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Comedies That Bombed With A Zero Rating On Rotten Tomatoes

There's nothing quite as unsatisfying as a bad comedy. An awful horror flick might provide some unexpected laughs; an atrocious action film might have a few impressive stunts. But watching someone who's supposed to be funny — and failing in every possible way — is just downright painful. However, while the world is full of soul-crushing, mind-numbing comedies — think Jack and Jill or The Adventures of Pluto Nash — there are only a few with a zero percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. These are the so-called "comedies" that lack a single ounce of humor, that drain the life out of every audience, and that couldn't win the approval of a single critic. (And remember, there are a few critics who actually liked Furry Vengeance, so that should tell you something about these gems.) From pathetic sequels to ill-advised passion projects, here are some of the cringeworthy comedies that bombed with a zero rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

A sequel that stings

Directed by George Roy Hill, The Sting was a pop culture sensation in 1973. The movie reunited Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid stars Paul Newman and Robert Redford as old-timey hustlers pulling an elaborate scam on a dangerous gangster, earned $156 million, picked up seven Oscars (including Best Picture), and got people listening to Scott Joplin again.

So it makes sense that Universal Studios wanted to make a sequel, but they screwed up their con job from the very beginning. First, the studio waited ten years before putting part two on the screen. Second, they made a film that felt like a direct copy of the first movie (minus all the charm and humor). But the biggest mistake was replacing the two leads, Newman and Redford, with comedian Jackie Gleason and country singer Mac Davis.

Think about that for just a second. Newman and Redford are two of Hollywood's most iconic leading men, and could win over audiences with just the twinkle in their eyes. Replacing them with a semi-famous musician and a past-his-prime comedian (a very talented man, but not exactly the "King of Cool") was a major mistake. It was like getting Toby Keith and Steve Martin to play Captain America and Iron Man — and as a result, the movie bombed with a measly $6 million and critics ripped it apart, with People describing The Sting II as a "clumsy counterfeit that is a real-life con game involving the ticket buyer."

Hollywood's worst road trip

Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky, Homer and Eddie has largely been forgotten by comedy fans, and that's probably because this 1989 film just isn't funny. Sure, it tries to be...but it also wants to be a heavy-handed drama. And while that convergence of tears and laughter might work for some films, here it results in a schizophrenic disaster.

The movie follows a mentally challenged man named Homer (James Belushi) who wants to visit his long-lost parents, so he decides to hitchhike his way to Oregon. Along the way, he gets picked up by Eddie (Whoopi Goldberg), a murderous maniac who's dying of cancer and just escaped from a mental ward. Naturally, the two form a friendship, learn about life, and give Oscar-bait performances that involve a lot of screaming, squealing, and super sappy discussions.

As critic David Cornelius describes it, "Belushi is all geeky fey mannerisms; Goldberg's all about the loud-freak out and the crazy twitching." It also doesn't help that Eddie is a thoroughly unlikable character and not much happens to redeem her as the story meanders on. In between the discussions about God and the gags involving an overweight prostitute, Belushi's and Goldberg's eccentricities keep piling up until you can't help but lose your mind.

Why Denzel Washington doesn't do comedy

Written and directed by James D. Parriott, Heart Condition follows a racist cop (Bob Hoskins) who suffers a heart attack, but narrowly avoids death after receiving a heart transplant from his recently deceased arch-rival, a smarmy lawyer played by Denzel Washington. Hoskins finds himself haunted by Washington's ghost, a spirit who keeps pestering the cop to change his diet and live a healthier lifestyle. On top of that, Washington is trying to convince Hoskins to get together with a prostitute (who Washington impregnated) and solve his murder when Hoskins has time to spare.

That plot is really out there, and worse still, the movie has had a hard time deciding if wants t be a light-hearted buddy comedy or a grim police procedural. "What's weird about Heart Condition," Roger Ebert wrote, "is that it slips back and forth so cheerfully across the line between comic fantasy and brutal urban reality."

In addition to its big tonal mess, the movie features quite a bit of racist humor, which shouldn't be surprising as the film was produced by Steve Tisch — the same guy behind Soul Man. Even the director knew it was a disaster, later telling The Ringer, "I don't think that script was where it could have been or should have been." While we can't say for sure this film killed Washington's appetite for starring in comedies, it's safe to say he probably lost the heart for it after this film.

