Sunday, 7 December 2014

My Top 5 Worst Films of 2014

For the most part, my blogging experience is for talking about and celebrating awesome movies. Films that make you woop, cheer, punch the air, cry, gasp and sing with joy.

And yet, there is the odd film that sticks out as being utter shite. Every now and again, a movie comes along that is just so bad, so completely crap it just has to be ripped apart. Welcome then, to my Top 5 Worst Films of 2014.

This was a tough post to write - I don't generally watch a lot of movies I know are going to suck, and tend to use others reviews as a way of weeding out those that do. This means I haven't got a lot of this years notorious stinkers to talk about - I haven't seen The Other Woman, Blended, Tammy, Annabelle, Ouija, As Above So Below or A Haunted House 2 (amongst others) so I can't really speak for how monumentally awful they are. A big thanks to the brave other bloggers out there for taking those bullets for me though ;)

Anyway, without further ado, here's a rundown of the five worst films I've seen from 2014.

Honourable mentions: Pompeii, Let's Be Cops, Dracula Untold, The Monuments Men, Sex Tape and Hercules

5th - 47 Ronin

Keanu + kung-fu + witches + feudal Japan = awesome...right?

Not quite. 47 Ronin, which hit cinemas way back in the graveyard slot of January, angled itself as a stylish retelling of an age-old Japanese fable about 47 samurai who redeemed their honour by overthrowing an evil tyrant. It was slick and silly, but effectively hammered the final nail in the coffin once it steered itself into wacky fantasy territory.

It feels as though 47 Ronin was aiming for a Clash of the Titans meets The Last Samurai vibe, but the mythical elements just don't mesh with the traditional Japanese aspects. The end result is a messy, Westernised butchering of a cherished tale. Plus, the CGI was awful, the plot was dull and the acting was woeful. Not a great way to kick off the year, but there was certainly worse things to come.

4th - Lucy

Read my original review of Lucy here

This one is likely to ruffle some feathers - would you believe I saw a review from a fellow blogger who gave this film five stars? FIVE STARS. What the hell bro!? It sucked!

Anyway, earlier in the year Luc Besson gave us Lucy, the stupidest smart film of 2014. Or is that the smartest stupid film? Whichever way you cut the cheese, this film was really dumb. Essentially, Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) ingests a ridiculous amount of drugs and rather than Jimi Hendrixing, she unlocks the rest of her brain and gets superpowers. Super strength, speed, intelligence, telekinesis - you name it, she somehow learnt it from a really extreme method of Nintendo DS brain-training.

The film basically revolves around this ludicrous premise until Lucy reaches 100% brain capacity and turns into...God? I think? I don't know, she somehow travels in time, engulfs a computer in black goo and then spat out a USB drive containing everything she'd learnt about everything ever. And you thought Interstellar didn't make sense...

ScarJo is kick-ass, but her character becomes alien and completely devoid of emotion after about 45 minutes. Morgan Freeman's entire purpose revolves around providing exposition and Amr Waked's police detetive serves one purpose - to act as a reminder of what humanity means to Lucy, and the film makes no effort to disguise that, effectively spelling it out for the audience in one scene.

I don't know what Besson was trying to accomplish, but he certainly didn't capture any grand, philosophical metaphors with Lucy - just messy, scatterbrained hogwash.

3rd - Robocop 

Read my original review of Robocop here

Remember Robocop? Nah, me neither. Seriously, I had completely forgotten this movie ever happened, let alone be released this year. This one has kind of faded away into nothingness since February.

I guess we all kind of expected this one was going to suck as remakes very rarely strike gold. Whose bright idea was it to remake one of the most iconic and cherished 80's action movies anyway? Whoever they are, they'd better leave Back to the Future alone or I'm going to flip.

Anyway, back to Robocop. Not only was this movie dull, it also wasted the array of acting talent that signed on - it stars Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman and Samuel L. Jackson, yet never let's them shine. The lead - Joel Kinnaman - is an unremarkable everyman that is robotic even before he's turned into a cyborg and Abbie Cornish is just left to cry at home because her husband is a cold, emotionless killing machine.

Unlike the original, no-one will remember or even care that 2014 Robocop exists in 30 years time. It's a shame, but not one that is wholly unexpected.

Now this one kind of stings. Earlier in the year, the notion of a sci-fi film about an artificial intelligence achieving sentience and wreaking havoc on the world sounded awesome. It was directed by Wally Pfister, whose cinematography work on pretty much Chris Nolan film since Memento has been amazing, and his first time behind the camera sounded like a mouth-watering prospect.

Plus, it had a raft of interesting acting talent on board - Johnny Depp in a role that doesn't require a funny hat/hair, Rebecca Hall and Kate Mara adding some sultriness to the screen and Paul Bettany lending more than just his cool JARVIS voice to a brainy scientist character. Throw in Morgan Freeman and Cillian Murphy (other Nolan alumni) and this film had me pumped.

And then, the reviews started rolling in. Two stars here. 40% there. Any hope I had of this being the smart and cerebral summer blockbuster quickly evaporated into thin air - the films potential seemingly folding under its dull plot, poor acting, uninspired direction and complete lack of (without sounding like a 11-year-old kid) action. Where did all the promise go?

