2012 has been a rather interesting year in the movie world. Box office records have been broken, some of the best films ever made have been released, and horror especially seemed to get its mojo back. In my opinion, 2012 has been a year of surprises, great achievements, and also huge let downs.
Now, I have already covered my worst horrors of the year, but now we shall take a look at the worst films in general. These are the films that most people probably watched expecting great things, like I did. Here are the top ten worst films, in my humble opinion of the year. Here are the films which really disappointed me and made me question my love of films, here are the real stinkers. Now, you may ask “where are the films I didn’t like?”, but these are from the films I have actually seen. There were many other poor films this year, but there is a good chance that if it did not make this list, and you truly believe it was rubbish, then I had the sense not to watch it in the first place!
So, here goes:
10- The Dictator
Director: Larry Charles
Sacha Baron Cohen rarely disappoints, but something went hideously wrong with The Dictator. The fact it was presented as a ‘proper’ film rather than the usual documentary style filming was a good indicator that The Dictator would not have the edge of films like Borat and Bruno, and while the film did have its moments, it was just too much of a letdown and I felt cheated. The best bits came from the beginning of the film with Cohen in full on controversial mode as General Aladeen, but things went wrong about ten minutes into him working at Anna Faris’ shop. Seeing him getting all sentimental spoiled what could have been a very funny, and even dangerous comedy. Instead it ended up a run of the mill, weak film with the occasional laugh, with the odd highlight (the first ten minutes, The Olympics).
9- Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Directors: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Oh deary me, what the hell went wrong here? The first Ghost Rider film was not exactly good, but all signs for the sequel were pointing to a massive improvement. The trailers were, quite frankly, awesome, and with Nic Cage returning (always a bonus), Idris Elba joining the cast and the directors of Crank at the helm, how could this fail? Early screenings did not go down well, and when the film finally arrived it was largely ignored, and for good reason. However, bad as the film was, it did contain the years funniest scene: how anyone can not find Nic Cage riding a motorbike at 100mph, whilst changing into Ghost Rider and pulling faces and screaming, anything but hilarious has some serious sense of humour issues.
8- The Dinosaur Project
Director: Sid Bennett
Found footage takes a turn into Jurassic Park territory in a film that I will happily admit to getting more than just a little excited about. Imagine my frustration when the Dinosaur Project finally arrived, and delivered absolutely nothing the idea promised. I was expecting a dark, serious and even scary film about explorers lost in the jungle with dinosaurs running about. What we got were silly characters, a terrible script, some of the worst found footage acting I have ever seen (come on, you don’t even need to act for it), and fucking dinosaurs that became their friends! It was like a live action version of a silly kids cartoon, with zero tension and some pretty poor effects too.
Director: Joel Schumacher
Nicolas Cage again, this time with the effortless talents of the gorgeous Nicole Kidman too. A home invasion thriller which spits in the face of home invasion thrillers, and tried so hard to be big and clever but fell flat on its arse. Amazingly Cage and (more concerning) Kidman forgot how to act, and the director (Joel Schumacher, who should no better!)forgot to add any amount of threat, menace or tension. An empty shell of a movie with terrible performances, awful directing and a plot twist so lame and pathetic it brought on feelings of anger, and very nearly brought me to tears. Riddled with annoying flashbacks and constant audience plot nods so we can keep up, Trespass aimed for greatness, and became utter shite.
6- Dark Tide
Director: John Stockwell
Halle Berry in a bikini, plus sharks was a good enough reason alone to watch this shark thriller from the director of Paradise Lost and Into the Blue. What we got was five minutes of shark footage, and a further two hours of nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing. In all fairness the shark scenes and underwater filming were fascinating to watch, but my god it just dragged and dragged, and goes nowhere. I couldn’t even begin to tell you what the rest of the cast were doing, it was like watching paint dry, at sea, living in hope that soon, ever so soon, we just might see a shark. The great use of shark footage is painfully wasted in this boring, uneventful film.
