The 2010s were a revolutionary time for visual effects in the film industry as studios around the world began to take the next steps in the evolution of CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) technology. The decade began on the heels of James Cameron’s trend setting Avatar, which paved the way for several all-CGI characters to come to life on the big screen.
However, where there is progress, there are often setbacks. For every film pushing the boundaries of special effects and motion capture technology, there were films like the The Green Lantern that felt like they belonged in the early 2000s. Some movies looked lousy when they hit theaters, but others got worse over time.
ten Princess Leia and Tarkin have gotten worse since appearing in Rogue One
Aging effects and face-swap technology have improved dramatically in recent years, which is why Grand Moff Tarkin and Princess Leia’s “cameos” in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story seemed worse year after year. Tarkin still looks decent due to the dim lighting of the Imperial ships and the Death Star, but the stark white of the Rebellion ship makes it harder to conceal Leia’s face, which is why the scene is much worse.
Other Star Wars properties tried to go old again, this time with Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian and The Boba Fett Book, which was an improvement.
9 Battleship aliens looked like they belonged in a video game
Hasbro got lightning in a bottle with the Transformers series, so they tried to capture the magic again with another iconic game, Battleship. Although the film was a critical and commercial failure, the effects received widespread praise from fans and critics. As thin as the story is, the battles were impressive, and the alien ships and suits looked great for a 2012 movie.
The problem was that once the aliens took off their helmets and started moving their faces, they really stood out from the rest of the movie. The aliens looked like something out of a late 2010s video game, and it was clear why the movie mostly hid them.
8 Iron Man’s Nanotech Suit and Bruce Banner’s Floating Heads Were Infinity War’s Weak Points
In 2008, Iron Man took the world by storm with stunning visual effects and a charismatic lead in Robert Downey Jr. This movie’s costume looked amazing. Yet the invincible Iron Man has never looked better than in his theatrical debut. It reached its climax in Avengers: Infinity War when Stark debuted his nanotech suit, which looked shiny and odd in the surrounding environment.
The costume and Bruce Banner’s infamous floating head in the Hulkbuster suit were two low points in a film that had jaw-dropping CGI throughout.
seven Venom was a disappointing start for the Sony Spider-Man universe
If Sony was going to launch its new Spider-Man universe based on the villains of the creepy hero, they had to stick the landing on their first film, Venom. The studio sacrificed practical effects in favor of a more accurate version of the character, but the result was poor CGI that dominated the film’s third act.
The Spider-Man movies have always been ahead of their time in the visual effects department, so for Venom atlooking worse than Spider-Man 2, a movie released in 2004, was a major disappointment.
6 Tron: Legacy Tried To Innovate, But Aging Jeff Bridges Was A Pain For The Eyes
the original by Tron the visual effects were innovative for the time, but the film looks cheesy and downright hard to follow over the years. tron the legacy tried to follow that with innovation and brought Jeff Bridges back into history, but the result left a lot to be desired.
The majority of the film looks really great and does a great job of updating the original film’s effects and designs, but it all falls apart when an aging Jeff Bridges is revealed to be the antagonist. The villain looked decent for the time, but since de-aging technology has improved dramatically in recent years, the character looks more like something out of a video game and looks cartoonish throughout.
5 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is a CGI Monstrosity
When The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey introduced the all-CGI antagonist Azog the Defiler, reception from the franchise’s loyal fans has been mixed at best. The practical orcs of The Lord of the Rings the trilogy was gone, and it looked like The Hobbit depended more on CGI.
That rang true in the final film in the trilogy, with the famous Battle of the Five Armies turning into a gray mess of CGI soldiers clashing for the film’s final act. CGI Billy Connolly’s decision as Dain II Ironfoot was the worst part of the battle and cemented the film’s visual effects among the worst in recent memory.
4 Dead Men Tell No Tales Was A Huge Step Back For The Pirates Franchise In More Ways Than One
The Pirates of the Caribbean The franchise was ahead of its time in the 2000s, from creating the all-CGI skeleton crew in 2003 to winning the Best Visual Effects Oscar in 2006 after creating the Davy Jones character. The original trilogy of films set the standard for blockbuster visual effects, but the franchise’s fifth film went in the wrong direction.
Rather than take the visual effects to the next level, the film looked cheap from top to bottom, with the gruesome shark hunting scene obviously shot on green screen instead of being on location like the original movies.
3 Black Panther using CGI costumes was a mistake
A T’Challa’s debut as Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War was one of the best parts of the movie, with the costume being a fan highlight and one of the best in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). That’s why the move to an all-CGI costume in the character’s 2018 feature film was a bit shocking.
The result was a costume that looked good for most of the movie, but it led to a gruesome final fight scene between Black Panther and Killmonger that some fans thought looked more like a cutscene from a PS2 game. than a Marvel movie.
2 Justice League 2017 Looks Cheap For A $300 Million Movie
Anyone who’s seen the movie knows about Superman’s mustache concealment. It’s still one of the worst displays of visual effects in recent memory, especially since the film opens with a character-centric shot as he speaks. The mustache debacle won’t be forgotten, but the rest of the film also looks cheap.
The CGI for Parademon’s takeover of the Russian city looks terrible, and Steppenwolf looks even worse. The character is the epitome of generic CGI villain stereotypes and looks horrible compared to the character’s version of Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
1 Breaking Dawn’s Baby: Part 2 Is Embarrassing
In the finale of a five-movie saga that grossed $3.346 billion at the global box office, this “baby” has been studio-approved. Beyond questions about how this even happened, the real issue is why not get practical? Use a doll and obscure the baby’s face as in American sniper or just getting a real baby, but the CGI face is still one of the worst effects ever seen in cinema, and certainly the worst of the 2010s.
The baby is terrible, but the rest of Breaking Dawn: Part 2 the effects weren’t good either. Bella’s hunt through the woods looks gruesome, from running to catching the obviously CGI mountain lion.
NEXT: 10 Best Practical Effects In Sci-Fi Movies, Ranked