2016 was a weird year. It was certainly one you couldn’t predict. Donald Trump became the President Elect, we left the European Union, I ate some spinach and didn’t spit it right back out of my mouth. It was certainly something we’ll remember. The former two things, I doubt you care about me and my relationship with food, of course attracted much hatred and derision, and that’s fair enough. But for me, my hatred and derision gets sent towards far less serious things, films. And here are the films that attracted my ire during this year.
10. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
I did a Top 5 Worst of the Year So Far back in July and I said then if 13 Hours: The Secret Solders of Benghazi ended up on my list at the end of the year, it wouldn’t have been that bad a year. And here we are. The main fault of this film wasn’t the usual stuff we like bash Michael Bay for, the cluttered camerawork, over-reliance on explosions and nauseous disrespect to women. No, it was just incredibly boring.
Bland acting, bland action, just a whole lot of bland. Of course this film probably deserves a bit more scrutiny now because it is rather obvious it is blaming a certain former Presidential candidate for what happened in Benghazi, which may have affected an election which led to an overgrown Oompa-Loompa taking control.
9. Gods of Egypt
We can argue over what makes a bad film and where it should be ranked on the list. For me, I always try to rank the films I enjoyed the least towards the top with the films I truly despised being right there at the peak. It is the same for this list too, which probably makes it a bit unfair I’ve put Gods of Egypt on this list. While it is indeed a terrible film which some of the worst effects and acting you’ll see this side of a university-made movie, that was also the reason it didn’t rank quite highly.
You sort of start to enjoy it on the same level that you do with The Room and Birdemic with the nonsensical turns in the plot making you laugh rather than despair. Because you can mine some enjoyment out of it, I can only rank this film 9th.
8. Ice Age: Collision Course
When I was much younger, I used to love the Ice Age films. Back then, I wasn’t as picky as I am now and the first two just hit the spot with the right mixture of heart and slapstick. However, that series started when I was primary school. I am now a university graduate. It shouldn’t be going on, yet it still is and it’s descended to a level that makes me question whether the original was any good or not.
The humour is just not there, replaced by the lowest level of joke making and having Scrat in space and a meteor coming to land and kill them all is this franchise jumping the shark. Then the side plots are complete garbage and are just there to waste time in your kids lives, and my life.
7. Warcraft: The Beginning
We came into 2016 with a lot of hope, and one of those hopes was that this would be the year where we’d finally get a good video game movie. That was another failure this year gave to us. Warcraft had so much potential if it picked one of the many stories from it’s massive lore and simply gave it to us, but it instead gave us something that you wouldn’t understand unless you had played the game. IE, the MMO where you need to invest lots of money and time to even scratch the surface.
Yeah, makes those films where the key plot details are in the books look rather tame. It does have decent special effects, but if I wanted to see something nice that confused the hell out of me I’d go to an arts gallery.
6. Nine Lives
I think if you could have predicted any film from this year would be on a worst list, it would be Nine Lives. A film where Kevin Spacey voices a cat could only be good if it actually was President Underwood in the cat, and because this film doesn’t do that it is complete crap. Everyone in this film knows that this is a complete waste of time and are looking to get off the set as quick as possible, so no one puts in a good performance whether that is Spacey reading off his lines of Jennifer Garner handling a cat with that distinct look of regret in her eye. Even Garfield‘s live action film is better than this.
5. Monster Trucks
Amazingly though, Nine Lives is not the worst children’s film of the year. Monster Trucks snuck in at the end of the year and claimed that mantle right off it. It suffers from many of the same problems that Nine Lives does such as borrowing old story tropes and having a load of actors in it who wish they would be anywhere else than on that set. So why does Monster Trucks get a higher spot than Nine Lives then? Because it is far more insulting than Nine Lives ever was.
That film could be enjoyable for how crap it was, but Monster Trucks takes so many shortcuts in its narrative and expects you not to care because hey, it’s for kids and they don’t want that. Kids may have a higher tolerance for crap, but they still deserve better.
4. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
I should have feared the worst when Fifty Shades of Grey became a success. Not because it would lead to a whole lot of crap erotica to come to the screen, that already happens with exploitation flicks, but because it would legitimatize film adaptations of fan fiction, which would be atrocious. Yes, I know there are some decent fanfics out there, but most of them a whole load of dross which make usually straight male characters have sex with each other for some reason.
While Pride and Prejudice And Zombies doesn’t do that, it isn’t much better. Some how, no one on the set realised that putting zombies in classic literature is a stupid idea and so should be treated as such to make for a fun if trashy action flick. No, this had to be dark and gritty for some reason, and the ridiculousness of the plot does not lend itself to it. It’s a bore that makes a mockery of one of the greatest novels of all time.
3. Independence Day: Resurgence
I have been unlucky in life, so I once met an overly pretentious film student who declared all blockbusters from Hollywood terrible and that I really should spend my time watching Polish indie dramas made for 50 Euros. I’ve always thought that is ridiculous because I think there is nothing more valuable than a good piece of escapism but I imagine when a pretentious film student sees a blockbuster, he thinks it is something like Independence Day: Resurgence. This is a film that thinks bigger is better and decides that if everything blows up, it will definitely top the iconic scene in the original when the White House blew up. It doesn’t.
It is just a mess of polygons which looks like nothing and feels like nothing. It’s CGI nonsense. And when we get to the actual characters, they are the most balnd people you can put to screen. They are just there to spout exposition and just sort of exist. Or make some of the most stupid lines in movie history. Put your pants back on indeed.
2. Point Break
Look, I don’t hate the idea of films getting remakes. If you get technical, some of the best films of all times are remakes. But if you are going to do one, you have to get why the original one was a success. Whether you like it or not, the first Point Break became a classic because of it’s cheesiness and how nuts it got. The remake of Point Break thought that if it put a dark Instagram filter over the film and toned down the acting to level I like to call comatose, we’d take it more seriously and it’d be the epic environmental we all deserve. But like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, it didn’t realise that extreme sports criminals is a stupid idea and if you try to make it serious, we will reject it.
Quite frankly, this film is so preachy it gets on your nerves. I get preached at on the street by religious nuts who say I’m going to Hell, I get preached at on social media by polticos who think they know everything about the EU Referendum so I refuse to be preached at by a remake of a daft 90s film.
1. Dirty Grandpa
I have been angry at a lot of films. I was angry at Transformers: Age of Extinction for thinking more about loopholes to paedophilia law than about it’s plot, I was angry at Mrs Brown’s Boys: D’Movie for birthing a comedy so inept a university improvisation group could have put on a better show and I was angry at Entourage for thinking that the general public should love and root for a sexist have-it-all bastard. But I have never been as angry as I was when I was watching Dirty Grandpa.
This is one of the most repulsive things ever put in a multiplex, something that makes me want to vomit, something which makes me want to set fire to my eyeballs so I never see anything like it again. It’s a film that makes Robert De Niro into someone on the level of Pauly Shore, something that is stunning considering he has been in some of the greatest movies of all time. The first big joke is De Niro masterbaiting to porn, which is funny if you have been hit in the head by a hammer on the hour every hour. Then the final joke is De Niro shoving a baby’s finger into Zac Efron’s arse, which is as funny as a baby’s finger being shoved into an actual grown man’s arse. I mean Jesus. This film is gross and deserves as much contempt as humanly possible.
This was a year where a man who proudly declared he sexual assaults women was elected into the highest office in the world, yet Dirty Grandpa was the thing that made most angry and shocked.