Four Films That Literally Lost the Plot

Strange things happen in Hollywood. It’s safe to say that, by this point, the people in charge of money and artistic direction (coke-addled producers) and the people who know what way you point a camera when you want to take the moving pictures (everyone else in the world) are never within shouting distance of each other anymore.

Sometimes, though, a film comes out that is so bafflingly removed from its original concept that it’s almost as if they were making an entirely different movie that got a well-known title slapped on it shortly after the producers realised they’d poured several years and millions of dollars into a huge crock of shit. Usually featuring Hollywood shit-wizard Shia LaBeouf.

No good can come of this.

With this in mind, I’ve compiled a list of four films that, through complete incompetence or a mix-up at the postal office, had everything good about their story swapped out for ham-fisted love stories and Jean Claude Van-Damme not doing the splits.

Transformers (2007)

The Buildup

If you grew up in the late 80’s/early 90’s then you know what Transformers are and you know that they are fantastic; truly the height of 80’s exuberance, when the only thing better than one awesome thing was two awesome things combined together. For those of you that don’t know, either because you are too old, too young or too woman to have played with the toys growing up, Transformers are robots from space that can turn into things like trucks, dinosaurs and, because it was the 80’s, a boombox.

It was a different time.

In what was sure to be a match made in Heaven, Michael Bay, who can’t achieve orgasm unless it’s in front of an exploding building, was put in charge of a film about the aforementioned robots from outer space who turn into tanks, fighter jets, and now – because fat sacks of money/hookers beat out artistic integrity any day – Mountain Dew machines.

“Die refreshed, human!”

What We Were Expecting

This one should have been a slam-dunk: you have one man who’s dedicated his life to turning every film into the five minutes after someone said ‘those don’t look like our planes’ at Pearl Harbour, helming a film about 30-foot robots whose sole purpose is making things explode. The screenplay should have been one page of shit-talking between Optimus Prime and Megatron and then 30 pages of drawings showing every single Transformer in a massive Royal Rumble. In other words, the same film script every seven year old boy has ever written, ever.

“And then one of the Transformers is Batman!!” -- Extracts from the screenplay, ‘Best Film Ever’ by Rob Simple, aged 7 and a half.

What We Got
I honestly don’t understand it. No one does. Instead of watching the Transformers knock six shades of shit out of each other for 2 hours, we’re forced to sit through about 40 minutes of shitty character development before we even get to see one of the fuckers properly transform.

Unfortunately, Shia LaBeouf never manages to transform into anything other than an unlikeable cock. Wordplay burn, fucker.

I don’t mean that character development is shitty, by the way; good character development is the backbone of most films. It’s just that, well, we know what the Transformers are about. Optimus Prime is Red, White and Blue for fuck sake, and even an uneducated viewer could guess that they’re probably called the Decepticons for a reason.

Then again, that’s all largely irrelevant since, for the majority of the film, the actual Transformers, (you know, the things the film is fucking named after) are used for comic relief while we watch Shia LaBeouf try to fuck a robot pretending to be Megan Fox trying to act. At one point, LaBeouf makes Optimus fucking Prime creep around his back garden so his parents don’t wake up and find him actually doing something interesting with his life.

I couldn’t find a screenshot of that scene, presumably because it is retarded, so here is Optimus Prime looking like a bad motherfucker.

What to Watch Instead

Transformers: The Movie (1986)

Listen to the song that starts about forty seconds in, it tells you everything you need to know: This is a film that’s 50% hair metal guitar solo and 100% robots fucking your day up.

That, by the by, is the animated movie they made 25 years ago. They got Leonard Nimoy and Orson Welles to be in it, and this was before Studio Ghibli came along and made animated films not by Disney a worthwhile endeavour for serious actors. Think about that: in 1986, cartoons in the Western world were still a thing exclusively for children and they got Leonard Nimoy and Orson God damn Welles as VA’s. What did Michael Bay give us?

God. Fucking. Dammit.

Street Fighter (1994)

The Buildup
Street Fighter starred Jean Claude Van Damme and, for reasons scientists still haven’t been able to explain, Kylie Minogue. It was based on the most famous fighting game of all time, which featured some of the most memorable characters from video game history.

Even the people whose job it is to spit on people that play video games know Blanka is ‘that green guy from Street Fighter’ or Dhalsim is ‘the stretchy bloke from Street Fighter’ or Chun-Li as ‘my first introduction to the female re-productive system.’

So that’s where babies come from, huh. Thanks, Chun-Li!

What We Were Expecting

To be honest, not a lot. Movies based on video games are notoriously awful, but to be fair it’s practically impossible to take a concept like Super Mario to the silver screen and not have it become a confusing mess or descend into a horrendous acid trip.

Or a pretty mundane acid trip, if you’re Dennis Hopper.

Street Fighter had one thing on its side in that the story called for a cast made up entirely of martial artists from various backgrounds and with different fighting styles, and, while these people are generally not renowned for their acting range, it’s a well known fact that if you fill a room with them they will fight each other, whether the cameras are rolling or not.

