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19 Forgettable ’00s Fantasy Movies Only True Superfans Remember

Fantasy movies have been around since the early and mid-1900s – back when they relied more on acting than special effects and epic plotlines. Then the 1970s and 1980s hit, and it seem these were the decades where cheesy fantasy films were standard fare. And for some reasons, the 1990s had a lull.

Then The Lord of the Rings released, which revitalized the genre. Showing what could be done with current technology (both already-in-existence and what was invented for the trilogy), filmmakers had no excuse to release an atrocious fantasy flick. Sure, you could find many kid and family fantasy movies, but finding a satisfying fantasy feature sent you on your own quest.

What makes fantasy movies entertaining escapes is most have no ties to the modern world. They are rooted in magic and myth, often using supernatural elements and creatures to populate the story. Whether the movie is based on another property or original, fantasy films rely on complete imagination to create unique worlds and characters.

There are amazing fantasy movies of the 2000s – like The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. But for each great one, you can easily find 10 terrible movies. These fantasy movies are so bad that once you watch them, you forget about them. The most redeeming quality is that they make good answers to fun movie-trivia questions.

So here’s 19 Forgettable ’00s Fantasy Movies Only Superfans Remember.

19. INKHEART (2003)

In 2003, author Cornelia Funke teamed up with Toby Emmerich (among many others) to produce Inkheart. The movie had a top-tier cast that included Helen Mirren, Paul Bettany, Eliza Bennett, and Brendan Fraser. The movie is about a father and daughter who have the unique gift of bringing characters from books to life when the books are read aloud.

Inkheart never gained footing from viewers and critics. Based on reviews, the movie is one where you’ll either love it or hate it. Many felt some of the scenes were confusing and tried too hard to bring everything from the book it’s based on, but filmmakers simply got overwhelmed with the plot.

Funke wrote the book Inkheart, and the National Education Association, in 2007, placed the book on its list of “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children.” That wasn’t enough to help make the movie a favorite.

18. THE SEEKER (2007)

The Seeker, also called The Seeker: The Dark is Rising is a very lax adaptation of book #2 in the YA fantasy series The Dark is Rising, written by Susan Cooper. In the late 1990s, Brian Henson, CEO of Jim Henson Pictures bought the rights to the books because the 2nd book was one of Brian’s favorites.

Eventually, the rights were sold to Walden Media because Henson couldn’t get production started on the film. The Seeker follows a young boy who finds out he’s part of a lineage of immortal warriors who have continuously fought the forces of the dark.

Despite having Ian McShane and Frances Conroy attached, the move received negative reviews and had poor box office numbers. Coupled that with disappointed fans of the adaptation – many details were changed from book to movie – The Seeker rightfully deserves to be forgotten.

17. THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES (2008)

Another movie on this list based on a series of books is The Spiderwick Chronicles. The story follows the “adventures” of the Grace family when they find a guide to fantastical creatures like fairies.

The movie has a decent line-up of actors like Martin Short, Mary-Louise Parker, and Seth Rogen, but beyond the acting, The Spiderwick Chronicles doesn’t have much more going for it. The books, written by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, have received praised in the Young Adult world, but for some critics, didn’t translate well to the screen.

Most reviewers and fans felt the special effects overshadowed the story and acting. Most review aggregate sites list The Spiderwick Chronicles as an “average” movie – not even memorably bad.

16. RED RIDING HOOD (2006)

The 2006 film Red Riding Hood didn’t seem to know what audience it wanted to reach. Taking a classic children’s story and adding some magic and musical aspects, Red Riding Hood attempted to capture the imaginations of both kids and adults. And failed doing so.

A brother and sister – typical modern teenagers – are in the care of their grandmother. The girl plans to sneak out later, but grandma tells them a story. However, the brother and sister change the story to make it “spicier.”

A big draw to Red Riding Hood was Henry Cavill. Yes, Superman himself played the Hunter in the movie. It was one of several minor roles he took before becoming a household name playing Charles Brandon in The Tudors. Apparently, Grimm fairy tales are Cavill’s Kryptonite.

15. VAN HELSING (2004)

One forgettable fantasy movie from the 2000s that Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale probably want you to forget is Van Helsing. This 2004 movie had more computer-generated graphics than story, and it shows in the below-average reviews on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes.

An interpretation of a Bram Stoker character, Van Helsing is about a monster chaser by the same name. He goes to Transylvania to Count Dracula. In typical mad scientist form, Dracula is using research from Dr. Frankenstein and a werewolf for dastardly reasons. If the movie wasn’t enough, you can pick up the video game Van Helsing, which stays true to the movie and uses the voices of many of the stars.

If you were like many viewers and critics and saw this film, you probably wanted to put a stake through its heart.

14. BEOWULF (2007)

Although the Robert Zemeckis version of Beowulf in 2007 garnered above average reviews from critics, the average movie-goer was much harsher. The movie is 3-D animated adaptation of the classic epic poem often read in high school English classes.

