2014, it has been good to know you. 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street, Dallas Buyers Club, Edge of Tomorrow, Cavalry, Guardians of the Galaxy, Frank, Boyhood, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes… not bad, right? Yeah, the year of the horse has treated us to a long list of crackers that have made us laugh, cry, and well, you know the rest of that old cliché. However, there are always a few films each year that like to spoil the party. Those flicks that are so shockingly bad, so horrendously terrible, that they leave you wanting to punch yourself in the face on exiting the cinema.
There is only one place to start when talking about the worst of the worst. This guy never lets us down, producing shocker upon shocker, and only spends hundreds of millions of dollars in the process. That man is the one they call Michael Bay. The Baymeister was at it again following last years soul-destroying Pain & Gain, with the fourth instalment of his robot porn series, Transformers: Age of Extinction. With Mark Wahlberg replacing Shia LaBeouf as leading man, the latest Transformers film was said to be taking the franchise in a ‘new direction’. The only thing different about this abomination is the continent it took place in, as the franchise headed to China in an attempt at rinsing out a few more million dollars from the mega bucks Asian market. Product placements galore in a film in which what it lacks in subtly and class, makes up for in awkward sexual jokes and robots just hitting each other, over, and over (and over) without anything actually worthwile happening. Snore.
Nick Cassavetes’ (men of the world can thank him for The Notebook) horrible mess of a comedy, The Other Woman, is the next on the Film Trance hit list. It is a film – a shallow, humourless piece of stereotypical horse poop – that is so dim-witted, so annoying (I’m looking at you, Leslie Mann…), and so ridiculously lazy, that it becomes extremely difficult to watch. With its three grossly generic leading lady-type characters – the man eater, the quivering mess, and the ditzy blonde – Cassavetes’ attempt at woman-centric comedy is as far away from a positive declaration of ‘girl power’ as you could get. No one comes out of this looking good. No one.
This decade has not been a good one for the cinematic portrayal of deceased royals. Who would have thought that Oliver Hirschbiegel’s 2013 clanger, Diana, would be beaten so soon as the worst Princess-themed biopic of the 21st century? Nicole Kidman’s turn as Grace Kelly in Olivier Dahn’s Grace of Monaco does just that, as the over-glossed, soulless affair turned out more like one of its leading ladies cheesy Chanel no.5 adverts than a Hollywood blockbuster. A glorified TV movie is a compliment.
Kevin Costner and his fashionable scarf in the Luc Besson written 3 Days to Kill deserves an honourable mention, as does the Melissa McCarthy starring Tammy, the irritable Hector and the Search for Happiness and Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie. Adam Sandler and Happy Madison did not disappoint, producing another lazy, unambitious fart joke filled comedy outing in the form of Blended, whilst the Inbetweeners 2 was a real come down following a fantastic TV series and a half-decent first movie.
What have been the worst films you have seen in 2014?