Sunday, 25 February 2018

20 Worst Films of 2017

I've left it long enough, so here's my list of the worst films I witnessed from 2017.

Dishonourable Mentions:

*xXx: Return of Xander Cage, a film which disregards basic logic to deliver half-hearted action, while forgetting anything resembling basic character work.
*Kingsman: The Golden Circle, a juvenile picture which is ill-thought out, overlong, and disregards any potential peril for a slapdash resurrection. Also, why so much Elton John?
*The Dark Tower, a choppily edited mess that wastes its phenomenal leads on this poorly crafted dung heap of a film.
*Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, a soulless entry to cash-in on a franchise name, complete with a poor replacement cast.
*King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, an identity crisis of a film that can't decide between being a typical Guy Ritchie geezer film, or a subpar Lord of the Rings rip-off. Complete with David Beckham's dreadful "acting".

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20. The Bye Bye Man

There's an inkling of a decent idea here, but it's lost among this poorly composed picture. It's a struggle to care for the protagonists, who are brought to screen through stiff acting, and often missing basic human intelligence. Then there's the villain hounding these characters, whose design is too derivative, with a dog brought alive through effects from a 90's Playstation game. One that's lazy, forgettable, and as eye rolling as the antagonists own name.


A Dog's Purpose (film).jpg19. A Dog's Purpose

A canine reincarnation picture that feels like a tactical move by a studio, containing multiple instances of tear jerker moments to emotionally manipulate audiences into seeing this film. It's clearly meant to sweet, but the result is excessive and saccharine. Not helping are when it strays into darker elements, which feel completely out of place, or the way it rushes through multiple lives with montages. It's a film best likened to arriving home, and finding your dog has pooed on your bed. The cuteness makes you want to forgive them, but the result is too much of a mess to do so.

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18. The Belko Experiment

Greg McLean dusts off a nearly 10 year old script by James Gunn to adapt it, but the better option would've been to chuck it in the bin. What's attempted is Battle Royale in an office block, but it achieves this on a superficial level. There's no satire, wit, or entertainment which can be mined from such a scenario, this is just a drawn out and unimaginative attempt to rack up a body count among the bloated cast. Also, considering the setting, it's disappointing how quickly the film resorts to bog standard kills with guns, knives, and axes.


El Camino Christmas.png17. El Camino Christmas

About as festive as wrapping tinsel around a nuclear missile, this is a woefully inept film from David E. Talbert. For a comedy centred around an ensemble of characters, there's little interest in delivering character developments or laughs, as we're made to follow a thinly sketched assortment who regularly act like hotheaded morons. The key example shows our lead discover there's cameras all around the store, which could prove his innocence in this whole scenario. He responds to this by instantly destroying the recording system, without so much as a thought to how it could help clear his name. Good job.



16. Olaf's Frozen Adventure

It may not even last half an hour, but what occurred felt longer than an entry into The Godfather trilogy. Essentially 22 minutes of Olaf dicking around, this is made with the effort of a straight to video Christmas special, contains the songs of a forgettable TV special, and has the irritant factor of chlamydia. Between this and Frozen Fever, Disney don't have a good track record for extending upon their 2013 smash hit.



The Book of Henry film poster.jpg15. The Book of Henry

It's baffling how this mess of a product made it this far, and actually garnered such a wide release. Director Colin Treverrow is clearly trying his hand at a Steven Spielberg style picture, mixing the perils of childhood with the heartbreaking realities of the world, and a little bit of lost innocence thrown in there. What we've got instead feels like a live action version of Jimmy Neutron, which then jarringly shifts into a child abuse tale, before taking audiences deeper down the rabbit hole, and making their utterance of "What the hell?" ever more frequent. These combined elements do not fit together for this amateurish TV movie, which somehow includes a scene hinting at sexual tension between Sarah Silverman, and the 11 year old lead.

DeathNotePoster.jpg14. Death Note

Adam Wingard adaptation of Tsugumi Ohba's story is an outright insulting adaptation, poorly delivering what could be an interesting story for film. The focus is on a screechy teen who wants to use a powerful murderous weapon to impress his girlfriend, who's more of an active participant in punishing criminals than our supposed lead, while being pursued by a hothead who disregards his own code for personal gain. On its own terms, this is a poorly made film which fails to understand character or story, and it's a slap in the face for anyone familiar with the original story. If anything, this resembles Fant4stic and Dragonball Evolution than it does its own source material.

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13. Sleepless


A remake of a 2011 French film, titled Sleepless Night, this is merely the latest casualty in the long standing tradition of Hollywood butchering international cinema. Where the original was a tense affair full of atmosphere, this is its loud, brash cousin, who inserts hackneyed action where it isn't needed. Even when you view the film on its own terms, it's far from pretty, and a by the numbers film indistinguishable from its competition. The title is ironic, as this film can easily send one off to sleep. It may be the obvious gag, but that doesn't make it any less true.



Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge12. Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge

When I look at a franchises fifth entries, I use Fast Five as a benchmark., as it was a film which defied expectations, and managed to reinvigorate and breathe new life into a tired franchise. Salazar's Revenge unfortunately does the complete opposite, managing to be a tired imitation of the first film which is completely joyless, lacking in any innovation, and completely dull. This is a strong argument for ending the franchise, but it's worth commending Johnny Depp's performance. He perfectly imitates the film, as they're both tired retreads of what come beforehand. You'll never root for a guillotine more.


