There were many additions to the 2016 film roster that were enjoyable, awesome and epic. We were given some of the best comic book films to date, including Captain America: Civil War and, of course, Deadpool. Horror was at an all-time great this year with the spectacular Lights Out and Don’t Breathe… Not to mention, La La Land dancing its way into our hearts and wallets. With the great, unfortunately, comes the not-so-great and there have been some doozies this year.
What this list will focus on is not the worst films of the year but the ones that had an immense amount of potential going in to it that ultimately let many viewers down in a fiery storm of disappointment. So if you were looking for the Kevin Spacey classic, Nine Lives where he plays a talking cat, you will probably see it in another list.
1. Jason Bourne
Release Date: July 29th, 2016
The Matt Damon Bourne trilogy is regarded as one of the best trilogies of all time, known for its intriguing premise, spectacular characters and insanely phenomenal action sequences featuring everyday products like pens and toasters. When it was announced that a fourth installment was to be released, fans of the trilogy (myself included) could not contain their excitement at seeing Damon back in the role that made him a household name. What we got was an incredibly generic action flick that does not live up to even an ounce of anticipation complete with sequences that were relatively passable. I am convinced Tommy Lee Jones was asleep for a majority of his scenes.
- Jesus Christ… Click Here For My Review Of Jason Bourne
2. Assassin’s Creed
Release Date: December 14th, 2016
You have Michael Fassbender in the lead role, Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Irons in supporting roles and the director of the 2015 Macbeth adaptation at the helm of this video-game-to-film-adaptation. Assassin’s Creed was slowly being regarded as the video game adaptation that may possibly finally be the great adaptation audiences and gamers have been waiting for! After a lukewarm reception for its initial trailers and its release in mid-December, we will still be waiting for that great adaptation. There are many who believe it was a nice action flick, however for the anticipation it was building and the incredible lore of its game, Assassin’s Creed fell short of paving the way to be the leading video game adaptation. With its convoluted mess of a plot and characters who had the emotions of a refrigerator… Maybe Uncharted stands a chance to be that leading adaptation when it releases never? Or the Alicia Vikander Tomb Raider set for 2018? We can hope! If there is one thing we learned from its performance, riding on the coattails of a popular title does not always equal unbelievable success.
3. Suicide Squad
Release Date: August 1st, 2016
Suicide Squad is arguably one of the most divisive films of the year because it certainly divided audience members to those who believe it is one of Warner Bros’ best comic book movies to those who believe it is the worst film of 2016 and all those in between. The anger certain audiences had even garnered a petition called “Don’t listen to film criticism“, which asked for people to sign it and boycott listening to critics because “[you] may enjoy a movie regardless what the critics say about it.” Suicide Squad had an incredible first trailer set to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” which encouraged tons of audience members to be hyped for this latest comic book film… This will put the DCEU on the map since Batman v Superman was not the powerhouse it was expected to be! The final result included massive shifts in tone, ridiculously blatant editing issues and awkward/undeveloped characters. Regardless of the problems it had, the Squad generated $745 million worldwide and we are getting a Gotham City Sirens spinoff with Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn which is an enormous plus for its fans.
- So That’s It, Huh? You’re Some Kind Of… Reviewer Of Movies?
Release Date: December 21st, 2016
The premise of Passengers is pretty intriguing. Two people awaken from an induced hibernation to be trapped on a spaceship headed for a planet colony only ninety years away? Sounds awesome! With the casting announcement of fan favourites, Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, many expected this film to be a hit with audiences and an awesome addition to the sci-fi genre. Unfortunately, many critics concluded the film is a prime example of “style over substance” and with a current score of 31% on Rotten Tomatoes, audiences ultimately chose to spend their money elsewhere. The combined star power of Lawrence and Pratt could not save this ship from crashing into the proverbial box office meteor as it has earned $45 million thus far on a $110 million budget.
5. Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice
Release Date: March 25th, 2016
Releasing prior to Suicide Squad, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice pitted together two of the biggest heavyweights in the comic universe. It was also going to be the first appearance of a new Batman with Ben Affleck attempting to shed the Daredevil image from everyone’s brains. It was the second installment of the DCEU behind 2013’s Man of Steel, also directed by Zack Snyder, and was supposed to finally kick off the DCEU with a bang! Unfortunately, its release ultimately garnered more of an “eh” instead of that bang Warner Bros. was hoping for. The film made $873 million which is a huge achievement and shouldn’t really be considered a failure, however it did not reach that billion-dollar mark the DC execs were secretly hoping for. Criticism of the film pointed to its overabundance of subplots and the fact that the actual “versus” between Batman and Superman occurred for roughly fifteen minutes. Not to mention the infamous MARTHA sequence that will haunt the dreams of critics forever.
