2016 has given us great things, but I have heard that this was a terrible year. We’ve had to get through the deaths of many beloved celebrities (David Bowie, Prince, George Michael, and Carrie Fisher to name a few.), the controversial 2016 presidential election, social issues, and these films I have listed below. I have sat through both the good and the bad; these films are the definition of the latter. I have managed to avoid a select few (‘Norm of the North’, ‘The Wild Life’, and others that looked bad.), but in the case of these films, I just couldn’t resist the bait that was being cast. These are my picks for the Top 10 Worst Films of 2016 a.k.a the Biggest Traps of the year.
#10. ‘Nine Lives’
We all knew that ‘Nine Lives’ was going to be bad. It’s as cliché as the most clichéd family fantasy comedy can be. I did find it hard to resist a movie where the great Kevin Spacey voices the inner thoughts of a cat with a premise that rips off the Tim Allen remake of ‘The Shaggy Dog’ with a little ‘Garfield’ sprinkled in for comedic effect. The problem is: The comedy barely works. Sure, the film has some funny one-liners, and a bit of heart, but when your “family” film has scenes of a cat getting drunk off of liquor, themes of attempted murder, attempted suicide, and adultery, Christopher Walken talking to a cat as if it is a person, and a laughable CG cat, then something is wrong. Add to the fact that director Barry Sonnenfeld (‘Men in Black’, ‘The Addams Family’) helmed this film and you have a near miss.
Christopher Guest’s semi-mockumentary about the struggles of being a sports mascot was supposed to be funny from the start. It managed not only to abandon its mockumentary style, but it also forgets that it is barely even funny. I could not laugh at this stupid attempt at humor from a guy whose specialty is the “mockumentary”. ‘Mascots’ is more of a film meant to be watched on Netflix when there is nothing else on and you need to relax. That is the only good thing I can say about this Netflix original film.
#08. ‘Bad Moms’
Maybe it is because I am not a mother going through a struggle of raising children, or maybe it’s due to the fact that ‘Bad Moms’ tries too hard to be funny. Whatever the case may be, ‘Bad Moms’ is an attempt at being a raunchy comedy about taking charge that only serves as a means for Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn to wreck a supermarket for a night. It also is horribly written and unrealistic at every turn, and has a horrible balance between comedy and drama. One of the only good things about ‘Bad Moms’ is its mid-credits scene where the main cast’s real mothers show up for interviews.
#07. ‘Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates’
Another failed attempt at comedy that only serves as a means for cheap laughs (which sometimes works, but mostly doesn’t) is ‘Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates’. This film had potential to be funny (and some good jokes to boot.), but the only feeling I felt when watching this dud was anger and stoicism at every attempt for a laugh. A sexed-up scene involving the main guys’ sister getting the most over-the-top massage by the most ridiculous masseuse ever made me never want to look at vacations in Hawaii the same way again.
#06. ‘Shut In’
While ‘Don’t Breathe’ was a testament to true horror, ‘Shut In’ instead is the complete opposite. Every jump scare is fake, the story doesn’t add up, and the film feels like a really crappy Stephen King horror novel brought to the big screen. This film is why horror isn’t really scary.
#05. ‘The Secret Life of Pets’
I know a lot of people who saw this are going to give me flak, but personally, I didn’t like ‘The Secret Life of Pets’. Think ‘Toy Story’ with animals, and you get this film about animals trying to save two dogs (Voices of Louis C.K. and Eric Stonestreet) from the plot of an evil bunny (Voice of Kevin Hart) who is desperate to make sure every human is decimated. This could have been a clever movie, but the jokes went nowhere and I sat there wondering where the funny was. I would much rather stick with ‘Sing’, which was another bad Illumination Entertainment film, but had more going for it than this film did.
#04. ‘The Boy’
The first official movie of 2016 I saw this year was a horror film called ‘The Boy’… and it sucked. Sure, the doll was creepy enough to give you a chill down your spine, but when I hear a guy laughing a couple of seats next to me about how funny and unintentionally hilarious this movie is, then of course this movie is bad. Also *SPOILER ALERT* The twist sucks too!!
#03. ‘Bad Santa 2’
While ‘Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising’ was an unnecessary sequel that worked with themes of friendship and what it means to be an adult, all ‘Bad Santa 2’ did was made me appreciate its predecessor (which I didn’t really like) even more. This sequel ups the sex jokes and mean-spirited humor to an all-time high. It tries to be funny, but it fails at almost every turn. Not even the addition of Kathy Bates and Christina Hendricks could fill me with the Christmas spirit I needed for the holiday season.
#02. ‘Assassin’s Creed’
Video game movies have a bad reputation from the many critics that see them. ‘Assassin’s Creed’ is proof of that fact. It has choppy editing, a story-line that doesn’t make any sense, even if you tried to dissect every detail, and plenty of missed opportunities for an R-rating it needs. Had it succeeded, it would have gotten praise. But I can never understand what went wrong, especially since Michael Fassbender was involved.
Has a movie ever made you so mad that you just wanted to go outside and punch a wall? That is the reaction I had while watching this Netflix original movie. It is repetitive, nonsensical, cliché, and doesn’t know what it truly wants to be. Obviously, it was meant for ravers. I am not a raver, but seeing this made me not want to attend one. Instead, I felt as if I needed some major therapy.
What ‘Warcraft’ does is excel in the visual category, but as far as acting goes; that’s where it mostly fails. It’s not a terrible video game movie, it’s just boring and almost put me to sleep.
To be honest, ‘Hardcore Henry’ had appeal to it. Its execution, however, was a nauseating first-person view where you are the character of Henry, an assassin on a quest to destroy the men who kidnapped his wife. It’s an attempt to bring an interesting concept to life, but I seriously would have more fun playing a real first-person shooter on home console.
‘The Divergent Series: Allegiant’
There is a reason that the next ‘Divergent’ film is planned for internet streaming. It’s not just because the third installment of the ‘Divergent’ franchise barely made any money (when the last two did). It is also because this film wasn’t good. In fact, the trilogy is a rollercoaster of entertainment. ‘Divergent’ was awful. ‘Insurgent’ was a warm welcome back. ‘Allegiant’ just feels like a repetitive SyFy original movie that was too big for television. The cheesy effects say otherwise.
“If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who ya gonna call?” Definitely not the new ‘Ghostbusters’. A lot of people were sure negative about this film before it came out. I was, however, open to the film being cast with the likes of Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones replacing the likes of the original foursome (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson.) I had to say that I was disappointed with the outcome. It just wasn’t funny or clever. Not even Chris Hemsworth could save this apocalyptic disaster. (I do admit that after seeing this film once again, I have warmed up to it. Don’t tell anybody!)
I think director Luke Scott needs to take some advice from his father Ridley Scott (who was somewhat involved with this film) on how to make a good movie, because this experiment-gone-wrong sci-fi thriller was underwhelming, and even disappointing to watch. It was also confusing and complex like the most frustrating puzzle you could ever solve.
‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’
What could have been an epic battle between an alien worshiped as a god and a billionaire dressed up as a bat while sounding like he smokes 20 cigarettes a day became a boring snooze of an expository setup of dreams, Jesse Eisenberg as an over-the-top Lex Luthor, and cameos from the upcoming ‘Justice League’ film. I do have to admit that Ben Affleck was awesome as Batman, as well as the introduction of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman.
Be unlike these duds and have a great 2016!!