A soundtrack can make or break a movie. Songs that reinforce the feeling and texture of the visual scenes often end up triggering the most important moments in a movie. Other soundtracks distract from the plot, over-exert feelings of the story, or just make you question what the music producer was thinking. These are some of the worst culprits.
10. Tarzan (1999)
Tarzan’s soundtrack is full of tribal drums and dramatic exclamations by Phil Collins. It is a kid’s movie, so you can’t be too hard on the soundtrack, but Disney definitely did not live up to their reputation on this one. The Phil Collins tracks tend to be overly melodramatic, and they end up making the movie way more sappy than a story about a guy raised in the jungle should be.
The soundtrack is full of quirky, hard hitting guitar riffs where you can’t quite tell if the guitar player was trying to be funny or cool, just like Jim Carrey in almost all of his early movies.
You can’t listen to this without being thrown into the eighties, which always seems to take a weird spin on romantic angst. Songs by bands like The Smiths and The Psychedelic Furs drive home the feelings of self-pity and immature love, and do so in sickeningly dramatic fashion.
7. Grease 2
Let’s admit it. This movie probably should not have even been made. Grease was fine on its own, but they still decided to release a (still somewhat commercially successful) let down.
For a movie supposedly about young love and music, the soundtrack is pretty lackluster. It seems like they were going for a story about alternative kids in love and ended up with awkward scenes, sub-par acting, and boring music.
5. Batman (1989)
Prince doing the Batman soundtrack actually helped revive his career, even though the music is a sour stew of Prince’s glam and Gotham’s goth.
Basically a children’s movie on drugs with too much David Bowie.
3. The Great Gatsby (2013)
It is really easy to get wrapped up in a movie that is as over the top as The Great Gatsby. It is entertaining, mostly because it is visually and sonically off-the-charts. The dichotomy between the old-time aesthetic on screen and the modern party music, notably from Jay-Z and Beyoncé, was interesting, but it got played out pretty quickly. After awhile of hearing these ragers, the soundtrack distracts from the story and also gives one nagging thoughts about how big their budget must have been.
2. Titanic (1997)
This commercial cash-grab based off a human tragedy is also a terrible love story with an equally as painstaking soundtrack. Most of the music compliments this sad, romantic plot line, and does so in a way that neatly packages the film for the masses to fall in love with.
1. Top Gun
I am still not sure what anyone finds interesting about this cheesy excuse for an action movie, especially when you have to look at Tom Cruise’s pretty-boy face the whole time. Some of the worst musical moments come with “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin and “Danger Zone”by Kenny Loggins, which are used multiple times throughout the film. The disorienting plot, questionable character relationships, and meaningless pilot talk only helps these failure moments stand out. The movie and soundtrack itself were made to appeal to typical male emotions, which probably explains why it was such a great recruitment tool for the armed forces.