Friday, December 30, 2016

The Countdown - The 25 Worst Films of 2016

   The year has brought many great films, more than the bad of course, but there are still plenty of horrible, horrendous, and downright despicable films of 2016. Of course film is subjective and these are all my opinions, but trust me when I say that these select films don't even remotely make the grade.From big budget blockbusters to under the radar snooze-fests, the year was filled with movies that just aren't worth anyone's time or money.

First off there are a few films that were bad but not enough to make the full list:

   Honorable Mention:

Free State of Jones
With a production design no better than a TV movie, Free State of Jones is overlong and completely boring film from start to finish.

The Forest (Review)
A decent horror film through the first two acts, the film derails with confusing plot points and unneeded decisions in the third act.



My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
The first was a surprise hit and the picture perfect example of what quality can do for a film's success. But the jokes just don't quite hit the same way in the sequel and it unfortunately falls flat on its face.

   And now the 25 Worst Films of 2016:

This is strange entry on the list as Morgan features an interesting premise and something that can be done extremely well, something that can’t be said for the others. But the problem here is that the film doesn’t take advantage of these and instead opts for a pretty basic storyline rather than taking the risks available. The end result is a disappointing and frankly boring film.

The Angry Birds Movie
Who thought this was a good idea? While it isn’t as bad as it could’ve been, considering it’s based on an app, but it still isn’t good. Outside of some good animation and solid voice work, The Angry Birds Movie can’t muster any humor or anything worth putting it in a category with the other animated films of 2016.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Despite not being all that different than the first in terms of tone and humor, they just don’t hit here like they did in the first. And don’t get me wrong, the first wasn’t good either but I still found enjoyment in it. The relationship between the turtles is still alright but it doesn’t capture anything that the comics represented.

Suicide Squad
The cinematic universe can bring a lot of success both financially and critically, just ask Marvel, but for some reason DC just can’t get the quality of their films down. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice had quite a few things going against but they were easy to look past. Suicide Squad didn’t have the same luck. The characters don’t work in the slightest, the effects are overblown and over the top, and very little of the dreary world is fun. Throw in a soundtrack that is overstuffed and overused and you’ve got a superhero stinker on your hands. (REVIEW)

Useless remakes are inevitable, like taxes or uncomfortable political conversations. Yet the disappointment never ceases to rise to the top when a new one is announced and Ben-Hur was no different. Offering little to build on the 1959 classic, the CGI obsessed film features very little in terms of entertainment and one of the strangest endings to a film of the entire year. (REVIEW)

Collateral Beauty
Perhaps the most unintentionally funny film on this entire list, Collateral Beauty is false advertising at it’s finest. While the trailers may present some highly uplifting film about Will Smith meeting some universe level entities, the actual film itself thinks it’s better to throw a twist in there. The twist itself isn’t awful but it’s revealed at the wrong time and the whole movie becomes a hilarious miscalculation on the filmmakers’ part.

Now You See Me 2
Now I must admit, I kind of enjoyed the first Now You See Me. It was really dumb and silly but fun for what it was. The second film is so packed full of needless twists and turns and none of them work. It’s more confusion than mystery and it’s just not worth seeing how these magicians do it.

Hands of Stone
I honestly don’t even recall the events of this film. I do remember that it was incredibly dull and the characters were unlikeable, but the story just wasn’t done well enough to have any sort of impact. Completely hollow, Hands of Stone is hardly worth watching, as there are plenty of boxing films that are far better. (REVIEW)

Now I will always appreciate a Tom Hanks performance over others, as he is one of the best working actors we have, but after Inferno, I may appreciate him even more. He manages to take a completely boring character and make him interesting. The film as a whole relies so heavily on imagery and shocking twists that it can’t reign in it’s complicated story and prevent it from having numerous plot holes. (REVIEW)

Alice Through the Looking Glass
There are times when I wish Hollywood wasn’t run by money and Alice Through the Looking Glass just hammers that point home. The first film made a billion dollars somehow so the inevitable sequel was going to happen, just maybe a bit too late. The weirdness of Johnny Depp here isn’t enough to carry this one though and the Alice franchise dies with one of the biggest flops of the year.

Independence Day: Resurgence
Why? Just why? In a world full of possible ideas for films did this one get made above all the others? Easily the most disappointing film of 2016, not only because of the quality (trust me, it’s extremely low in quality), but because of what it represents for the originals shine and luster as a fun action film. The sequel captures nothing from its predecessor and removes the best part in Will Smith. Jeff Goldblum is still around to do Jeff Goldblum things otherwise this film would’ve ended up much higher on the list. (REVIEW)

London Has Fallen
Clichéd and out of date, London Has Fallen squanders a solid cast to become a paint by numbers action thriller straight from the mid 90s. The first film, Olympus Has Fallen had its moments of silliness and over-the-top action, but it was at least enjoyable. The same cannot be said about the follow up that’s all around cheap, uninteresting, and honestly a little racist.

