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The 15 Worst Movies of 2016 (So Far)

21 July 2016 | Features, Film Lists | by Ryan Anderson

8. Zoolander 2

Zoolander 2

I wasn’t expecting a masterpiece, but I was very disappointed by the sequel to Zoolander. Zoolander, certainly has its faults, but it is funny and has memorable characters and scenes.

The sequel, the aptly titled Zoolander 2, is not so successful. The cringe worthy and not funny moments outnumber the memorable and funny bits in this sequel.

The film stars Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Penélope Cruz, Kristen Wiig and Fred Armisen and follows Former models Derek Zoolander and Hansel who find themselves thrust back into the spotlight after living in seclusion for years. Invited to a major fashion event in Rome, the estranged friends are surprised to see how much the business has changed.

Even more shocking is their encounter with Valentina Valencia, a special agent who needs their help. Someone is killing famous pop stars, and it’s up to Derek and Hansel to help save the world’s most beautiful people from a similar fate.

The film was not particularly financially successful, as the original came out 15 years ago and this film was really necessary, considering the cult status of the first film.

It made $56 million against a $50 million budget, competing against films like Deadpool and Kung Fu Panda 3. The film did not do well with critics or audiences as seen by a rating of 23% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 193 reviews, with an average rating of 4.5/10.

The site’s critical consensus reads, “Zoolander No. 2 has more celebrity cameos than laughs – and its meager handful of memorable gags outnumbers the few worthwhile ideas discernible in its scattershot rehash of a script.”

Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of “C+” on an A+ to F scale. The Rotten Tomatoes consensus sums this film up, more cameos than laughs, not a good combination.

 

9. Norm of the North

Norm of the North

The level of quality we are getting in large scale animated films in the United States, outside of Pixar and Disney has not been good over the years. Norm of the North is another example of this.

Produced by Assemblage Entertainment, Splash Entertainment, and Telegael and distributed by Lionsgate, Norm of the North tells the story about a polar bear named Norm who needs to save his home from Mr. Greene, a rich man who has a plan to build houses in the Arctic.

To rescue his home, Norm has brought his friends, the three lemmings and Olympia Brighty, to hatch a scheme to prevent Mr. Greene from doing his plans. It features the voices of Rob Schneider as the title character, Heather Graham, Ken Jeong, Colm Meaney, Loretta Devine, Gabriel Iglesias, Michael McElhatton, and Bill Nighy.

The UK version features James Corden. When Rob Schneider is your lead, live action or otherwise, it is normally not a positive thing. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 8%, based on 59 reviews, with an average rating of 3/10. Thank God both of the sequels are going to be released direct to DVD.

Norm of the North takes good aspects from other films, mangles them together into 90 minutes of mess, and then spits it back out to the viewer. Even the most well mannered children will grow tired of this mess.

 

10. Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever movie

I guess it only takes about 15 years for a franchise to be rebooted. We have seen shorter amounts of time for franchises, but many times it was at least slightly warranted. Not so much for this remake/reboot.

About 15 years ago, director Eli Roth had a surprise hit, making about $30 million from a $1.5 million budget for the original Cabin Fever. The original wasn’t the best film in the world, but it was serviceable horror.

Why he decided to take the original script, trim it down a bit, and basically make the same movie again, is anyone’s guess. It seems like Roth made the film for strictly financial reasons while making sure it was so terrible that it would not interfere with the original. So he basically used the same script, had even worse actors, and direction that makes student films look like masterpieces.

This version I guess, of Cabin Fever is an example of a waste of time. It has joined a very special and limited film club when It received a 0% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 17 reviews, with an average rating of 2.6/10.

On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 14 out of 100, based on 7 critics, indicating “overwhelming dislike”. The positive thing is this film will not replicate the financial success of the original, which means we probably won’t get another terrible sequel. What a waste of time!

 

11. Gods of Egypt

Gods of Egypt

Of course we can talk about the distasteful white-washing of all of the leading characters of the film, especially with people who don’t look like or have ever been to Egypt or know anything about Egyptian history. That is this film’s biggest crime. However, the rest of the film, white-washing aside is also terrible.

There is a high-gloss image, a slick quality that takes all of the authenticity, all of the immersion and throws it on the ground. You sit there, acknowledging strongly that you are watching a white actor play and Egyptian man on some Hollywood set. This gloss is supposed to distract you from other problems with the characters, dialogue, plot, etc.

The film really comes off as unintentionally funny and dull. Gods of Egypt was panned by critics, who criticized the casting, writing and defective special effects. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 16%, based on 150 reviews, with an average rating of 3.6/10.

Metacritic gives the film a score of 23 out of 100, based on 24 critics, indicating “generally unfavorable reviews”. The director of the film Alex Proyas responded to the critics by saying this, “diseased vultures pecking at the bones of a dying carcass”, who were “trying to peck to the rhythm of the consensus.

