Tech by VICE

Behold: The Worst of the Worst in Hollywood Big-Budget CGI

"Bad computers. Very bad computers."

by Rachel Pick
Mar 13 2016, 7:45pm

CGI is an important part of what makes big-budget, blockbuster movies worth the price of admission. It's been drawing crowds for everything from Jurassic Park to Mad Max: Fury Road. Still, sometimes it's really, really shitty—even in movies we still regard as modern classics.

But at least cringeworthy CGI is entertaining. Pop culture website WhatCulture made a supercut of what it considers the ten worst CGI failures in movies that should've had the money and talent to do better.

Starting off the countdown is a scene from Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, where Legolas takes down a mammoth-like creature called a Mumakil. Legolas' character model bounces off the CGI beast like a flea, and it looks ridiculous. Adam, a WhatCulture staffer and the video's narrator, says this may not have been so bad—if Return of the King hadn't won an Oscar for the weak effects.

The list also includes notorious groaner The Matrix Reloaded and Bond flick Die Another Day. "Everything about this is a turd sandwich," says Adam of a scene where Pierce Brosnan parasails/surfs (parasurfs?) across a roiling sea. I'll leave the first-place spot a mystery, but as the narrator says, it "would look bad in a Playstation 2 cutscene."

Most of these movies were released shortly after the turn of the 21st century, and it's safe to say CGI is in a much better place now, even in movies that are otherwise crap. After watching this countdown, it almost seems like more of a fondly acid memorial to an awkward fledgeling period in CGI history. It also made me want to watch Mad Max all over again, just to appreciate the effects.