Saturday 9 December 2017

My Top 5 Worst Films of 2017

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 2017.

This was a pretty tough post to write, mainly because I try to steer clear of films I just know are going to be garbage. The Emoji Movie, Geostorm, The Boss Baby, Unforgettable, A Dog's Purpose, Snatched and The Book of Henry are just a few of the critically-derided releases I've given a wide berth throughout the year. Therefore, I can't really comment on how monumentally bad they are supposed to be 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 dishonourable mentions...

Dishonourable mentions that just missed the cut: The Great Wall, Fifty Shades Darker, Transformers: The Last Knight, The Circle, The Hitman's Bodyguard, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, Suburbicon, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Rough Night, Rules Don't Apply.

5th - Justice League

As a fan of DC Comics, it doesn't bring me any pleasure to add another one of their films to my 'worst of' list for the second consecutive year. That said, fan or not, whichever way you slice it, Justice League was a terrible, terrible movie.

Hamstrung with a troubled production, numerous rewrites and substantial reshoots, the version of Justice League that found its way into cinemas was muddled, ugly and tonally inconsistent. A superhero film that looks like Zack Snyder but sounds like Joss Whedon, as it turns out, doesn't make for a good combination, as the metallic and gloomy aesthetic fails to mesh with a clutch of hastily added zingers.

With Gal Gadot getting plenty to do and a fun performance from Ezra Miller, Justice League does admittedly show brief moments of promise, but then again so did Snyder's other two DC films. So did Suicide Squad. With a cliched plot that involved interstellar Rubix Cubes and a piece of heavy metal album art as a villain, there is no denying that Justice League simply doesn't cut the mustard, not when the competition is knocking it out of the park with C-list characters like Thor and Star-Lord.

4th - The Snowman

Another example of a film that had everything it needed to be good but was ruined through issues during production and editing room tinkering, The Snowman should have been 2017's answer to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Instead, it's more like 2017's answer to The Happening.

Within just a few days of opening, The Snowman had become the funniest movie meme of the year. Whether it was the ridiculous tagline, hilarious poster or the fact that Michael Fassbender's character is named Inspector Harry Hole (seriously), everything about The Snowman is so bad it's hilarious.

In all seriousness though, The Snowman is an atrocious film. The screenplay, penned by Peter Straughan, Hossein Amini and Søren Sveistrup, was reportedly only partially filmed, with something like 75% of what was on the page making it onto celluloid. Unsurprisingly, this results in a film which lurches from scene to scene with very little connective tissue. The editing, working with what it can, is clumsy, often entering and ending scenes in odd ways and robbing the film of that all important rhythm.

3rd - Baywatch

Now I think anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together would've guessed Baywatch was going to be good, but with the star power and potential it possessed, it certainly could've been a whole lot better than this.

What we expected was a goofy Jump Street lark with babes and bros on the beach; what we got was a great big stinking whale that washed up weeks ago and was starting to rot.

Not even the combined might of Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron and Alexandra Daddario could wring some humour out of the damp towel. When your biggest gag is a fat kid getting his erect knob stuck in a sun lounger, you know something is amiss. Underdeveloped on plot, overlong on runtime, overdependent on improvisation, unnecessarily crude for the sake of it and lumbered with lazy cameos, Baywatch didn't do anything more than the bare minimum.

2nd - The Dark Tower 

The Dark Tower book series has long been heralded as Stephen King's magnum opus; a rich and layered masterpiece that spans thousands of pages. Conversely, its 2017 adaptation is one of the most banal and derivative pieces of cinema I've ever had the misfortune of watching.

Given its rich pedigree, The Dark Tower is bafflingly immaterial; the world, its characters and their conflicts weren't explained or explored, and the script was so busy trying to compress King’s ideas into the trim 90-minute runtime that it didn't stop to answer silly questions like why, how, who and what the actual fuck was going on. In trying to cater to both fans and newbies, The Dark Tower succeeded in pleasing neither. Newcomers weren't dazzled by its ordinary execution as they'd seen it all a million times before and the film was too far removed from its source and scant on lore for fans.

I would say The Dark Tower is so bad it belongs on TV, but in an era where shows like Game of Thrones, Westworld and Outlander consistently showcase how quality fantasy can be done on the small screen, that analogy simply doesn’t hold up.

1st - Chips

Hollywood comedies are rough at the best of times. Chips is a special breed of rough; it doesn’t just fail to entertain as an action-comedy, it pretty much fails in any and all respects.

If you were to close your eyes and picture the least funny film you can imagine, where each scene is a joyless, jumbled mess of disjointed editing, harried plot details and distasteful, putrid humour, that movie wouldn't even come close to how offensively bad Chips is. 

To paraphrase the great Roger Ebert, Chips doesn’t just scrape the bottom of the barrel – it doesn’t even belong in the same sentence as the worst barrels imaginable. Everything from the jumbled narrative to the sketchy villains, terrible editing, limp action and mean-spirited humour is bafflingly bad. I’ve genuinely never seen a major studio film as poorly structured, shot and edited as Chips.

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 2017 in the comments down below! Thanks for reading.


  1. Right now, it's Fifty Shades Darker. The amount of stupidity that happens in that film.



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