Each year as with the best films, there are several which scurry under the floor when the lights come on. I take no pleasure in tearing these films apart. Even (most) bad films are someone’s baby and have a lot of hard work and hours behind them, although you cannot tell it by the finished product. Regardless, our time and hard-earned money are as precious to us as these films are to their directors and writers. All I can say is make them worth our while and you won’t be on this list. I promise this list won’t be as long as the Ten Best list. Believe me, we have wasted enough time on these things, already. Okay….deep breath….Here we go…
10. The Mummy – Although The Mummy has Tom Cruise, even he could not save this utter disappointment. Universal’s decision to remake some of their old classics from the Golden Age of Hollywood under the title Universal’s Dark Universe has Cruise being chased by Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) for some mystical curse that will bring her back to being flesh and bone. Good production values and Cruise giving it the old college try are not nearly enough to make this franchise worth starting. Insipid attempts at humor and a stale story doom this film almost from the start. This is NOT your “Mummy” with Brendan Fraser. Universal has since put their Dark Universe on hold. Very wise, indeed.
9. Transformers: The Last Knight – Michael Bay returns to deliver one more kick to the midsection with his last (please God, let it be so) Transformers film. This time melding King Arthur and the Transformers together in one film. How you ask? Well, don’t, believe me, it is not worth it. Bay, always up to the technical aspects of making an efficient action picture completely drops the ball when it comes to a coherent story, plausible scenarios and solid performances from his actors. Everyone tries their best but there is no saving this tired story. I didn’t hate this film, but for its build-up, it was a real disappointment. Cringe-worthy attempts at humor include Anthony Hopkins trying to sound like a hipster. Enough already.
8. The Assignment – Originally titled Re-Assignment is the latest Walter Hill actioner starring Michelle Rodriguez as both a man, Frank Kitchen, and as a woman. Both are professional hitmen one of which decides to get gender reassignment surgery after a run-in with a local doctor, Dr. Rachel Jane (Sigourney Weaver). Hill, who has done some fine action films like 48 hours, Red Heat, The Warriors and Southern Comfort, swings and completely misses in this ludicrous film that is devoid of much of Hill’s signature action set pieces and top heavy with characters that are empty and a story that is so silly, I could not have cared less.
7. xXx: The Return of Xander Cage – While the first film of this franchise was nothing extraordinary, it was at least interesting, had some good action and had some character development. This time around Xander (Vin Diesel) pops up to save the world from terrorists who have invaded his old organization once headed up by Samuel L. Jackson but now run by Jane Marke (Toni Collete). Director DJ Caruso manages to take a cast with Diesel, Jackson and Collete and utterly waste them on action that is so far over the top it is hard to take them seriously, let alone anything else that happens. He also has martial arts legends Tony Jaa and Donnie Yen and puts them to no use, too. Instead, we are subjected to how many young girls the over 50-year-old Xander gets to bed down. Crude and distasteful from scene one and believe it or not another sequel is in the works.
6. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter – Paul W. S. Anderson returns to write and direct what is supposed to be the last of this wretched franchise. Still battling the Umbrella Corporation and the zombie hordes roaming the country, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is trying to save the last human settlement that has been untouched by both Umbrella and the zombies. Jerky camera work coupled with editing that appears to be done by a five-year-old and a general sense of incompetence overall, the end could not come soon enough for this franchise that has never been very good from day one.
5. The Hitman’s Bodyguard – After what Ryan Reynolds was able to do with Deadpool, you would think he could do anything. He tries in The Hitman’s Bodyguard, but once again, no amount of star power could save this one. This is an obnoxiously vulgar, unfunny and rather dull buddy film. It is the kind of film they made with varying degrees of success in the eighties and nineties. Trying to resuscitate that genre of filmmaking is admirable, but this attempt falls flat on its stupid face. Predictable and relentlessly offensive in almost every way.
4. Assassin’s Creed – Having just been able to sit and watch this one, it is still fresh in my mind. Boring, uninteresting and without a single character I cared about, Assassin’s Creed joins the rather long list of video games failing to make their transition to the big screen. My advice is to play the game and skip this movie and I say that as someone who has never played the game. Let that sink in.
3. The Great Wall – Another January 2017 release that was number one for a while, that is until I saw number 2 and 1 on this list. Matt Damon plays a European adventurer who is in China when he stumbles upon the Great Wall. Apparently, it was built to keep out CGI lizards and toad-like creatures, not invaders from other countries. Forced into helping the Chinese protect the wall and their villages, Damon stumbles his way through a film that I can only describe as painful to watch. The only reason he was cast as the lead in this film was to make it more palatable to western audiences like that was really necessary. Directed by an excellent director and one no stranger to action, Yimou Zhang (Curse of the Golden Flower, Hero and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) The Great Wall is so disjointed and nonsensical it could not have mattered what wall they were talking about because nothing is special about it. The result is a truly incoherent mess of a film.
2. The Dark Tower – This was a close one, too. I thought about it for number one on this list but opted for number 2 and a big number 2 this film is. On any given day I could easily swap this film for the number 1 choice, but for today The Dark Tower holds the distinct honor as a film so bad, I almost could not believe it if I had not seen it with my own eyes. Based on the EIGHT books written by Stephen King about the Gunslinger, Roland (Idris Elba) battling The Man in Black, Walter (Matthew McConaughey) for the good of humanity, this film clocks in at 89 minutes. That’s right, EIGHT books crammed into 89 minutes. With virtually no time for any character development, the action makes no sense, visual effects looking like they were purchased at the local dime store, it is no wonder Ron Howard left this project to direct the Han Solo film. I think he sensed what a debacle this film was going to be and he was right. Utterly horrible from start to finish and what’s worse is they are working on a weekly television series for this material.
- Underworld: Blood Wars – Another franchise like the Resident Evil franchise that has never been very good at all and has steadily gone downhill since the first film. This time around, Vampire Death Dealer Selena (Kate Beckinsale) battles the Lycan clans. Oh wait, that is the plot of the first four films, too. This film has amateur hour written all over it from the first second of the first frame to the last. Stale acting, redundant storytelling, unintentionally humorous, and not a single character to give a wit about, all I had was Kate Beckinsale prancing around in a catsuit for ninety-one minutes. Absolutely a complete and utter disaster from start to finish. Well, there it is. The worst 2017 had to offer, at least that I was able to stomach, anyway. Just think how many other wretched pieces of crap out there that we were able to miss. Thank God and Greyhound for small favors.