Here we are yet again, on the internet talking about movies. 2016, I thought, was a great year for film – though, honestly, every year has some great stuff. But every year also has some seriously fucked up, weird, terrible stuff, and that's where this post comes in.
Here's the Most Disappointing and Worst of 2016 in movies, at least according to one guy on a blog. I know I said this was a great year for movies, and we'll get to that. First we have to slog through these, though!
These are the ones which I was looking forward to seeing, but they let me down when I actually watched them. They aren't horrible films, but I just didn't like them as much as I had hoped.
10 Cloverfield Lane
We didn't really need another Cloverfield movie so long after the first one – was there anyone really waiting anymore? I think even the biggest fans of the first one have long sinced moved on. This had some good thriller parts, but ultimately just felt tonally confused and silly, and never seemed to know where it was going, with a really bizarre about-face ending twist. Even performances by John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead couldn't save this one.
I was looking forward to this from the trailer, and it wasn't bad, with some cool twists and turns and some exciting chase scenes. But it was too long and bogged down with generic main characters, some filler in the first act and an overly dragged-out climax. This is pretty bog standard for the horror/thriller genre, but I think we've reached a point where we can expect more than just 'eh, it's okay.'
La La Land
This year's Oscar darling just didn't resonate much with me as it did with some audiences. It was pleasant eye and ear candy, and Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone deliver good performances. But I didn't gel with the musical aspects much, and the whole thing just came off as substanceless fluff. That's fine – it is what it is. But it didn't strike a chord with me much at all beyond 'that's nice.'
THE WORST MOVIES OF 2016
How much of an explanation could you possibly want for this?
5. Batman v Superman – Dawn Of Justice
What a mess this was. In DC's quest to outdo Marvel they've really just stumbled over both feet and tripped and fell. Ben Affleck and some of the others like Michael Ironside give good performances in this, and there are certain visual sights that are quite haunting and beautiful – both of which give this movie a leg up from most other Zack Snyder movies. But the story is incoherent and made it hard for anything to stick with the viewer after the credits rolled. The characters were indistinguished and for a movie about two iconic heroes fighting over different values, that's pretty lame. The action, which is the main draw, could be nice, but man am I tired of bad CGI being used to create these over the top supervillains for the climaxes – it just looks more silly than cool at this point.
4. Suicide Squad
Another DC movie, this one the victim of a severely schizophrenic editing job that basically renders it unwatchable. The fact that actors like Margot Robbie give good performances is a miracle considering how jumbled the story is and how ridiculous the plot – you'd be hard pressed to really make sense of what is going on at any point of this, or explain the logic behind these character's decisions to unleash this team of supervillains to solve their problems. It's cool to try for an offbeat, anti-hero team of characters, but why did this one have to come off like a bad high school fanfiction?
3. Hardcore Henry
There was no real story, plot or character to this – it was nothing but action, fighting and explosions the whole time. Which, I get it, sounds lame to complain about. Until you watch this movie and see how tired, boring and dead-horse-beating that can be if you stretch it out for an hour and a half with no nuance to it save for a POV camera gimmick that actually makes it even more one-dimensional. Just excruciating to sit through.
A ridiculous film that I was astounded turned out as bad as it was. This had no tonal consistency at all, jumping around from a lost-in-space sci fi thriller to a romance and finally to an over the top explosion-fest action story and doing none of them very well. The central twist is that Bradley Cooper's lead character actually manipulated Jennifer Lawrence's character by waking her up from her cryo-sleep 50 years too early before they arrived on the far-away world they're traveling to, effectively ruining her life and imprisoning her on the ship with him, and lying to her about that. It should be played as a horror movie, but when she forgives him and they get back together, it would be offensively bad, were it not so plainly ludicrous and incompetent.
1. The Purge: Election Year
The thing with the Purge is that it is the most hackneyed, dull, lazy kind of social satire – it's an overblown dystopian world where in the future, we decided as a country to make all crime legal once a year due to manipulation from scheming politicians. But where it fails is that it doesn't have a realistic portrayal of human beings at its core, which I find unforgivable. This series basically says we're all just dumb sheep who have no desire or organization to fight back against corruption, which is fundamentally false in any era of real-world history. It's not a believable fiction, and at worst it's actively gross and offensive.
If this was just supposed to be a fun, campy action ride, I'd forgive that, but the condescending tone and 'look how smart we are for saying this' vibe just don't gel with me. Not to mention the action, characters, writing, directing and everything else are subpar, too. This movie sucks and it's the worst I saw all year.
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