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John Travolta Has More Movies With A 0% Rotten Tomatoes Score Than You Thought

John Travolta has had one of the most fluctuating careers as an actor in recent memory. His career kicked off in the 1970s where he hit it big with roles in films such as the Stephen King screen adaptation "Carrie," the beloved musical romance "Grease," and his Oscar-nominated performance in "Saturday Night Fever," which popularized the disco movement during the decade. Even afterwards, he turned in some stellar work, including his acclaimed performance in 1981's "Blow Out," that would later help him star in Quentin Tarantino's sprawling nineties game changer "Pulp Fiction" (and earn him a second Oscar nomination for best actor), as well as the action crime sci-fi "Face/Off" alongside Nicolas Cage.

But even with his bevy of iconic performances, Travolta has had some major — yes, major – duds throughout his career. And while films such as "Battlefield Earth," and "The Fanatic" didn't do much to impress critics, there are a surprising number of projects from the longtime actor that have been critically nuked. Try not to wince too hard as Looper goes through the very bottom of the barrel of Travolta's career.


In what the New York Post's Johnny Oleksinski considers the worst mob movie ever made, 2018's "Gotti" has become one of the latest in the actor's infamous filmography to garner fascination on just how bad it is. The crime biopic, which chronicles the life of crime boss John Gotti and his son, went through production hell to get made, taking eight years, several directors and producers, and numerous delays. It comes as no surprise that the final product is as awful as they come. 

Perhaps Travolta and the creators were hoping for some of the magic from "Goodfellas," 'The Godfather," or even Travolta's own "Get Shorty" or "Pulp Fiction" to rub off on the mob movie and transform it into the new standard of the subgenre. That combined with the already insane real-life story of John Gotti (per Biography) should've spelled a hit. But nothing could be further from the truth. While Travolta himself does his best to keep up the charisma, it does little to hide the confusing narrative, shoddy filmmaking, and messy structure, along with the problematic nature of trying to have the audience sympathize with Gotti after the terrible things he was found guilty of. The Rotten Tomatoes consensus probably states it best, reading, "Fuhgeddaboudit." And do so, we will.

Life on the Line

What could make for a worse disaster than being caught in a deadly storm in the middle of an electric grid? Easy — it's trying to endure "Life on the Line." In the direct-to-video thriller based on a true story, a Texas team doing some electrical work gets caught in a dangerous storm. It doesn't sound like a mind-bending formula to pull off, right? Keep raising the stakes, have some tense scenarios, throw in a few likable characters you want to see make it out, boom, you got it. But "Life on the Line" lacks just about all of these elements. 

Admittedly, the filmmakers do have their hearts in the right place, as the film intends to honor the hard work and sacrifice that these workers put in to deliver the country's electrical needs. But in a way, it almost makes the end product more insulting. The lacking nature of the bland, predictable motion picture is exactly the reason as to why critics found it such a wreck. Chock full of cliches, needless overacting, and painful melodrama, the 97-minute picture will feel as though 97 years have passed by the end. The immense efforts of the real-life workers deserve far better treatment than this. And so does the audience.  

Look Who's Talking Now

The "Look Who's Talking" trilogy is famous for being Travolta's low point before getting into "Pulp Fiction." Starting with the surprise 1989 box office hit "Look Who's Talking" and continuing with the following year's "Look Who's Talking Too," the series centers on the point of view of baby Mikey (whose thoughts are voiced by Bruce Willis) as he goes through baby shenanigans with his mother (Kirstie Alley) and loving step father (Travolta). The final installment in this disaster of a trilogy sees the family get a pair of dogs, voiced by Danny DeVito and Diane Keaton of all people. 

These movies weren't great to start with, but "Looking Who's Talking Now" crushes any minuscule charm that this franchise might have hoped to salvage, delivering an immature and overly childish experience. It's clear that most of the cast, Travolta included, want to be done with this mess, delivering corny performances that reek of phoniness. You'd think DeVito and Keaton would at least bring liveliness to their voice roles, but even they sound like they're putting in the bare minimum. Thankfully this entry came out to be a box office bomb (and has a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes), putting this franchise to sleep for good.

