Douchebag: “Someone who has surpassed the levels of jerk and a**hole, however not yet reached f***er or motherf***er. Not to be confused with douche,” (According to Urban Dictionary). The douchebag is the kind of guy who will blow off his significant other on Valentine’s Day just so he can hit on his best friend’s girlfriend. Or the kind of girl who will lead a man on and on just to be the attention whore that she truly is.
When these people aren’t practicing the art of douchebaggery, they like to get out and hit up the cinema. When they do, they like their movies with cheeseball humor and plenty of irrelevant stupidity. They are easily impressed with the beautiful yet shallow people who puke out generic dialogue and get into endless car chases complete with the token explosion. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of movie franchises that contain many of the qualities that only the true douchebag would appreciate. Some of these movies have the prerequisite “beautiful people” while others are packed with over the hill, steroid popping heroes from the 1980s. A few of these flicks terrorize people psychologically while others kill their stars off through unforeseen accidents. And some are just plain stupidity run amok.
Lastly, the one thing that these movie franchises have in common is that they are made up of too many sequels. The studios have taken some creative and inspiring movie ideas like Rocky and The Terminator and run them into the ground by adding the sequel, threequel and on and on. (The 007 franchise consists of 25 movies!). The reason that they can get away with this is that they know there are plenty of douchebags willing to sit through the fourth, fifth and sixth version of their favorite franchise regardless of just how utter crap they are. With that said, here are 15 movie franchises only douchebags love…
15 The Fast and the Furious
The Fast and the Furious franchise began with the simple premise of an undercover cop busting illegal street racers in New York City, and managed to maneuver its way through enough storylines to fill up nine movies, two short films, and even a place at Universal Studios titled The Fast & The Furious: Extreme Close-Up. How were they able to do this? There are enough douchebags who will kick out their hard earned twenty bucks to see these generic flicks comprised of “the beautiful people” racing cars beyond anything close to reality while spewing out cheesy dialogue. And right when we thought the end was near, a tenth installment is due out in 2017. Gearheads, cheesy dialogue aficionados and douchebags alike can rejoice!
14 The Bourne Films
We can agree that overall, the Bourne franchise has been entertaining to watch. It has had everything a successful movie franchise could want; a mystery, a couple of love stories, and a hero who is fighting against the twisted corruption of the very organization that made him. However, it has become apparent that these action packed thrillers have run their course. While the first film had that winning combination of mystery, action and the love story, the sequels that followed were nothing more than an endless stretch of impossible to believe fight scenes, car chases, and blow 'em up/smash 'em up antics. By the third installment, the producers tried to make amends by inventing another love story for Bourne, but it felt forced and completely unbelievable. However, there are still plenty of douchebags who will continue to shell out their greenbacks for these predictable flicks.
13 Paranormal Activity
Paranormal Activity is all about those pesky demons who are offended by outsiders to the point where they terrorize and then off them one by one. When the first movie came out, it was a revelation of sorts due to the fact that it was filmed as if the viewer was watching the movie through home movie cameras. This first installment was also praised by critics like Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun Times who stated that “it illustrates one of my favorite points, that silence and waiting can be more entertaining than frantic fast-cutting and berserk f/x.”
The first three installments averaged $200 million, but the as can be expected, the success went south from there. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones grabbed up $90 million worldwide; less than half of the original, and the final installment, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension pulled in $12 million less than that ($78 million). Even though the last two flicks were panned by the critics as utter crap, there were still plenty of douchebags willing to donate to the cause.
12 Resident Evil
Only a douchebag would go see a movie with crap reviews across the board; and only a very special douchebag would do so because it’s based on his or her favorite video game. The Miami Herald’s Charles Savage states that Resident Evil is, “Such a bad movie that its luckiest viewers will be seated next to one of those ignorant pinheads who talk throughout the show.”
