There’s more CGI in movies and TV than you probably realized. It’s often sprinkled throughout scenes to make things easier either for the sound guys, the stunt guys, or to fix something that no-one noticed until post. But sometimes, directors overstep the limits of the technology. Because of budget or lack of time, the result is CGI that ruins the movie. We called out the first four worst CGI sequences of all time in the Part I post, and here’s six more.
10 Worst CGI Sequences in Movies
Apologies if you’d scrubbed this movie from your memory, but what the hell? It’s not just a lousy sequence; it’s the entire production. The technology eliminates the actor’s ability to emote. In the movie’s climax, an expressionless Beowulf cut off his own arm before ripping the heart out of the dragon and plunging to his death.
The Ring Two
Bad CGI tanked this movie from the start, despite the original Japanese Ring movie director showing up to salvage it. Perhaps the worst offense is the mob of deer that attacks Naomi Watts’s car in the Oregon woods. They’re rendered so poorly that the scene fails to create any tension.
Air Force One
Air Force One is a good movie–until the last 5 minutes. Impressive special effects punctuate the action throughout the film, including the tanker plane exploding mid-air. Air Force One crashes into the ocean in the last scene, taking down the traitor with it. And it’s horrible. Boss Film Studios handled the CGI work and didn’t have time to do the final rendering on the last scene. The half-way finished product went in for the film release, and Boss closed their doors immediately after.
One problem stemming from white men dominating Hollywood is when they try to write blockbuster films with complicated leading ladies; you end up with a disaster like Cat Woman. There’s no denying Halle Berry is an exceptional actress, so the blame falls on the director when she generates a performance like in this movie. She’s dragged down even further by the ridiculous use of CGI throughout. Warner Bros. rushed Cat Woman to release after canceling another superhero movie and reportedly shelled out 14 million to Berry for her part.
The Matrix Reloaded
Oof. The problem with sequels is that there’s an unspoken pressure to make something more impressive than the original. In pursuit of such lofty goals, many filmmakers overreach their capabilities. That’s how you end up with the disaster of Neo versus Smiths. The baffling part is why they still featured slow motion through the scene to highlight the lack of detail and awkward movements of the CGI characters. Great Foley work, though.
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
There’s a lot of really great CGI through the entire LotR trilogy, and they set some epic goals for themselves, including the Battle of Helm’s Deep. The cringe-worthy scene is the Battle of the Hornburg when Legolas takes down an Oliphant and orc riders all on his own. The elf is just a smear of pixels on the screen, swooping around, interspersed with footage of Orlando Bloom looking intense. It’s a jarring, if brief, technical failure in the movie which still won an Oscar for its visual effects.