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Great title sequence, shame about the movie


Watching a movie can be like having a relationship. It can start off incredibly, leading you to throw caution to the wind and immerse yourself, thinking that maybe this is the one. But first impressions can be deceiving. What you thought you were going to get can often not be what you end up with and sometimes, you just end up getting up and walking away before it's even properly over.

Films with fantastic title sequences have a lot to live up to and while the design team might be on point, everyone else can often be lagging behind. Here are eight disappointing movies with stellar opening credits.


The credits: Released just before Sin City, the start of this Bruce Willis thriller offered up a similar black, white and red palette to set up the opening dramatic scene. It's an intriguingly different way to begin a mainstream action film so you'd expect that you're settling in for something a little bit out of the ordinary...

The movie: ...but you'd be totally wrong. Riddled with tired clichés, this uninspired attempt to pretend that Bruce Willis isn't past his prime fails to deliver on any initial promise.


Lord of War

The credits: A genius idea, cleverly constructed, we see the journey of a bullet all the way from its creation in a factory to its eventual grisly use. It's smart, shocking and illuminating, not a huge surprise given that its directed by Andrew Niccol, known for writing The Truman Show and Gattaca.

The movie: The rest of the film however, is a bit of a jumble. In trying to deliver a damning indictment of a corrupt industry yet also make for an entertaining night out, it flits between heavy-handedness and frippery.


Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

The credits: Providing us with the necessary backstory via a set of intricate paper sets, the credits for this darkly comic, definitely adult retelling of the classic tale gave us adequate warning that things were going to get nasty. But they also promised style and a Burtonesque gothic tone.

The movie: A disaster on every possible level. It's a comedy that's unfunny, a horror that's unscary and a film that's fairly unwatchable. Even star Jeremy Renner hates it.


Austin Powers in Goldmember

The credits: A typically knowing intro to the third Austin Powers film has Steven Spielberg directing a faux-movie about Powers, starring Tom Cruise, Gwyneth Paltrow, Danny DeVito and Kevin Spacey. It's silly but fun and all the stars give it their best.

The movie: The moment when the Austin Powers joke truly got old. Resorting to toilet humour and regurgitating jokes which had grown stale on and off screen, it was the nail in the character's coffin.


The Kingdom

The credits: While most action movies with a vague political context are happy to keep things as simple and apolitical as possible, the opening titles of The Kingdom show that the makers want to educate you, as well as entertain. Through news footage and infographics, they offer up an informative summary of relations between the US and Saudi Arabia. Not an easy feat.

The movie: Sadly, the film has far less ambition and is happy to resort to big, brainless action while forgetting to add much intellect to the mix.


The Number 23

The credits: The number 23 is cursed and if you weren't aware of this before sitting down to watch this Jim Carrey thriller, the opening sequence is determined to change that. Through a simplistic yet smart series of facts, interspersed with credits, you're on edge before the film's even started.

The movie: However, that edge doesn't last for long. What follows is a silly, increasingly nonsensical thriller that features a horribly miscast Carrey, in one of his unsuccessful attempts to do drama.


Dinner for Schmucks

The credits: Comedies aren't always known for their inventive title sequences but Jay Roach's remake of the 1998 French film Le Dîner de Cons started out rather strong. In it, we are introduced to Steve Carell's character through his obsession: mice. It's beautifully constructed and Paul McCartney's melancholic song The Fool on the Hill matches it perfectly.

The movie: But the film, despite a cast that also includes Paul Rudd, Jemaine Clement, Chris O'Dowd and Zach Galifianakis, is a major letdown. Sadly for Carell, it felt like a failed sitcom.


Gentlemen Broncos

The credits: After Jared Hess broke out with Napoleon Dynamite, dabbled his toe in the mainstream with Nacho Libre to little success, he scaled back for his next film. And in the title sequence, it seems like he's onto another winner. Every credit is displayed on a vintage science fiction novel - an excellent idea, brilliantly realised.

The movie: But while the quirk level was kept in check for the credits, it was cranked up to unbearable levels for the rest of the film. Almost deliberately bad but still wholly unfunny, it explains why we haven't heard from Hess at the cinema since.



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