John Patterson of the L.A. Weekly remarks, “The interchangeable males all resemble Freddie Prinze Jr., and Anderson's direction is no less anemic, making one yearn for an Escape/Quit button that, sadly, doesn't exist in this medium.”
Many a movie franchise starts out strong only to end up in the crapper, and the Resident Evil series is no different. The original movie, Resident Evil: Afterlife, pulled in a very respectable $296 million, but by the 5th attempt at terrifying people titled Resident Evil: Gem, the studio was only able to generate $102 million.
It takes a particular kind of douchebag to sit through this type of psychological horror/gore entertainment time and time again, and the seven installments resulting in overall box office sales of $416 million prove that there is an endless supply of them out there. What made the first Saw so interesting is that while there was a decent amount of gore, it was not the amount one might expect from this type of movie. Rather, it was the psychological warfare that left the viewer on the edge of his/her seat. Like many of the franchises on this list, the initial movie is fantastic with a solid script and a surprise twist in the end, but as is usually the case with sequels, things quickly go downhill from there.
10 Final Destination
The premise of each movie is that the characters must successfully avoid impending death. What separated these movies from the typical horror flick is that there is not one person going around and hacking people’s heads off; there are only the random accidents which lead to the gory demise of the poor schlub. The studio kicked out three Final Destination films before producing what would appropriately be named, The Final Destination; possibly a hint that this franchise was about to become a self-fulfilling prophesy. However, this installment was panned by critics. Den of Geek remarked, “The fourth Final Destination film, which inexplicably lost the "4" from its title, is the nadir of the franchise. It’s just ass.”
Such criticism led the studio to release Final Destination 5 which was met with critical acclaim and essentially saved the good name of the series.
Who would have thought that a series of movies about a bunch of guys doing idiotic stunts resulting in complete humiliation and endless trips to the hospital would also result in $500 million in box office sales? But that’s exactly what happened for this crew who discovered that moronic behavior both came natural to them and would also make them rich. Unfortunately for the stars however, in addition to making too many of these movies, their lifestyles of hard living for entertainment purposes followed them into real life.
In 2011, one of the series' main characters, Ryan Dunn, ran his Porsche GT3 off the road after a night drinking at a bar and was killed. In 2015, another star, Vincent “Don Vito” Margera died from complications from kidney and liver failure. And Steve-O parlayed his Jackass routine into a cocaine habit that nearly cost him his life.
In 1976, Sylvester Stallone wrote one of the greatest underdog stories of all time about a down and out fighter from Philadelphia. Even though Sly was an unknown at the time who was as broke as could be, he was adamant that he play the downtrodden pugilist and was so certain that his vision would be a hit that he turned down a one million dollar buyout from the studio.
The success of the first Rocky spawned six more films starring the ultimate comeback kid and lucky for Stallone and the studios, the latest installment, Creed, was a gem that received high praise from fans and critics alike. With that said, Stallone is approaching a hundred years old and absolutely nobody wants to see the old man running around a ring in boxing shorts; enough is enough already.
In 1984, James Cameron directed one of the most suspenseful and iconic movies in history about a man and a machine who both travel back in time in an attempt to alter the future. Being the wise man that he is, Cameron did not rush in to capitalize financially on the success of his first effort, but rather waited seven years to follow it up with a fantastic sequel that was just as gripping and suspenseful as the first. However, even Cameron could not put a stop to the movie studio’s greed when they wanted to make Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.
Even though Cameron refused to be a part of this third Terminator flick, Warner Brothers and Columbia Pictures went ahead with the project which was seen as a pathetic attempt to capture the magic of the first two films with an aging terminator in Arnold Schwarzenegger. This is douchebaggery at its finest…
6 Harold & Kumar
Who can forget the infamous Jeff Spicoli when he declared, “All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine.” Douchebags always love good stoner movies like Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and the Harold and Kumar series of flicks is no exception.
