minutes, it turns into the normal Sandler slog.
post #27 of 129
Still love it to death, but Kalifornia really does get silly in the third act.
post #28 of 129
I wish this was fresher in my mind, but I thought Harsh Times started out well, and by the middle I thought it was a movie that might go somewhere really interesting. But the end sort of just... happens.
post #29 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bailey View Post
I wish this was fresher in my mind, but I thought Harsh Times started out well, and by the middle I thought it was a movie that might go somewhere really interesting. But the end sort of just... happens.
Really? Interesting. I thought the whole movie built to that ending rather masterfully. It was a slow burn but you get the feeling that ultimately it could have ended no other way for Bale
post #30 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Ripoll View Post
That's what I was coming in to say. The first 30 or so minutes are near perfect. The unique thing about this movie is you can see the EXACT moment in peaks, and where the quality starts to decline, and it's in the very same moment. When Will smith starts yelling at a mannequin, asking if it's alive, it's both the very best moment of the movie and where it starts getting shitty.
By the time you get to Shrek you know for sure you're in shitsville and you're never coming back.
post #31 of 129
Terminator Salvation started out fairly strong in my opinion, the middle was servicable, but the third act of that movie is just...bad
post #32 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomstick View Post
Adaptation? No way. That movie ends perfectly.
I agree. I don't know how it could have ended more perfectly. I love how meta the third act gets after the conversation with McKee. It flows naturally with the other parts of the movie feeling alive and written as we're watching.
post #33 of 129
I mentioned yesterday in The Runaways thread that I could pinpoint the exact moment the film seemed to have nothing left to say and just ground its gears wallowing in cliche until the end credits. It's when the band gets a record contract. After that... nothing. Which is pretty head scratching.

It's not my top nosedive film by any means (I'd have to give it some more thought), I wouldn't even say it becomes a horrible film, but it's the most recent one I've watched where I was consciously aware of where the film lost me.


Goes without saying, but this is a potential "show your poor taste" thread in the making. Hope I didn't just tip it in that direction.
post #34 of 129
The weird thing is that, in my experience, most of the people who say that about Adaptation seem to understand why the third act functions the way it does, yet they seem to not like it for the exact reason they appreciate it doing what it's doing.
post #35 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abbott & Prospero View Post
Goes without saying, but this is a potential "show your poor taste" thread in the making. Hope I didn't just tip it in that direction.
I dunno, this seems like an actual topic of conversation. Movies do lose their way. "What do you hate that everyone else likes?" is not really adiscussion.
post #36 of 129
Die Another Day. The first half hour/45 minutes or so is the best material Brosnan got to play with. The rest of that film does drunken unspeakable things to that first 45 minutes on top of a pinball machine.
post #37 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Clark View Post
Die Another Day. The first half hour/45 minutes or so is the best material Brosnan got to play with. The rest of that film does drunken unspeakable things to that first 45 minutes on top of a pinball machine.
Good one. It does promise something different, then it gives you an invisible car, a villain out of a Saturday morning cartoon, and the acting prowess of Halle Berry.
post #38 of 129
Sunshine is sci-fi cinema's equivalent of a "butterface". The first 3/4 is "The Wages Of Fear in space" but then... ugh.
post #39 of 129
Some people can't get what a nosedive is. To me it's good movie that in it's final act or final moments plunges from good/great to bad/shit. There's a lot of bad movies with a good 10-20 minutes, like Knowing, but it's shit from then on.

Law-Abiding Citizen, Die Hard with a Vengeance and Sunshine are great exemples of monumental crashes.
post #40 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Clark View Post
Die Another Day. The first half hour/45 minutes or so is the best material Brosnan got to play with. The rest of that film does drunken unspeakable things to that first 45 minutes on top of a pinball machine.
The MI6 virtual reality/Q sequence is bafflingly awkward & represents the point where the film completely deflates & unravels.
post #41 of 129
Yeah I just watched Die Hard with a Vengeance on Blu-ray the other day as part of a triple feature, and I warned my friends that it just kind of tapers off at the end. The original ending really isn't much better.
post #42 of 129
Citizen Kane. A fucking sled?!?!? Pfft! Gay.
post #43 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post
'Die Hard with a Vengeance'. I love the first 90% of the film, but it totally falls apart with an ending that is completely unsatisfying from an action standpoint and from a storytelling standpoint.
Winner. The ending represents why I like Die Hard 2 more.

Last Action Hero is actually pretty good until they get to the premiere. The last 15-20 minutes where it turns into fucking E.T. is the worst.

Recently, Predators wasn't bad but the Laurence Fishburne material and Topher Grace turning into a Dexter bad guy of the week REALLY weighed the overall experience down.
post #44 of 129
Robocop 2.

Me, 30 minutes in: "Hey this isn't bad at all, why does everyone slag it off?"

The movie, for the next 90 minutes: "THIS IS WHY. AND THIS. AND THIS"
post #45 of 129
I was just about to post Robocop 2.

It's got fake commercials, great action, and a really solid, emotional scene with Murphy and his wife to open the movie.

They then abandon a coherent storyline and end up throwing about a thousand subplots on the screen for the next 90 minutes, without developing or resolving the majority of them.

It's a bad movie. First twenty, twenty five minutes though, you think it might actually be a solid sequel. I then started to notice that the classic iconic Robocop theme was gone, replaced by music that sounded like it came from a 70's sitcom.
post #46 of 129
One I rewatched just the other day... Fincher's The Game. Some have issues with the ending of Shutter Island saying it would just require too much work to do what was done in the film. The Game is the same way, the last 5-10 minutes pretty much ruins what was up to that point a really well done thriller.
post #47 of 129
'Monty Python and the Holy Grail'. First off, I love the film. Love it to death. I've seen it so many times that I've killed it. It's hysterical from beginning to almost the ending.

The ending isn't an ending...it just dissolves into complete foolishness as a way of resolving the 'movie' without resolving the 'story'. It's lazy, and it's not particularly funny.
post #48 of 129
Okay jeez, will someone please spoil to me what happens at the end of Law Abiding Citizen now?

I gotta agree with Runaways. Forming the band is funny as hell, and there's a real sense of... adventure? I don't know, maybe wildness/rebellion is the better word. Then it becomes OH NOES DRUGS in the second half.
post #49 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post
'Monty Python and the Holy Grail'. First off, I love the film. Love it to death. I've seen it so many times that I've killed it. It's hysterical from beginning to almost the ending.

The ending isn't an ending...it just dissolves into complete foolishness as a way of resolving the 'movie' without resolving the 'story'. It's lazy, and it's not particularly funny.
I really hate using the "you don't get it" argument, but I really don't think you got it. The whole film is a string of absurdist humor sketches linked together, and the ending is the capper on the absurdity. It's born of the same cloth as the general character from Flying Circus--when they couldn't bring the sketch to a good punchline, they'd take it as far as it would go, then have the general come in and say "No! This has gotten too silly! Next sketch!" Which is a convenient out for them (rather than stick it with a bad punchline), and it also serves to heighten the absurdity--you don't know when someone's going to come in and kill the sketch (or the characters).

Is it lazy? Perhaps. But it's lazy with some thought behind it, as random and as out of place as it may seem.
post #50 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Decade View Post
The MI6 virtual reality/Q sequence is bafflingly awkward & represents the point where the film completely deflates & unravels.
The fencing match comes after that, though, and that fight's pretty great. After that, it hits the skids.
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