“WORST FILMS OF 2016”
Well, another year has been and gone but before we head into 2017 let’s look back on 2016 and review the year as a whole. It’s fair to say that 2016 will go down as the year when I had the best perspective to make a ‘Best and Worst List’. I may have not reviewed as much as I would have expected, but I did manage to get a lot more than before.
If you are new to the site and you haven’t looked at my 2014 and 2015 lists, I will go over the rules again. It must be a film that released in cinemas or straight to DVD for a general release in 2016, therefore, films that were played at film festivals last year but didn’t receive a general release until this year will count. If they received a film festival release this year but did not receive a full theatrical release, it doesn’t count. This year, however, I also decided to include films that premiered on Netflix and Amazon Prime as well, though I might as well have not bothered entering that rule since none of the ones I saw were either good or bad enough to make the lists. I will say though, out of all the ones I saw, The Little Prince was the best and if you have a Netflix account I can recommend it. This rule also applies to what films qualify for me to review, hence, why out of all the films I saw at the London Film Festival this year, I only reviewed ‘Your Name’, which already had a confirmed theatrical release.
Taking all that into account, I may have reviewed a total of 46 years this year, but as of the half way point of 2016 I started adding mini-reviews at the end or my reviews, which I will be continuing into 2017, this meant, that because of my rules, I saw another 97 films on top of that, leading to a total of 143 films I saw this year. This is a staggering amount, however, I’m not sure I will beat that record in 2017 given that there is still no cinema in my home town of Chester and the train line between Chester and Liverpool is being worked on quite heavily so I may be going to Manchester more in the future to see films. Nevertheless, I don’t think I can give a better perspective that I can at this point in time, therefore, I am going to start by going over my list of what I thought were the worst of these films.
Now this year was definitely a bad year for films. Anybody who regularly reads my reviews knows that most films that I saw had a lot of both good and bad qualities to them and it lead to year of rather mediocre films. This was particularly telling at the beginning of the year where I think we had the worst opening 3 months that we have had in a long time, in fact, by the end of March, I could have made a top 10 worst of list already. That being said though, that list did considerably change as the year went on and the worst films of the year have had to be really dreadful, therefore, I left off a few rather mediocre ones. If you read my reviews regularly you will probably be aware of a few that I have been commenting on in particular and a couple that I actually reviewed, but to give you an idea of how bad they were, it was not that difficult to narrow it down to 10. It was more difficult to decide what would get the number 10 slot than what would get number 1.
Before we get into those 10, here’s a few dishonourable mentions, that just missed out on making the list, but they were still very bad. I am going to list these in alphabetical order so this is not confused as an extra order.
Keep in mind, these are my personal Top Ten worst, if you like any of these films, that’s fine, though I will question a lot if you like the bottom 3, but enough on that, here are the dishonourable mentions:
An unnecessary and unwarranted sequel to the 2010 Alice in Wonderland, this one happens to be kind of worse by proxy because it felt like it had less ambition and even less interest than the original Tim Burton film did. I described it as Junk Food and I stand by it. It doesn’t make the list however, because there just happened to be worse films that came out in the year and even more commercialised films.
Despite what Elspeth Bromiley will tell you, this is a really lazy chick flick that feels incredibly, crassly commercial and insulting to its target demographic. I decided it wouldn’t make the list, however, because I really want to keep my job!
The third entry in the series may be slightly better than the woeful 2 films that preceded it, but the film is frankly creating plot holes faster than it can count and is running so low on ideas it is having to rip off the Maze Runner films and there’s a 4th one due out in 2017, no thanks, I am done. It didn’t make the list just because I thought I wasn’t enough of the target demograph for it to really bother me
A terrible sequel to Independence Day, I already commented on it enough in my review, so go and read that. I decided it didn’t make the list, however, because I suspect it might be on other ‘Worst of the Year’ lists so it will probably get enough of a beating, plus I didn’t really like the original film all that much so this one didn’t p… me off to too much.
