QUICK QUESTION: What Are the WORST TV-to-Movie Adaptations?

By Price Peterson

Feb 29, 2012

Recently we asked you to name your favorite TV-to-movie adaptations. It was a pretty easy thing to do, seeing as there are not very many excellent movies based on TV shows. So let's take off our kid gloves and delve into that question's unfortunate flip side: What are the absolute WORST TV-to-movie adaptations?

As you may know, there are A LOT of options! Here are the eight that immediately come to mind for me:

Æon Flux (2005)

Rotten Tomatoes score: 10%

Why I Don't Like It: MTV's Liquid Television spin-off Æon Flux was a lot of things: hyper-stylized, hyper-violent, and hyper-original. This limp, outrageously boring adaptation missed the mark so badly, it ended up a generic action movie filmed on a direct-to-video budget. What was the point exactly?

Sex and the City 2 (2010)

Rotten Tomatoes score: 15%

Why I Don't Like It: Talk about a drop-off in quality: The original early seasons of HBO's Sex and the City still hold up to this day as a clever, heartfelt, and insightful look at modern women's love lives. But this seemingly THREE-HOUR stinkfest is nothing but a parade of product placements and awful one-liners. By the time the ladies attempt to inspire a feminist revolution in the streets of Dubai, the whole thing just becomes one cartoonish circus.

The Mod Squad (1999)

Rotten Tomatoes score: 4%

Why I Don't Like It: It's not clear who this movie was for: Fans of the original '70s TV show who were tired of the word "mod" being used correctly, or teenagers who couldn't have cared less about the original? Either way, The Mod Squad managed to thoroughly waste a trio of the best young actors of the era on an unbelievably boring plot which was filmed in the most obnoxiously unwatchable "style." Seriously, try to get through ten minutes of this thing.

Scooby-Doo (2002)

Rotten Tomatoes score: 30%

Why I Don't Like It: People can debate all day about just why Scooby-Doo didn't work. Personally, I thought the cast was fine, and the James Gunn screenplay worked all right. But the fatal flaw was the truly terrible CGI "star," with his creepy human eyes and endlessly terrible sight gags. Honestly, this cartoon dog made me wish those toxic waste drums from Who Framed Roger Rabbit were a real thing. DIP THIS TOON.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

Rotten Tomatoes score: 20%

Why I Don't Like It: I feel like the bare minimum standard a movie needs to meet is that I can understand what I'm looking at at any given time. I don't know if that ever happened during Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. I remember there were parents getting stoned, and also a seemingly endless whirlwind of loud shrapnel, and then four hours later this movie was STILL HAPPENING.

Inspector Gadget (1999)

Rotten Tomatoes score: 21%

Why I Don't Like It: Let's just ignore the fact that Andy Dick had a prominent part in this movie or that Rupert Everett played DOCTOR CLAW. My main gripe against this piece of garbage is the horribly racist, jive-talkin' ghetto CAR. Shame on you, Ferris.

Mr. Magoo (1997)

Rotten Tomatoes score: 4%

Why I Don't Like It: Probably the best way we can honor the life and legacy of the late American hero Leslie Nielsen is to never look at the later sections of his resume ever again.

The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008)

Rotten Tomatoes score: 32%

Why I Don't Like It: This is a painful one because I absolutely adore the original show, and I saw the first X-Files movie in theaters four times (I worked at a megaplex at the time, but still). Why on earth was this second movie so terrible? Allegedly it was produced during the WGA strike, but that's no excuse for the presence of Xzibit as an FBI agent or the fact that Mulder and Scully were assigned easily the most boring, low-stakes case of their career. Oh, and did you stay into the credits to catch the final shot of Mulder and Scully chillin' in a boat in their swimwear and WAVING at the camera? What the—? You know what, nevermind. R.I.P. The X-Files.


What are YOUR least favorite movie adaptations of TV shows?

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  • mjk001 Jun 10, 2012

    Sorry to be a party pooper, but I loved the last X-Files movie. I kept returning to that show because of the intrigue of each episode, whether it came from the mythology or whether it was stand alone. I Want to Believe serves as an extended stand alone. It was typical Mulder and Scully from start to finish. It made me want even more, which I guess will never happen because it didn't make much money. I guess I'll just wait a year and then start all over again at the beginning.

  • MJPETTY7 May 06, 2012

    G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra ticked me off because I grew up watching the show and then the Valor Vs Venom movie (which is AMAZING!), and then had to suffer through that! Not scoring any points in my book... The second one looks promising...

  • MJPETTY7 May 06, 2012

    I liked the Scooby-Doo movie too!!!! Also, the reason people hate on X-Files: I Want To Believe was because it was an X-File episode, not an alien plot movie. Otherwise, it was great. I do, however, agree that Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen should have been so much better...

  • karmen179 Mar 16, 2012

    i soooooooo agree with you about the xfiles second movie. I too loved the series and the first movie. Such a disapointment the second one...

  • Miss_Mouse88 Mar 07, 2012

    I liked that Scooby Doo movie!

    The Last Airbender should be up there, I mean, the TV series was soooo good too!

  • riottgrrrl Mar 06, 2012

    i Spy blew

  • saizen33 Mar 05, 2012

    The previews for the X-Files movie showed so much of the movie (i.e. all of the exciting parts), that when I saw it, It felt like I had already seen the movie. Very dissapointing!

  • pudgebyrd722 Mar 05, 2012

    I loved the Scooby-Doo Movie. I want to know what dimwit comes up with this.

  • codakatz Mar 04, 2012

    "Stargate: Continuum" wasn't bad. I agree, though, mostly some of the Star Trek films and "Serenity" are about the only decent ones to be made. Maybe the first 2 "Mission Impossible" films.

  • EdmundAllen Mar 03, 2012

    how about movie to tv adaptations

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