John Travolta has exemplified a very impressive career, one that some people felt was resurrected by his role as Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction. There isn’t much debate about some of his more questionable 80’s flicks (Two Of A Kind-but I still liked it!), but for me it’s been the past few decades where I find his filmatic choices much more random. For every bad film listed here I could easily counter with one or two good ones, but these still exist. We get on Nic Cage, Sam Jackson, and Chris Walken for being the yes men of Hollywood, but they aren’t the only ones. Here are my ten least favorite John Travolta movies. Note that I’ve excluded Face/Off which many who’ve read Movie Mobsters or listened to the MILFcast know I cannot stand and therefore my lack of appreciation for these should reign fairly poignantly with you.
10. WILD HOGS
This is fairly a debatable option on this list, but I find the disappointment of what could have been such an enjoyable flick with so many charismatic likable guys absolutely drowned under its weight and perhaps expectations.
Positive Alternate Option: A Civil Action-A great crime thriller where Travolta isn’t over the top but is the vessel for an excellent story.
Boring, boring, boring. Snooze. I found it annoying, patronizing, and without any redeeming entertaining qualities. And for good measure let’s throw Travolta in there dancing again. Pfft.
Positive Alternate Option: Phenomenon-A film that came out the same year that featured a normal man with sudden powers.
8. DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE
There is absolutely no redeeming quality about this awful film. Travolta is bland in it, Vince Vaughn can act outside of his comedic comfort zone but is so melodramatic it turns into a comedic performance. Most importantly it really doesn’t do the topic at hand.
Positive Alternate Option: Basic-a compelling military flick directed by John McTiernan that came out only a year later.
7. LOOK WHO’S TALKING SEQUELS
The original had its cuteness and likability but the subsequent sequels were over the top, ridiculous, and absolutely obnoxious. These sequels are what I think a lot of people saw as Travolta’s career circling the drain until Pulp Fiction came around.
Positive Alternate Option: Pulp Fiction-The grace that saved Travolta from sequel hell.
Perfect still seems a desperate attempt to keep alive the idea of Travolta as a sex symbol and the lead man of Grease and SNF that could dance, sing, and get the hottest girl. Jamie Lee Curtis was hot it this film but it was utterly ridiculous.
Positive Alternate Option: Grease-where he’s sexy, sings, dances, and in a story that is painful to watch.
5. STAYING ALIVE
Over the top, utter nonsense, trying to capitalize on everything that was smooth and great about Saturday Night Fever. We all love to watch Travolta dance, but I’d rather wait for quality than quantity.
Positive Alternate Option: See the original. Saturday Night Fever is everything that Staying Alive isn’t.
4. THE PUNISHER
One of the few films that I couldn’t stomach finishing. I realize this is actually a fan favorite in some capacities and may have sported a few smooth moments, but the movie itself was obnoxious, boring, and over the top, with no swagger of its own to compensate for its lack of ingenuity. No affection for Thomas Jane or Travolta could sway me on this one.
Positive Alternate Option: Swordfish
3. BROKEN ARROW
I looooooooooooooooathe Broken Arrow. It’s utterly ridiculous. Christian Slater is at his worst and he’s coupled by Travolta at his worst. I’m all for an over the top action flick without realism attached to it, but even I couldn’t stomach what they were selling me.
Positive Alternate Option: The Boy In The Plastic Bubble-because it’s even better than this awful film.
2. BATTLEFIELD EARTH
I feel it’s almost unnecessary to rip this film to shreds as its already been destroyed by critics and movie fans alike, but it really is utter poop. The kind of poop you take a photo of in the toilet and send it to people in your phone that you don’t really like.
Positive Alternate Option: Any movie is an improvement over this but I recommend Urban Cowboy, so you can remember how damn good Travolta actually is.
1. BE COOL
This has to sit as number one on my list because of how great Get Shorty was. The anticipation that built up to this was utter insanity to me, but the mere fact that they made it a PG-13 flick instead of “R” was enough of an insult to Elmore Leonard’s fantastic novel.
Positive Alternative Option: -the original and the genius of violence and humor.