The script was written in 1997 by Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary for a smaller $20 million budget. The option expired and Avary retained the rights until Zemeckis came on board. He told Avary and Gaiman to “go wild!” with rewriting the script as he could secure a larger budget.

Despite the budget for the animation, many viewers felt it off-putting to watch ultra-realistic animated versions of well-known actors like Anthony Hopkins and John Malkovich. Also, there was nothing innovative with the story; not even the addition of the incongruously attractive Grendel’s Mother, as played by Angelina Jolie.

13. HIGHLANDER: THE SOURCE (2007)

The original Highlander movie is arguably one of the better fantasy movies to come from the 1980s. The franchise has spawned 5 movies, 3 animated series, and 2 televisions shows. You can also find additional stories in other media like books, comics and audio dramas.

Highlander: The Source (or Highlander 5) did nothing to improve on the property.

Some critics felt The Source was finally the movie to help put the franchise out of its misery, while others found the movie amateur and bad: “Bad enough to make you never want to watch another movie again bad,” said a critic from Film as Art.

Maybe telling was that The Source was the first Highlander movie not released in theaters. Instead, the Sci-Fi network aired the movie on September 15, 2007.

12. THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR (2008)

Many Brendan Fraser movies don’t get a lot of credit. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor doesn’t buck that trend as the third movie in The Mummy franchise.

Even though the movie has reached a worldwide box office total of over $400 million (most of that is because of international success), that amount doesn’t represent what people found forgettable. Tomb of the Dragon Emperor was the low-grossing movie of the series.

For an entry in the The Mummy franchise, it held nothing special. If you’re looking to be slightly entertained for 2 hours because you liked the previous two movies, then Tomb is for you. But if you’re looking for a unique and well-crafted plot to add to The Mummy lore, then move one: you will forget this movie. Incidentally, Tomb did win a BMI Film Award for Best Music.

11. BEWITCHED (2005)

Fans of 1960s Bewitched TV show, when hearing that Hollywood was “remaking” it, probably didn’t expect the very forgettable version that came out in 2005. Starring an ensemble cast headed by Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell, the movie is about an out-of-work actor who’s cast as Darrin in a remake of the old TV show. He soon learns that the woman chosen for Samantha is really a witch.

Bewitched was one of those movies where you just shrug and say, “Well, they tried.”

The film barely received any respect – unless you count winning Golden Raspberry Awards as respect. Bewitched won for Worst Director, Worst Actor in Will Ferrell, Worse Screenplay, Worst Remake or Sequel, and grabbed Worst Screen Couple for Kidman and Ferrell.

 

10. SON OF THE MASK (2005)

The Mask starring Jim Carrey is one of those movies that never really needed a sequel. But one was made. Called Son of the Mask, it tells of Tim Avery, a cartoonist that just had his first child born. This child has the powers of the Mask.

Son of the Mask takes place 10 years after the first movie. The initial few minutes are all that relates to the original, with Ben Stein leading a tour through Edge City Museum. Otherwise, you’re forced to watch the antics of Jamie Kennedy and Alan Cumming.

Reviews for Son of the Mask are harsh across the board. From Rotten Tomatoes to Metacritic, reviewers find the movie unfunny and missing Jim Carrey. This movie, released the same year as Bewitched, led the Golden Raspberry awards with 8, just edging out the Kidman/Ferrell movie.

9. THE SANTA CLAUSE 3: THE ESCAPE CLAUSE (2006)

The Santa Clause 1 and 2 are considered classic family Christmas movies. Tim Allen shines as the hapless man who accidentally kills Santa Clause and is now recruited to take St. Nick’s place.

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause didn’t resonate with fans of the first two or families expecting something different. While Martin Short was a pleasant surprise, that’s where people’s enjoyment ended. Critics found the movie boring and probably just a way to cash in on the franchise and Tim Allen.

Review sites host The Escape Clause with far below average ratings (15% at Rotten Tomatoes, for example), but if you’re into boring movies with the same old sight gags and slapstick comedy, then The Escape Clause is perfect for you.

8. DUNGEONS & DRAGONS (2000)

The Dungeons & Dragons movie released in 2000 didn’t add much to the lore of the Dungeons & Dragons universe. For some, the movie felt like a quest book some 14-year-old Dungeonmaster created.

The film had an all-star cast with Justin Whalin, Marlon Wayans, Thora Birch, and Jeremy Irons. There were also 2 cameos in Dungeons & Dragons with Tom Baker and Richard O’Brien.

The disappointment in the film is blamed on a few factors. Firstly, Courtney Solomon had no experience in filmmaking; he was only supposed to produce, not direct. Secondly, Solomon was forced to use an older script even though he had written a better version that befit the D&D universe. And thirdly, The talented actors perform badly in front of cheaply-made sets.

7. ERAGON (2006)

Based on the book of the same name by Christopher Paolini, Eragon became one of the worst-reviewed films in 2006. Paolini wrote Eragon when he was a teenager, but fantasy fans found the movie a near rip-off of Lord of the Rings and Star Wars.