Allison Benedikt of The Chicago Tribune said, “This stoner buddy movie is filled with raunchy, gross-out humor. It's immature, clunky and probably the best bit of groundbreaking social commentary we've seen in years.”
These flicks wreak of rebellion and anti-political correctness and for that alone, they are a must see. What makes these series of movies a bit different is that they are also breaking racial and cultural stereotypes as our two stoner heroes are Korean and Indian.
5 The Hangover
Who would have thought that flicks about a group of guys and their hangover exploits would bring in soooo much moolah? There are enough douchebags that love The Hangover franchise to have made the three movies the highest grossing domestic R-rated franchise in history!
The "Hangover Trilogy" pulled in a whopping $643 million which eclipses other legendary film franchises like The Matrix ($592 million), Alien ($515 million), The Terminator ($512 million) and Die Hard ($502 million). Besides the average douchebag, the critics overwhelmingly loved these raunchy adventures.
In regards to the first Hangover, The Chicago Sun-Times’ Roger Ebert raves, “A funny movie, flat out, all the way through. Its setup is funny. Every situation is funny. Most of the dialogue is funny almost line by line.”
Laremy Legel of Film.com states, “The franchise is sent off in style, a reminder of why it earned such praise and affection in the first place, the wolfpack giving us one final howl at the moon.”
4 The Expendables
If you are a douchebag fan of the mindless '80s movies full of steroid-popping stars, generic explosions and bad dialogue then The Expendables is right up your alley. The lineup of '80s action megastars like Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Willis make up the dream team of all dream teams.
According to Renegade cinema, “The Expendables takes us back to those halcyon days when all you needed to launch an action career was a body, some steroids, and a really bad script.”
However, not all is well in the land of Stallone and company as the more of these flicks they kick out, the worse the reviews get. Even one of the marque stars has had enough. During the filming of Expendables 3, Bruce Willis was fired and replaced by Harrison Ford for being a complaining pain in the ass on set.
3 Scary Movie
Every douchebag loves a good spoof, and the Scary Movie franchise delivers just that with its mocking of horror flicks like Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer and The Exorcist. The only problem however is that they have created so many of these, five in all, that the franchise that made its bones by spoofing other movies is almost deserving of being spoofed itself.
Even the Wayans Brothers, who dreamed up the whole project and directed the first two movies, blew out of the back door before the third was filmed. While the first four of the series pulled in an average of $200 million plus, the fifth effort, Scary Movie 5, only pulled in $70 million worldwide due to the fact that it was without two of its stars, Regina Hall and Anna Faris, and was panned by critics.
2 Bond, James Bond
Of all of the flicks to make this list, the 007 series may be the douchiest of all douchebag movie franchises. Why so harsh, you ask? Because James Bond is one of those franchises that takes itself way too seriously as being good. The Bond series consists of movies with slow moving storylines that are occasionally broken up with death defying stunts by men twenty years past their prime (Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan) and balanced out with an endless stream of cheesy dialogue. Ian Fleming’s creation has also garnered fame for being misogynistic, sexist, racist and culturally exploitative and insensitive. With that said, the franchise has kicked out 25 movies to date with box office sales that equal the gross national product of some developing countries.
Twilight was panned by both critics and audiences alike. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 5.4 out of 10; Peter Travers of Rolling Stone states, “Bummer. The vampires have no fangs. The humans are humdrum. The special effects and makeup define cheeseball. And the movie crowds in so many characters from Stephenie Meyer's book that Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen) is less a director than a traffic cop.”
Even the lead actors hated the project. Yet with all of this criticism, Summit Entertainment just kept cranking em out. Maybe it has to do with the fact that this franchise has pulled in hundreds of millions of dollars, mostly from impressionable young tween girls who are delivered into a world of fantasy love between a high school girl and a hunky vampire. This is douchebaggery at its finest...
Sources: IMDB.com, RottenTomatoes.com, Renegade Cinema, Metacritic, Denofgeek
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