The Brothers Grimsby
Far removed from the role that gave him so much star power in Borat, Sacha Baron Cohen has been hit or miss since. For those who know his style of comedy, nothing in The Brothers Grimsby will shock you but the line between good and bad gags is jumped too many times for any semblance of comedic gold to occur. The whole film, compared to his past work, feels incredibly harmless and a bit stale. (REVIEW)

The 5th Wave
Did you guys know that dystopian young adult books were popular? Well Hollywood knows and they keep pumping them out regardless of quality in hopes of becoming the next Hunger Games series. This particular film feels like a mash-up of everything that’s come before with visuals that aren’t nearly as impressive and it doesn’t work in the slightest. (REVIEW)

Ride Along 2
An apparent trend of this list, as Ride Along 2 is another, is totally unwarranted and unnecessary sequel. The first one made some money so there was obviously going to be one but when the script doesn’t change much beyond writing a 2 at the end, it’s best to just leave that one on the shelf.

Assassin's Creed
As far as video game adaptations go, Assassin’s Creed is not the worst (look to Super Mario Bros. for that title). But with its stellar talent in front of and behind the camera, the film should’ve been good, or at least decent. While other adaptations at least fall into the “so bad they’re kind of good” category, Assassin’s Creed just fits snuggly into the “forgettable” category. (REVIEW)

Zoolander 2
Remember that trend I mentioned earlier? Out of curiosity, has a comedy sequel that was released many years after the original ever been good? It’s a genuine question. And while expectations for Zoolander 2 were never that high, the hope was that it could be a decent follow up with quite a bit of laughs. This clearly wasn’t the case and instead Zoolander 2 leaned on celebrity cameos more than actually being funny, producing a mess of a film.

The Divergent Series: Allegiant
A franchise that somehow made it to a third film won’t be getting a fourth and final entry. The series of adaptations from the popular book series by Veronica Roth were never that successful but this boring film was just enough to build on the impending doom that this franchise had already experienced. Thankfully this is the final time anyone will adapt a young adult book series right?

Dirty Grandpa
Outside of a few chuckles due to the work of Zac Efron, who has been great in comedies as of late, Dirty Grandpa can’t find it’s footing in the comedy department. Not to mention it’s incredibly hard to watch an acting great like Robert De Niro be reduced to such filthy, crude, and most importantly un-funny jokes. (REVIEW)

The Huntsman: Winter's War
The trend strikes again. The Huntsman: Winter’s War is the epitome of an unnecessary sequel. While the visuals are stunning at times and the female members of the cast do have their moments to shine, but even these brief moments can overcome the dull, rushed, and overstuffed story.

Gods of Egypt
Setting aside the fact that a film set in Egypt featured a primarily white cast, Gods of Egypt gets lost in it’s own ambitious nature. Director Alex Proyas has made good films in the past so it’s not shocking that the film is at least creative, but the translation to screen never occurs. Filled with bad CGI, cheesy performances and messy storylines, Gods of Egypt just can’t escape it’s own missteps. (REVIEW)

The Legend of Tarzan
Now my expectations for The Legend of Tarzan were never abnormally high, but I at least expected an entertaining film. Instead what I witnessed was a film that took itself way too serious, from its paint by numbers storyline or it’s incredibly slow pace. Tarzan, in my opinion, is never a character that should be boring and yet here we have The Legend of Tarzan. (REVIEW)
Fifty Shades of Black
Who wants another parody film akin to the Scary Movies of old? Anyone? No one? That’s what I thought. As if the premise weren’t bad enough, Fifty Shades of Black is less funny than the film it’s making fun of. And while Fifty Shades of Grey may have been unintentional humor, it’s still better than this mess.

Nine Lives
Out of all the films this year, even more than the number one entry on this list, Nine Lives makes me question how it got made more than any other. It’s entire premise of a human swapping bodies with an animal reeks of the 1990s or early 2000s. It’s got very little going for it, outside of Kevin Spacey’s voice, and is terribly unfunny as a film, let alone a kid’s film.

And the #1 worst film of 2016.....

Max Steel
Ugh. Just ugh. That’s really all that can describe the ill-fated adaptation of the popular 90s toy, a true dumpster fire from start to finish. You’d think a movie, though it’s a stretch to call Max Steel a movie, based on a toy would at least be fun but that’s not even close to true in this case. At least the Transformers franchise is mindless fun, something Max Steel can’t even fathom let alone conjure.

   And that's my list. Be sure to look out for The 25 Best Films of 2016 list that are sure to follow in due time. So what did you think of the list? Anything I left off? Or included that just doesn't belong? Be sure to subscribe, share, comment below and as always return to I Am Sam for weekly reviews and insight.

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