8. Max Steel
Sorry Max Steel fans, but this attempt to start a film franchise is a failure. The hokey superhero movie bombed at the box office, which isn’t entirely surprising considering the lack of promotional material and abysmal reviews. These bad reviews were not unwarranted, by the way. Max Steel fully deserves all the hate it’s getting. The exhausting superhero origin story is an uninspired action movie with laughable writing and phoned in performances.
Max Steel is about a teenager who develops superpowers, learns to use those superpowers, and fights the forces of evil with those superpowers. Sound familiar? It should, because this film is essentially the same superhero movie you’ve seen time and time again. The only difference is that Max Steel lacks a sizeable budget, likable actors, or flashy battle scenes. It feels like an off brand version of a better movie, and even that is giving it too much credit.
There’s not much to say about Max Steel besides the fact that it would have been better suited as a SyFy original movie. It’s excessively corny but it’s also frustratingly lifeless. The short runtime may give you a reason to want to give it a look, but resist the urge and invest your time doing something else.
7. Zoolander 2
After fifteen years, Zoolander finally returned to the big screen. With the cast returning and Stiller once again directing, there was a chance that Zoolander would be more than your standard comedy sequel. Then the movie was released, and every Zoolander fan across the world had their dreams crushed.
Zoolander 2 represents everything that’s wrong with comedy sequels. It’s a lazy rehash with a bigger budget and more cameos, but it lacks the heart and originality of its predecessor. Even if you have fond memories of the original movie, you will find it hard to locate any redeeming features in this lousy follow-up.
The humor is comprised of unnecessary cameos and callbacks to the original movie for the entirety of the runtime. Zoolander 2 doesn’t have a new idea in its head. Every joke relies on nostalgia and none of them are remotely funny. These references to the original movie should make you smile, but instead they’ll make you wonder why you aren’t just watching the first film instead.
It’s irritating that it took this long for Stiller to deliver something this disappointing. Expectations weren’t exactly through the roof, but Stiller has proven that he knows how to make people laugh. Zoolander 2 is incapable of pulling off that feat. Thunder doesn’t strike twice when it comes to most comedy sequels, and Zoolander 2 fails to be an exception.
6. Yoga Hosers
During production of Yoga Hosers, Kevin Smith repeatedly stated that this was a movie intended for teenage girls instead of the usual crowd of Smith fans. For the first half hour, there is definitely some evidence proving that this could have been a decent tween movie. Then the nazi sausages show up and it becomes a lot harder to who the intended audience is supposed to be.
The second part of Smith’s True North trilogy further proves that Smith is uninterested in making movies for anyone but himself. It’s unapologetically weird, but it’s not charmingly so. Yoga Hosers is unfortunately so strange that it’s off-putting. You might giggle at first when Smith introduces these “Bratzis” but they overstay their welcome quickly.
The first half of the film relies on Smith’s signature dialog heavy humor, but it’s not as sharp this time around. The second half of the film relies solely on the weird little creatures to get a laugh from the audience. Neither half is good enough to warrant any kind of recommendation.
Yoga Hosers is a moving with practically zero appeal to anyone. It’s not funny, it’s not clever, and it’s definitely not scary. It’s not going to appeal to teenage girls or Kevin Smith fans. It’s outlandish without being well-written, so it’s in a really awkward position. In its present state, Yoga Hosers is a movie with no purpose. It can’t be recommended to anyone.
5. The Do-Over
Sandler’s second Netflix original movie isn’t quite as much of a disaster as The Ridiculous 6. Sadly, that’s about the nicest thing that can be said about this messy “comedy” from the director of Little Nicky and Without a Paddle. It’s certainly not Sandler’s worst effort, but considering the numerous low points in his career, that means very little.
Just because it’s not as bad as Jack & Jill doesn’t mean it’s a good movie. In fact, since this is an Adam Sandler movie we’re talking about, you shouldn’t be surprised to hear that it’s still a very bad movie.
The Do-Over follows two unsuccessful men that fake their own deaths in order to spice up their monotonous lives. People who go to see Adam Sandler movies don’t go in expecting a riveting story. The difference between The Do-Over and his other films is that this one actually tries to have an interesting plot. It’s admirable to see Sandler take on an action comedy with twists and turns, but everything is slapped together so haphazardly that the final product feels almost incomprehensible.
