Sunday, 15 February 2015

The Worst Films of 2014

Julien Faddoul

As we have now entered the 2015 cinematic year, it is time for me to reflect on the year prior, starting with my ten worst films of 2014.

The following films speak for themselves, as they were derided by critics, and in most cases, audiences as well. 2014 was an interesting year for cinema and one thing that befuddled me was how often Hollywood kept repeating the same mistakes in pathetic attempts to get audiences to go to movie theatres in an era when most no longer see the need.

Also, this year exhibited many once compelling directors, like Darren Aronofsky and Jason Reitman, delivering their worst work to date.

So here is the list, accompanied by my original review at the time of the film’s release:

10. The Amazing Spider-Man 2

An old friend, Harry Osborn, returns, and Peter Parker uncovers new clues about his past.
Despite being overall more genuine in tone and sensitivity than the previous installment in the rebooted franchise, one still can't shake the fact that this is a 200-million dollar piece of revival theatre. The plot is a mess, with no clear line from the beginning of the movie to the end and most of the characters intentions (especially the villains') are incomprehensible. It isn't a horrible movie, just a useless one.

9. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

A young boy who hates his life makes a birthday wish that the rest of his family will have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
Vulgar series of sketches devoid of cause and effect, with everything happening randomly to the point of intellectual bewilderment. It’s not funny, either.

8. Winter’s Tale

A burglar falls for an heiress as she dies in his arms. When he learns that he has the gift of reincarnation, he sets out to save her.
A truly terrible piece of filmmaking where plausibility, tone and logic are nonexistent.

7. Transformers: Age of Extinction

Optimus Prime calls for all Autobots while hiding in repair within the garage of a Texas inventor.
It is astounding how, in the last 20 years of making movies, Bay has not gained a single ounce of intelligence. This time, he seems to be working in the vain of a denunciation of Republicans, surrounded by his usual dreadful tropes including haphazard fight scenes, unintelligible and/or risible dialogue, demeaning female imagery and illogical plot details (like the casting of Wahlberg as a Texan inventor). At least this time we are spared from Shia Labeouf’s screeching.

6. Annie

A foster kid, who lives with her mean foster mom, sees her life change when a business tycoon and New York mayoral candidate makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in.
Icky stock confection taped together with fabricated vocals and some truly atrocious acting.

5. Sex Tape

A couple who have lost their sexual spark use their iPad to film themselves having sex and soon realize that the video is no longer private.
Infuriating commercial for Apple products disguised as a farcical comedy. Very few funny things actually occur and the two leads seem embarrassed throughout.

4. Sin City: A Dame to Kill for

Some of Sin City's most hard-boiled citizens cross paths with a few of its more reviled inhabitants.
A movie who’s sole intention is to show the audience some hats and coats and cigarettes and boobs and rain; beyond contempt.

3. This is Where I Leave You

A Jewish family that isn't used to observing their faith's traditions is forced to fulfill their father's final wish and sit Shivah together for an entire week.
Disgusting and patronizing movie about characters who don't deserve to complain as much as they do. A failure on every level.

2. Persecuted

A nationally acclaimed evangelist is the last obstacle in the way of sweeping religious reform in the US.
Incredibly insulting and preposterous Christian puffery that believes that all other religions simply exist to destroy the one true faith. Its greatest sin, however, is being boring.

1. The Identical

Twin brothers are unknowingly separated at birth; one of them becomes Elvis Presley by another name, while the other struggles to balance his love for music and pleasing his father.
A movie from Mars: One of the strangest and most heinous concoctions to be offered to the cinema in many years. Words fail to describe the kind of feverishness it induces. Spectacularly, nay almightily, bad.

(Dis)Honourable Mentions:

And So It Goes
As Above, So Below
Begin Again
Deliver Us from Evil
Dracula Untold
Exodus: Gods and Kings
The Fault in Our Stars
The Giver
A Haunted House 2
Horrible Bosses 2
Into the Storm
The Judge
Left Behind
Let's Be Cops
Men, Women & Children
Million Dollar Arm
A Million Ways to Die in the West
The Monuments Men
Muppets Most Wanted
The Other Woman
The Rover
The Single Moms Club
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
That Awkward Moment
3 Days to Kill
300: Rise of an Empire
Walk of Shame
Wish I Was Here

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