Friday, January 6, 2017
The Worst Movies of 2016
There are some movies where the reviews are so bad, I'm not going to see them, and there are others I'm curious if they have a so-bad-it's-good quality that I just haven't gotten around to it. Movies I've heard bad things about that I haven't seen include Norm of the North, Dirty Grandpa, The Fifth Wave, Fifty Shades of Black, The Choice, The Bronze, God's Not Dead 2, The Boss, Mother's Day, The Darkness, Me Before You, Warcraft, Nine Lives, Ben-Hur, Mechanic: Resurrection, The Disappointments Room, The Wild Life, Keeping Up with the Joneses, I'm Not Ashamed, Inferno, Shut In, Bad Santa 2, Incarnate, Collateral Beauty and Assassin's Creed.
And to give you an idea of my tastes, here were my bottom five of the past few years:
2015 - Get Hard, Pixels, Mortdecai, The Gunman, Chappie
2014 - Annabelle, The Expendables 3, Winter's Tale, Transformers 4, Pompeii
2013 - Inappropriate Comedy, Movie 43, Only God Forgives, Die Hard 5, A Haunted House
2012 - Taken 2, Branded, Beneath the Darkness, Ghost Rider 2, Underworld Awakening
2011 - Hobo with a Shotgun, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt. 1, Sucker Punch, Sleeping Beauty, Dylan Dog: Dead of Night
2010 - Grown Ups, Cop Out, Sex & the City 2, Jonah Hex, Skyline
2009 - Transformers 2, Miss March, Bruno, Year One, Crank 2
2008 - Over Her Deady Body, Repo!: The Genetic Opera, Meet the Spartans, Strange Wilderness, Babylon A.D.
2007 - Epic Movie, September Dawn, Funny Money, Code Name: The Cleaner, Alien v. Predator 2
2006 - Date Movie, The Benchwarmers, Big Momma's House 2, The Libertine, BloodRayne
So let's get to 2016.
BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE - Zack Snyder has murdered everything about what made Superman popular in the first place. Which is a real shame, because Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot give us hope that Justice League has a lot of promise... as long as Snyder doesn't direct it.
BLAIR WITCH - Super disappointed in this sequel, which just followed all the plot beats of the first one, only with six people instead of three.
THE FOREST - Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones) gets lost in a Japanese forest, but anticipated scares never come.
GODS OF EGYPT - Ridiculous sword-and-sandals CGI adventure where most of the gods and people of Egypt are white.
RIDE ALONG 2 - Kevin Hart bugs his eyes and shouts maniacally to cover up that nothing inherently funny is happening.
ZOOLANDER 2 - Tons of fun cameos can't save a second movie that revolves around a central character this mind-numbingly stupid. It doesn't take long watching this movie to go "Maybe the first Zoolander wasn't that good either."
..... My Bottom Ten
10. SUICIDE SQUAD - This could have been really cool, but they made SO many bad decisions in its execution. It sets up a bunch of fun characters, and then it sends them down this plodding, video-game-shooter of a plot to stop two lame villains and their swirly sky-portal machine. Whoever thought of adding the Joker only to make him such a minor character needs their head examined.
9. KNIGHT OF CUPS - Writer/director Terrence Malick self-indulges and squanders an all-star cast once again. But at least it's pretty to look at.
8. ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS - This sequel takes the worst excesses of Tim Burton's movie and expounds on them. There's very little of Lewis Carroll in here but a ton of CGI nonsense and time-travel and I do not want to see what life was like for the Mad Hatter as a kid! I hope Disney reboots this in a few years and tries to be a little more faithful. If they can't be faithful to Carroll, at least try to be closer to their 1951 version.
7. LONDON HAS FALLEN - Pretty darn hard to be a good movie when Gerard Butler gets top billing. This starts with a way-too-successful terrorist plot of killing all of the West's leaders as they attend the funeral of the UK's Prime Minister, but somehow the US president escapes and is on the run. It's just ridiculous.
6. MOJAVE - Micro-budget experiment with a man who's being pursued in the California desert by a serial killer. Lots of machismo going on, but not even Oscar Isaac can save it.
5. INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE - Twenty years later... well, it turns out we didn't need this sequel. It retains a lot of the hokiness of the first movie, but there's a gaping hole with no Will Smith, and Liam Hemsworth can't fill it. I kinda wanted the aliens to win this time.
4. REGRESSION - Emma Watson doesn't do much more than furrow her brow in this lazy psychological drama from The Others' Alejandro Amenabar. Since it's obvious the whole time what the twist ending is, there's no point in slogging through the icky subject matter.
3. YOGA HOSERS - I had a great experience watching this at Sundance, with Kevin Smith talking to us before and after the movie. But this was sooooo stupid. A mad scientist is able to turn footlong sausages into Nazis who crawl up people's butts to kill them? Why?
2. THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR - Sarah Wayne Callies (Prison Break, The Walking Dead) stars in this by-the-numbers rip-off of Pet Sematary but set in India. There's not a single scare in it. Not even a jump-scare.
1. THE DIVERGENT SERIES: ALLEGIANT - A sequel so bad, the dramatic conclusion to the franchise was cancelled. This was a world that became less interesting the more it expanded. They never should have split the third book into two movies.