13 film dropouts that could have been fixed with just a small change

WWe’ve all seen it before: a potentially great film, but marred by one problematic element.

There is no telling what form this will take. Maybe it’s a terribly cast character. A terrible accent. An insulting joke.

It could be a horrible twist ending that ruins everything that came before it. Or a plot hole that could have been plugged with the stroke of a pen.

Of course, sometimes a film’s problems are too deep to simply hope that a one-size-fits-all solution could turn it into an instant masterpiece.

But at other times? Maybe the solution really is that simple.

Here are 13 misfiring movies that could have been significantly improved with just one change: from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker To Spider-Man 3.

Click here for The Independentis the ranking of the most glaring plot holes in famous films.

Alien 3 (1992)

The biggest criticism of most people alien 3 was the decision to kill Newt right at the beginning of the film, effectively voicing the entire fight aliens totally debatable. It certainly wouldn’t have been difficult to find an excuse for Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) to arrive on the prison ship without slapping fans of James Cameron’s previous performance.

Sigourney Weaver in Alien 3


Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

This classic film starring Audrey Hepburn might not quite fit the description of a ‘horrible movie’ – but one aspect has rendered it all but unwatchable for many modern viewers. I am, of course, referring to Mickey Rooney’s racist interpretation of a Japanese character. Taking that out immediately improves the film tenfold.

Die Hard 4.0 (2007)

By the time the third installment in a franchise begins, chances are the quality will drop a bit (with all due respect to the incredible staying power of the Mission: Impossible movies). Die Hard 4.0 was the first of John McClane’s performances to feel truly disposable, an action-by-the-numbers thriller that fell far short of the magic of the original. There was an easy way to add a little more originality to the whole thing Die Hard But courage: add some decent violence. The first two Die Hard films were released in the UK with an age rating of 18 (downgraded to 15 years later). The violence in number four has been toned down to appeal to a broader market – and has undoubtedly lost something in the process.

Doctor Sleep (2019)

In the first two thirds of its term doctor sleep was a generally successful horror film that did well to establish its own mythology – despite being a sequel The glow. For the third act, however, the action returned to the Overlook Hotel as portrayed in Kubrick’s 1980 horror classic, and the whole affair descended into a dizzying frenzy of innuendos and callbacks. Lose the overlook and you’ve got your hands on a pretty awesome horror movie.

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Ewan McGregor in Doctor Sleep

(Warner Bros)

I’m a Legend (2007)

I am Legend was hardly a disaster, but any fan of Richard Matheson’s 1954 book will tell you that the adaptation’s ending left a lot to be desired. Instead of Will Smith’s Dr. Learning Robert Neville that in the eyes of the infected masses he was indeed the villain – the “legend” of the film’s title – the film simply saw him die as an unproblematic hero, losing all nuance of the deeper meaning of the story’s ending. It’s a simple change; A variation of the book ending was actually filmed as a deleted scene.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

There are parts of Steven Spielberg’s much-maligned adventure sequel that no amount of tinkering will save; Some people will always insist that aliens have no place in you Indiana Jones Movie. But there’s one moment that always made the film an easy target for critics — the scene where Indy (Harrison Ford) survives a nuclear bomb blast in a refrigerator. Really?

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

(David James)

The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)

Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Michael Crichton’s hastily produced adventure sequel had its high points, but ultimately fell far short of the 1993 original. Perhaps the biggest problem was sticking to one godzilla-like “T-Rex on the loose in San Diego” sequence that Spielberg wanted to add just a few weeks before filming began. The plan originally was to make this segment the focus of a sequel of its own – which could have happened The Lost World far more coherent. As it is, however, it feels flashy and redundant. Also, the sequence breaks the narrative at a crucial point in the story.

Les Misérables (2012)

Much has been said about Tom Hooper’s adaptation of the hit stage musical Les Miserables when it first came out. While critics heaped praise on Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, one actor drew almost unanimous scorn: Russell Crowe, who played the villain Javert. Actually, Crowe’s performance is pretty good, but his singing is completely overshadowed by some of his classically trained co-stars. Replace Crowe with a Broadway-caliber singer and the whole movie kicks things up a notch.

Russell Crowe in Les Miserables


Passengers (2016)

In this sci-fi film starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, Pratt’s character condemns Lawrence to a life of co-dependent isolation when he prematurely awakens her from cryosleep to join him aboard a luxury spaceship. As many people felt at the time, the film would have worked much better if it had started at the point where Lawrence was awakened and allowed us to discover Pratt’s transgression when she does. Instead, there is no twist here and therefore significantly less intrigue.

Spider-Man 3 (2007)

how to repair Spider-Man 3 is simple: get rid of Venom. After the resounding success of the first two Spiderman movies, Sam Raimi should have been free to do whatever he wanted with the third. Instead, studio executives forced Raimi to put Spider-Man’s shockingly popular nemesis into a film that already featured two villains – Thomas Hayden Church’s Sandman and James Franco’s Harry Osbourne. Spidey 3The main problem was feeling overcrowded and underdeveloped. Those are two problems that the removal of Venom would have solved, at least in part – and with it comes Topher Grace’s lackluster performance.

In Spider-Man 3, Peter Parker faced off against three different super villains


Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

JJ Abrams’ sequel to the universally popular star trek reboot found a promising villain in Benedict Cumberbatch’s Commander John Harrison. When it later turns out that he is in fact the notorious franchise villain Khan, the whole thing falters. If you had just made him an original opponent – the film would have been all the better for it.

Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Okay, so the “only change” needed to fix this franchise hit point is pretty big and consequential: getting rid of the Emperor. The decision to bring back Ian McDiarmid’s nefarious Emperor Palpatine after his apparent death Return of the Jedi, was a disaster. It was never really explained in the film – the descriptive phrase “Somehow Palpatine has returned” – was widely mocked on social media. Without him, the film would have found a far more compelling main villain in Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Also, a narrative that wouldn’t have as many plot holes.

“They’re Flying Now”: “The Rise of Skywalker” is considered by many Star Wars fans to be the low point of the series


The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

It’s easy to see why Peter Jackson’s JRR Tolkein adaptation was split into three films – following the success of Lord of the Rings, turning this humble prequel into an epic endeavor must have been financially irresistible. But the results were undeniably grim. A standalone single film adaptation of The Hobbit would have made a lot more sense and had the potential to be much, much more compelling.

Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing emma@ustimespost.com.

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