2015 Recap – Worst of the Year

by - January 1st, 2016 - Features

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Worst of the Year 

Not every movie is Mad Max: Fury Road or Carol. Heck, they’re not even The Water Diviner, The Duff or even No Escape, perfectly acceptable genre fair that even with a misstep here or there proves to be hugely enjoyable in and of itself all the same. No, some movies are nothing but lost causes only worth sending to the dung heap, while others should be buried deep, deep within it never to be heard from again. The following ten titles are sadly some of those. Read on at your own risk.

1. Point Break

Point Break (2015) PHOTO: Warner Bros

Point Break (2015)
PHOTO: Warner Bros

“I’m not going to say remaking Point Break was a bad idea in and of itself. But missing the point of Bigelow’s original, failing to equal the bristling, comic book machismo it reveled in, while also sabotaging the efforts of the death-defying stunt people working so hard to bring the remake’s action sequences to life, Core and Wimmer don’t just make a bad movie, they make one so terrible it’s flabbergasting just how ghastly it actually is. Rarely have I ever wanted to walk out of a film before it was over. This was one of those instances where I wished I could have done just that. You’ve been warned.”

2. The Boy Next Door

The Boy Next Door (2015) PHOTO: Universal Pictures

The Boy Next Door (2015)
PHOTO: Universal Pictures

“I will say, much like her appearance in the admittedly lackluster Jason Statham thriller Parker, I can’t say [Jennifer Lopez] does anything to embarrass herself. But the movie, one that she in fact produced, is embarrassing, continually, all the way through, every step Claire or any other character within takes to reach the finish line. The Boy Next Door is truly as bad as it gets, and only those in need of a hearty, all-encompassing laugh should be even slightly considering giving it a look.”

3. The Transporter Refueled

The Transporter Refueled (2015) PHOTO: EuropaCorp

The Transporter Refueled (2015)
PHOTO: EuropaCorp

“It’s as if [the cast and crew] all collectively shared a bottle of sleeping pills before each scene began filming, the narcoleptic atmosphere so omnipresent I’m a little surprised I didn’t take a nap myself at some point during the proceedings. No, The Transporter Refueled is nothing other than a bad movie, that’s it, and to say anything more is simply a waste of time.”

4. Asthma

Asthma (2015) PHOTO: IFC Films

Asthma (2015)
PHOTO: IFC Films

“If there is a point to Asthma, the debut narrative feature for actor-turned-director Jake Hoffman (The Wolf of Wall Street), I’m not sure I get what it is. This is a ponderous, emotionally indulgent addiction melodrama that wanders around aimlessly, desperately trying to find a reason to matter…The movie is a waste of time, and trying to figure out what drew anyone involved to be a part of it is way beyond me.”

5. The Lazarus Effect

The Lazarus Effect (2015) PHOTO: Relativity Media

The Lazarus Effect (2015)
PHOTO: Relativity Media

“Movies like this are inherently built on characters doing ill-advised things; it just goes with the genre territory. In this case, however, Dawson and Slater just keep taking things a step too far until they leap face-first off a cliff the height of Mr. Everest…I simply didn’t care anymore about who lived, who died or who would fully comprehend what playing God has wrought, the movie a waste of 80 minutes that even a genre fanatic much like myself would be hard-pressed to enjoy.”

6. Victor Frankenstein

Victor Frankenstein (2015) PHOTO: 20th Century Fox

Victor Frankenstein (2015)
PHOTO: 20th Century Fox

I had a review of Victor Frankenstein more than half-written when my laptop decided to crap out on me, making all my hard work next to meaningless. Normally, I’d have done the hard work and rewritten the darn thing. In this case? I honestly didn’t care, director Paul McGuigan and screenwriter Max Landis’ reinterpretation of Mary Shelley’s classic characters so unbelievably wretched – and not in a good way – I found I no longer wanted to give it even another passing thought. So I didn’t, and until putting together this column I’d happily almost convinced myself I’d never even watched it in the first place.

7. Ejecta

Ejects (2015) PHOTO: IFC Films

Ejects (2015)
PHOTO: IFC Films

“As if cobbled together from bits from a troop of similar thrillers of various ilk, forgive me if in the end I felt like [Ejecta] was nothing more than a rejected plot strand from the first few seasons of ‘The X-Files’ ham-fistedly combined with the ‘Slumber Party Alien Abduction’ short from V/H/S 2. It’s so all over the map, yet at the same time so unflatteringly ostentatious, I couldn’t help but get more and more annoyed as things sped along to their ramshackle conclusion.”

8. Hitman: Agent 47

Hitman: Agent 47 (2015) PHOTO: 20th Century Fox

Hitman: Agent 47 (2015)
PHOTO: 20th Century Fox

“Okay. So the movie’s terrible. I guess this shouldn’t come as anything close to a surprise. But part of me is a tiny bit angry that I didn’t want it to be, that I want to allow myself to imagine that a low rent video game adaptation such as this could have bucked the trend and been worthwhile. After all these years, after so many bad movies and disappointing misfires, I still like to be the critic who feels any movie, any movie at all, could potentially be awesome.”

9. The Last Witch Hunter

The Last Witch Hunter (2015) PHOTO: Lionsgate

The Last Witch Hunter (2015)
PHOTO: Lionsgate

Eisner is talented, and I’m going to assume he’s got another The Crazies – hopefully more than one – in him at some point, but The Last Witch Hunter isn’t it. This is a bad movie. More, it’s a waste of time, and I feel more than a little terrible for those who spend hard-earned money on a ticket to watch it.”

10. Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) PHOTO: Focus Features

Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
PHOTO: Focus Features

“In some ways I guess every generation deserves its own 9½ Weeks. Thing is, although that supposedly steamy romance carries a fairly hefty reputation, truth of the matter is that Adrian Lyne feature is as abysmal now as it ever was back during its original release. As good as Johnson might be – and she’s admittedly glorious – in many ways Fifty Shades of Grey makes a terrifically terrible companion piece to that 1986 effort, and frankly that’s about as close to giving this otherwise irredeemable piece of a pulp pabulum a compliment as I can get.”

Simply Terrible (in alphabetic order)

Fantastic Four (2015) PHOTO: 20th Century Fox

Fantastic Four (2015)
PHOTO: 20th Century Fox

Entourage, Fantastic Four, The Gallows, Get Hard, Kill Me Three Times, The Little Death, Minions, The Pact 2, Return to Sender, Run All Night, Self/Less, Serena, Seventh Son, Stonewall, Taken 3, Ted 2, Tracers, Vacation, The Vatican Tapes, Wild Card

Dishonorable Mentions (in alphabetic order)

Spectre (2015) PHOTO: Sony / MGM

Spectre (2015)
PHOTO: Sony / MGM

Absolution, American Ultra, Army of Frankensteins, Barely Lethal, Blackhat, Chappie, Dark Summer, Final Girl, Focus, The Gunman, Hellions, Hotel Transylvania 2, In the Name of My Daughter, Insurgent, The Intern, Into the Grizzly Maze, Jem and the Holograms, Legend, Lost After Dark, Momentum, My All-American, The Nightmare, Pan, Pixels, Poltergeist, Spectre, The Stranger, Submerged, Terminator Genysis, Unfriended

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– Portions of this feature reprinted courtesy of the SGN in Seattle