2014 was an excellent year in cinema. From pulse-pounding thrillers to the smartest children’s films to date, 2014 was an eclectic smorgasbord of awesome. However, this past year also produced some real stinkers. Topping 2013 as a year of bad films may seem improbable, after all it was the year of Only God Forgives, The Counselor and After Earth, but 2014 certainly ran it close. Though I steered clear of many of the year’s most clear offenders, Pompeii, Annie, Transformers: AoE, Pyramid etc., there was plenty not to like.
Several films weren’t just poorly thought out or sloppily made, 2014 also produced some huge cinematic disappointments, beginning with…
10. X-Men: Days of Future Past
Unfortunately, a horrendously charismatic cast and the implementation of a comedy Quicksilver, aren’t enough to cover up the gaping holes in a sequel that isn’t fit to lace the boots of First Class.
Simply, DoFP‘s story was nowhere near good enough. IMDB’s summary highlights it’s idiocy as well as I ever could: “The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history”. That sort of story may be passable in the animated series, but when I’m paying to see it, it’s not okay. With little relevance or explanation, it seemed that the story was a shaky attempt to bring the franchise’s familiar faces back into a frantic financial pay-day. To top it off, whilst Peter Dinklage’s Dr. Trask should have been an imposing and menacing villain, he was relegated to a fringe role. Here’s hoping X-Men: Apocalypse isn’t so underwhelming.
Without the Robocop name, this film may not be on the list. However, without the Robocop name, nobody would have cared about Joel Kinnaman’s action lead. When making a franchise revival, you have to make a good film. Yet, the nicest thing I can say about 2014’s Robocop is that its almost average. With average action, average acting and a story short on originality, there is little to keep you hooked. Unless you can watch it on Netflix and play Crossy Road at the same time, the 1987 Robocop may be the better option.
8. Horrible Bosses 2
I reviewed this (lack-of)-laugh-fest in full at http://wp.me/p4GEiZ-4O but I’ll sum up my thoughts again. A general lack of effort is the biggest problem in HB2, with Waltz looking decidedly uninterested, a story devoid of anything we haven’t seen before, and some truly awful jokes. Most of the comedy is of questionable taste and the ‘jokes’ are surely much to0 immature to entertain anyone other than the most casual cinephile. Unless you’re a twelve year old that had sneaked into this 15 rated feature, you would have been left wanting much, much more. At times, it certainly was ‘Horrible’.
7. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Another franchise reboot, another turd. Kevin Costner is no Sean Connery, and Chris Pine is no Alec Baldwin. However, neither is as bad as Kenneth Branagh and his ridiculous Russian accent. One could use the words sleek and stylish to describe Jack Ryan: SR, but you could also use the works dull, uninteresting and predictable. As action films go, there are worse, but not many. Yet, a ‘stylish film that isn’t the worst’ isn’t a good selling point.
Pine himself has admitted, they “didn’t totally get that right”. You can say that again, Chris.
6. 22 Jump Street
I should hate this film for creating the ‘My name is Jeff’ craze alone. However, there’s plenty more to hate. I’ve even come to hate it more than my initial review: http://wp.me/p4GEiZ-X
Not only did I not enjoy having to watch a poorer version of 21 Jump Street, but the cast keep telling me that I was doing so. Also, the laughs are too few and far between; Tatum and Hill aren’t nearly as funny as in 21 Jump Street. Simply put, 22 Jump Street just isn’t very good. Thankfully, it has the burly charm of Nick Offerman.
And that’s Part 1 done! Part 2 will be along in a couple of days so keep an eye out. Can you guess what will be on it? Comment below for your chance to win 10 smugness points!