Hitler and Goofy and Aykroyd, oh my

Released in 1990, Loose Cannons is an absolute mishmash of talent. The script was co-written by Richard Matheson (I Am Legend, Twilight Zone episodes like "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet"), directed by Bob Clark (Porky's, A Christmas Story, Rhinestone), and starred Gene Hackman and Dan Aykroyd. Throw all those names into a creative stew, and you get a horrible mess involving Nazis, Israeli spies, S&M clubs, and an overweight pimp played by Dom DeLuise.

The plot involves a detective (Hackman) and a forensics expert (Aykroyd) trying to solve a string of murders related to a pornographic film involving a high-profile German politician and Adolf Hitler himself. Showing up in a porno with history's most infamous dictator isn't good for your career, so the politician wants to get rid of anybody who's seen the film. And that where's Hackman and Aykroyd come in, racing against time to find the movie and stop the slayings.

Unfortunately, Aykroyd's character doesn't handle pressure very well, and whenever he gets stressed, he switches personalities and channels fictional characters like Captain Kirk, the Cowardly Lion, Dirty Harry, and Goofy. As you might assume, this joke wears thin fast. Really, Aykroyd isn't the guy you want for this kind of comedy. Instead, several critics argued the filmmakers should've cast Robin Williams in the role, but even the clown prince of impressions couldn't have saved the movie from its nonsensical story and lousy direction. As Vincent Canby wrote for The New York Times, "Loose Cannons runs only 94 minutes but goes on for hours and hours and hours."

Please stop talking now

John Travolta's career has seen some incredible highs and some embarrassing lows, but he arguably hit rock bottom with Look Who's Talking Now, the final installment in the Look Who's Talking trilogy. The series got started in 1989, with Travolta playing a cab driver who falls in love with a single mom played by Kirstie Alley. The twist here is that Alley's baby can talk (sort of), and he sounds like Bruce Willis. In the sequel, Alley and Travolta have a daughter who sounds like Roseanne Barr; in part three, TriStar Pictures decided to give Travolta two bickering dogs who eventually fall in love... dogs that sound like Danny DeVito and Diane Keaton.

On paper, this sounds like the most miserable idea ever. In practice, it's exactly that. Talking dogs have never worked outside Lady and the Tramp, and multiple critics slammed the movie as a ripoff of the beloved Disney film. But instead of of romantic spaghetti dinners, Look Who's Talking Now is loaded with lousy quips, poop jokes, and lines that feel a little out of place in a kid's film, like DeVito's mutt asking Keaton's poodle, "What do you say you and me go play bury the bone?" The movie desperately tries to pad out its running time with jaw-droppingly bad fantasy sequences, one of which features a pointless Charles Barkley cameo.

Look Who's Talking Now was trashed by critics and scorned by audiences. The movie grossed a paltry $10 million — $130 million less than the first film in the series. Fortunately, Travolta landed a gig with an up-and-coming director named Quentin Tarantino, and the actor's very next film, Pulp Fiction, got everybody talking.

McConaughey misses the wave

Before Dallas Buyers Club, before Magic Mike, before the "McConaissance," Matthew McConaughey was struggling to keep his head above water by starring in romantic comedies that people forgot about before they were even done watching them, and his career was far from all right (all right, all right). But McConaughey wasn't content with making films like Failure to Launch and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Instead, he had a passion project on his mind — Surfer, Dude, which combined catching waves, smoking weed, and walking around without a shirt.

The plot involves a stoned surfer (McConaughey) who just wants to enjoy the ocean. Unfortunately, Mother Nature and the Man are getting in the way, so McConaughey fights back with the power of pot. And as this movie co-stars Woody Harrelson and Willie Nelson, there's a whole lot of ganja going on. Sadly, it was a complete wipeout with the critics, with Michael Ordoña of the Los Angeles Times saying, "It's reminiscent of the stoner-culture movies of the late '60s and '70s but without the naive fun."

Not a single major studio wanted to release the film. Instead, it was put out by Anchor Bay Entertainment, a company that specializes in direct-to-DVD films and did almost nothing to promote it. As a result, the movie earned a pathetic $52,000 against a $6 million budget. Fortunately, The Lincoln Lawyer came along in 2011 and saved McConaughey's career, leaving Surfer, Dude adrift in the sea of bad Hollywood comedies.