5- Faces in the Crowd
Director: Julien Magnat
What started as an interesting looking thriller quickly descended into nonsense. Milla Jovovich is yet another big star this year who caught the “oh, how do I do my job again?” bug, and forgot her acting talents. This serial killer flick tried to pay homage to some of those classic 90’s serial killer films like Blink and Copycat, and sadly insults their legacy. Jovovich plays Anna, a woman who witnesses a murder, then falls to what should have been her death. Instead, she now suffers from a condition which means she forgets people’s faces, and with the serial killer hunting her, she has no idea who he is. Honestly, this should have been great, but the awful script, lack of acting talent and Jovovich struggling to hold the film by herself, Faces in the Crowd is a total mess.
4- John Carter
Director: Andrew Stanton
The biggest failure of all time, John Carter lost Disney some $200 million, and seeing the film you can see why. Granted it does have epic scale, some great effects and a decent and crowd pleasing story, but the film had no urgency and just drifted along without a care in the world. The characters very quickly test your patience, and those bloody martians of Mars were up there with the likes of Jar Jar Binks on the annoying scale. With gorgeous scenery, giant white gorillas and the sexy Lynn Collins, it is shocking how this film failed so badly. Mars films continue to struggle, and John Carter could, and should have put an end to that, but sadly it has now joined the ranks of poor Mars films like Red Planet and Mission to Mars. What a waste.
Director: Peter Berg
I just knew this would be bad from the trailer, but I lived in hope that it just might end up OK. It didn’t, and not even Liam Neeson could save this awful, sickening patriot crapfest of humans vs aliens. Based on the board game, the Navy do battle with giant machines driven by aliens: cue patriotic speeches, love stories, an unlikely hero, rousing music, cheesy dialogue and big budget effects. It is all designed for that fist in the air type “hell yeah!” moment, and instead had me reaching for the remote control to press the stop button, bellowing the words “get off my screen silly gung-ho crap!” I did make it to the end, but only by speeding up some scenes because I could barely take anymore. A horrendous disaster in every sense of the word.
2- The Darkest Hour
Director: Chris Gorak
Yet another film which promised so much from the trailer, and gave us so little. I was so excited to see this, and I was telling everyone how cool this was going to be. Then it arrived, and I watched it and I honestly felt like crying. Another alien invasion flick done so badly it made me question my love of the genre. How do these directors get away with ruining our beloved genre so easily? The Darkest Hour gave us some neat special effects, but absolutely nothing else. The cast should all have been killed off in the opening moments, the aliens could have left Earth straight after that, and then the film could have finished within minutes. Instead it went on for a further ninety minutes, and gradually got worse and worse. The Darkest Hour was this year’s Skyline.
1- The Watch
Director: Akiva Schaffer
I truly didn’t get it, I didn’t get it at all, and felt like my world had come to an end after watching this. Lining up the amazing talents of Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade (sorry, but I find Vince Vaughn repulsive, insulting and not all that funny) in a comedy about a bunch of guys who start a neighbourhood watch, only to discover aliens in their town, should have been hilarious. In fact, it very well should have been a classic comedy, all the ingredients were there, but then it arrived, and we watched it and I believe I laughed all of, ooh, maybe three or four times? The Watch was simply not funny, and the aliens had no reason at all in being involved in the plot. It was a stupid idea to branch out the comedy, and was one of the main issues with it. Had it stayed at a simple film about a neighbourhood watch group, and kept the comedy grounded, it might have worked. However, aliens were thrown in, plus a whole load of sentimental crap that detoured away from the comedy and left you not knowing whether to laugh, or feel sorry for the characters. A painful display of real comedy talent going to waste, in the worst possible way.
A special mention should also go to Keith Lemon: The Film. This should have topped my list, so I hear you ask “why didn’t it?” Because I could only handle about two minutes of this utter utter shite, so technically I haven’t seen it all the way through, which in turn does not warrant a place on this list. Keith Lemon: The Film is one of the few films this year I simply could not finish, and the first film ever in my lifetime I have turned off after less than two minutes! What rubbish!
(Many thanks to David Gillespie for the brilliant artwork)
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