Tuesday, 27 December 2016

My Top 5 Worst Films of 2016

For the most part, my blog is all about discussing and celebrating awesome movies. Films that make you woop, cheer, punch the air, cry, gasp and grin with joy.

Inevitably, if you see as many movies as I do, there is going to be the occasional turkey. Every now and again, a film will come along that is just so utterly hopeless that it can't be ignored. This then is my Top 5 Worst Films of 2016.

This was a pretty tough post to write - mainly because I try and steer clear of films that I just know are going to be garbage. Ride Along 2, Point Break, Dirty Grandpa, Blair Witch, Spin Out, The Boss, Criminal, Bad Santa 2, Office Christmas Party and Ice Age: Collision Course are just a few of the critically-derided releases that I've given a wide berth throughout the year. Therefore, I can't really comment on how monumentally bad they are and instead must choose from the crop of duds that I actually did have the misfortune of seeing. 

Let's kick things off with a few honourable mentions...

Honourable mentions that missed the cut: Allegiant, Morgan, Inferno, The 5th Wave, Warcraft, Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Legend of Tarzan, The Huntsman: Winter's War.

5th - Suicide Squad

Originally hugely disappointed by both, I've since warmed (slightly) towards Batman v Superman but only soured further on Suicide Squad. The first is an ambitious failure that saw the series try to run before it could walk; watching the latter was akin to riding a humungous flaming trainwreck into a deep canyon filled with dog shite.

I think it was somewhere around the third totally pointless needle drop that Suicide Squad began to fall apart and by the time we reached Cara Delevigne's gyrating goddess spewing turquoise flames into the sky (I don't know, I'd checked out at this point) it was like watching a terrible early 00's superhero film - you know, before they were good? Before Nolan, Whedon and the Russos showed us how it was done properly?

I've read so many reviews (my own included) that say something like, "oh, but Margot Robbie was pretty good!" And yes, whilst that may be true, one good performance in a cast of over a dozen can't save this crushing disappointment . While Robbie (and to a lesser degree Will Smith and Jai Courtney) offer moments of solace amongst the carnage, Suicide Squad was a misshapen mess that was manhandled and rejigged in post-production to try and make it tick as many checkboxes as possible - and instead it ended up nailing none of them.

And don't even get me started on Jared Leto's juggalo Joker (he honestly sounds like the Grinch).

4th - Ben-Hur

How do you possibly follow up a cinematic behemoth like 1959's Ben-Hur? If you're director Timur Bekmambetov, you simply don't try at all.

MGM and Paramount's ill-advised retelling of Ben-Hur has got to go down as one of the biggest flops in film history. That it only managed to gross $26.4 million on its opening weekend in the United States (from a budget of over $100 million) should tell you a lot about how extremely little audiences cared about this remake.

Starring Jack Huston and Toby Kebbell as two adopted brothers forced apart during the Roman occupation of Judea, Ben-Hur has next to nothing going for it. Save for the final chariot race (which in itself has some very questionable creative decisions coming into play), this tedious slog was poorly executed across the board. The acting is terrible; the camerawork is unintelligible; the production value looks amazingly cheap; and the plot plods along at a snail's pace despite being a whole hour shorter than the classic Charlton Heston version.

3rd - Gods of Egypt

Credit where credit is due, Gods of Egypt at least had some interesting stuff to work with. The skewed technology of it's ancient setting, the gods amongst men premise. It could've been something fresh but flawed - but alas, it was just the latter. The finished product was an ungainly and garish mess that was filled with ugly CGI, an overlong plot, terrible acting and thin characters.

The outlandish ancient sci-fi aesthetic could've been reminiscent of serials like Flash Gordon; instead, the sight of giant space worms devouring pyramids and Geoffrey Rush piloting a giant intergalactic sail boat that pulls the sun was just ludicrous to behold. It had lofty ambitions (a lot like Disney's colossal flop John Carter) but any aspirations this film may have held about becoming the next big thing died almost instantaneously following ongoing pre-release controversy regarding its casting (I mean, Gerard Bulter as an Egyptian god? C'mon).

Worst of all, director Alex Proyas decided to lay into critics everywhere for their treatment of his film - a feud that is somehow still chugging along today, months and months after the film opened.

2nd - Keeping Up With the Joneses

What an atrocious excuse for a film. Honestly, I've never sat through a comedy so hopelessly inert and hideously unfunny (well, until we get to first place on this list maybe).

Keeping Up With the Joneses puts Jon Hamm, Isla Fisher, Zach Galifinakis and and Gal Gadot together into an 'action comedy' (I use that very loosely as this film fails to deliver on either) and fails to make good use of any of them. All four of these actors are so much better than the material they're given in this film.

For a film about two spies who are struggling to integrate themselves into the suburbs, this film is shockingly bereft of actual fun or engaging scenes. It's just a string of repetitive moments that stumble along until it reaches the wholly unsatisfying finale after over an hour of next to nothing.

The verdict boils down to this - just don't. Seriously, don't even entertain the possibility of seeing this film. It's just bad on every conceivable level. Forget trying to keep up with the Joneses - just avoid them like the damn plague.

1st - Zoolander 2

Jesus wept, what a monstrous trainwreck this one was. I'm ashamed to have spent both my own time and money on this film.

Just as what goes up must come down and cats always land on their feet, comedy sequels are never great; it's essentially a universal rule by which our human race is governed. But holy crap on a cracker, even taking this into account, I don't think anybody expected Zoolander 2 to be quite as horrendously bad as it was.

Zoolander 2 just struggles to make you laugh in every perceivable way. The premise - which plants witness male model Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) in Rome for a high-stakes spy caper like a braindead fish out of water - is a basket of woeful sequel cliches that doesn't just make this film a flaccid affair, it warps and ruins our lasting memory of the original film. After overruling the happy ending of the 2000 cult comedy, Zoolander 2 proceeds to retell the same jokes (only worse) by carting out Stiller, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell for one more shake of the sauce bottle - only it doesn't have a shred of the same aloof charm or dumb appeal as the first movie.

The less said about the string of celebrity cameos - the worst of which was Benedict Cumberbatch's transexual Euro model - the better. That I saw this film in an empty theatre by myself on opening weekend (I'm not kidding) should tell you everything you need to know.

Which movies stank up the cinema near you this year? What movie-going experience left you bored, angry or upset? Let me know your top 5 worst films of 2016 in the comments down below! Thanks for reading.


  1. Suicide Squad will definitely be on my worst list just because that film could've actually been good. I watched part of Gods of Egypt and that was pretty terrible. I'm actually bummed Ben-Hur didn't work out because I love Jack Huston.

  2. I think Suicide Squad was my biggest disappointment of this year. They marketed that sucker for a year straight, but the movie didn't live up to the hype, sadly. Coulda, woulda, shoulda been great.



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