First Impressions: 6 Films With Great Premises That Didn’t Deliver

Everyone is saying that the film industry is dying, well, more like the heart of the film industry is dying. Long gone are the days of original movies taking the box office by storm. Now, sequels, re-imaginings, and remakes dominate the ever-greedy industry by finding the most obscure and irrelevant token of days past in hopes that the feeling of nostalgia will make hundreds of millions in profit. So far, the only type of movie this has worked with is the superhero movie, something that Marvel – Disney, now, I guess – has found the most success in chasing.

I personally disagree with this statement. I don’t believe the heart of the film industry is dying. Instead, I believe the human mind has seen it all, making us tired and jaded. As a society, we strive for “what’s new” and currently, very little is. So when a spectacular film comes along – like The Hurt Locker – it is often ignored due to the derivative premise, even when said film achieves critical acclaim. Our thirst for innovation overrules our thirst for emotion.

But there are always those films that seep through the crack, and attempt to seduce us with an ingenious premise sure to kick start our minds again, and eventually our hearts. Hearsay spreads the news of the film like wildfire as people flock to the theaters to feed their addiction. Sometimes, a risk like this works (Looper) and other times…well, that’s what this article is for. The following films left trailer viewers and film buffs in awe with their great premises, but when the credits rolled, a premise was all these films were.

Comments (11)

We've migrated from our usual commenting platform and unfortunately were not able to migrate the comments over. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.

  1. TheConciseStatementsays:

    Disagree with your call on The Prestige. I’ll be the first to admit that, like ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘Inception’ it’s in Nolan’s second tier of movies reducing character motivations to chess pieces. BUT the idea of playing with genre expectations merely as a red herring ,when the answer to the film’s riddle lies in a good old fashioned real world magic trick is simply ingenious.

    1. madattorneysays:

      wait, the dark knight and inception are in nolan’s second tier of movies? those are some of his best works!

      1. TheConciseStatementsays:

        I refer you to my response to La Guardia but as an aside, I definitely consider Inception among his weakest. A fun heist movie with lovely visuals if I was mean about it – really The Prestige with explosions, but lacking that film’s great suffering, obsessive artist theme. Props to Marion Cotillard though – she made me want to watch a much smaller domestic drama just about the destruction of her and Cobb’s marriage. Everyone else was merely an expositional cipher.

    2. Edward La Guardiasays:

      Yea, if those three are in his second tier than what is his first? Batman Begins (hell no!) or Memento? (not hardly)…oh wait, I forgot, Insomnia must be in the top tier right? Sheesh…

      1. TheConciseStatementsays:

        Yep, you named the big three! It’s a pleasure to disagree with the consensus. All Nolan’s best films are where he focuses on the disintegration of a single character. When he spreads himself over a large ensemble, his cast simply become plot threads, and his films end up somewhat impersonal – great spectacle but clinical.

  2. talhamidsays:

    Disagree on The Prestige as well. It is an amazing movie with some amazing performances, and no, its story does NOT progress based on that sci fi trick but as it turned out , literally the oldest trick in the book (twins). The sci fi was used to demonstrate the lengths to which a rivalry can go, uncovering a world changing technology and failing to see it as anything but a device to supplement a sleight of hand

  3. ojfishmansays:

    Adjustment bureau. A great premise wasted on a romcom.

  4. Arjunsays:

    Sorry dude. Completely disagree with with you in regards to The Prestige, The Invention of Lying and Another Earth.

  5. Arjunsays:

    @theconcisestatement:disqus Looks like we will have to agree to disagree about Inception. Its not just my 2nd favourite Nolan film but one of my favourite. The idea was completely fresh with an open-ended climax, something that we dont get to see that often in Hollywood.

  6. GotChewZsays:

    The Happening also didn’t work, because Wahlberg was cast as a science teacher…

  7. faustsays:

    Um, the sci-fi reveal was supposed to be disappointing. In fact they had dialogue to that effect in the film. It was why the twins were much better magicians then Hugh Jackmans character could ever hope to be.

All Posts