Movies That Didn’t Live Up to Their Opening Scenes

Updated: Nov 2, 2019


There are countless films created with the goal of a huge box-office success. Famous

actors and well-known directors sign up for these movies hoping to meet and surpass

audience expectations. Yet sometimes the plot, script, directing or execution of some

elements of the movie destroy the potential they have for greatness, and leave

audiences with an insipid experience usually hard to get over!

The most disappointing ones are perhaps the films which begin with an impressive

opening sequence and then, sort of, drop from their high place. It isn’t until the first few

minutes or so, that the audience begins to realize that their investment of time, money

and expectation is half-way down the drain! Here are a few movies that didn’t live up to

their opening scenes:


Die Another Day (2002)

Receiving a review of six out of ten on IMDB, this Bond film (Pierce Brosnan) wasn’t as

successful as its predecessors. With a disappointing villain, a limping script, and weak

special effects, the expectations of a Bond experience weren’t completely met. This

doesn’t change the fact that the opening scene was characteristically Bond-like and

significantly better than the rest of the movie. It begins with outstanding camera work as

Bond and his team come surfing in on massive sea waves. On shore, he proceeds with

characteristic calm to, almost nonchalantly, steal a helicopter delivering diamonds to a

North Korean base. In the diamond case he sets an explosive to be triggered by his

watch when the moment comes. The tension builds in this over twelve-minute prologue

as they quickly get news that he is a spy. They commander instantly destroys the

helicopter and before he can kill bond, all hell breaks loose. Bond triggers his bomb,

jumps onto one the military vehicles and destroys the entire base as he escapes. The

chase that follows is truly epic Bond action ending with his re-capture as the credits

begin; giving us a powerful prologue worthy of the James Bond legacy.


Sucker Punch (2011)

Also earning a six out of ten on IMDB and a 22% on Rotten Tomatoes, Sucker

Punch was a disappointing failure. But the opening scene doesn’t fail to deliver the

intensity and convey the dark theme expected in this film. The background music, the

setting, the style of shots, and the dream like quality combine to make a pithy opening

scene. It begins with a dramatic shot into the main character, Baby Doll’s, life beginning

with the death of her mother. This scene switches to the desperation of the funeral and

revelation of the cruelty of Baby Doll’s stepfather, who later drunkenly attempts to abuse

Baby Doll’s younger sister. Her attempts to save her younger sister are captured in an

intense sequence in which her bullet misses her stepfather and kills her sister instead.

She runs away in anguish and fear, is later apprehended and sent to an asylum. The

rest of the movie, though with a unique plot and great potential, fails to sustain the level

of the prologue, and fizzles out quickly into a below average film.


X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

While this movie nearly led to the end of a franchise, its first sequence throughout the

opening credits misleads viewers into believing they're in for something truly

outstanding. Intense war scenes, excellent camera work, pounding music, superb action

and the introduction of Logan and his mutant brother Victor set expectations high. This

sequence quickly reveals their past, their bond, the villainy of Victor as he turns violent,

sadistic, and vane; killing innocents and getting rid of a commanding officer and almost

enjoying each battle and victory. This opening sequence lays out Victor’s character and

Logan’s backstory very effectively all in just about three minutes – until it leads the

audience through a botched-up plot and a weak script which got it merely a 37% rating

on Rotten Tomatoes.


While we can certainly applaud these Directors’ and scriptwriters for their vision

captured so well in the opening scene, we wonder how with just a few lapses, they ram

the film straight into an iceberg; leaving audiences with a movie that had great potential

but just couldn’t live up!

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