10 Worst Films of 2016 (Craig)

Dec 29, 2016 | Posted by in Lists

2016 was a year of growth and change for Kneel Before Blog. One of those changes was that I got some help with the film reviews in the form of Graeme.

With his help it meant that the website was able to cover more films than ever before. More importantly it also meant that I could avoid popular films that I really didn’t want to see. As such my list is very different since I successfully managed to avoid a lot of films I knew I wouldn’t like.

As with previous years my opinions change over time so a lower score at the time doesn’t necessarily mean it’s higher on this list. The scores are only relative to my enjoyment at the time of writing so that often changes as time goes on. Now that the qualifiers are out of the way let’s dig into my worst films of 2016.

10: X-Men: Apocalypse

2016This entry also appeared on Graeme’s list and with good reason. It wasn’t entirely without merit but it was bad. I liked the idea of doing an origin story of sorts for the team that consists of Cyclops and Jean Grey but all of that gets buried in amongst so much other nonsense.

Oscar Isaac is one of the best actors working today as far as I’m concerned but Apocalypse is a role he should try to forget. He’s a really limp villain with vague powers that he bafflingly refuses to use despite how devastating they would be. Basically he’s a comic book villain in the worst sense of the description.

Actors like James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender had far more to work with and they do a good enough job with what they’re given. Jennifer Lawrence is good value as always but there’s so much the film gets wrong that it’s impossible for the things that work to shine through the unfocused chaos.

9:Point Break

2016This was a bad film on almost every level but doesn’t appear higher on the list because I’ve all but forgotten it. I made a joke in the review that it should have been called “Pointless Remake” and the fact that it’s entirely forgettable sort of proves that.

I will say that the set pieces were pretty cool but the film around them was dreadful. Like Bracey would be near the top of a list chronicling the least charismatic leading men though the awful material here could be more to blame. Teresa Palmer is in this film…and that’s about it. Her job is to look pretty and be the love interest which is accomplished by her appearing in a handful of scenes and saying almost nothing. It’s laughable how little thought was put into the characters in this mess.

8: Dad’s Army

2016Another one I’ve almost forgotten. I don’t have any attachment to the TV series as I barely remember even seeing it so I wonder if my reaction would be different if I was more invested in the source material.

It didn’t really work for me as a film as the whole thing was fairly long winded with tedious humour. If you stretch out a half hour sitcom into a feature length film then I imagine this is pretty much what you’d get. The film drags its way through the story with nowhere near enough material to fill the bloated running time.

The cast all do a good job but there just wasn’t enough here to justify this being made in the first place. Dad’s Army should stay in the past as a fondly remembered sitcom

7:Jason Bourne

2016Another one that appeared on Graeme’s list. This film should have been better since Paul Greengrass returned to the franchise as director and he’s the one who kicked this whole thing off.

When watching the film I couldn’t help but wonder why this was made at all. Nothing about it feels essential and it retreads well worn ground when it comes to the character of Jason Bourne. Matt Damon is as good as you might expect as this character. He spends a lot of the film conveying thoughts and feelings through facial expressions instead of words which was pretty effective but there was nothing new or interesting to be learned about Jason Bourne.

The rest of the cast are a mixed bag with Alicia Vikander playing a really thin character and Tommy Lee Jones phoning in a villain performance. Combine this with a half baked government breaching piracy plot and you get an overall experience that just doesn’t feel worthwhile.

6:Ice Age: Collision Course

2016Ice Age as a franchise has gotten to the point where the herd have to work together to save all life on Earth. If that seems ridiculous to you then you’re not far off how I felt about the film.

The first film in this series was good fun with entertaining characters but this film proves that the franchise has long since run its course. There are some good things here such as the Mammoths Manny and Ellie feeling apprehensive about their daughter wanting to go out on her own with her husband to be but the good things sit so far in the background that they are underdeveloped.

Nick Offerman’s vocal performance as one of the villains was great but he was playing a character who didn’t need to be there and the main story was laughably stupid but not in a fun way. I’m being very harsh on this film and I imagine young children will love it but entries from Disney or Pixar show how good kids films can be. Sadly this doesn’t come close to that level of quality.