A truly dumb sequel to Olympus Has Fallen, this was so going to be on the list for the longest time, it only escaped by the skin of its teeth because there was one action film this year that was much dumber.
Definitely the worst horror film of the year. I suppose Friend Request, on a lot of levels was probably worse, but no one really saw that film because it was barely advertised, so it gets a free pass for that reason alone. It’s a terrible attempt to do a Hindu exorcism film, it doesn’t make the list however, because unlike many years, horror films came out good this year and I felt it would be a disservice to the genre to put one on the list as a result.
The final dishonourable mention was basically put on there because I found the film so incredibly dull and patronising. I go into further details in my actual review, but needless to say I didn’t like Swallows and Amazons. It barely escaped the list, I was actually considering at one point to put it in the number 10 spot, but I decided not to put it in because it was more my personal taste than an actual technical Bad film and I can see why some people might like it, however, I am not in that group.
Now for the actual list, you might want to have YouTube on standby to look up these trailers because by the end of this you will have forgotten that half of these films existed. Here we go, the Top Ten Worst Films of 2016 are, in my opinion:
This serves to emphasise a point, this year is the very first year where I had to use the rule about film’s premiering in the UK but then having premiered in other countries first for my worst of list, but 2 of them made the actual list. I’m not surprised if you don’t remember Jem and the Holograms coming out this year, it was very, very quietly released in UK cinemas in February after having a dismal run in America, having been pulled out of cinemas after only 2 weeks of running. To give that perspective, most films have at least a month minimum for a major release. Jem and Hologram’s slow run in the cinema is hardly surprising, it’s utterly terrible. The film pays no regards to its source material, the songs are terrible, the acting’s terrible, the plot makes absolutely no sense and it’s a rather lazily edited filming, using YouTube footage to pad out its running time and as a result was easily the worst thing The Rock was in in 2016. Thank god he ended the year with Moana. The final nail in the coffin was its disregard for the fan base, particularly in the one final insulting moment at the end of the film. I am not part of the Jem and the Holograms fan base, but I feel your pain for that one and that’s why this film made the list.
This year was a fantastic year for animated films, but as I mentioned in one of my previous reviews, 3 of the animated films that came out this year were complete garbage and all 3 made the list. Ice Age Collision Course, though, happened to be the one that stunk the least. That doesn’t change the fact, it stinks! I have never really been a fan of the Ice Age films, but I will admit that the first one had something going for it, but the sequels are becoming less and less necessary and the humour is getting more tired and it is further emphasised by this incredibly awful sequel. By this point, the films feel so unnecessary because there is literally nowhere for the plot to go. The film resorts to its lowest points by trimming out whatever ideas they had left by sending Scrat into space and giving Syd a love interest, who by the way is played by Jesse J, who can’t act to save her life. The whole thing is just a bore, there are several characters in it who don’t have any point to be there and are just there by the necessity of the plot, Diego, one of the 3 main characters from the first film almost completely gets the shaft this time around. It’s an absolute mess, pure and simple and it’s a real reflection of how bad Blue Sky Studios have been by constantly making sequels for this one. Please tell me there isn’t a number 6, these films have to die, or at least I would be saying that if they hadn’t died 2 films ago!
This was the film that saved London Has Fallen from making the list. Gods of Egypt is truly an abysmal action film. It was meant to come out in the UK at the end of February, but critical reception was so poor, it was pushed back to a mid June release, which was its big downfall because by that point there had been so many better action films for us to compare it to and it made Gods of Egypt stick out even more. The director, whose previous works include I Robot, had a go at the critics for slamming the film and feels that they won’t give it a good review because it’s a consensus that they are not meant to like it, well I am sorry, that’s not the case, you made a bad film, you have to admit it and move on. The effects are terrible, the acting is terrible, the fight scenes are laughable and the script is horrendous. These are some of the most unlikeable characters I have seen in a long time and the film is a massive time waste, easily one of the worst films of the year, and you will be wondering what people have put in Ben Kingsley’s coffee for him to have accepted this script. For the love of god man, get some dignity!
