X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
Why People Were Excited: After the slapdash mess that was The Last Stand , here was chance to get the X-Men franchise back on track, with Wolverine given the starring role without any competing team-mates to take it off him. Would we delve deeper into Logan's past, continuing the journey started by Bryan Singer's two films?
Why They Ended Up Disappointed: Wolverine was joined by a batch of new pals, none of whom made much of an impression. Even fan favourites such as Gambit were glossed over without much love, as one booming action scene crashed into the next. Let's hope James Mangold's The Wolverine goes into the depth we'd been hoping for here.
The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse (2005)
Why People Were Excited: While an adaptation of a British TV comedy always risks straying into On The Buses territory, everyone suspected that the cinephiles of The League would be too canny to fall into such a trap. And who could resist the thought of Papa Lazarou and chums on the big screen?
Why They Ended Up Disappointed: There were some good ideas on display here (Herr Lipp's distress at being dismissed as a camp caricature sticks in the memory), but the plot seemed altogether too thin for a feature-length run-time. Then there was the fact that the show's best-loved characters (Lazarou, Tubbs and Edward) were sidelined from the get-go, in favour of some rather square peg to round hole casting choices. The villainous Hillary Briss repackaged as a hero? Odd.
Why People Were Excited: The Hulk's big-screen bow was long overdue, and Ang Lee was an interesting choice to deliver it. Fans hoped that Lee would devote plenty of time to Bruce Banner's tortured soul as well as going to town on the smashing. The casting of Eric Bana meanwhile, was a headline writer's dream…
Why They Ended Up Disappointed: Hulk ended up falling into an unsatisfying middle ground between balls-out popcorn fun and introspected character study, failing to fully commit to either approach by dipping a toe into both. It certainly could have done with a little more action. This is the Hulk we're talking about, after all!
Miami Vice (2006)
Why People Were Excited: Michael Mann seemed to be the perfect choice to bring the '80s cop show bang up to date, while you'd be hard pushed to find two cooler dudes to play Crockett and Tubbs than Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell.
Why They Ended Up Disappointed: What with the white suits, pastel shirts and booming soundtrack, the very least we'd expected from a Miami Vice adaptation would be that it had a sense of fun. Not so in Mann's unsmiling crime slog, in which Foxx and Farrell display all the chemistry of two lumps of ply-wood. It looks as lovely as you'd expect, but why call it Miami Vice at all if you're going to be so po-faced about it?
Why People Were Excited: What's not to love about a giant lizard hell-bent on laying waste to downtown Manhattan? And who better to bring him to the big screen than Roland Emmerich, the man responsible for blowing up the White House in Independence Day ?
Why They Ended Up Disappointed: You could forgive the paper-thin plot, humourless jokes and ham acting if Godzilla were only half as thrilling as it promised to be on paper. Sadly, it didn't come close. As we said in our initial review, "what should have been the event of '98 feels like the last 10 minutes of The Lost World: Jurassic Park stretched painfully into a two-hour movie."
Southland Tales (2006)
Why People Were Excited: Richard Kelly's debut feature Donnie Darko had taken everyone by surprise to become the sleeper hit of 2002. As a consequence, everybody in Hollywood couldn't wait to see what Kelly would serve up next, with Southland Tales ' bizarre synopsis and eclectic cast setting tongues wagging even more frantically in the run-up to its release.
Why They Ended Up Disappointed: Where Donnie Darko had been deliciously unhinged, Southland Tales was batshit crazy, with a plot that was nigh-on incomprehensible and a series of irritatingly smug in-jokes, such as the sight of Justin Timberlake miming to The Killers.
Jersey Girl (2004)
Why People Were Excited: It was Kevin Smith's first film set outside his "View Askewniverse", and people were intrigued to see what the portly director would conjure up next. Given that his last rom-com was cult favourite Chasing Amy , big things were expected.
Why They Ended Up Disappointed: Sadly, the film was chronically light on Smith's trademark humour, while the relationship between Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler felt underwritten and unconvincing. While Chasing Amy was surprising, shocking and relentlessly inventive, this is Hollywood romance by the numbers.
Why People Were Excited: The Alien franchise was finally returning to the capable hands of Ridley Scott, who promised to restore the fear and wonder attached to the Xenomorph's first appearance. A super-creepy viral piece focusing on Michael Fassbender's android, David, had everyone convinced that this was going to be the sci-fi smash of the summer.
Why They Ended Up Disappointed: We at Total Film may have loved it, but you only need to do a cursory Google search to discover that Prometheus was more divisive than a chest burster splitting a rib-cage. Garbled mythology, inexplicably stupid crew-members, an underwhelming final confrontation… all were criticisms levelled at this sort-of-prequel.
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Why People Were Excited: After the pizzazz of the first film, fired largely by the white-hot charisma of Robert Downey Junior, everyone was expecting a slam-dunk second time around, particularly with the addition of Mickey Rourke as the villainous Whiplash.
Why They Ended Up Disappointed: Whilst not a total mess, Iron-Man 2 was still a huge disappointment for those who had so enjoyed the first film, with Downey seeming curiously subdued, and neither Rourke nor Scarlett Johansson given adequate screen-time to really make their mark. With Sam Rockwell and Don Cheadle also vying for the audience's attention, perhaps that was inevitable…
Kill Bill pt. 2 (2004)
Why People Were Excited: Part One was a hyper-kinetic thrill ride through QT's favourite kung fu movies. Packed with expertly choreographed fight sequences and a few of Tarantino's trademark grotesques (Buck, anyone?) it was the return everyone had been hoping for.
Why They Ended Up Disappointed: While the first film was lean and mean with very little fat on it, the follow-up was flabby and bloated, one-paced and finally, anticlimactic. We had initially been enthused by the promise of more dialogue in the second film, but Tarantino laid it on so thick that the energy and narrative drive of the first part soon fell by the wayside. By no means a terrible film, but a let-down all the same.