Essentially, all this film had to do was be Bloodsport but with a green guy and a much more coked up JCVD.


What We Got

First off, here is that green guy:

“It hurts me just to exist.”

If you’re not familiar with the more intimate details of the Street Fighter canon, Blanka was raised in the jungle by lions or some shit, which caused him to take on the majestic flowing mane of a lion and turn green because, well….It’s Japan? Seriously, as Japan goes, that’s a pretty reasonable backstory. In the movie, however, Blanka is originally JCVD’s best friend Charlie, who gets turned into a caveman with several congenital disorders by M.Bison, kingpin of a massive crime syndicate. Played by Gomez Addams.

Pictured: The face of international terror. Or a date rapist.

Unfortunately, for anyone hoping that this film was going to be anything other than a complete disaster, the problems do not end there. Almost every single character from the game gets swapped out for a PG version from a parallel universe where fighting has been banned forever. So, instead of Sagat, the 7 foot Muay Thai brick shithouse…

We get Sagat, equal parts Italian pimp, pirate and Kojak cosplayer…

Fighting may have been banned, but being a jive-talkin’ sucka’ is still punishable by death.

The list goes on: Chun-Li is a reporter and E-Honda is her camera man; Ryu and Ken are too busy having a bromance to do any fighting; and Cammy, the British special agent highly trained in lethal assassination techniques, is played by Kylie Minogue, a tiny Australian woman highly trained in singing and having a nice bottom.

I understand that it’s difficult to get human people that look like video game characters, but if you can’t get people who can act you could at least get some who could fight. It feels like the directors were so desperate to keep a fight from breaking out, it’s surprising that they didn’t just change the name of the film to Small Claims Court Fighter, and have Ryu battling to get his CD collection back from Chun-Li after a tumultuous break-up.

“Oh, like HELL are you getting the Bon Jovi albums, you cold-hearted bitch.”

Much like when Michael Bay gave up explosions for lent during the first six months of filming Transformers, the producers of Street Fighter made the call that audiences would hate to watch a group of martial artists at their physical peak go nuts on each other for ninety minutes. Hate it.

Boring as shit.

What to Watch Instead

Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie (1994)

Leave it to Japan to sort shit out. In the same year, they came up with the anime adaptation of Street Fighter II and it is fucking awesome: literally every character turns up to have a fight, even the ones nobody cares about, (he’s called Deejay and he’s a DJ – genius,) and they are all violent as shit. Most important of all, though, every boy who grew up wondering what Chun-Li looks like naked finally got an answer to their question.

So this is what the fulfilment of my childhood dreams feels like. Thanks, Chun-Li!

Spiderman 3

The Buildup
Spiderman is one of the most awesome superheroes ever, despite his alter-ego being a supremely whiney little bitch almost all of the time. Actually, that probably has a lot to do with his ongoing success; the fact that Peter Parker is such a colossal fucking loser makes him a lot more relatable to most of us than billionaire playboys like Tony Stark or Scandinavian people like Thor.

According to my research, this image is representative of every person living in Scandinavia.

What We Were Expecting
The Spiderman film franchise had everything going for it. Sam Raimi is a God that walks like a man and he already had two hugely successful Spidey films under his belt, so cranking out a third one should just have been a case of turning all the good stuff from the last one up to 11, surely.

Plus, this was going to be the film debut of Venom, one of the coolest villains from the entire series. He has a personality like Wolverine and a respect for human life like, well, Wolverine, but he’s also a bad guy and the complete antithesis of everything Spiderman, which makes sense since that’s sort of how he is created. When these two go to war it’s going to be like every fight in 300 played soggy biscuit but the outcome was awesome instead of disgusting and kind of gay.

What We Got
As it turns out, Spiderman 3 turned out to be exactly like a game of soggy biscuit. First of all, there’s a good chance if you’ve only seen the films that you don’t know much about the comic Spiderman universe. For future reference, this is what Venom looks like:


So, when the time came to cast an actor capable of bringing across the batshit insanity of the Predator in a gimpsuit, there was clearly only one choice: Eric motherfucking Forman.

“Wait, what?”

Ignoring everything we know about logic and reason, the people in charge decided that the best –no, the only— person who could possibly pull this off was the guy from That 70’s Show whose biggest threat ever was getting caught having sex by his dad. Then again, there is a chance that he saw what Red did to Peter Weller at the start of Robocop.

“Holy fuck! I get it, I get it. True love waits. Jesus Christ, dad.”

Fortunately though, this decision never became too much of an issue, since in the entire 139 minutes of Spiderman 3, about two are devoted to Venom screentime. Honest to God, if you went to the bathroom during this film there’s a chance you didn’t even know Venom was in it.

The reason for this is understandable though: they had to make time for Tobey Maguire to practice his improvised jazz dance routines while simultaneously looking like a magnet for cock and unsolicited savage beatings.

There is no God.

