We bring you 8 movies that blew you away with their awesome opening scenes and went downhill almost immediately.
Sure it was a high-budget Sci-fi flick and it got everyone in the cinemas sporting 3D glasses, but subtract all that pizzazz and special effects, the movie itself was pretty average, save for the opening scene that set up the premise. Sam Worthington’s character finding out that his twin brother is dead, taking over his spot and getting his own avatar to infiltrate another world of indigenous people. We were intrigued by what seemed to be a cool human experiment. But once we got hint of Jake’s discontentment with his people, we knew what was to come. He becomes entrenched in the Nav’i ways, falls in love and fight alongside them. Almost like a typical undercover cop story gone bad except everyone’s blue.
2. Fast & Furious
In this fourth installment of the Fast and Furious series, the opening scene featured a crazy adrenaline pumping sequence truck stunt while driving backwards through a canyon. It was slick, well-choreographed and oh-so-cool. While cars continued to drift, swerve and collide for the rest of the movie, none of it was nearly as heart-stopping as the opening. Needless to say, that was also the only scene everyone remembered from the movie.
The movie opened in 2009 where planets were colliding and events were unfolding all over the world leading up to the huge catastrophic year of 2012. The buildup was perfect - the mine in India, the political dinner in Washington, the riot outside the G8 summit in British Columbia, the evacuation of people in Tibet, the swopping of the Mona Lisa at the Musee du Lourve – all led to more mystery and intrigue. But when 2012 came around and disaster struck, the show wound up being more like Independence Day 2.0 with replica scenes from every other disaster movie ever made in the history of Hollywood.
Everything about the opening was promising, from the soundtrack (Empire State of Mind) to Carrie’s voiceover waxing lyrical about all that is New York, while the camera pans longingly along the majestic skyline of the city. Flashback to exactly 3.30pm on Tuesday, June 11, 1986 and we see Carrie Bradshaw looking like fashion roadkill, complete with frizzy hair, off-shoulder sweatshirt, white jeans and five pieces of suitcase, trying to hail a cab. And in that moment, fans were brought back to the time when the fab four met. Punk Carrie met waspy Charlotte in a subway, carrot-top Miranda at Bloomingdales, and a very 80s Samantha who was bartending at CBCG. Unfortunately, the precious three minutes ended as quick as it came and we were left with a plotless fashion snooze fest.
This was the scene that started it all. Who can ever forget Drew Barrymore’s blood-curling scream in the legendary opening act? She plays Casey, a teen who’s home alone and makes the mistake of picking up the phonecall from a stranger. The caller turns out to be ‘Ghost Face’, a serial killer with the creepiest phone voice ever who goes around town picking teens off one by one. One of the most thrilling slasher kills of all time, we were presented with a disemboweled football player, popcorn catching fire and Drew’s body hanging from a tree while her parents were in the next room in a matter of minutes. And because this scene is so gripping, it made the other killings and the rest of the film seem like child’s play. Though we were still blown away by the satire on the entire horror movie genre, we never quite forgot the way the opening act made our hair stand.
6. Jurassic Park 3
The first Jurassic Park was an instant classic. The second Jurassic Park was a letdown. The third Jurassic Park, well, no one really cared. And for good reason too. The movie opens with a shot of the legendary island, Isla Sorna and a boy named Eric Kirby, who is on a parasailing trip with his soon-to-be stepfather. The familiar soundtrack stirs up a dose of nostalgia and that’s when we realise that everything is too peaceful to be true. We dive straight into the action and the dinghy drives straight into the mist, the crew disappears and father and son drifts towards the island. Enter Laura Dern and Sam Neill and the rest of the movie ends up being a glorified dinosaur-chase. It’s no wonder the movie was nominated for the Golden Raspberry Award (or Razzie) for ‘Worst Remake or Sequel’.
7. Panic Room
Academy Award winner Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart pre-Twilight made a formidable pair. Cue eerie ominous music at the start of the movie as the camera captures New York City buildings in a dark and dreary mood. Single mother, Foster, is coping with divorce and has to drag a tomboyish Stewart (who rides her skate scooter everywhere) around to look for a place to live. They settle on a huge brownstone with a special panic room. The moment we are introduced to the room, it was like a kid in a candy store, wanting to push every button in there to see what it could do. Then the movie progressed and the duo were imprisoned in a burglary/kidnapping in their own home. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie reminded us too much of Home Alone, where the squabbling burglers (Jared Leto in cornrows and Forest Whitaker were part of the motley crew) trying to take control of the situation and ending up more like a comedy and less of a thriller.
8. Austin Powers in Goldmember
We were bowling over in laughter from the get-go. A chase-scene right out of Mission Impossible involving parachutes, a ‘Shaguar’ and a certain Tom Cruise as Austin Powers in the fictitious Austinpussy was hilarious. To round off the cast, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey and Danny Devito appear within seconds as Dixie Normous, Dr Evil and Mini-Me respectively - a brilliant stroke of cameo-casting. Then Mike Myers appeared with his usual song-dance routine with a Britney Spears cameo to mark the ‘real’ start to the movie and we find ourselves wishing that instead of the lame Myers- trademark gags we were watching Austinpussy instead.