5 "Bad" Movies That Don't Deserve the Hate

It's easy to know if a movie is good. Like, good good. But sometimes Hollywood throws a curveball at you in the form of movies that try their best only to dash hopelessly short on the rocks of modern movie criticism.

Some of these movies have been dragged through the mud, critically and financially. But there are a few of these movies that were judged unfairly and left to rot in pop culture lists of the "worst movies of all time". Let me make the case for some "bad" movies that didn't deserve the hate.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

The Transformers live-action movie franchise has seen better days. The first Transformers movie was a fun, albeit flawed, action flick starring giant transforming converting robots. The sequel, Revenge of the Fallen, shit on that goodwill with a meandering mess of a movie that poisoned the proverbial well. It's no wonder there was some trepidation for the third Transformers movie, Dark of the Moon. "Fool me twice," and all.

But to me a lot of the complaints were fixed in Dark of the Moon. For starters, Sam Witwicky is less of a dweeb here, transforming (ha!) into a relatable everyman-cum-action hero. The action is a far cry from the jumble of sharp metal they called fight scenes in the previous movie. And Leonard Nimoy as Sentinel Prime is such a compelling villain with understandable motives that Dark of the Moon becomes so much more than meets the eye.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

LXG has been maligned since its premiere and rightfully so. It was a futile attempt at adapting Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's seminal work for the big screen, with paper-thin characters and plot that plods when it should sprint. And they had the audacity to turn up the edge with a cringetastic acronym.

But you know what? I don't care when it's this fun. The action has the typical vivacity of early 2000s action-adventure movies, and instead of aping the comics' jaded and morose crew, the movie's League were a bunch of colorful heroes you loved to see win (I could watch Stuart Townsend chew scenery as Dorian Gray all livelong day). Who knew turning these disparate literary icons into a proto-Avengers team would make for entertaining viewing? Up to now, if LXG came on the TV, I'd still sit down and enjoy it just as much as before.


Speaking of horrible comic adaptations, Constantine gets a bad rap for being nothing like the comic or character it's based on (the Hellblazer series from DC Comics' Vertigo imprint), and in some respects the criticism is well-deserved. But the worst you could say is that it's a horrible Hellblazer adaptation, because divorced from the source material it was a serviceable supernatural action movie buoyed by its incredible cast, which includes an androgynous Tilda Swinton and a devilishly good Peter Stormare.

It may be the second worst British character he's played, yet Keanu Reeves makes the role his own, imbuing John Constantine with dare I say more humanity than the comic Constantine, making him a shade more relatable. Coupled with beautiful direction by Francis Lawrence ("every frame a painting" describes Constantine perfectly), and you get a buzzworthy movie in its own right, naysayers be damned.

Kung Pow: Enter the Fist

To be honest, I judge people by whether they find Kung Pow funny or not. Because I don't need that kind of negativity in my life. But I digress, and I actually concede that this movie is not for everyone. It's inane in every single way, from the incredibly stupid one-liners to the cheesy plot.

But just because it's not for everyone doesn't mean it's horrible.

None of it makes sense, and that's exactly the point. Kung Pow was absurdist before it was in vogue. Master Pain Betty doesn't wink knowingly to the audience when he proclaims, "I am a great magician...your clothes are red!" The movie fully commits to the bit, and that to me is braver and more refreshing than humor that assumes the audience is too dumb to understand it. Steve Oedekerk took an obscure Hong Kong martial arts film called Tiger & Crane Fists and transformed into a wholly original and incredibly quotable movie, and for that he deserves all our respect.

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

It says a lot that the first two Fast & Furious movies didn't turn me into a car fan, and yet The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift did. The third F&F movie wasn't well received and did disappointing returns at the box office, but to me the reason it still deserves a second look is because 1) it's a cultural time capsule, and 2) the cars and the races were so goddamn sexy.

Out of all the movies in this list, Tokyo Drift is the one whose ill repute is ill-deserved. Director Justin Lin makes you feel the pulse of early 2000s Tokyo in all its neon glory, the high-octane drift races were a refreshing change of pace, and the story of an outsider overcoming the odds to be embraced by his new home is sold by star Lucas Black well. Besides, when you've got award-winning critic Roger Ebert and director Christopher freakin' Nolan singing praises about Tokyo Drift, then you know it's time to give this underrated gem a spin.

Post a Comment