- They Won’t Kill Martha If You Just Click This For My Review
6. X-Men: Apocalypse
Release Date: May 9th, 2016
Do you guys remember X-Men: Apocalypse? Me neither. Coming off of Days Of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse featured all the right people including Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, the incredible Oscar Isaac as the titular Apocalypse and Sophie Turner of Game of Thrones fame… So what went wrong?! Expecting it to perform Days Of Future Past numbers is rather unreasonable since it was the second highest X=Men installment (excluding Deadpool), however it did not perform as well as expected. Perhaps this was a case of unrealistic expectations since so many loved DOFP, however the unimpressive CGI sequences combined with actors who seemed as unimpressed as the effects fell on Apocalypse itself.
7. Independence Day: Resurgence
Release Date: June 20th, 2016
I think the worst thing about this sequel to the classic silly blockbuster, Independence Day is the fact that Resurgence manages to pull a complete 180 on what made the original so enjoyable. The 1996 original is not a cinematic masterpiece by any means yet it is fun! With characters you enjoy seeing and want to share a drink with while attempting to outsmart aliens. There are also some incredible feats in visual effects with Independence Day, specifically that iconic White House explosion scene. Twenty years on, including fan favorites Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman cameo could not save it from the bland, boring schlock that is Resurgence. The film attempts to set up future sequels which is mistake #1 so many of these types of films seem to make: STOP SETTING UP FOR MOVIE #2! MAKE US CARE ABOUT THE MOVIE YOU HAVE NOW! Resurgence could have been another fun blockbuster that would be a wonderful back-to-back feature with its original. The final result was taking everything you loved about Independence Day and creating something the complete opposite of it.
8. Hail Caesar!
Release Date: February 5th, 2016
One of the few included in the list that is certified fresh, this Coen Brothers comedy is not terrible by any means. It has occasional moments of humor and a ridiculously talented A-list cast including George Clooney, the future Han Solo in Alden Ehrenreich, Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum as a dancing sailor! Unfortunately, because of how revered the works of the Coen Brothers are, Hail Caesar! simply did not live up to the hype that these names generated. The captivating Coens cinematography is certainly present however the lack of an interesting plot and another overwhelming sense of style over substance all contributed to this film about the Golden Age of Hollywood ultimately falling short of expectations.
9. Zoolander 2
Release Date: February 12th, 2016
I feel for those people who thought seeing the sequel to the Ben Stiller classic, Zoolander would be the perfect Valentine’s date. Zoolander 2 is another addition to the failed comedy sequel (see: Dumb And Dumber To, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues) that some believe came out much too late. Although many of the original cast returned to this sequel, released fifteen years following the original, audience members chose to stay away from this attempt at being really, really good looking. The failed attempts at humor by utilizing references from the first one and an endless array of tiresome cameos were just a few reasons why this sequel did not live up the immensely quotable and incredibly silly original. The truly sad part is the original managed to earn more at the box office than this sequel and it made an insane amount on home video on top of it being considered a box office failure.
Release Date: June 10th, 2016
Prior to the release of Assassin’s Creed, many expected Warcraft to fill the void of the video game adaptation because of how insanely popular the Warcraft series is. Travis Fimmel of Vikings fame and Toby Kebbell, known for his portrayal of the antagonistic Koba in the Planet Of The Apes franchise, all starred in the film along with Paula Patton, Dominic Cooper and the wildly talented Ben Foster! The film did very well overseas, generating over $386 million and allowed Universal to make back its production budget. Domestically, the film earned a measly $47 million, a number that is rather shocking when you think about how much money the “Warcraft” name generates through all of its branches. Critics were also not loving Warcraft, pulling in a 28% on Rotten Tomatoes with an average score of 4.2/10. Fear not, lovers of the Duncan Jones adaptation, there are still talks of it receiving a sequel since it did perform incredibly at the foreign box office!
Release Date: July 15th, 2016
The final example that divided moviegoers was the remake of the beloved 1984 classic, Ghostbusters. Taking away the issue of gender politics, many believed the original Ghostbusters is an untouchable entity whereas others wanted to see a modern, updated version of it. Judging Ghostbusters (2016) on its own merits, the ultimate result features serviceable performances from its main cast that make you chuckle in the moment then forget immediately why you were laughing. Many concluded that there are some interesting sequences utilizing CGI however there are a number of characters many found insufferable because of their lack of development and/or trope-filled behavior. For those interested in the Ghostbusters universe, original director Ivan Reitman revealed that there are going to be more Ghostbusters films, “they’re just in development right now.” Whether that means a direct sequel to the one released this summer or a whole new gang specializing in ghost busting, keep an eye out for more ghosts in the future… Many ghosts who, according to Ghostbusters (2016), apparently have dicks.
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Happy New Years, Friends!
What Were Some Of Your Biggest Movie Disappointments Of 2016? Comment Down Below!