I nearly didn’t put this one on the list, because this is now going to be the final film of the late Gary Marshall and I was worried that I would be accused of trolling, however, I’m going to set that aside, because as much as Gary Marshall’s loss is sad, it doesn’t change the fact that his final film was a train wreck. Mother’s Day is by far the worst chick flick of the year. The screenplay is horrendously bad, which means that the actors, who have all been decent in films in recent memory, with the exception of Jennifer Aniston who seems to be getting worse as her career goes on, there is just nothing here. The way the character treat Mother’s Day in this film is so horrendously out or reality, you will be convinced you are in an episode of The Twilight Zone. It’s just full of a ton of sycophantic rubbish, that will involve characters talking like no one has ever talked before. It’s only saving grace is the fact that New Year’s Eve, Gary Marshall’s film prior to this, was worse. If anyone ever wonders why I always say I will never watch Love Actually over Christmas ever again, it’s because, despite the fact that Love Actually is not a bad film and has some commendable points to it, it did give a licence for American film makers to take that formula and use it to an absurd degree and this is one of the worst example of it. Mother’s Day is a horrendous example of the terrible effect Love Actually has had on cinema.
Yes, anyone who read my review of that will have seen this one coming. Whilst it’s not the worst animated film of the year, it’s a close 2nd. The point in my review about it being overly crass and commercial is confirmed that over the Christmas period, in HMV, the soundtrack was still charting. That’s what this film is, it’s a soundtrack and the film acts as an advert for it. There is no care for the plot, the acting is terrible, the songs are horrendous kid bop adaptations of songs that you mostly wouldn’t want to hear sung by the original artists, or at worst, are songs that Justin Timberlake has written himself, which were clearly on a day when he ate way too many sweets and sugar sticks, as a result. I have hated having to listen to ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’ all year. Everything is too bright and colourful, the characters are extremely annoying, it’s never allowed to be funny at any second and it plays way too fast for the kids at the expense of their parents. It’s a thoroughly awful film, and what makes it worse, is the fact that it got incredibly good review from critics and an incredibly high score on Rotten Tomatoes, this should have been bashed by the critics, but I get a sense that they were so eager not to offend families or even worse, I get a sense that they gave it a pass because it’s for kids. No, it’s still bad and the message at the end, I believe, is actually really awful. Avoid this one, there are better family films.
Another film that played over the Christmas period in America but didn’t see a release date until February of this year. Alvin and the Chipmunks is a tired formula and I am sick to death of the films. They couldn’t even get David Cross back to humiliate himself, because by this point, he has got some dignity. The film’s plot is horrendous because rather like Ice Age there is absolutely nowhere for the plot and the characters to go and the film is made even worse by the fact that the song choices are just as horrendous as usual and performed in an horrendous way, the plot makes absolutely no sense and produces no likeable characters and it makes the same problem that the 2nd film did of having Jason Lee largely on the side lines again, so as a result we haven’t got the straight man presence to balance out the Chipmunks. I have no idea why these films keep getting made, I am sick to death of them. Please let the Road Chip be the final one. The only reason it’s not higher on this list is because there are a couple of family films that were worse, and it was just slightly less annoying that the Squeakquel and just having that word in this document makes me feel worse inside.
Kevin Spacey can kiss my a… for making this movie. You would never believe that House of Cards star Kevin Spacey and the director of the Men In Black movies would come together to make this horrendous film that would have been out of date in the 1990’s let alone in 2016. If you haven’t seen it, Kevin Spacey is turned into a cat by Christopher Walkin (no I am not making this up) in a plot that is so horrendously out of date that, many people like myself, thought that the trailer was a joke. No, it’s a real movie and it is horrendous. I have no idea why they bothered to hire a cat trainer since the cat is CGI most of the time, which, along with the green screen effect, are so out of date you will assume they have come from the Play Station dimension and it gives us some of the worst performances and the worst jokes I have seen this year. It’s a real damming sign of the medium that most of the films that made my ‘worst of’ list were comedies, but what made this film worse is that everyone around me was laughing and it wasn’t just kids, it was adults as well. I felt like yelling the entire time ‘grow up, it’s not funny’. Even Kevin Spacey, I think, realises how poor this film is, since his voice over is tinged with the hint of contractual obligation. For the love of god it made more sense when Abe Vigoda was in Good Burger, that’s right, I complimented Good Burger, that’s how horrendous Nine Lives is.
