Out of all the movies I have seen in the past year, there have been some bad ones to balance the good. Here are ten of them.
Since its theatrical release, the French horror film Raw – directed by Julia Ducournau – has become somewhat of a cult classic. It was infamous for the causing of many a sick stomach when it was screened at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, and still has made people nauseous upon further release. However, after finally watching ‘Raw’ on Netflix with my girlfriend, we were both underwhelmed by the experience. Do not get me wrong, it is not the worst movie I have seen, I just could not understand the hype about it. Instead, it served as more of a look at the embarrassment of being a college freshman trying to find her way. Come to think of it, I believe that is why the critics were so kind to this movie.
#09. ‘Alien: Covenant’
After the success that was ‘Prometheus’, director Ridley Scott felt the need to return to the ‘Alien’ franchise once more to finish what he started with ‘Alien: Covenant’. The problem: Scott made this both a sequel to ‘Prometheus’ and a prequel to ‘Alien’. While I was open to the best of both worlds, ‘Covenant’ was anything but. Instead, ‘Covenant’ gave me a boring story-line and lack of thrills; replacing them with rushed horror movie clichés and philosophy worthy of a two-hour nap. I guess Scott could not have his black-and-green cake and eat it too!
Alexander Payne’s ‘Downsizing’ was a movie that had so much potential; with its interesting premise and seemingly thought-provoking social commentary about saving the planet. Sadly, the film feels like a missed opportunity; instead, focusing on the tiny world Matt Damon’s Paul Safranek shrinks himself down into. Neither as innovative, imaginative, or inventive as it wants to be, ‘Downsizing’ came up short upon every one of its possibilities.
#07. ‘The Book of Henry’
Colin Trevorrow could not impress me with ‘Jurassic World’, now he has managed to flop yet another time with ‘The Book of Henry’ – a movie with a case of mistaken identity. The many problems this film faces are its dated script (it was first conceived in 1997) and inability to pick a genre. Is it a coming-of-age comedy? A melodrama? A thriller? Whatever the case, ‘The Book of Henry’ was poorly structured.
#06. ‘Fifty Shades Darker’
When compared to its predecessor, ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ is not bad; the cinematography is still beautiful and well-managed, while director James Foley manages to dip its last half into romance territory more than the first installment in the ‘Fifty Shades’ trilogy did. But let’s face it, there are still more problems underneath the surface, like its horrible dialogue with terrible delivery and an incohesive storyline. Even star Dakota Johnson seems confused about everything that is going on. Don’t worry, Ms. Anastasia Steele, you are almost through with the trilogy.
#05. ‘The Emoji Movie’
You saw this coming, didn’t you? Of course you did. ‘The Emoji Movie’ made every known critics’ Top Ten Worst Movies lists, and it would have been weird had I not put it on here. While I did not hate ‘The Emoji Movie’ per se, I did find myself annoyed with the characters while sitting through this bright and colorful movie. Its attempts at being funny were far and few between with too much focus on literally trying to make “meh” things funny. It did not even help to have Maya Rudolph voice a overexaggerated version of the smiley emoji known as Smiler (despite being a likable and funny actress). She is really much better than this!
After the critical and financial success of ’21 Jump Street’, it seemed like a good idea for the TV show ‘Baywatch’ to get a comedic spin on the big screen. The trailer showed promise by showcasing tons of meta-humor poking fun at the show’s cheesy demeanor. However, upon seeing this Dwayne-Johnson-and-Zac-Efron vehicle, I found myself disappointed by how much it took itself seriously. Director Seth Gordon knew the show was bad, but was maybe too ashamed to embrace its many missed opportunities at over-the-top cheesiness. If given a choice, I would say David and Jerry Zucker, and Jim Abrahams (‘Airplane’) would have been better choices for the director’s seat.
#03. ‘Pitch Perfect 3’
Along with ‘Downsizing’, I saw ‘Pitch Perfect 3’ quite recently (There was a reason I was waiting to write my Top Ten lists). I knew I did not have to see it, but not only was it an honorable mention on my Top Ten Anticipated Movies list last year, I felt a sense of relief seeing it. I also felt disappointment seeing what started off as an entertaining sleeper hit with the first ‘Pitch Perfect’ going slowly downhill with the next movie. There is a reason why comedy sequels should not be branched out. Remember what happened with ‘Dumb and Dumber To’? I sure do!
#02. ‘Power Rangers’
It pains me to see ‘Power Rangers’ so high on the list; I loved ‘Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers’ as a kid and really loved ‘The Movie’. So when news of a ‘Power Rangers’ reboot came about, I was between excited and skeptical. You can now guess my reaction when I saw The Rangers’ recent film. I was extremely angry that it was everything I hoped it would not be; with little focus on the Rangers’ suits, and instead being another ‘Breakfast Club’ rip-off with a boring origin story. Had the movie gave me what I came to see, I would have felt glad to be in the theater at the time.
#01. ‘The Dark Tower’
Here is a movie that fails in almost every aspect: Acting, thrills, story, and being a movie in general. Like ‘Assassin’s Creed’, ‘The Dark Tower’ – Nikolaj Arcel’s adaptation of Stephen King’s beloved fantasy novel – is an instruction manual on “How to be a Terrible Movie.” Its only saving grace is Idris Elba – who plays famed gunslinger Roland. Had another actor played Roland, then the results could have been disastrous. Sadly, I cannot get past how ‘The Dark Tower’ managed to be the worst movie of 2017. At least, we got ‘It’ to make up for this drag.