The TV-MA rating allows The Do-Over to get away with more swearing and nudity than your typical Sandler movie, that doesn’t mean that it’s any more mature. This is the same childish scatalogical humor we’ve seen in almost everything Sandler has done. The only difference is that the stronger language and nudity allow for more misogyny and crude sex gags. Even if you’re fine with this sort of humor, there are other films that have done it better.
The Do-Over fails as both an action movie and a comedy. The plot is made up of borrowed elements from better movies, while the humor is made up of obnoxious jokes aimed at teenage boys. In theory, this seems like it could have been a better-than-average Sandler movie. Thanks to the same sophomoric humor and a story that’s unfortunately lacking in cohesiveness, it’s exactly the type of movie that viewers have come to expect.
4. Boo! A Madea Halloween
Perry is basically the Michael Bay of comedies. He keeps making money, so he keeps making movies. It doesn’t matter that each new release is met with critical disdain. Perry earns his budget back and then some, so it’s not a big deal if he keeps releasing trash. Boo! A Madea Halloween is one of his worst efforts to date thanks to sophomoric humor, atrocious performances, tonal inconsistencies. The Madea series is still abysmal, and this latest entry refuses to fix any of the problems.
That’s unfortunately because, thanks to the popularity of the series, Perry doesn’t need to try anymore. He knows what fans like, so he believes he has a recipe for success. It’s the same reason why Roland Emmerich and Paul W.S. Anderson are still making movies, but it doesn’t mean that these movies should avoid a critical beating.
Boo! A Madea Halloween isn’t funny as much as it’s just loud. As Madea, Perry slaps on the outfit and yells at the audience for over an hour and a half with a cartoonishly exaggerated accent. There are actually jokes scattered throughout the script, but they’re only slightly more intelligent than the jokes that are made at a 13-year-old’s birthday party. The jokes are juvenile at best and offensively unfunny at worst.
The story, which revolves around a prank gone wrong, is overstuffed and underdeveloped. There’s a lot going on throughout the 103-minute runtime, but none of it feels important. It only seems to exist so that the Madea character can have a platform to shout a lot.
In a perfect world, fans of the Madea movies will read these criticisms and find truth in them. Then, maybe people like Perry would take notes and make an effort to improve upon previous mistakes. It’s not a perfect world though, so expect another Madea movie to pop up in a couple years.
3. Nine Lives
The first time people saw the Nine Lives trailer, they probably went to check if it was April Fool’s Day. Nine Lives doesn’t seem like it could possibly exist, especially when you look at who’s involved. Respected actors Kevin Spacey and Christopher Walken join Men in Black director Barry Sonnenfeld to star in a talking cat movie with no less than five screenwriters.
“Talking cat movie” is giving this thing too much credit. Describing it in that way at least opens things up to interpretation. At least then, you might be able to surmise that it could be an animated movie or some sort of satire. To truly understand how ridiculous Nine Lives is, one needs to read a clearer summary.
Nine Lives is about a business tycoon, played by Kevin Spacey, who doesn’t spend enough time with his daughter due to his busy work schedule. With her eleventh birthday coming up, the daughter tells her reluctant dad that she’s dying to have a pet cat. Spacey’s character, rushing to get a last minute gift, is then directed to a mysterious pet store by his magic GPS. After picking a cat, he eventually ends up falling off a roof and waking up in this cat’s body after learning that his actual body is in a coma.
So yes, the premise is ridiculous, but that’s only the beginning. Ridiculous setup aside, Nine Lives is also just poorly executed. The “bad father who learns a lesson” schtick has been done to death over the years, and this film fails to provide any exciting new ideas to that premise. Even if it had been able to offer some sort of insightful lesson, it would still be buried under cat poop jokes and subtle gags about alcoholism.
Well hey, at least the cat’s cute, right? Yes and no. Most of the time, you’ll be looking at a CGI cat. This CGI cat, sadly, is not very cute. The actual cat that serves as the basis for the computer generated monstrosity is adorable, but the overly glossy CGI cat sticks out like a sore thumb. Also, after watching the cat relieve himself in someone’s purse, it’s hard to appreciate any sort of cuteness.