Eragon presents nothing new to the fantasy genre; the hero’s journey so prevalent in other fantasy books and movies is the same in Paolini’s fiction. What didn’t help the movie’s review was the acting. Critics said the acting was “lifeless” and “wooden.”

The Saturn Awards apparently disagreed with some of the critics: in 2007 they nominated the movie for Best Fantasy Film and nominated Edward Speleers for Best Performance by a Younger Actor. The film didn’t win either category.

6. BLACK KNIGHT (2001)

Fantasy mixed with comedy often doesn’t work well unless is an obvious parody. Trust the critics and fan reviews when they say the fantasy and comedy of Black Knight starring Martin Lawrence doesn’t work.

Gil Junger took the directing role in Black Knight – his second movie after 10 Things I Hate About You – but for some reason couldn’t find steady footing in creating a solid film. Lawrence plays Jamal, a theme park worker who’s shifted through time to England in the Middle Ages.

Reviews call the movie “lazy” with “lame gags.” While Lawrence was having some success with similar cop and heist movies around Black Knight’s time, his star power failed to help the movie reach its $50 million budget. The movie does have once consolation: it did receive a Golden Reel nomination for Best Sound Editing, Music, for a Feature Film.

5. IN THE NAME OF THE KING: A DUNGEON SIEGE TALE (2007)

Uwe Boll is known for producing and directing movie adaptations of video games. Very few have received positive reviews; most are panned, including one based on the Dungeon Siege video games.

In the Name of the King stars Jason Statham, Leelee Sobieski, and John Rhys-Davies. Statham plays a character named Farmer who tries to rescue his wife and get revenge for the death of his son.

The movie “fulfills all expectations of a Uwe Boll film,” which is the most positive things that has been said about the movie. Most compared In the Name of the King as a combination of Gladiator and Lord of the RingsTime magazine even included the movie on their list of top ten worst video game movies. That didn’t stop Uwe Boll from creating the sequel, In the Name of the King 2 starring Dolph Lundgren in 2011.

4. THE CROW: WICKED PRAYER (2005)

The Crow: Wicked Prayer is the fourth movie in The Crow franchise, and like the other sequels was not well-liked. It’s one of the few movies on Rotten Tomatoes that sits at 0% rating based on 6 critic reviews. However, audiences have it at 1.9 out of 10.

Edward Furlong, David Boreanaz, and Tara Reid might want you to forget this film, but Echo Bridge Home Entertainment and Lionsgate simply can’t let the film go. After leaving theaters in 2005, the movie took a release hiatus until 2011, when it was re-issued as a double feature (and as a stand-alone release) with The Crow: City of Angels. Echo Bridge has included it in a few horror compilations, and then released a Blu-Ray version in 2012.

Finally, Lionsgate did a triple feature release in 2014 with City of Angels and The Crow: Salvation.

3. 10,000 B.C. (2008)

A forgettable movie that had loads of potential was 10,000 B.C. Starring Steven Strait and Camilla Belle and directed by Roland Emmerich, 10,000 B.C. was a sweeping epic movie taking place in the prehistoric period.

When released, no one was particularly impressed. The biggest complaint was against the loose timeline and factual errors. It’s clear that Emmerich wanted to modernize ancient tribes of that era with a Hollywood style. He forgot about historical accuracy and opted for “style instead of substance.”

The movie did okay at the box office. It does have the distinction of being the first movie of 2008 to hit $200 million at theaters. That same year, 10,000 B.C. won a BMI Film Music Award with composer Thomas Wander.

2. LADY IN THE WATER (2006)

Film buffs either love M. Night Shyamalan movies or hate them. It seems most people hated the movies in the middle of his career – especially Lady in the Water. The flick stars Paul Giamatti as an apartment complex superintendent who finds a water nymph swimming in the complex’s pool.

Confused about the movie genre, fans though the movie was a comedy instead of a drama. Critics found the movie “self-indulgent” and had no consistency from character to character and scene to scene. When Shyamalan first approached Disney about the plot of the movie, the chairman, Dick Cook reportedly didn’t understand it, which was the reason Warner Bros fronted the money for the film.

The movie is considered a financial disappointment, barely making its $70 million budget. If that wasn’t enough, you can buy Shyamalan children’s bedtime novelization of the movie.

1. ELLA ENCHANTED (2004)

On the surface, Ella Enchanted is perfectly geared towards fans of romantic comedies. It stars a quite a few a-list actors and actresses like Anne Hathaway, Hugh Dancy, and Cary Elwes. But no matter how cute the storyline or how great the book the movie is based on, the Ella Enchanted movie had the same criticisms from most people.

In the movie, Ella is always obedient thanks to a spell she’s under. She knows this and when she’s taken in by a new family, she must keep it a secret. It’s to protect the prince, who happens to be her friend, and someone she’s falling in love it.

Many viewers had issues with the cliched plot and antics of the characters. Ella Enchanted was too predictable to enjoy and nearly too sweet for its own good.

 

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