I applaud any film-goer who values their own opinion enough to not base it on what the pack-mentality says is good or bad.” If I may translate: please don’t listen to critics because my movie sucks and I want you to pay for it anyway. Your movie does suck and did not break even financially, so hopefully we won’t get another white-washing catastrophe from you.

 

12. Mother’s Day

Mother's Day

With all due respect to the classic works that the late, great Garry Marshall has brought to entertainment, this, alongside all of his holiday-centric movies are not among them.

Mother’s Day was directed by Garry Marshall, written by Marshall, Tom Hines, Lily Hollander, Anya Kochoff-Romano and Matt Walker, and starring an ensemble cast that is led by Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts, Jason Sudeikis, Timothy Olyphant, Britt Robertson, Héctor Elizondo and Jack Whitehall.

Much like the other holiday centered fare, Mother’s Day is not really funny, feels rushed, and is incredibly predictable. Personal moment of why this makes the list: Julia Roberts’ wig. It is one of the worst I’ve seen in awhile in something this high in production value. Mother’s Day was critically panned.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 7%, based on 130 reviews, with an average rating of 2.9/10. The critical consensus, which in my opinion is one of the sites best reads, “Arguably well-intended yet thoroughly misguided, Mother’s Day is the cinematic equivalent of a last-minute gift that only underscores its embarrassing lack of effort.”

It really does feel that way. You just want the film to be over so you can regift it to someone else or store it away, never to be seen again. I’m happy to say, almost everyone involved, especially the leading cast has made better, and this crapfest will not be their legacy.

 

13. Precious Cargo

Precious Cargo

Bruce Willis joins the past their prime, getting the paycheck and barely caring about any material crowd. Like the several others on this list, Willis is just embarrassing himself at this point. He is an action film legend and he is sleepwalking through terrible material. Precious Cargo is a tired, mind-numbing retread of so many action-thrillers.

There is nothing thrilling about it though. The action is sub-par, the dialogue is horrible, and the script doesn’t have a word of authenticity or originality to it.

The premise might have been cool to people in the early 90s with the guy from Die Hard teaming up with Zack Morris from Saved by the Bell to shoot some baddies.

Unfortunately, for everyone, Precious Cargo doesn’t even approach the so bad it’s good quality. It is just bad and it absolutely deserves its heavily negative reception, and rare 0% score on Rotten Tomatoes, a fate it shares with 5 other films from this year so far, including list mate Cabin Fever.

Bruce, I don’t know what to tell you. There is not much you can do. I guess I will just avoid your presence on the big screen unless I have definite prove otherwise that your movies don’t suck. I wonder if the leads even looked at the script before signing on for the project. I bet they saw the money and bit.

 

14. Warcraft

Warcraft

The quality of this film is not what places it here. It is the deception and impenetrability of the story that has Warcraft among the trash. When this film was announced, the fandom behind the game itself went insane, and many mainstream movie goers were excited for the possibility of some cool fantasy action.

There was more excitement when Duncan Jones was hired to direct. The man behind Moon and Source Code seemed like a good fit and many thought he would keep the film from going overboard and being silly. They were wrong. Warcraft is so strongly aimed at the millions of people who have already played the Warcraft games.

It is completely foreign to mainstream audiences, with lore incredibly specific to the games from which they came. Even with such authenticity to the games, at least to my knowledge, the story is unspectacular, filled with many one-dimensional characters.

The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 30%, based on 179 reviews, with an average rating of 4.2/10. Despite receiving negative reviews from critics and a poor domestic box office performance, the film has grossed $432 million worldwide, surpassing Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time as the highest-grossing video game adaptation of all time,although Universal still lost money from the film. Naturally, we are getting a sequel.

 

15. Special Correspondents

Special Correspondents

What a disappointment for Ricky Gervais. Although Special Correspondents, which is based on a far superior French film, is a passion project for Gervais, it falls completely flat compared to other recent work he has done.

The film follows the country of France who tries to free two kidnapped journalists in Iraq, but only the victims know it is a hoax.The film takes a great idea, adds two unlikable characters, and strips all of the charm from the film. Despite Gervais writing the script, it is woeful overall.

It does have its moments, but Special Correspondents is nothing to cheer about. His preposterous defence of the mess of a film tarnishes the work further. Everybody has a down piece of work, Ricky, accept this is not your best, by a mile, and move on. Stop defending this trash.

Special Correspondents received generally negative reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 13%, based on 31 reviews, with an average rating of 3.8/10. Metacritic gave the film a score of 36 out of 100, based on reviews from 14 critics, indicating “generally unfavorable reviews”.

This is not the worst film of the year, or the worst on this list, but Gervais’ complete defence of this poor film puts it here. It is also unfunny, has a feeble script, and is another poor adaptation from a foreign production to an American production.

Author Bio: Ryan Anderson is a sophomore at Miami University in Oxford Ohio, where he is studying Zoology and Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies. His love of classic cinema and film history keeps his love for film strong and ever-present in his life.

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