11. The Mummy
The Mummy (2017).jpg
In the craze of making shared universes, this film was intended to kick off Universal's Dark Universe, and one gets the impression that's was the only priority for this film. What's been brought to screen is an overstuffed mess, which is part Tom Cruise action vehicle, part limp horror film, part a forced attempt at world building, all lost within an identity crisis of a film. Between Tom Cruise portraying a self-centred looter, Sofia Boutella being a dull villain who wants to raise the Egyptian devil, and Russell Crowe flitting between awful accents, the cast have little to work with. Now, the Dark Universe is dead (yet again), and we're left with a hollow shell of a film, presumably drained by the eponymous Mummy. You're best sticking with the original, or even the Brendan Fraser film.

Geostorm official teaser poster.jpg10. Geostorm

A long time collaborator of Roland Emmerich, Dean Devlin takes clear inspiration for him to deliver his directorial debut. Any hopes of something as fun as Independence Day is dashed, as it comes off as the most bog standard of disaster movies, leading to something as lazy as Independence Day: Resurgence. He's content with copying other directors, mixing the exaggerated environmental danger of The Day After Tomorrow, lesser attempts at scenes perfected in Gravity, and even the Gerard Butler punch 'em up idiocy of London Has Fallen. Stupidity and lunacy go hand in hand here, but fun doesn't even factor into the proceedings.

Image result for sharknado 5 poster9. Sharknado 5: Global Swarming

By this point, I should not be surprised at the low quality on display here. I remain baffled that something so consistently crappy became a franchise, which is, once again, directed by Anthony C. Ferrante, and still leaves me baffled at how hilariously inept it all is. There's little attempt to make the script anything above subpar, as this franchise about "tornadoes with sharks" now includes teleportation, and a mythology including a Shark God. But, don't worry, there's as many forced references and cameos as ever, with a glut of subplots and side characters who are swiftly forgotten about.

BrightPoster.jpeg8. Bright

The first Blockbuster film released by Netflix, and surely it's all uphill from here? (I haven't watched Mute yet). David Ayer and Max Landis try their hand at mixing a buddy cop film, a fantasy setting, and social satire, but end up with a clunky mess that delivers these elements in such chaotic ways. The latter is what worsens the film, as all communities are depicted as living in some kind of harmony due to their hatred of the Orc community (who are essentially a poor surrogate for the Black community). It's not helped by having such a by the numbers lead, whose character progression is to not be racist to his partner. Talk about outdated.


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7. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Considering this is the finale to a 15 year old film franchise, it's bizarre Paul W.S. Anderson closes it with little to no effort. There's no attempt made to care for these characters, cycling through these boring faces without giving audiences a reason to care about them before they're unceremoniously offed. The choppy editing and poor CG have this action-horror film fail to succeed in both genres, but then that's keeping in tradition with the rest of this pitiful series. So long, Resident Evil series. It was painful to know of your existence.

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6. Rings

Whatever chilling images were evident in Hideo Nakata's 1998 original, Ringu, and even in Gore Verbinski's 2002 remake, The Ring, are long gone in this boring hack-job. Anything of potential is butchered to deliver a horrendously dull piece of horror, which is full of poor writing, dull characters, and shamelessly rips off better films.


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5. CHiPS

Dax Shepherd takes on triple duty here, starring as the lead, writing, and directing, and managing to be as successful as a hook-handed gynaecologist. Full of messy and unexciting action scenes, camera angles perverted enough to make Michael Bay blush, and a sense of humour that confuses gay panic and a close-up of a feline anus for jokes. This is nothing short of an outright disaster.



A masked woman in a white dress, being held as if dancing by a man in a tuxedo.
4. Fifty Shades Darker


"This isn't a relationship, it's ownership". These words said by Anastasia Steele ring entirely true, as what's been witnessed of their relationship is hard to get behind. He interferes in her life where it's unwanted, often commanding her as though she's his inferior, and even behaving like an outright stalker. Considering this franchise lives and dies on its central relationship, it's difficult to get invested into such a toxic relationship. Outside of that are horribly contrived attempts at tension, and sexual scenes less arousing than a colonoscopy video.



3. Transformers: The Last Knight
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A pathetic excuse for a $260 million blockbuster film, Michael Bay's latest entry into the Transformers franchise is wholly soulless, with effort seeming like a foreign notion. The film has a bloated runtime of 149 minutes, which still doesn't feel like enough time for the multiple plotlines. From Megatron assembling a Suicide Squad of pathetic Decepticon rejects (Nitro Zeus, anyone?), to the villainous Quintessa's plan that's an asinine take on Lars Von Trier's Melancholia, and especially the total of 5 minutes devoted to Optimus Prime turning evil, the various story threads are all wasted. Yet, even with the film transforming into the Autobot History Channel, there's time for Anthony Hopkins and Laura Haddock to discuss when Mark Wahlberg last had sex.


The Emoji Movie film poster.jpg
2. The Emoji Movie

An extended money grab which feels cynical, superficial, and derivative, The Emoji Movie is the answer to the question "What if Inside Out was directed by a turd"? There's nothing to suggest effort has been put into this, with the most insight being that teens like being on their smartphones, and delivering messages such as "it's okay for a lady to give up on her dreams for a guy she's just met". It does deserve some credit, as James Corden's Hi-5 has entered the pantheon of cinemas most annoying chatacters. Ultimately, this is a $50 million dollar advert which achieves as much as a Sony executive shouting app names into your eardrums for 86 minutes.



1. Wolves at the Door

There has been no film from 2017 which has left me more infuriated at its very existence than John R. Leonetti's take on the real life Tate murders. The real life tragedy has been churned out into a soulless slasher flick, while including a sledgehammer to try and "spice things up" for the murderous set pieces. It's a ghastly way to make this film, leaving it utterly exploitative and hollow. If I haven't made it clear enough, this is a horrendous piece of trash.




Agree/Disagree with my choices? Be sure to voice your opinions in the comments below.

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