For whatever reason, when Peter Parker turns into Evil Peter Parker, rather than start using his superpowers to rape and pillage, he pops his collar, changes his haircut and takes a girl to a bar where his ex-girlfriend works just to make her jealous. In other words, it changes him from a whiney little bitch into a passive aggressive whore. Remember, he has a suit that makes him even more superhumanly strong and fast than he was as regular Spiderman, and he decides the best use for it is to make Kirsten Dunst cry.

At this point, everyone involved presumably thought ‘fuck it’ and so Spiderman beats Venom by playing Tubular Bells for thirty seconds, which might have also been what he did in the comics but it’s more stupid here because fuck Spiderman 3.

What to Watch Instead

The 1967 Spiderman series:

By God, peope in the 60’s knew how to make entertainment. I can’t wait for the next swinging montage!

Alien Versus Predator 2: Requiem

The Buildup
On paper, AVP films sound as doomed as they do fantastic. One the one hand, Aliens and Predators are two of the best movie monsters of all time, and at the end of the day, even though they may approach it in different ways, their mutual favourite hobby is murdering packs of clueless humans. That kind of bond is something I think we can all learn from.

"Ebony and ivoryyyyyyyyyyyy..."

On the other hand, this is a film sort of technically based on a video game which as we’ve already seen are generally doomed to fail, and character mash-ups are generally seen as the dying gasp of any franchise.

When fan-fiction gets taken seriously.

The AVP video games were great, though, and one of the first FPS games to offer different styles of gameplay: the Marines were your standard-fare run and gun; Predators had a stealth aspect but also a fuckton of cool weapons and Aliens could only take about three bullets before going down but moved like shit off a shovel and had one hit kills. If they could make a film that captured the same contrasts in atmosphere, that would be something truly special, and theoretically not all that hard to accomplish. Once again, most boys under ten could have made this screenplay with a box of action figures and an etch-a-sketch.

Surely you can’t fuck this up, guys. Guys?

What We Were Expecting
Let’s be fair, no one was expecting AVP2 to set the world on fire, especially after the original managed to draw all the attention off of the Aliens and Predators and put the focus primarily on the humans, which makes about as much sense as ignoring the holocaust to focus on the fabulous dress-sense of the Nazis. The humans weren’t even space marines, just some God damn archaeologists or something.

The first thing you pictured when I said Predator fighting archaeologists. True story.

Early on, however, the director of the sequel stressed that this time the focus was going to be on the massive pissing contest the Aliens and Predators have apparently been having for centuries, (essentially, it’s a more literal version of Total Wipeout, and they use the whole of Earth to play on instead of just lawless Argentina,) consequently righting all the wrongs of its predecessor and probably curing cancer too, if there was room left in the budget.

In short, it was going to be everything we ever expected of the first film and more.

What We Got
An episode of Dawson’s Creek, only in this episode every single person dies. So, the best episode of Dawson’s Creek ever, I guess.

First of all, that director is a fucking liar. It takes about forty minutes before the killing starts in earnest, but even then  the film can never decide if it’s going for the slow-burn Halloween suspense kills or the ‘Now I am become Death, destroyer of worlds’ Rambo bloodbath, so you end up with a character whimpering in a corner while an Alien lowers itself from the ceiling right next to their head, and then in the next scene another character, who obviously had two Weetabix that morning, straps on his balls and runs straight towards two hundred of the fuckers with a shotgun.

The face of a fucking liar.

The fact that the only memorable scene I have of the Predators is when one dies at the very start speaks volumes, as most of the screentime is devoted to focusing on a badly scripted, badly directed love story between two of the completely forgettable human characters. I’m assuming they did this to make the them feel slightly more relatable, but since no one involved in this project had ever even heard of someone who could act every human in the film exists only to make you hope that they die next.

Die. Die. DIE.

What to Watch Instead

Predator 2 (1990)

If you were in the mood for a film like what AVP was supposed to be, (i.e. an entity that walks hand in hand with both awesome and lunacy) then Predator 2 is the film for you. While the original Predator is a classic, the sequel is a very different kind of masterpiece, thanks in no small part to the force of nature that is Gary Busey.

This makes perfect sense if you are Gary Busey.

While it does only feature one Predator for the majority of the film, it is a Predator that has a fistfight with Danny Glover. And if a Predator having a fistfight with Danny Glover isn’t something that interests you, then maybe you should spend less time reading my stupid bullshit and more time figuring out when exactly you stopped caring about life.

Disclaimer: It’s been a long time since I have seen any of these films, so there is a good chance I forgot/made up a lot of this information, but if you think I’m going to spend two hours watching Shia LaBeouf ruin his career again purely for the sake of journalistic integrity you can fuck right off.

Seriously, fuck Shia LaBeouf.

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2 Responses to Four Films That Literally Lost the Plot

  1. PV says:

    Street Fighter wasn’t particularly great, but Raul Julia was good as M.Bison. Take anything he says in the movie , put it on a t-shirt and I will wear it. Like the great ‘It was tuesday’ response, the yell of ‘GAME OVER’ etc

    • robsimple says:

      Yeah, Raul Julia had that Christopher Walken effect of making even the shittest of films entertaining to sit through, but I still can’t accept that a film called Street Fighter featured little to none of the latter.

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