1st - Transformers: Age of Extinction

Proof, if ever it was needed, that quality filmmaking doesn't mean shit to mainstream audiences so long as there is lots of explosions, CGI robots, hot chicks to ogle and crass humour. Bloated, brash and I daresay kind of boring, Transformers: Age of Extinction is the epitome of what is wrong with the Hollywood studio system in 2014. 

Universal, who foot the bill for these monstrously shite Saturday morning cartoons (and that's offensive to the cartoons), are interested in one thing and one thing only when it comes to producing a new Transformers film - and that's how wide the profit margin is. No matter how negative the reaction or how repetitive and offensive the films are, so long as the cash register continues to ring, Universal will continue to order sequel after sequel after sequel. 

Once again, I fooled myself into thinking this one might be good - the Transformers film that proves everyone wrong, where Bay erupts onto the stage with a film that is well-balanced, scripted, acted and directed. But no, Age of Extinction is none of those things. If anything, it's the worst of bunch so far. I want my $12 and 3 hours back.

Age of Extinction? More like Age of ExSTINKtion.

I've been waiting way too long to use that pun.

What films stank up your year? Let me know in the comments section below!


  1. I have a feeling that Transformers will be topping many negative lists, this year! Good choice at number 1. I don't plan on making a worst list, this year, so I can go ahead and tell you a few others that I didn't enjoy!

    -Are You Here (AVOID AT ALL COST!)
    -The Amazing Spiderman 2 (Take away that one scene and bleh)
    -A Million Ways to Die in the West

    Overall, it wasn't a bad year, though!

    1. Also, Only Lovers Left Alive was pretty horrible!

    2. I haven't heard of Are You Here, but I just looked it up and yikes! That RT score is awful. I don't get how great comedians like Amy Poehler can wind up making shite things like that - I mean, just look at the poster for Christ sake - what the hell is that?! Anyway, thanks for red-flagging that one for me Tanner ;)

      I can agree with you on Divergent and Noah also - whilst they're not the worst from this year, they're certainly not the best :) I actually liked Amazing Spider-man 2, but I'm going to keep that one quiet...

  2. Heh, wow, I haven't seen 47 Ronin so I can't comment on that, but I actually liked all the rest of these movies, lol. Nothing that'll wind up on my best of the year list or anything mind you, but still. :P Anyways, needless to say my worst of year list so far looks VASTLY different from yours (though Divergent does appear on mine, as Tanner listed above!). I'll be waiting till after Christmas to post my end of year lists, though, so watch out for those. ;)

    1. I look forward to reading it Chris! :) I was going to wait until after Christmas too, but decided to make a start now as those few weeks are usually pretty hectic anyway haha. You're officially the first person I met that liked Transcendance though! :O Congrats! :D

  3. What a movie does need to be successful is a truly great story. That’s why, writers worship at the altar of story. They try to write movies that have some chance of attracting an audience.

    1. Maybe that's why Age of Extinction flopped - I wish. Truth is, a good story doesn't guarantee a successful film. I mean, look at Edge of Tomorrow - great premise, well executed - but no audience. Shame.

  4. OH yeaaa.. I feel like my first prize for the worst movie of 2014 will go to the same movie.. horrid!
    I have seen others, except 47 Ronin which I didn't care for and I have to say, most of them would be in my bad/disappointed list too.. but my list will be up in early January I think.

    1. Awesome, I look forward to giving it a read :) Thanks for commenting.

  5. Well I was lucky I didn't see any of these :)

  6. I have no desire to watch Transformers and even I knew it was going to suck. If I had seen it, you goddamn right I would put it as the worst film of 2014.

    1. And here I was tricking myself into thinking it'd be a semi-decent movie. Foolish me :) Thanks for commenting!

  7. Nice list. I actually have 47 Ronin as a 2013 film (based off international release date) and thus it made my list of worst of that year. I didn't find the Robocop remake to be truly terrible, but entirely forgettable. Not sure if it will make my worst of for this year (I usually go to 20), but I've got a lot left to see.

    And yeah, Age of Extinction sucked. However, I knew that was going to be the case going in. Even though my kids love all of the Transformer movies I put my foot down this time and we waited until it hit the local library's inventory and watched it for free. No way in hell was I going to plunk down $10-$12 a head to see this crap.

    1. Thanks Wendell :) Yeah, it hit cinemas here in the second week of Jan so just inches it as a 2014 film for me. We have this problem quite a bit, with some many movies taking aaaages to come out here.

      Wow! 20 sure is a lot of bad movies :) I'm kinda glad I can't recall that many bad ones, as I just wouldn't get round to seeing them all.

      Good call on Age of Extinction - saved yourself a lot of time and money there ;)

  8. I was thinking up my own Best and Worst of 2014 lists this morning and now I've seen this! A great read :) I haven't seen the new Transformers yet and really don't want to, but I'm looking forward to seeing Lucy.
    - Allie

    1. Thanks Allie! :) I'd say see Lucy and make up your own mind, but for me it was a bit underwhelming :/

  9. I've purposely avoided most of these, but I can definitely agree about the new Transformers. Just atrocious.

    1. Wise choice Zach - definitely steer clear of this bunch :)



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