It’s that wonderful middle of winter time again, where we look to the new year while reflecting on the one that’s about to end.
Or in this case, by reflect, I mean take one last look at some of the disasters that entered cinemas in 2017. Here are my top 10 worst movies of the year. Keep in mind, I didn’t see such “classics” as “The Snowman” or “The Emoji Movie,” so if a movie you expected to be here didn’t make it, just know they’re on the list in spirit.
10. Alien Covenant
“Alien Covenant” is at No. 10 because despite not liking it, I’ll admit it’s the ‘best’ on this list. The film is nice visually and Ridley Scott is a competent director. I could not get over the majority of the characters in this flick making bone-headed decisions the entire runtime, from going off course to an unknown planet to walking down a dark staircase, the latter being the equivalent of a protagonist going down to the basement. Come on. These horror clichés are littered throughout this movie.
All of that was on top of the fact that the story becomes a mess with how much faux-intellectualism it tries to shove, which is mostly just the characters rambling about creation.
9. The House
“The House” may have worked as a comedic sketch or a short film. Unfortunately, the idea was stretched way too thin. All of the humor in the movie is based on two things: 1. Having a functioning casino in an average suburban house. 2. Upper middle class people acting like hard core criminals. This runs out of steam so fast, with the movie losing most of its humor by the end of the first half hour. After that, it just drags on.
The humor isn’t all that smart, either. Not that it needed to be immensely clever, but when a main attempt at comedy is the main characters beating up some people who owe money to a Snoop Dogg song, you have problems. This was one I really considered walking out of.
8. Rough Night
Like others on this list, “Rough Night” is a film that has a talented cast, but is awfully executed.
Everything about “Rough Night” feels like it’s been done before. The first half, for example, shows typical ‘party movie’ hijinx where characters take too many drugs and do crazy things. Then, the second half is some basic shenanigans about covering up a crime. On top of that, all of the characters felt like caricatures and there was very little camaraderie between them.
The movie wasn’t very funny, either, with most of the humor relying on shock gags and a completely worthless subplot involving a character’s fiancé.
7. Transformers: The Last Knight
Another top 10 worst list, another “Transformers” film making the cut. “The Last Knight” starts off with a historical battle that takes a hammer to the series’ internal consistency and what follows is a complete mess of a story, with the direction seemingly zigzagging from subplot to subplot. Not only was the story a mess, though, it also had to be nearly two and a half hours for some reason. Of course, being a “Transformers” movie, it all boils down to finding a certain item and keeping it away from the bad robots to save the day.
Like other flicks in this series, besides a single fight scene that looked nice, the action is hard to follow and doesn’t leave much of an impact, it’s just a bunch of grey metal being shoved in your face. Plus, we have to watch a film with forgettable Transformer characters, a Mark Wahlberg character that has a lame ‘chosen one’ arc, and a love interest in Laura Haddock’s character with no chemistry with the protagonist.
This one was rough. The story was so overly generic, using a typical underdog tale where a person can pinpoint exactly what will happen. The film isn’t helped, either by the main side character who provides the movie with painfully unfunny slapstick humor. Other than offering the cheapest of slapstick moments, this side character doesn’t offer anything other than a deus ex machina.
The main character was nothing special, either. Not only does she do some things in the first act that make it difficult to root for her, there’s also a huge amount of time spent on why she wants to dance. Loving dancing isn’t a good enough reason apparently.
Other problems in this animation dud was a third act scene involving the mother of another character that’s so over the top and ridiculous that it feels insulting.
The animation had issues, too, with some of the facial animations being off and mistakes such as a lantern turning off without anyone touching it. Plus, the film uses modern pop music during scenes of ballet instead of actual dance music.
5. The Mummy
What a complete misfire this was. Universal’s attempt to create a new franchise crashed right after launch with this “Mummy” remake. The first act was rushed in its set up and the second act offers nothing but world building for other monster movies. It all leads to a lame climax with generic action.
Tom Cruise was completely wasted here, too. He more or less gave the same performance Mark Wahlberg did in “The Happening,” with nothing but a shocked expression on his face most of the movie. That’s on top of his character being an unlikable asshole with a weak arc and a forgettable supporting cast.
The tone was inconsistent, too, as if the movie didn’t know whether to be a silly action comedy or a truly dark, Gothic picture. I would tell the series to make up its mind, but I don’t know if Universal is going to fund another one of these flicks.
4. The Circle
How do you squander this much talent? “The Circle” had young stars like Emma Watson and John Boyega, an Oscar winning legend with Tom Hanks and a great comedian in Patton Oswalt. However, “The Circle” somehow managed to make all of them bland.
When doing research after seeing the film, I learned that the book the movie was based off of was a satire, which is what this should have been. Instead, what audiences got was a bland film taking itself way too seriously. The film’s story also just meanders without much of a direction, subplots are brought up then dropped and the stakes aren’t really high.
3. Just Getting Started
What a waste of time. This film felt so dated, as if it should’ve been released in the 1990s. The characters are awful, the performances feel phoned in and the picture shoe-horns in an action story in the third act.
Worst of all, though, was the humor. The height of the ‘comedy’ here were some zany moments where the characters play golf, but one of them cheats! Eye. Roll.
Imagine a film that was the quality of something you’d see on the Lifetime channel that just managed to get some well-known performers. That’s what “Unforgettable” is. The story is so ridiculous, filled with over-the-top dialogue and weak jump scares. The hijinx that occur with the characters is so unbearable and laughable that you’d think this was a parody. However, it wasn’t, it took itself 100 percent seriously.
On top of this, the film uses the approach of showing the audience a scene from the end of the second act to start things off, then having a flash back to an earlier time to set up how things got so out of hand. These usually work against a film since it’s more or less spoiling what’s going to happen.
1. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
One last time, I had to sit through a movie in this franchise. This terrible, awful franchise. Like most of its predecessors, this “Resident Evil” was stuffed full of plot holes and continuity errors, along with an incredibly stupid twist that comes in the movie’s first act.
Also featured were some downright lapses in writing. The villains, for example, say at least three times to increase the security at their evil hideout, but the main characters are able to basically walk through the front door.
As with the other movies, Alice (who’s never been a character in the games these films are based on), is a blank slate. She’s so damn dull and there’s no arc for her character to go through. The action even sucked in this grand finale. The editing was terrible, with so many cuts that a person can’t tell what’s going on.
At the very least, since this was the last one, I won’t have to put up with “Resident Evil” adaptations any more.