5. Terminator Genisys
Terminator Genisys has one thing going for it: it’s not as bad as Salvation. Unlike Salvation, it at least resembles a Terminator movie. There’s a problem though; that’s where the praise ends. Genisys feels like it belongs in the Terminator series, but it sure as hell doesn’t feel like a welcome addition.
The forgettable story and surprisingly poor visual effects hurt the final product. It’s great seeing Schwarzenegger back in action, and it’s interesting to see this new take on a beloved property, but everything feels stale. It lacks most of the elements necessary to make for a good Terminator movie, and that’s why it failed.
In fact, the film was so poorly received that it may have driven people away from this year’s Dark Fate. This is just a theory of course, but it’s a valid one. Franchise fatigue is an unfortunate burden that sequels have to carry. Dark Fate may have been a massive improvement, but that wasn’t enough to fix years of damage. The Terminator series need to be tucked away for another decade or so at minimum. The damage has been done.
4. A Wrinkle in Time
At this point in time, people had begun to grow wary of Disney’s live action efforts. Everyone had been burned by the likes of Tomorrowland, John Carter, The Lone Ranger, and The Finest Hours. That’s not even counting the mediocre remakes of their previous animated efforts. While they sure as hell knew how to make Marvel movies, they were more or less lost when it came to developing other live action productions. With all of that in mind, why would anybody be disappointed by something that historically hasn’t worked out?
Well, A Wrinkle in Time is one of the most beloved children’s stories out there. To this day, schools around the world teach the timeless tale to children who will inevitably spread the story to future generations. It’s a classic, and it’s a classic that was to be adapted by a director who, up until this point, had a flawless track record. People are quick to defend directors who repeatedly deliver something extraordinary. Statistically speaking, we consumers should trust filmmakers who prove to be consistent. Building a reputation allows budding filmmakers to grow, so why wouldn’t you hire someone as talented as Ava DuVernay?
For some reason or another, A Wrinkle in Time just didn’t make for a good movie. It’s unfair to blame Disney, and frankly, it might even be unfair to blame DuVernay. The fact of the matter is that this bloated assortment of fantasy ideas didn’t live up to any sort of hype. It’s not indicative of the quality of the source material, and it’s not indicative of DuVernay’s directing abilities. It’s a frustrating outlier that mostly left viewers baffled. Be thankful that everyone involved has plenty of time to rebound.
3. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
To be fair, any Hobbit movie could’ve technically been included. The entire series feels like a far cry from what Jackson set up in his momentous Lord of the Rings trilogy. Still, the first two attempts to capture the magic at least had some redeeming qualities.
Jackson’s sloppy finale is damn near irredeemable. This CGI-laden mess removes all of the charm from the source material and leaves viewers with a hollow shell. Tolkien fans will wonder why Jackson decided to stretch out a short children’s novel, while Jackson fans will wonder what happened to the filmmaking craft that was so evident in Return of the King.
The Battle of the Five Armies is the most soulless movie in Jackson’s filmography. It’s a blatant cash grab that merely functions as padding. The stretched-out plot could’ve been a fraction of another movie because, as most people have said, the source material didn’t need to be made into a trilogy of movies.
As a whole, The Hobbit trilogy is kind of a mess, but this is clearly the worst of the bunch. While its predecessors offered some form of popcorn entertainment, this one is a snoozefest. Large setpieces can only do so much to propel a film. In the end, there’s no excuse to watch something that has no reason to exist.
2. Suicide Squad
The one-two punch of DC movies is no accident. Both Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman deserve the silver and gold “prizes.” At the height of the superhero craze, when everyone seemed to be getting things right, in comes two of the worst superhero movies ever made. If that sounds harsh, maybe a rewatch is in order. The hatred is warranted.
Suicide Squad feels like an assortment of puzzle pieces that don’t fit together. The inconsistencies are evident within the first five to ten minutes. The film bounces between conflicting tones, stylistic choices, and editing techniques. It feels as though fifteen different directors were given a chance to direct a sliver of one movie.
Obviously, that’s not entirely the case, but there might be a semblance of truth to that statement. There were numerous reports of studio meddling, and these reports were backed up by Jared Leto and David Ayer, who had no problems sharing their negative opinions. Leto repeatedly dissed the studio’s decision to cut most of his performance, while Ayer recently shared a rather blunt Instagram post that perfectly articulated his frustrations.
There’s no use dwelling on what could’ve been because, at the end of the day, this is the Suicide Squad we were given. It might be hard to ignore the film’s more schizophrenic elements, but nobody is out there begging to #ReleaseTheAyerCut. Maybe the best course of action would be to wait for James Gunn’s soft reboot and pray this property is salvageable.
1. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Batman and Superman are two of the most iconic superhero movies ever. Hell, they might be the two most iconic superhero movies ever. Bringing them together on the big screen for the first time should have been a legendary. The stakes were so high, so one might assume everyone would do everything in their power to create something close to perfect. Bad news: that didn’t happen.
Batman v Superman was the first real attempt to create a DC Extended Universe. This was supposed to be the first step in building and establishing the MCU’s big rival. Man of Steel was a bit of a misstep, but this particular movie appeared too big to fail. The cast and crew all had solid (albeit inconsistent) track records, the trailers were grandiose, and the comic book influence was admirable. In the eyes of many, this was going to be Marvel’s more mature brother.
None of that worked out according to plan. Batman v Superman is a hodgepodge of sloppy ideas sewn together. The story goes zigzags between different plot points and different tones, occasionally taking a break to show audiences a forgettable action sequence. The cast tries their hardest, but everyone seems just as baffled as the rest of us.
Three years later, DC has done so much damage control, but it’s still hard to have faith in them. They’re on the up and up, but it’s easy to feel apprehensive. Batman v Superman did permanent damage. Actually, Snyder’s entire saga kind of hurt the brand. There’s still hope, but this one seriously stung.