Ocean's 12 (2004)
Why People Were Excited: Ocean's 11 was the perfect Hollywood movie, coated in stardust but boasting an easy charm that smacked of not trying too hard. George Clooney and Brad Pitt were at their charming best and the story was beautifully simple, even if the central heist wasn't.
Why They Ended Up Disappointed: While the original had presented itself with a broad grin and a knowing wink, this convoluted sequel came off as plain smug, particularly in the grossly self-indulgent scene in which Julia Roberts pretends to be Julia Roberts. Worse still is the tangled globe-trotting plot. Ocean's 13 may not be a masterpiece, but it instantly scores points by returning the action to Vegas, where it belongs.
The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
Why People Were Excited: Even thought the first sequel had fallen some way short of the dizzy heights achieved by the original, it still had plenty of memorable scenes to keep the audience entertained. People were hoping that after that misstep, part three would get things back on track, and were still keen to see how the story would eventually be wrapped up.
Why They Ended Up Disappointed: The third film takes the unusual step of relegating Neo to supporting player status while the tedious battle for Zion was placed front and centre. In the end it felt like watching an overblown computer game, with the occasional character-centric cut-scene thrown in for good measure.
Superman Returns (2006)
Why People Were Excited: Bryan Singer had done wonders with the X-Men series and had turned down the opportunity to complete that trilogy in order to give Superman a long-awaited coat of paint. With Krypton's favourite son having been MIA since 1987, this was many people's first opportunity to see the man of steel on the big screen.
Why They Ended Up Disappointed: Singer's film is no disaster, and yet it seems to be missing some kind of crucial x-factor to really live long in the memory. Brandon Routh isn't half as bad as some people have made out, but the story is pedestrian and Supes' romance with the anaemic Kate Bosworth lacking in any sort of passion whatsoever.
Sucker Punch (2011)
Why People Were Excited: Watchmen might not have been everybody's cup of tea, but given the difficulties of bringing such a narratively dense story to the big screen, there was plenty of praise for Snyder's effort. Factor in the bombastic pleasures of 300 , and a fantasy epic containing a host of weird and wonderful dreamscapes sounded like the perfect fit for the director…
Why They Ended Up Disappointed: The set-up gave Snyder far too much scope for self-indulgence, and we ended up with something akin to an adaptation of Warhammer.
The Hangover Part 2 (2011)
Why People Were Excited: The Hangover took everybody by surprise, what with its relatively unknown cast, whip-smart script and engaging high concept. People wanted more of the same, basically.
Why They Ended Up Disappointed: They didn't want it to be exactly the same! When we were hoping for a repeat prescription of well-scripted gags and amusing set-ups, we were hoping for a little more invention than Stu getting a face tattoo instead of a busted tooth. Plus, the warmth and heart of the first film were catastrophically MIA.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Why People Were Excited: Sam Raimi had successfully improved upon his opening Spidey salvo with Spider-Man 2 , and was all set to get his teeth into Venom, one of the web-slinger's more popular antagonists.
Why They Ended Up Disappointed: Venom was never really Raimi's choice, and had instead been foisted upon him by the studio. However, instead of creating a Venom-centric storyline, Raimi kept hold of Sandman and Green Goblin 2, diminishing the effect of all three. Most criminal is the lack of time devoted to Harry Osborne's story arc, something the previous films had spent plenty of time building up. That and Peter's regrettable emo phase of course…
The Godfather pt 3 (1990)
Why People Were Excited: The first two films are two of the greatest pieces of cinema ever made, so naturally, expectations were high!
Why They Ended Up Disappointed: It's not the worst film in the world, and taken on its own merits is actually a fairly serviceable crime drama. However, the fact remains that it's a very poor relation to the previous two instalments. And speaking of poor relations, Sofia Coppola should never have been allowed near one of the leading roles!
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
Why People Were Excited: Brian Singer had just delivered one of the best superhero movies of all time in the form of X2 , and had masterfully set up a second sequel with the introduction of the Dark Phoenix storyline, one of the comic-book's best loved arcs.
Why They Ended Up Disappointed: Brett Ratner took over, killed off Cyclops in the opening reel, did for Professor X an hour or so later, cast Vinnie Jones as Juggernaut, relegated Phoenix to the status of lowly henchwoman and spent more effort working out how to crowbar in an internet meme than he did fleshing out his characters.
Star Wars: Episode One - The Phantom Menace (2001)
Why People: A whole new chapter in Star Wars lore, as written by the genius behind the original trilogy? A high-quality cast including Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman? A bad guy sporting a double-ended lightsaber? No wonder the fans were at fever pitch heading into this one.
Why They Ended Up Disappointed: George Lucas seemed to have turned his back on the fans of the original trilogy in favour of winning over a new audience of impressionable kids. Hence the focus on irritating moppet Jake Lloyd and one of the worst sidekicks in movie history, Jar-Jar Binks. Sadly for Lucas fans, there was worse to come...
Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull (2008)
Why People Were Excited: All the original ingredients were in place, including both Spielberg and Lucas, and while Harrison Ford was knocking on a bit, we were still hopeful he could roll out some "too old for this shit" patter to paper over the cracks. Plus, it's Indy! How bad could it be?
Why They Ended Up Disappointed: Hmm, where to start? First off, there was the over-reliance on some distinctly shoddy CGI. Then there was Ray Winstone shouting "JONESY" every five minutes. And of course we mustn't forget that risible nuclear fridge moment. But most unforgivable was the fact that the story simply wasn't up to scratch. Aliens? No thanks.