5:Bad Moms

2016I tend to avoid a lot of comedies because the style of humour just doesn’t grab me. In fairness I had a pretty good idea that I wouldn’t like this before going in but the presence of Kristen Bell is a powerful motivator for me.

Mila Kunis’ Amy is the only character who feels somewhat believable with all the others being exaggerated to insane levels just so that a joke lands. Oona Laurence proves that her excellent performance in Pete’s Dragon was no accident and some of the humour does work but most of it wasn’t to my taste. I couldn’t see past the obnoxious characters behaving in ways that feel entirely unrealistic.

To be fair it’s more likely that this film simply wasn’t for me and I can accept that people who like similar films will have a great time here but for me it wasn’t a good experience to sit through.

4:Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

TurtlesI brought this one on myself and should have known better. The first film was dreadful and I had no reason to believe that this one would be any different. As a big fan of Arrow I felt compelled to see this because Stephen Amell was in it. There’s a disturbing pattern of actors I like drawing me into bad films…

This film does improve on the first one in almost every way but that one was so bad that there was really nowhere to go but up. There was some attempt to make up for the mistakes made in the first one but it went too far the other way. Sometimes there is such a thing as too much fan service and this film throws as much Turtles lore as it can into the script that it feels like a checklist of what studio producers think fans want from the franchise. The Marvel films -to use an example- know how to mine the source material in ways that create compelling characters and an engaging story but this does exactly the opposite.

The Turtles themselves are obnoxious and unlikeable, the other characters don’t fare much better and the story is a overstuffed, boring mess. I did enjoy some of the set pieces but overall this is something best avoided.

3:Suicide Squad

2016It’s still unclear to me how this film turned out so badly as the idea was a good one. Bringing together a group of villains and forcing them to work together has so much potential and this film squanders almost all of it. It’s actually interesting to look at this film and analyse how extensively it fails.

The story is a really disjointed one that laughably spends far too much time introducing the characters in hyper-stylised ways. This is the first time we’ve seen any of them on the big screen so a certain amount of fleshing out is required but the way it goes about this is laughable. Will Smith’s Floyd Lawton aka Deadshot and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn are given the most focus which makes sense given that they are the biggest stars but it takes away from the implied ensemble nature of the concept.

Will Smith plays Will Smith and we all know he’s good at that so he does deliver some sense of watchability and Margot Robbie completely inhabits Harley Quinn to the point that the character deserves to be in a much better film. The other characters are blandly played and poorly developed, the story is another ridiculous end of the world scenario and the plot blatantly doesn’t make a lick of sense. It’s a good idea that is horribly executed.

2:The Choice

The ChoiceAnother film that I went to see because it stars an actor I like. The offender in this case is Smallville’s Tom Welling who I haven’t seen since the show ended. I went into this because he was in it and I was justifiably punished.

Again, I was fairly sure this film wouldn’t be for me before going in but I think the problems it has extend so far beyond personal taste. I really resent the fact that this film expects me to invest in a love story that starts with both parties being unfaithful. It’s framed as an epic romance that they both get swept up in but the film conveniently ignores the fact that they both cheat on their partners to get together. According to this film partners shouldn’t be respected when you discover that “the one” isn’t them so the characters just came across as massively selfish people.

Making it worse is the fact that there is no actual “choice” in the film. It could be that they have to choose each other or their previous partners but that doesn’t happen. It could also have been about the “choice” to switch off the life support after Teresa Palmer’s -appearing for the second time on this list- Gabby is injured to the point that she may not survive but it isn’t about that either. This basically fails on every level and viewing it was a mistake.

1:Sausage Party

2016Another one that is more “not for me” than objectively bad but that doesn’t alter the fact that I really didn’t like it and became progressively more annoyed as the film progressed.

There were some good things about it such as the underlying ideas of religion and race division being well developed for the most part. Anything it does well in exploring its themes is undercut by the juvenile humour that I just didn’t find funny and characters that fail to be likeable or compelling. I’m sure the last 20 minutes or so will be talked about for years to come as it really has to be seen to be believed. In fairness the unrestrained creativity is to be applauded and the animation is on a par with what Disney or Pixar might release but it wasn’t enough for me to enjoy the film.

Comedy is subjective and I imagine that a lot of people will have a great time with this. It’s definitely not to my taste and I think that it goes too far in places. This one really sticks out in my head as the worst thing I saw this year.