This is a place I like to keep positive. That’s why Brightside has done a lot of “Best of 2016″s and not a lot of “Worst of 2016″s. There could be a lot of those lists, but again, optimism is preferable.
But sometimes movies are so bad you have to make a list to acknowledge them as well. Having sat through both Warcraft and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, I know bad movies.
Don’t get me wrong, I want every movie to be good. Every movie should be fun, entertaining, and try their best to make people feel things. But sometimes movies miss that mark. Sometimes movies don’t even try. That’s the worst movies for me.
With that in mind, let’s get into it.
Honorable Mention: Warcraft
Warcraft is a movie that at least tried. From Duncan Jones, son of David Bowie, who had a really bad year, Warcraft was the first franchise film after Jones found success with Moon.
The jump from small budget indie to tentpole franchise has always been a hard one. Not a lot of people find success in it, and those who do often go back to indies. Take Jon Favreau, who made both of the first two Iron Man movies as well as Jungle Book, yet has also recently made Chef, the far superior film.
Warcraft suffers from its original material. It’s trying too hard to explain a rather large role playing game to a broad audience in as small a time as possible. It would have been better to introduce less characters right off the bat, and perhaps not to start with a very climactic battle.
I think starting small, with the orcs in one dimension and the humans in another would have been preferable, easier, and more popular.
#3: Sausage Party
Sausage Party, Seth Rogen’s attempt at an adult animated comedy, comes off as crude, unnecessarily sexual, and somewhat unfunny. While some films can get away with that, Sausage Party is not one of them.
Sausage Party just never grows legs through the course of its run. Not at the discovery that food is alive, not at the lame journey Seth Rogen’s hotdog hero must make, and certainly not at the disturbing food orgy.
While Seth Rogen has made more controversial films (The Interview) those films have always been at least above average. This makes Sausage Party a disappointment in addition to a mess.
The fact that it was submitted for the Oscars is the best part of the film, and that’s never the best part of a good film.
#2: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
As this list drudges on, I realize that I’ve not seen nearly enough bad films. I actually chose quite well this year, which does not help the few bad movies I saw. Like Batman v. Superman.
Many critics have come out and said it’s a perfectly fine superhero film, while others have said, correctly, that it’s not. I think that with a shorter run time, the film could be a lot better.
There’s just so many unnecessary things in the film, like Superman not stopping a bomb in Congress, or him dying, or the character of Lex Luthor, or Doomsday’s appearance, or really any of the film.
The one thing we actually need was more Wonder Woman. That film better be good or the DCCU is doomed.
My biggest problem with Bats vs Supes is this: it’s an entirely joyless film. There is nothing happy about the film, from beginning to end. Part of the charm of Marvel is that it gives you charismatic, happy characters at times. That’s why you feel their losses harder. The MCU characters are empathetical.
DC has actively made sure their characters are not so. They’ve stepped away from the vastly better Superman films with Christopher Reeves and made Superman utterly boring. Batman is beyond dark, and though Affleck is doing his best, the audience yearns for the days of Christian Bale.
#1: Suicide Squad
Yes, I’m counting their producer becoming Secretary of the Treasury in the Trump administration against it, but that’s not why Suicide Squad is the worst film of the year.
After missing nearly entirely with critics following Batman v. Superman, DC tried to make Suicide Squad better through re-shoots, inserting more humor. I wish they instead focused on inserting characterization, plot, or a better villain.
That was the most lacking part of Suicide Squad, that not even dynamite performances by Will Smith, Viola Davis, and Jai Courtney could save the film from Jared Leto, Cara Delevingne and Joel Kinnaman.
The best description I’ve ever heard/seen of Enchantress, the villain of the film, is that Delevingne is swinging an invisible hula hoop the entire film, and that’s her character. It’s not great.
Yet, Jared Leto’s Joker is even worse. After the best Joker performance of all time, one of the greatest performances ever, period, from Heath Ledger, DC decided to follow up that success by employing an insane douchebag as their best villain.
Because let’s be honest, the Joker will forever be better than Lex Luthor. Nobody can play Luthor. There’s been many dynamic Jokers, including Mark Hamill and Jack Nicholson.
I wanted Alligator Man to be awesome, but that’s the impression Killer Croc left. He’s so forgettable that I forgot his name. I think that’s the problem of the film: too many damn characters.
Joker’s not necessary and is in fact wasted here. So is Samurai Girl, aka Katana. We don’t need Enchantress’s brother, or Slipknot, or, sadly El Diablo. Boil this film down to the essential characters: Deadshot, Amanda Waller, Harley Quinn, a better actress as Enchantress, and Captain Boomerang. Then add in Killer Croc and El Diablo later.