This film made the list for one scene alone, it’s a scene that is so bad I can’t even describe it for decency purposes. I’m no prude, but this joke was so horrendous that I practically had to look away from the screen the entire time and I will never be able to look at an Elephant the same way again. Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest project is easily one of his worst to date. He hasn’t really created a character, it’s just Sacha Baron Cohen with a Noel Gallagher wig and an accent that sounds like he has never been north of Chiswick. It’s a phenomenally terrible film, all the jokes miss, Mark Strong, Ian McShane and Penelope Cruz lower their dignity to absurd levels to be in this thing and the whole thing is such a mean spirited comedy that once again, it made me annoyed that people were laughing at this. Is it just me?? It’s one horrendous film, the only reason it’s not higher is because some of the action scenes were shot ok and there was at least one funny joke I can remember in it, but very few films this year annoyed me more than Grimsby, or the Brother’s Grimsby as it’s called in America, Jesus, that pun dies before it even gets going.
I was convinced that this was going to be number 1 for the first few months of the year, I really was. This came out in January and further confirmed my stereotypes that films released in January are god awful, no surprise here, this one was terrible and easily the worst comedy I saw this year. It is so mean spirited that you can’t like any of the characters, the jokes are so overly coarse and scatological that you wonder what Robert De Niro is doing to his career and why he wanted to spend a summer hanging around with Zach Effron. The jokes are all terrible and they are made worse by the fact that some of them keep getting repeating over and over again, it wasn’t funny the first time! Not to mention that the cast seem to have absolutely no shame in doing half of the rubbish they are given to do in this film. This film was torture and I was so glad to be out of the cinema by the time it was done. Avoid at all costs, especially if you like Robert De Niro, because this is his lowest point to date and I hate to repeat myself, but ‘get some dignity man’.
I have seldom hated a film more than this one, but Norm of the North has one thing missing that all the others seem to have at least the tiniest bit of, effort. There is no effort in Norm of the North. The animation, horrendous, the acting, horrendous, the plot, the script, horrendous and the fact that this is aimed at children. If you believe everyone is getting dumber, then I would urge you to point to films like this for a reason. Stop giving kids dumb films, they are smarter than you think. Norm of the North is about a twerking Polar Bear, played by Rob Schneider that goes to New York to stop a person called Mr Green from building Condo’s in the Arctic. Yes, it’s another terrible environmental message film that will make you want to gouge your eyes out by how awful the characters and the animation are. I have seen direct to DVD films with better animation than this. Hell, I have seen Play Station 1 games with better animation that this! The script is phenomenally terrible, they have put no care or attention in whatsoever. This is, without a doubt, and I say this completely sincerely, the worst animated film I have ever seen in a cinema. I hated every single audience insulting second I was watching it. The whole thing is a pointless waste of time and lack of effort. In fact, I was so annoyed after I saw this film, I had to put on my Facebook profile, don’t talk to me for the next hour because I have seen a terrible film and I will likely shout at you! Luckily I then sent a later message to say I had calmed down. But that’s how horrendous the film is, the whole thing makes your brain hurt. Avoid at all costs and if you see it in a shop, kindly ask the shopkeepers to remove it for the good of humanity! It’s that horrendous, and the fact that this came out in a year of such amazing animated films baffles me.
Well, that’s the worst of the year done and now we can safely say “they are all behind us”, avoid all these films if you can, don’t say I didn’t warn you. If you want some actual recommendations though, I have a whole load of them and they are all in my ‘Best of the Year’ list, where I will also give a reminder of what the first review of 2017 will be.
Calvin – Nerd Consultant
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