No Hard Feelings?
These days, mainstream films are unable to avoid at least some form of criticism, whether it be from established media outlets or the general audience, but when it goes as far as to demand an apology from the director, you know something went terribly wrong. For this list, we’re looking at 5 films that felt the need to apologize to fans, or at least acknowledge their mistakes, whether they be related to the plot, character choices or an unfortunate mix of everything. Big thanks to MyMojo user Risk Gambler for suggesting this idea! If a film made this list, it means you guys voted for it, so don’t forget to vote HERE on the full list if you want to participate! If you want your idea to be made into a WatchMojo video or blog post, check out our Suggest Tool! Now, let’s get into some apologies…
#5: The Snowman
Starring Michael Fassbender, this 2017 Drama/Mystery film seemed hopeful, being based on Norwegian author Jo Nesbo’s “masterpiece”, with an intriguing plot that found Fassbender’s character, Detective Harry Hole, searching to take down a homicidal sociopath known as “The Snowman Killer”. The film’s director, Tomas Alfredson’s successful filmography including the Oscar-nominated “Tinker Tailor Solider Spy” was also reassuring. Unfortunately, this snowy picture was met with cold reviews…like 8% on Rotten Tomatoes cold. Screen Crush shared that Alfredson did own up to the criticism and stated that the film failed on account of a decent portion of the script being neglected during production. “It’s like when you’re making a big jigsaw puzzle and a few pieces are missing so you don’t see the whole picture. It happened very abruptly.” Don’t go after him about the film’s geography though, all he has to say is “It’s not a documentary about the geography of Norway. I wanted to make a fictive thriller. So even if not everything is geographically correct, I don’t give a shit.” An ice cold response!
#4: Mr. Magoo
Mr. Magoo was a cartoon character created by UPA animation studio in 1949. His characterization was met with opposition during the 1960 “Mister Magoo” television series and select shorts starring Jim Backus, where he was depicted as a partially blind senior citizen that humorously and chaotically attempts to do “anything else a person with normal vision can do”. When Disney decided to resurrect the problematic cartoon and make a feature-length, live-action version of Mr. Magoo, the National Federation of the Blind stepped in and exposed the film for it’s misrepresentation of the blind and nearsighted. Disney tried to defend their decision, saying the film depicted Magoo’s triumphs alongside some missteps, but a disclaimer was still required at the beginning of the film that said “not intended as an accurate portrayal of blindness or poor eyesight.” “Mr. Magoo” was pulled after two weeks due to backlash and was an official box-office bomb, with no formal apology ever issued by Disney.
#3: Spider-Man 3
Here’s another superhero film that almost made fans rage quit, but this time under Marvel’s umbrella. “Spider-Man 3” was the final instalment with Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker and coming from the immense success of both “Spider-Man” and “Spider-Man 2”, the expectations for this sequel were quite high, but unfortunately not fully met. Critics weren’t pleased with the over-dramatic plot and dark tone that strayed from everyone’s initial vision of Spider-Man as a young, colorful and friendly hero, not to mention fans were forced to cringe at Tobey Maguire’s dancing… The film’s director Sam Raimi pretty much took full credit for the mistakes, with The Hollywood Reporter quoting Raimi sharing, “I messed up plenty with the third Spider-Man, so people hated me for years — they still hate me for it,” “It’s a movie that just didn’t work very well.” He “didn’t really believe in all the characters”, so the film was bound to come across as insincere and unnecessarily over-the-top as it did for many viewers.
#2: Suicide Squad
Standing as an attempt to bring together DC Comics characters in a new context on the big screen, “Suicide Squad” was met with mixed reviews and although it was deemed a box-office success and enjoyed by a number of fans, many others were disappointed by the off-beat and underwhelming portrayal of some of their favorite DC characters. Additionally, the film was accused of being cluttered, reliant on special effects to distract from an under-developed plot and complete with unrelatable characters, with Roger Ebert going so far as to compare it directly to “the swirling ring of trash in the sky” that Will Smith’s character Deadshot makes reference to in the film… Ouch. Although director David Ayer was not the only person involved in the creative process and there are a handful of people who truly found the film entertaining, he ended up going to Twitter to formally apologize.
#1: Batman & Robin
Franchise instalments can often miss the mark established by their predecessors and disappoint devoted audiences, but when that franchise exists within the cherished world of superhero comics, a whole new universe has been entered in which the pressure to impress is unmatched and fan expectations should not be disrupted. Unfortunately, the 1997 film “Batman & Robin” put Joel Schumacher in the hot seat that lead to an angry burn. DC fans and critics objected to everything in the film from production design, to the missed one-liners, the Batman costume that included nipples and even the casting of George Clooney. The spirit of Batman was simply not honored and for that Schumacher took full responsibility stating the following: “I want to apologize to every fan that was disappointed because I think I owe them that,” and “A lot of it was my choice.” “No one is responsible for my mistakes but me.” Fortunately, Schumacher’s career before “Batman & Robin” was enough to validate his talents and he continued to create successful works, just not in Gotham City.
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Before you go, take a look at the video below to find out about 10 more movies that made critical mistakes and in this case, made fans rage quit!