Staying far away from the Finkels

In 2011, Martin Freeman finally broke into the mainstream — one year after he started solving crimes as John Watson and one year before going on his unexpected journey as Bilbo Baggins. But crammed in between Sherlock and The Hobbit, there's a dismal rom-com that Freeman would probably like to forget. Written and directed by Jonathan Newman, Swinging with the Finkels is about a husband and wife (Freeman and Mandy Moore) who are getting a little bored with each other, so they decide to hook up with another couple and do a little partner-swapping to spice up their marriage.

Unfortunately for Freeman, Swinging with the Finkels is the kind of movie where Mandy Moore uses a cucumber as a sex toy before accidentally shooting it across the room and hitting a surprised Jerry Stiller in the crotch. Worse still, it's not anywhere close to being funny. The movie is full of racist jokes, homophobic humor, and a bunch of lousy sex gags that just go limp, and Moore and Freeman lack any kind of real chemistry, prompting IndieWire critic Gabe Toro to describe the film as "alien to any and all human behavior."

Kevin James didn't kill it with the critics

If you visit Kevin James' page on Rotten Tomatoes, you'll see a lot of green splotches. There's Zookeeper with 14 percent, Grown Ups with ten percent, and Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 with a measly five percent. But if you're looking for the ultimate Kevin James calamity, then head over to Netflix and check out The True Memoirs of an International Assassin, the worst-reviewed film of the comedian's career.

Directed and co-written by Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2), this 2016 film follows a schlubby writer (James) who finds bestselling success with his novel about an international assassin. Unfortunately, his publisher is marketing the book as non-fiction, so everybody thinks James is a real-life assassin. As a result, he's kidnapped, taken to Venezuela, and finds himself in the middle of a deadly game involving South American revolutionaries and a Russian gangster.

Honestly, it's not a bad premise, but the execution is completely "meh." Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of The A.V. Club described the film as "a poor man's Edgar Wright movie" that relies way too much on the "nominal humor of a doughy, middle-aged man running and fighting in slow motion." Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com said the movie keeps using the same gags over and over, like "multiple scenes of Sam imagining action sequences that don't really happen" and moments where the filmmakers (continually) play "Spanish-language version of American pop songs" in a vain attempt for laughs.

J.K. Simmons deserves better than this

This 2017 film finds J.K. Simmons playing an ultra-manly dad whose 20-something daughter (Analeigh Tipton) has disappeared, so he teams up with his daughter's ex-boyfriend, a banjo-loving hippie played by Emile Hirsch. Together, the two search for Simmons' kid; along the way, they encounter a whole host of bizarre characters while Simmons teaches Hirsch how to be a real "man." (In case you're wondering, it involves eating steak and listening to Bob Seger music.)

Aside from its very specific views on manhood, critics agreed the movie suffers from some shoddy directing and a weak script. As Derek Smith of Slant Magazine put it, All Nighter is a movie that's "constantly shifting its genre allegiances, and clumsily so." It jumps back and forth from "mystery" to "mismatched-buddy movie" to "inspirational redemptive drama," and sadly, it can't stick any of its landings. Tipton doesn't have much to do, and pretty much everybody agreed that Gavin Wiesen just wasn't the right director for the job. Still, Simmons does his best to get audiences laughing, because slump or no slump, the man is always a pro.

Don't get conned by all these actors

Directed by James Haslam, The Con Is On boasts a pretty incredible cast led by Stephen Fry, Crispin Glover, Parker Posey, and Sofia Vergara. Unfortunately, that's also where the picture gets into trouble. Meant to be a slick heist caper, The Con Is On has a bunch of character actors running around filling time by giving "unleashed performances" and trying to distract the audience from the fact it's missing any laughs whatsoever.

The plot revolves around a con artist/drug runner (played by the glamorous Uma Thurman) who owes money to a dangerous kingpin (Maggie Q), so she decides to steal a priceless jewel from her alcoholic husband's ex-wife (Tim Roth and Alice Eve, respectively). But the film just can't compare to a heist film like Ocean's Eleven, as it relies on "edgy" humor — like a cursing nun smuggling cocaine — that really isn't all that edgy.

That impressive cast actually weighs the movie down, as the characters are just loud, eccentric, and lacking any real human elements. As film critic Matt Zoller Seitz put it, "This is the kind of movie that seems to think a heap of outrageous details equal a characterization." So while it's always nice to see Uma Thurman in action, it's hard not to wish this particular film wasn't trying to con audiences into wasting an hour and 30 minutes of their time watching it.