As the year winds down, and everyone talks about Oscar season, let’s take a moment to reflect on the worst films that came out this year. Let’s get on by starting out with numbers 10-6.
10.) The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Sony)
In spite of the success (both commercially and critically) of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and especially “Guardians of the Galaxy” this was the year in which we started hearing about “Superhero Fatigue” among critics and movie goers. So, when Superhero movies die down and the next cinematic thing eventually takes over, it would be fair to say that “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” will be looked at as one of the films that helped kick start that fatigue.
Like it’s predecessor, it was largely made so Sony Pictures could hold on to a franchise that had proved to be immensely successful before. However, whilst the prior film was an okay movie, the follow up is a disaster. The mishandling of the villains is egregious, with Green Goblin feeling more like a footnote than a major villain, Electro coming off as goofy instead of threatening (Dubstep super villain!) and poor Paul Giamati being wasted in five minutes of screen time as Rhino. The drama never really takes off, with even :SPOILERS Highlight to read:The death of Gwen Stacy feeling contrived instead of emotionally investing:END SPOILERS: Then there’s just the fact that at the end of the day, none of this really feels like a story that’s needs to be told. I like Spider-Man. The character deserves better than a movie that exists simply so the studio can make money, and that doesn’t understand characterization or even basic fun.
9.) The Expendables 3 (Lions Gate)
2013-14 will go down as the era in which we realized that simply banking in on nostalgia for old action stars is pointless. Sure, “The Last Stand” and “Escape Plan” were enjoyable little movies, but audiences don’t really see Stallone and Schwarzenegger as big stars anymore. If there is any movie that proves that it’s time to move on from the attitude of “Hey, remember this guy from that action movie”?, it’s “The Expendables 3”
Given a bland PG-13 rating, new talent like…uh, Kellan Lutz from the “Twilight” movies, and lacking much of what made the last entry in the series a decent little time waster. Instead, it’s a poorly directed, acted, written and choreographed bore that simply thinks having moments like Arnold saying “get to the chopper” (get it, because he said that in “Predator”) will make up for everything. That and the fact that in a year in which the likes of “John Wick” and especially “The Raid 2” served as reminders of how awesome action movies can be, this just reminded me of how dull they can be as well. It’s a movie that tries to coax fond memories of what the stars did in the past, but you are better off watching something like “Commando” or even “Cobra” instead of a pretender to the throne.
8.) Sex Tape (Columbia Pictures)
“Sex Tape” at least must have looked like a good idea on paper…okay, I’m kidding. Nothing about this must have seemed like a good idea, but hey, it stars Cameron Diaz and Jason Segal (who co-wrote the film) and the title itself might trick someone into thinking that it’s funny, but the end result is the kind of insultingly stupid shit that annoys more than it amuses.
The fact that Diaz is at least trying here is depressing, as is the idea that Segal thinks having to show off his ass is automatically funny. That and the fact that said sex scenes are played for laughs, but simply seeing two people (a married couple at that) trying their hardest to kiss each other, and the stupid antics they do to try and prevent people from seeing their sex tape make you wonder why anyone would thing it’s a good idea to make a comedy that makes you spend time with such insufferable, unfunny characters. Oh, and that it wastes a good cast (Rob Lowe, Elle Kemper and Rob Corddry-and :SPOILER Highlight to read:a pointless cameo from Jack Black:SPOILER:) and throws in things like a kid who likes to stick her finger in her ass and wipe it on objects. It’s nothing more than a bunch of horrible ideas that think they are funny.
7.) The Legend of Hercules (Lions Gate/Summit/Millennium)
If I where to describe Millennium Entertainment, it would be “They are like Cannon Films except more recent and less entertaining”. Sure, you will occasionally get something fun like Ninja: Shadow of a Tear, but usually they will help to make something like the “Conan the Barbarian” remake or this, a movie starring Kellan Lutz that was directed by Renny Harlin and only exists to cash in on the fact that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would be in a Hercules movie later that year.
As you can guess, this is money grabbing cinema at it’s most cynical. It doesn’t care that the performances are terrible (including Scott Adkins, a surprisingly reliable regular of straight-to-video action movies whose credits include the “Undisputed” sequels and the aforementioned “Ninja: Shadow of a Tear”) that the action scenes make Zack Snyder and at times even Michael Bay look like visionary directors, that it cost $70 million to make but oftentimes looks like a Sci-Fi Channel movie or that the whole thing is boring as hell. All it cares about is getting money from dumb teenage boys and whoever is left that still swoons over the “Twilight” series, and even that audience will most likely find this to be an awful movie. Even “I, Frankenstein” tried more than this piece of shit.
6.) A Haunted House 2 (Open Road Films)
Next to Adam Sandler, I can’t think of a comedic actor who holds more contempt for their audience than Marlon Wayans. The only reason he doesn’t get ripped on as much as Sandler is because his filmography is smaller-but not exactly better. So, when a sequel to a movie from the man that gave you “White Chicks” and “Little Man” came out this year, it got the kind of reviews you would expect. However, actually seeing the thing is a whole different thing altogether. This movie will only be entertaining if the idea of Marlon Wayans having sex with the doll from “The Conjuring” seems hilarious to you.
For everyone else, this is torture to sit through. Filled with misogyny, homophobia (Wayans has a gay son who he treats with contempt) racism (in particular against Latinos) and even attempting to molest one’s daughter being played for laughs. Also, pop culture jokes (Honey Boo Boo and the Kardashians. Surely nobody has made fun of them in the past!) and bad attempts at being meta (Wayans saying the “Scary Movie” franchise sucked after the Wayans left). Making this even sadder is that unlike Adam Sandler, Wayans is actually giving his all, doing and saying everything he can in a movie that doesn’t have a single laugh in it.
Okay, the “Jesus Pieces” jokes got a laugh out of me. Yes I feel bad about that.
However, the fact that this of all movies is something where he puts forth an effort and actually wants the audience to laugh at things like auto-fellatio and hit in the testicles jokes are the height of the comedy presented. That and watching him have graphic sex with a doll. Oh, and lazy riffs on “The Conjuring”, “Sinister” and “The Possession”.
Next time, it will be movies 5-1. The things I do man…