So, 2018 has come and gone. The Oscars have been announced with some, uh, pretty interesting choices. With that said, 2018 was an interesting year in film. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t any stinkers. Unlike other years I’ve done this, these movies didn’t so much piss me off as annoy or disappoint me. And when you take a look at this list, you can kinda see why. On the plus side, at least I didn’t see 50 Shades Freed, cause I got better things to do in my life than see stupid Twilight fan fiction lazy softcore porn movies, so thankfully I don’t have to put that on the list. And if you like the movies on this list, that’s fine, it’s just my opinion, and we can agree to disagree.
An additional note: this will probably be the last time I do a “worst” list. 2018 was kind of a rough year, and during that time, I wasn’t exactly in a very good headspace. I didn’t even feel like writing this blog for a while, and I needed a break to get some perspective. Taking inspiration from one of my favorite critics, Chris Stuckmann, I’m just gonna stop doing “worst movie” lists and try to focus on the positives. Sure, negativity could get me a lot of attention, and it’s easy to give in to that, so I’m not gonna do it and just try my best to focus on the positive. I’ll still do reviews of bad or disappointing, so there’s that, but they’re not gonna make up a majority of what I write about.
Anyway, here we go:
5. Bohemian Rhapsody
Yeah, I got an Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe-winning movie on this list, which is a first here. I love Queen, and even though Freddie Mercury died before I was born, I was fascinated by him, his life story, his passion for his music and artistry, and everything else that made him awesome. When I first heard about a Mercury biopic being made, I was excited. Then the movie went into development hell until it finally came out and when I saw it…I was bored. How does one make a movie about Freddie Mercury and Queen boring?
It came off as more of a film version of someone’s playlist of Queen’s greatest hits than an actual movie. And the story is typical of your average biopic you see every now and then. It couldn’t even decide whether it wanted to be about Freddie Mercury, Queen, or both. The only things that keep this a notch above those stupid Lifetime biopics is the performances of the cast, especially Rami Malek, and the reenactments of concerts and other musical performances such as Live Aid. For a movie that wants to “dare to be extraordinary”, it’s anything but.
4. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
I reviewed Jurassic World a while back when I was starting out. And it was an okay movie at best. Better than the other sequels, but still fell short in a few areas. This movie, on the other hand, was just a waste. Story and plot don’t make much sense other than half-assed “save the animals” bullshit. Characters do some of the stupidest things and can come off as one-note and really annoying. And there are times the movie pulls some self-referential winks at the audience that come off as annoying than clever. Also, Jeff Goldblum is barely in it, even though the marketing heavily promoted his role in it. At least he got to say an “uh”, but not enough to save it.
This movie felt more like a parody than an actual Jurassic Park movie. I can appreciate some of the more stylistic choices and darker elements, but they don’t really add much to the lackluster story. It felt more like a giant act one that sets up the obvious sequel than a complete movie. In the words of Ian Malcolm, the people who made this “were so occupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should”, which led them to make something that was “one big pile of shit”.
3. The Predator
Speaking of installments in franchises that felt more like parodies than actual movies, there’s this movie. I really don’t know who to blame for this: Fox, Shane Black, Fred Dekker, the actual convicted pedophile Shane Black hired to be in this, Olivia Munn, humanity in general, or all of the above. I was actually looking forward to this movie, even had it in my most anticipated 2018 movie list. But after seeing the trailers, hearing about behind-the-scenes stuff like the reshoots and the actual predator in the movie, and the film itself, I was just disappointed, annoyed, and bored. It’s not as bad as the AVP movies, at least, but that’s not saying much.
So many different plotlines were crammed into this that it felt more like several movies in one than one complete movie. And I can understand trying to expand on the Predator lore, but the leaps and bounds it takes here are just stupid. Very few of the jokes landed, while the rest got really grating, especially when almost every character tries to be the comedic relief. Some of the action scenes are okay, especially the ones with the actual guy in the actual Predator suit, but the rest were hollow and dragging, especially the ones with the terrible CGI “super” Predator. As if that weren’t bad enough, the movie actually tries to take leaps and bounds outside of logic in presenting autism as, how the movie puts it, “the next step in human evolution”. At least Sterling K. Brown was awesome in this and it’s entertaining in a cheesy way, I guess. This movie was dumb, and not even the good kind of dumb. It didn’t make me a sexual Tyranosaurus in any way whatsoever.
It’s funny I have this on the number two spot, because to quote the movie itself, this was definitely a cinematic “turd in the wind”. How this movie made almost a billion dollars, I will never know. Oh wait, yes I do, it’s because this movie was pandered to China and other countries so it can play in more theaters, but with a lot of stupid editing choices that resulted in 40 minutes of cut footage in order to get a PG-13 instead of R, because Heaven forbid R-rated movies ever be successful unless they’re made well. And I’ll even go as far to say that I liked Venom more in Spider-Man 3 than this movie.
When I first heard about this movie, I thought it was a joke. I thought Sony was giving up on holding onto Spider-Man and this movie would turn out like other “attempted spinoff” movies like Steel and Catwoman. Thankfully, it’s not as bad, there is some entertainment value in some of the action and Tom Hardy’s performance. The story felt like two movies crammed into one, the plot barely made much sense, the characters were dumb, and the rest of the cast seem like they’re barely trying, except for Hardy of course. And this is supposed to be part of another desperate attempt by Sony to do some kind of cinematic universe with Marvel characters they have rights to? Well, this movie made a lot of money, so it’s bound to happen I guess. But something tells me that unless they get their act together for the next one, Venom 2 might be less The Dark Knight and more Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, even if Carnage is in it.
1. Death Wish (2018)
So, I guess this was an “easy target” for not only to be on this list, but also to be the worst movie of 2018 that I saw. And look, before I get into why I have this movie on here, I just wanna say that it’s not because of the “controversy” regarding mass shootings and this movie came out in the wake of that. The original Death Wish came out when crime was rampant back in the 70s, which made sense, and while that movie kinda glorified vigilantism, at least that movie took it seriously, even if it was melodramatic at times, and was made well. And yeah, the sequels were cartoonish, but at least they’re somewhat enjoyable. This movie, on the other hand, tries to have it both ways. It wants to be taken seriously as some kind of character study and commentary on violence, but at the same time it tries to shove in jokes and over-the-top action that doesn’t gel well.
The title is certainly apt, because this was a “death wish” for Bruce Willis’s career (don’t worry, he redeems himself in Glass, and yes I like that movie). He barely even acts in this, if you can call grimacing and just simply reciting lines as “acting”. And for a movie directed by Eli Roth, this was really tame. It felt more like a work-for-hire picture for Roth than an actual passion project, because this movie was in development for a while, way back since 2006 when Sylvester Stallone was attached at one point, and the end result is just a boring mess of a film. The only redeeming thing the movie has for itself is Vincent D’Onofrio, who even reciting the dumb lines written, is acting circles around everyone else, and there is a pretty talented cast, even if they’re playing some of the dumbest characters you could ever see in a movie (looking at you, cop characters played by Dean Norris and Kimberly Elise). This movie had a “death wish” alright: to be regarded as my worst movie of 2018.
So those are my worst movies of 2018. 2019 so far looks promising, since I just saw Glass and enjoyed, despite its flaws, and I’m looking forward to what 2019 has to offer. Hopefully it can be a very promising year, for film and life in general.