The good, the bad and the ugly. No, this has nothing to do with Clint Eastwood western. In actuality this is a great year end barometer description of the many movies released in 2016. They say that you have to take the good with the bad but what about the ugly? It’s time to call out some of these films for the mess that they are. After all, many of us spend money that could have been used for more meaningful purposes but instead we were scammed somehow into investing money and time into movies that were doomed from the start.
Eight movies that you WON’T find on this list are titles such as Independence Day: Resurgence, Nine Lives, Warcraft, Mother’s Day, The Sea of Trees, Max Steel, Dirty Grandpa or Norm of the North. You might be wondering why and the answer is very simple. I just couldn’t bring myself to invest the time just to prove myself right. I knew going in that each would be a hot mess. The titles below are ones that were either way worse than I thought they could be or in cases like Gods of Egypt where I just had to experience the carnage firsthand and up close. Enjoy this list (or actually don’t) of the eight movies that were the biggest disappointments of 2016.
The Other Side of the Door
A family lives an idyllic existence abroad until a tragic accident takes the life of their young son (Logan Creran). The inconsolable mother (Sarah Wayne Callies) learns of an ancient ritual that will bring him back to say a final goodbye. She travels to an ancient temple, where a door serves as a mysterious portal between two worlds. But when she disobeys a sacred warning to never open that door, she upsets the balance between life and death.
Some doors are meant to stay shut just as some movies are meant to go unwatched. The most frightening thing about The Other Side of the Door is the realization that someone thought it was winning idea once upon a time. There aren’t enough hands to cover your eyes to prevent seeing this mess.
Sara Price (Natalie Dormer), an American woman, receives a phone call from the Japanese police telling her that they think her troubled twin sister Jess is dead, as she was seen going into Aokigahara, a forest at the northwest base of Mount Fuji in Japan known as a popular destination for the suicidal.
The Forest left me wanting bang my head on as many trees as I could find. This is one psychological thriller that truly deserves the ax. A suicidal forest doesn’t sound half bad in comparison to attempting to watch this one again.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
In the 19th century, a mysterious plague turns the English countryside into a war zone. No one is safe as the dead come back to life to terrorize the land. Fate leads Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James), a master of martial arts and weaponry, to join forces with Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley), a handsome but arrogant gentleman. Elizabeth can’t stand Darcy, but respects his skills as a zombie killer. Casting aside their personal differences, they unite on the blood-soaked battlefield to save their country.
Just because Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was a successful parody novel doesn’t mean it was a good idea to convert into a movie. The box office numbers proved out that fact. Turn the page on this jumbled literary faux pas and instead invest your time on something, anything else (except the other movies in this article of course).
Dr. Robert Laing (Tom Hiddleson) is the newest resident of a luxurious apartment in a high-tech concrete skyscraper whose lofty location places him amongst the upper class. Laing quickly settles into high society life and meets the building’s eccentric tenants: Charlotte (Sienna Miller), his upstairs neighbor and bohemian single mother; Wilder (Luke Evans), a charismatic documentarian who lives with his pregnant wife Helen (Elisabeth Moss); and Mr. Royal (Jeremy Irons), the enigmatic architect who designed the building. Life seems like paradise to the solitude-seeking Laing. But as power outages become more frequent and building flaws emerge, particularly on the lower floors, the regimented social strata begins to crumble and the building becomes a battlefield in a literal class war.
High-Rise is like a 40-floor apartment building containing a spiral staircase instead of elevators and also no numbers on any of the doors. It’s a complete frustrating mess and you have no idea why it even exists. Painting a ceiling while standing on an rickety ladder with head cold and dislocated shoulder would be more enjoyable.
Gods of Egypt
The survival of mankind hangs in the balance when Set (Gerard Butler), the merciless god of darkness, usurps Egypt’s throne and plunges the prosperous empire into chaos and conflict. Hoping to save the world and rescue his true love, a defiant mortal named Bek (Brenton Thwaites) forms an unlikely alliance with the powerful god Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Their battle against Set and his henchmen takes them into the afterlife and across the heavens for an epic confrontation.
CGI overload. Gods of Egypt is like an unchaperoned four year-old with a giant brand new box of crayons in a newly painted all white room. Less is more might be a phrase that will never be associated with this movie. Aside from the distracting special effects, the story itself is drab at best. Seal it in an airtight sarcophagus and never let it see the light of day. This is one of those movies best watched with one eye closed and the other behind an eye patch.
Fifty Shades of Black
A recent college graduate named Hannah (Kali Hawk) becomes entangled in a peculiar sexual relationship with wealthy businessman Christian Black (Marlon Wayans) in this parody of Fifty Shades of Grey.
It’s not like the announcement that Fifty Shades of Black is absolutely dreadful should come as any shocker. That being said, it’s completely devoid of any redeeming factors. The parody genre is hit-or-miss and this Marlon Wayans led debacle is a complete whiff.
A cop (Keanu Reeves) probes the murder of his corrupt partner, but his investigation threatens to expose the latter’s connection to the drug trade. Later, his search for the killers leads him to a young Latina woman (Ana de Armas) who recently witnessed a supernatural event. Mira Sorvino also costars.
Of the three movies that Ana de Armas starred in this year, Exposed is far and above the weakest (Hands of Stone and War Dogs are the other two). Hopefully her agent comes to realize that Keanu Reeves might be her acting kryptonite. 2015’s Knock Knock, also costarring Reeves, was one of the worst movies of last year. Coincidence? Hmmmmmm…
Former models Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and Hansel find themselves thrust back into the spotlight after living in seclusion for years. Invited to a major fashion event in Rome, the estranged friends are surprised to see how much the business has changed. Even more shocking is their encounter with Valentina Valencia, a special agent who needs their help. Someone is killing famous pop stars, and it’s up to Derek and Hansel to help save the world’s most beautiful people from a similar fate.
If you’re going to make a sequel 15 years later, you might want to maybe take a little time to make sure the offering is at least watchable. Zoolander 2 lacks anything and everything needed to make a successful sequel. Pretty much the only enjoyable scene, at least to me, involves Justin Bieber at the very beginning. It’s a free fall cameo filled disaster from that point until the ending credits, which unmercifully don’t arrive for another 100 minutes.