When it comes to the Top 5 Worst Films of 2018, I actually felt a lot more decisive than choosing my Top 10 Best Films list. Fortunately for me, I didn’t see an overwhelming number of terrible films over the past year, but the ones that I did see, were ones I hope to never see again or subject anyone else to watch. Perhaps the least shockingly of all is that all of these films were made by big Hollywood studios, all with the intention to be big blockbusters. Two of these were among some of the highest grossing films of the year. Two were also kids movies that never seemed to click with younger audiences or the adults dragged along to also watch them. But there is only one in which I was privy to a row of sleeping adults right before I had a quick nap, before waking up and not feeling like I missed anything and left the theatre wishing I never arrived…
Want to watch a bunch of (semi) talented actors squander in an unfunny and lame movie that is made all the much worse by the realisation that the true story that inspired it is probably so much better? I give you Tag. Based on the Wall Street Journal article about a group of friends still playing tag after years and years, it seemed like a great chance to combine a true story and a great script. But instead the film is so forgettable, even by the standards of Hollywood comedy, which are the lowest of the lows. The writing isn’t sharp, the characters are overblown and when the mood changes in the last act to so overly earnest, you can tell it’s just a veiled attempt to make the film seem like it was actually trying to make a profound comment on male friendship.
Venom, more like vomit. Just thinking about this unnecessary Marvel spin off makes me want to gag. Add in the big question mark on why Michelle Williams, a respectable actress, is in this mess of a movie, and there are so many unanswered questions. The script is so uninspired, particularly having come out in the same year as the excellent Black Panther which puts this film to shame, and the story is just bleugh. Tom Hardy takes it all in his stride, acting so sure with the character he is trying to portray, that he is actually, dare I say it, good here. Riz Ahmed is insufferable, trying his best with the awful material, but ultimately the worst, and I mean the worst, villain in a superhero movie in a long time. With rumours that a sequel is lined up, I will most certainly be avoiding this one with a ten foot pole.
3.Fifty Shades Freed
The third instalment that (maybe) at one point had the eyes of the world on it, now flails to its end in such an anticlimactic (pun intended) way, you’d be forgiven for forgetting it came out in 2018. Even after hours and hours of acting, leads Dakota Johnson and Jaime Dormer are still as wooden as ever as Anastasia and Christian in a relationship as steamy as a sushi roll. Marcia Gay Harden’s short appearance begs the question why she is in this appalling film. And probably the worst part is that this is the film with the most exciting parts! Anastasia is kidnapped by her former boss and even with this average plot line, the movie fails to have any dramatic tension and make us even care that this privileged woman with the personality of a potato COULD possibly die. Kill me now.
2.The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
All style and noooo substance, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is, frankly, a dud. Visually pleasant, this adaptation of the classic ballet is horrific to say the least. Without any chemistry between the characters, forgettable performances from Keira Knightley and Helen Mirren and a storyline that screams WTF, even Misty Copeland’s beautiful dance performances fail to liven up the story for contemporary audiences. With such simple and iconic source material, something had to have gone very wrong in production for this film to limp at the box office. Most of all it doesn’t accomplish two things that should have been at the heart of this: create a compelling film in a similar vein to the classic ballet or create a children’s film that is remotely good. It fails on both counts.
1.Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween
As a long time fan of the Goosebumps series, it took me some time to watch the film adaptation with Jack Black as R.L. Stine, and I actually didn’t mind it. But Goosebumps 2 is so awfully goofy, painfully boring, idiotically organised and downright shit, that it has to be my worst film of 2018. The books which it attempts to take inspiration from are practically stripped of any artistic integrity and there is so much wasted potential all around here. Characters were so inconsistent in their thinking and actions, it made me wonder if the same writer saw the screenplay through. This was pure, unadulterated money grabbing, attaching a hit to a Halloween themed story, with little regard for an engaging or even cohesive story. The film tries to redeem itself by including Black in the final moments, even though he appears quite heavily in the trailer, but its too little too late. Just. the. worst.
Originally published on Back Row, 23 January, 2019.