The worst films we've seen all year
Ahead of the Razzie Awards, here are the worst films of the last 12 months. Enjoy!
It's probably not Cara's fault. Cara didn't play Batman or Superman in Batman v. Superman. Cara didn't play a businessman-turned-magic-cat in Nine Lives. We're even willing to bet that those films would have been better if she had been included in some way. But she wasn't. The films are what they are, and all that's left to do is clear up the pieces.
The Girl on the Train
Secrets. Intrigue. Scandal. Mystery. Sex. Murder. Misdirection. Convolution. Red Herrings. Moody cinematography. Unreliable narrators. Unreliable script. Unintentionally funny.
Jealousy. Addiction. Abuse. Accusation. Trauma. Femme Fatales. Girls. Gone Girls. Trains. Commuting. Falling asleep. Waking up. Asking the person next to you what just happened. Being told to shh.
Disappearance. Revenge. Tragedy. Successful source-novel. Bandwagon. Jumping. Falling off. Ouch.
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
Acclaimed Birdman director Alejandro Iñárritu has gone on record as calling superhero films ‘poison… cultural genocide’. At the time, we sniffed at such sweeping high-handed criticism. Had Iñárritu not seen Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight or Joss Whedon’s Avengers Assemble? Did he not know that superhero films were loaded with wit, cultural commentary, and moral quandaries?
Then Batman v. Superman came out, and we all hung our heads in shame. Iñárritu had been right. To atone for our folly, we watched his film The Revenant on repeat until we had terrible bear-related nightmares.
After the dismayed reception of Batman v. Superman, Warner Bros winkingly promised that follow-up Suicide Squad would be good enough to earn our forgiveness. It wasn’t. Somehow, it was even worse.
Warner Bros’ double pratfall will go down as 2016’s strongest bit of Keaton-esque slapstick, the movie-studio equivalent of recovering from a banana skin slip and then confidently marching straight into an open manhole. Upsettingly, this cock-up turned out to be the funniest thing about Suicide Squad. People tried to laugh at the film, but it was just so egregiously bad that the chuckles dried up 20 minutes in. Comic-book fans left the cinemas looking visibly withered and hunched, as if they'd been drained of some vital life-force.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
Watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is like catching up with an old lover from years before – someone who you had great times with, someone who you really fancied, someone who’s in half of all your anecdotes. Before you meet them for a drink you spend two hours getting ready, wondering whether to play it cool or let them know you’re excited to see them. At the pub you nervously tear a paper napkin into tiny pieces.
Then they arrive, and before you’ve even finished your first glass of wine you realise something’s wrong. It’s not that they’re not happy to see you – they’re very happy. It’s just that they’re awful. They are completely awful. Worse, it’s not clear that this is an entirely fresh development: they were never that great to begin with. You make your excuses and leave. Standing out in the cool evening air, you realise that a good 50% of your favourite memories are now retroactively ruined. Forever.
To recap: MBFGW2 is terrible.
Me Before You
We think we know what you’re up to, Sam Claflin: you’re ‘doing a Matthew McConaughey’. By embedding yourself in the public conscience as the lead hunk in lousy chick-flicks like Love, Rosie and lousy adventure fantasies like The Huntsman: Winter’s War, you’re naturally setting yourself up for a ‘McConaissance’. Soon you’ll be heading up Oscar-bait and fending off doe-eyed critics. Clever move, Claf. Clever move.
But what’s this? Your latest rom-com Me Before You has been slated as deeply offensive to handicapped people? Wait – some of them have even described it as ‘cripple snuff porn’ and renamed it ‘Me Before Euthanasia’? All because it seems to imply that it’s better to be dead than disabled? Wow. I guess you’ll probably end up like Hugh Grant instead, scrabbling for increasingly inappropriate roles in rom-com purgatory. How deeply unfair.
We never got a proper review for Nine Lives. When we asked our reviewer what she had seen at the press screening, she had only this to say:
‘I used to have this recurring nightmare where no one knew I existed. No one could see or hear me. In my nightmare I became increasingly panicked, running around London, waving my arms in people’s faces and screaming HELP ME HELP ME, but no one ever acknowledged me. I always woke up in a cold sweat, my heart racing. I was on tranquilisers for a year. Listen – I’d rather have that nightmare again than re-watch Nine Lives.’
Nine Lives stars Kevin Spacey as businessman magically turned into a cat, so we suspect she’s being overdramatic. But we’re not willing to risk it.
Kids in Love
There’s a great moment in the TV series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt when the absurdly posh Logan accuses Vietnamese immigrant Dong of staring ‘all excited, like a little boy who picked the lock on his daddy’s jodhpur armoire.’ All Dong can do is point out the inadequacy of Logan's simile: ‘your experiences are not universal!’ Someone should have run onto the set of Kids in Love and shouted this at the top of their lungs. YOUR EXPERIENCES ARE NOT UNIVERSAL, INSANELY WEALTHY PEOPLE.
This isn’t to say that the privileged are incapable of making good art or entertainment – far from it – but at least some self-awareness is required. Sadly, Kids in Love has all the self-awareness of the Rebecca Black music video ‘Friday’, a feature-length version of which it resembles.
Or perhaps it’s just satire? We hope so. We do actually want to like movies, y’know.
It's just like they say: you can lead a movie star to set, but you can't make him act. Watching Morgan Freeman in Ben-Hur, one gets the impression that they tempted the Bruce Almighty star into the studio with a trail of wine gums, then fed him his lines with a giant autocue while he stood around uncertainly, still addled by a long nap, still sporting the grizzled dreadlocks and ornate djellaba (see above) that he always wears during nap-time at his mansion.
Fortunately, the rest of the Ben-Hur cast were on hand to compensate with gusto. Toby Kebbell does an adorable job as the main antagonist, surely securing him a gold star for 'best trier' this award's season.
The Greasy Strangler
It's OK: The Greasy Strangler set out to be a bad film. That was, like, the whole joke. Ha ha. But it also wanted to be the best bad film ever. It wasn't. It wasn't the worst bad film ever, either. It was just a middling bad film. So maybe that does make it the worst bad film? Or just the worst? Or the best! No. Just a bad film.
If you like spending money to be annoyed, pay a close friend to go NEE-NAW NEE-NAW in your ear while pulling your hair. They might feel bad afterwards, and reimburse you.