Speed Kills

Come on. Wasn't one awful Travolta crime drama movie in 2018 bad enough? Apparently not. "Speed Kills" tells the decade-spanning true story of multimillionaire Ben Arnoff (who they changed from the real-life name Donald Aronow ...because?) who uses his love of speedboats to get involved with shipping cocaine, eventually getting him in trouble with dangerous drug lords. While "Gotti" is far from the acclaimed masterpiece it was likely hoping to be, it's at least so fascinatingly atrocious that there's at least some fun to be had with it. The same cannot be said for "Speed Kills" which is undeniably worse. 

There's no way around this one — this movie stinks. Hard. Devoid of the tension that even the most lackluster crime movies at least attempt to make work, not even Travolta performance stands out as he practically phones it in from the beginning. The lack of energy is made worse by its incomprehensible storytelling and editing, engaging the audience about as well as watching grass grow. None of its endless cliches feels remotely organic or earned. No matter which way you look at it, the only thing speed managed to kill in this movie were the reputations of all involved in producing this disaster. 

Staying Alive

It comes as no surprise that someone with as many low scores on Rotten Tomatoes as John Travolta would also be involved in a film with an awkward history. That's exactly the case with "Staying Alive," which remains the oldest film on Rotten Tomatoes to receive a 0%. Ouch. What makes it an especially heavy blow, however, is that this is the official sequel to one of the actor's most acclaimed and iconic roles in "Saturday Night Fever." Double ouch. Written and directed by Sylvester Stallone, the film sees Tony Manero, who's struggling to make it as a dancer and earn his way to Broadway.

Stripping away all the relatable drama from the original and replacing it with uninspired songs and a disjointed narrative, this overly commercial stinker did not fly with audiences back then or today. It almost feels as though Stallone is attempting to force the feel and tone of his "Rocky" franchise into this story, which was the total wrong direction to go. It's simply one of those sequels that never grasps what made its predecessor work so well, while also creating its own host of problems in the process. It's best to save your energy and dance away from this one. 

The Poison Rose

Imagine you're in an elevator and are given a quick pitch. John Travolta, Morgan Freeman, and Brendan Frasier star in a sprawling noir-inspired mystery thriller. Sign us up! But sadly, you'd probably have more fun watching paint dry. The same year as his infamous turn as Moose in "The Fanatic," Travolta graced us with another double whammy of awfulness with "The Poison Rose," also known as internationally as "An Eye for an Eye." The film sees Travolta portray a hard-edged detective who takes on a missing person case only to discover that it is connected to a more complex web of crime. 

With a promising cast and an inspired setting, "Poison Rose" sounds like a surefire hit, even if it doesn't sound like the most original idea. But nothing could be further from that sentiment. Wanting to emulate the feel of a classic crime noir, the film does nothing to make an identity for itself, rather reverting to rehashing tired cliché after tired cliché. And it doesn't even execute those basic elements well. Not only is the dialogue a complete joke, but the uninspired performances make it seem as though nobody cared about anything going on. It's another bomb that has been buried in the pits of Travolta's filmography and for good reason.

Trading Paint

Last and certainly least, we have Travolta's attempt to create a feel-good, inspiring sports drama experience. Surprise, surprise, it unsurprisingly backfires. The story focuses on a race car driver who finds conflict with his son when he teams up with an old racing nemesis (played by fellow Tarantino alum Michael Madsen). A story like this doesn't need to break new ground. It doesn't need to provide any crazy twists. The only two things we ask for in a sports drama are fun sports and effective drama. 

"Trading Paint" has only half of what makes a formula. It certainly has sports ... but barely any drama to make anyone care. Everything is painfully predictable from start to finish, and no one seems invested. There are hardly any stakes or risks to anything happening on screen, so you're left with a ridiculously flat experience that doesn't even give you a drop of adrenaline to absorb. It seems as though Travolta and company left any potential for this film to work long forgotten in the garage and it's likely that's where it will remain.