Kids may dig it because of the presence of a fluffy feline, but everyone else will beg for those wasted minutes back. There are so many better ways to spend your time, such as stepping on nails or eating chalk. Nine Lives is a mess of a film, and not even Kevin Spacey can fix that.
2. Cabin Fever
The 2016 Cabin Fever remake is a pointless cash grab with absolutely no reason to exist. Coming only fourteen years after the original movie, this Cabin Fever remake doesn’t even have any new ideas to offer. Remakes that come this shortly after the original movie are always questionable, but the fact that the movie is practically a shot-for-shot remake of Eli Roth’s original movie is inexcusable.
There are very few reasons to attempt a shot-for-shot remake in the first place. Some could argue that foreign movies benefit from shot-for-shot remakes because it allows the source material to reach a wider audience. Purists will tell you to suck it up and read the subtitles, but from a marketing standpoint it at least makes some amount of sense.
Another reason for a shot-for-shot remake would be if the original movie is significantly older and thus unable to reach a younger generation of movie lovers, as is the case with Gus Van Sant’s Psycho.
The original Cabin Fever is an English-language movie released merely fourteen years ago. The unwillingness to take any sort of risk in this 2016 remake is the exact reason why it’s such a failure. The movie does absolutely nothing that the original doesn’t do better. The characters are weaker, the cast is a downgrade, and the gore is less shocking.
Notice that the movie was described as “practically” a shot-for-shot remake. That’s because it does make a few minor changes, but these all fail to benefit the final product. In fact, this remake is worse off as a result of the changes that were made.
A few death scenes were modified, but the original wasn’t memorable enough for casual viewers to immediately notice those small changes. What really hurts the overall movie is the removal of the dark humor. Eli Roth’s take on Cabin Fever was filled with brief moments of pitch black humor. This remake unfortunately chooses to take on an overly serious tone and as a result, it’s a total snore.
Cabin Fever doesn’t even attempt to search for some type of purpose. It merely goes through the motions in order for those involved to earn a quick buck. There’s no reason why anyone should watch this over the superior original. Not only is the movie meaningless, it’s also just flat-out bad,
1. Norm of the North
Norm of the North is an abomination. People didn’t exactly have high hopes for this animated polar bear movie starring Rob Schneider, but the film is somehow worse than anyone could have imagined. Lazily written, visually hideous, and completely lacking in humor – Norm of the North doesn’t even work as an 85 minute babysitter.
There are actual people who will tell you that animated movies don’t have to be as good as other movies because they’re intended for kids. They’ll tell you to lighten up and keep the intended audience in mind. Don’t listen to those people.
With companies like Pixar and Studio Ghibli consistently releasing high quality films, we no longer live in an age where movies for kids have some type of excuse. Children are smart enough to know that Moana is a better movie than Norm of the North, and those that think otherwise aren’t giving them enough credit.
Norm of the North is not one of those animated movies that can appeal to children and adults. That’s because it’s incapable of appealing to either age group. It’s an entire movie made up of toilet humor, dance montages, and outdated movie references. All of these mediocre jokes seem to exist because the film has nothing to say. There’s some kind of plot about saving the environment, but it’s too much of a mess to make any kind of impact on the viewers.
You’re left wondering if the movie would have been better suited for a straight-to-DVD release, and your instincts would be right. Norm of the North was supposed to go straight to video, but for some ungodly reason, the producers decided to shove it in with the rest of the January trash pile.
The worst part is that gullible parents were perfectly willing to take their kids to one of the only kid movies playing in the dry month of January. Little did these parents know that by the time the credits started playing, everyone would be leaving unhappily.
It’s seriously impressive (in the worst possible way) that Norm of the North turned out to be worse than the talking cat movie with Kevin Spacey, because at least Nine Lives had something cute to look at. This movie has nothing going for it. It’s more than just the worst movie of the year. It’s one of the worst animated movies to ever get a theatrical release.
Author Bio: Justin is a paraprofessional teaching assistant and full-time film enthusiast with a degree in English. When he’s not writing about films, he’s probably watching them in his spare time.