We've all seen them: movies that have you thinking this is the best thing you've ever seen.... and then crash and burn. Some screw up at the bitter end, others start to fall apart with a full third of the movie left. Either way, the film could have been awesome, if only they hadn't f***ed it up!"Well begun is only half done."
I've compiled a short list of movies that, in my opinion, are the ultimate examples of movies that started out strong, then turned to crap. This being Retrospace, I tried not include anything made after the 80s. And please, please, please let me know of your choices of movies that jumped the shark in the final chapters!
1. Gator (1976)
Gator McClusky was a shit kicking badass redneck in White Lightning, and the sequel held out such promise when it opened with a super cool fan-boat chase scene. Then something happened midway through - for some inexplicable reason Gator transformed from someone who kicked peoples asses and looked amazing doing it, to a sniveling wimp.
They generally don't film the scenes in order, so it's unlikely the director suddenly decided to make the change midway through filming. One minute Gator is beating the hell out of anyone who violates his personal code, the next he's a little girl tiptoeing through the streets holding a pussycat (literally!). He goes from an invincible stud missile tagging babes at will to (dare I say it?) sensitive and desperate. At one point he tells Lauren Hutton that he's afraid to close his eyes because, if he opens them again, she might be gone. What happened, Gator?!?
2. The Party (1968)
Two thirds of this movie is pure comic genius. Peter Sellers barely says two words, the comedy is almost purely physical and situational. He is at once subtle and sympathetic. One moment he's losing his shoe in the water sculpture thingy, the next he's engaging in brutally awkward small talk. Incredible.
Unfortunately, all that subtle humor goes in the toilet when the film literally goes insane. In the last fourth of the movie, the party turns into a hippie shindig complete with day-glo painted elephants and wacky shenanigans. It's painfully unfunny and seems to go on forever. WTF?
3. Stripes (1981)
The first two thirds of the film are what everybody remembers: the boot camp. But hilarity turns to boredom when the film completely changes gears and degenerates into wacky tomfoolery. The laughs turn to yawns when the gang takes the military's secret weapon on the road.
4. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Speaking of movies that should have stayed at boot camp, this film's first half is so ruthless and hardcore that those who have seen it will never forget it. Not so the second half. The film does a 180, shifts to the marines in combat and becomes completely forgettable, predictable and boring.
5. Superman II (1981)
Never has a movie's last 15 minutes ruined so badly everything that came before it. Superman II was on its way to being a classic - the villains were interesting and original, the story intriguing, and the fight scenes epic. But then came the final battle at the Fortress of Solitude which was so laughably awful that it undid everything and left audiences asking themselves "WTF just happened?" Possibly the lamest fight scene in history followed by Lois' amnesia kiss. It was bad.... real bad.