We’ve all seen it before: a potentially great movie that was ruined by a problematic element.
There’s no telling what form this might take. Maybe it’s a terribly cast character. A terrible accent. An offensive joke.
It can be a terrifying twist ending that ruins everything that came before it. Or a hole that could have been sealed with a stroke of a pen.
Sometimes, of course, the problems with a movie run too deep to simply hope that a comprehensive solution can immediately turn it into a masterpiece.
Other times, however? Perhaps the fix is really that simple.
Here are 15 bad movies that could have been much improved with just one change, from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker for spiderman 3.
Click here for The Independent‘s ranking of the most glaring plot holes in famous movies.
Alien 3 (1992)
The biggest complaint of most people with alien 3 was the decision to kill Newt at the beginning of the movie, effectively making the whole fight from aliens entirely debatable. It certainly wouldn’t have been hard to come up with an excuse for Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) to get to the prison ship without slapping fans of James Cameron’s previous entry in the face.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
This classic film starring Audrey Hepburn may not fit the description of a “terrible movie” – but one aspect has made it nearly impossible to watch for many modern viewers. I am referring, of course, to Mickey Rooney’s racist portrayal of a Japanese character. Take that away, and the film immediately improves tenfold.
Die Hard 4.0 (2007)
By the time any franchise is on its third sequel, chances are there will be a decline in quality (with all due respect to the bizarre toughness of the Mission: Impossible movies). Die Hard 4.0 it was the first of John McClane’s outings that felt truly throwaway, an action thriller by the numbers that fell miles short of the original’s magic. Would there be an easy way to give a little more of that original Hard to kill courage, however: add some proper violence. The first two Die Hard films were released in the UK with an “18” rating (downgraded years later to “15”). The violence in number four has been toned down to appeal to a wider market – and it has undoubtedly lost something in the process.
Doctor Sleep (2019)
In the first two-thirds of its runtime, Doctor Sleep was a generally winning horror film that did a good job of establishing its own distinct mythology – despite being a sequel to the glow. For its third act, however, the action returned to the Overlook Hotel as portrayed in Kubrick’s 1980 horror classic, and the whole affair turned into a dizzying mania for references and callbacks. Miss the Overlook and you’ve got a great horror movie on your hands.
I Am Legend (2007)
I’m the Legend It was hardly a disaster, but any fan of Richard Matheson’s 1954 book will tell you that the adaptation’s ending left a lot to be desired. Instead of Dr. Will Smith’s Robert Neville learns that he was, in fact, the villain in the eyes of the infected masses – the “legend” of the film’s title – the film simply saw him die an unproblematic hero, losing all nuance and meaning. deeper into the story’s conclusion. It’s an easy change to make; a variation of the end of the book was filmed as a deleted scene.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
There are parts of Steven Spielberg’s much-maligned adventure sequel that no amount of tweaking will save; some people will always insist that aliens have no place in a Indiana Jones movie. But there is one moment that has always made the film an easy target for critics – the scene where Indy (Harrison Ford) survives a nuclear bomb explosion in a refrigerator. Seriously?
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Michael Crichton’s adventure sequel had its high points, but ended up falling far short of the 1993 original. Perhaps the biggest problem was the insistence on a Godzilla“T-Rex on the loose in San Diego” style, which Spielberg decided to add just weeks before filming began. The plan was originally to make this segment the focus of its own sequel – which it could have done The lost World much more coherent. As it is, however, it seems flashy and superfluous. Furthermore, the sequel disrupts the narrative at a crucial point in the story.
Les Miserables (2012)
There’s been a lot of talk about Tom Hooper’s adaptation of the hit musical. The miserable when it first came out. While critics praised Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, one cast member drew near-unanimous scorn: Russell Crowe, playing the villainous Javert. In fact, Crowe’s performance is actually quite good, but his singing is overshadowed by some of his classically trained co-stars. Replace Crowe with a singer of Broadway caliber, and the entire movie speeds up.
This sci-fi movie, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, saw Pratt’s character condemn Lawrence to a life of codependent isolation when he prematurely awakens her from cryogenic sleep to keep her company aboard a luxury spaceship. As many people suggested at the time, the film would have worked much better had it started at the moment Lawrence was awakened, allowing us to discover Pratt’s transgression as she does. Instead, there’s no twist here and significantly less intrigue as a result.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
how to fix spiderman 3 it’s easy: get rid of Venom. After the great success of the first two Spider man movies, Sam Raimi should have been given carte blanche to do what he wanted with the third. Instead, studio executives forced Raimi to shove Spider-Man’s shockingly popular foe into a film that already featured two villains – Thomas Hayden Church’s Sandman and James Franco’s Harry Osbourne. spider 3‘s main problem was feeling overworked and underdeveloped. Those are two issues that would have been at least partially resolved by removing Venom — and with it goes Topher Grace’s lackluster performance.
Star Trek in the Dark (2013)
JJ Abrams’ sequel to the generally well-liked Star Trek reboot found a promising villain in Benedict Cumberbatch’s Commander John Harrison. When it is later revealed that he is, in fact, the notorious villain of the Khan franchise, the whole thing unravels. Just having him as an original foe – the movie would have been even better for that.
Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
Okay, the “one change” needed to correct this franchise low point is quite big and consequential: getting rid of the Emperor. Ian McDiarmid’s decision to bring back the nefarious Emperor Palpatine after his apparent death in Return of the Jedi, was disastrous. It was never really explained in the film – the expository line “somehow Palpatine has returned” – was widely derided on social media. Without him, the film would have found a much more compelling main villain in Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Also, a narrative that wouldn’t be riddled with so many plot holes.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
It’s easy to see why JRR Tolkein’s adaptation of Peter Jackson was split into three films – after the success of Lord of the Rings, it must have been financially irresistible to turn this modest prequel into an epic undertaking. But the results were undeniably monotonous. An independent film adaptation of The Hobbit would have made a lot more sense and would have the potential to be much, much more attractive.