The 5 Most Disappointing Films of 2018
While there were several exceptional films last year, there was also an abundance of steamy crap too. Generally, a rotten film can be easily sniffed out (like Gotti, Life Itself, The Happytime Murders or Death Wish), so some bullets were easily be dodged; however, there were also a few occasions where marketing made what the studios already knew was is a muggy mound of unacceptable trash look fairly digestible and intriguing. And, of course, there’s also those handful of projects with quality names attached that got us pumped before delivering disappointment. We've already shared our favorite films from last year with you, and now it's time to share our picks for the worst.
This is our picks for the five films that disappointed us the most, not a list of the objectively worst. These are films that had us pumped and didn't deliver, films that had better trailers than the finished products, films that promised something and didn't fully deliver... And these are just the films we’ve personally seen, so there’s definitely worse fare out there, we just were lucky enough to miss them.
5: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Though no fault of director J. A. Bayona, who did all he could with the wonky and half-baked material provided by Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly, Fallen Kingdom falls prey to the same malarkey that Jurassic World was susceptible to, making it another prehistoric letdown. Bayona imbues the film with a lot of humanity (which is sorely lacking in most Jurassic sequels), but it’s not enough to save the film from its utterly trite and stupid screenplay, ripe with MORE genetically modified dinosaurs (because "bigger" is better), characters doing/saying extremely stupid things, and so many idiotic and problematic holes that it's not even really worth dissecting ad nauseam. It also has one of the absolute stupidest endings we’ve seen all year. We think it’s time to let the dinosaurs remain extinct, but sadly there are fans out there, old and new, who keep releasing these creatures back into cinemas…
4: The Predator
We were hopeful for The Predator, given that Shane Black was behind the wheel, but unfortunately, what we got was a looney, cartoony schlock fest that falls flat and never really fills the cup. Black’s writing — particularly his dialogue — has always been fairly sharp and clever; however, with The Predator, this sentiment couldn’t be further from the truth. The flimsy writing is where a bulk of this bastard sequel’s problems start (and there are a lot of problems with this film). Honestly, watching The Predator is like observing a kid who grew up on the Marvel cinematic universe playing with his his dad’s Predator toys; it’s boring, incoherent and full of cookie-cutter characters spewing jokes you’d hear thrown around the playground, like “If you momma was a video game, she’d be rated ‘E’ for everyone.” (And yes, that’s a line straight out of 2018’s The Predator). Aside from a handful of good kills, The Predator doesn’t have much sustenance to sink your extraterrestrial mandible in.
We were fairly excited about this one because we wanted to see Duncan Jones make a good film again, but alas, this Netflix original is an absolute letdown. It would seem that Jones keeps slipping further and further from the greatness of his debut, Moon (which ironically has a tie-in in this sloppy, stupidly juvenile, incoherent mess of a film). We were almost going to slap this dud with a zero, if it weren’t for Paul Rudd, who shows a despicable side we have yet to see, Alexander Skarsgård, who manages to squeeze empathy from the stone of his character, and the world, which is obviously a Blade Runner ripoff but also feels so lived in and accessible. The script is juvenile and illogical, and its third act is a real shit show — and not the good kind. The most confounding bit about it all is the title card at the end that dedicates the film to parenting. It’s just an odd piece of cinema and a waste of two hours.
The story behind the Winchester house is a supremely interesting one, which had us crossing our fingers that this early February release would be decent. However, Winchester: The Film that Jump Scares Built (as we like to refer to it) wound up being the living embodiment of contemporary clichéd horror, with very little working in its favor — and it stars Helen Mirren! Essentially, it's an exploitation of a pretty fascinating true story that is shaped into yet another "spooky" haunted house film. The only good news is that it’s so bad that it almost becomes enjoyable… almost. Sadly, Winchester only manages to be an absolute groan fest of flimsy storytelling, hand-me-down scares, and hackneyed moments of tension and suspense. Events just seem to happen, and the story unfolds in uninspired and increasingly uninteresting ways. The Spierig brothers set up what could be interesting themes (illusion v. reality, absolution of guilt), but when everything's said and done, they're only interested in making a film about a big house that goes bump in the night.
Before we get to our #1 pick, we'd like to acknowledge the films that weren't quite disappointing enough to make our top 5:
The Little Stranger
Mary Queen of Scots
Hold the Dark
Without further ado, our pick for the most disappointing film of 2018 goes to...
1: Action Point
We’re always excited to see the Jackass crew back in action, and we were hoping that Action Point, a film about "The Most Insane Amusement Park Ever,” would be something close to Bad Grandpa, which we found pretty funny and charming. Unfortunately, we think the Jackass well has finally dried up, and it's time to take ole Knoxville out to pasture. It pains us to say that, though the sentiment is not nearly as painful as sitting through this 80-minute excuse for a film. To put it bluntly: it's a major misfire, one whose comedy is only capable of producing an occasionally dispirited chuckle. Shamefully, there's nothing enjoyable, worthwhile or redeemable about Action Point. Every scene revolves around very obvious and uninteresting setups that only serve as a justification for Knoxville to inflict pain on himself, and it never succeeds at being anything other than surface level, with no stakes and no heart, which is why it’s our pick for the most disappointing release of 2018.
Well, that's our list! Were we disappointed in a film you're strongly passionate about? Was there something more excruciating that we left off our list?! We want to know. Share your thoughts and feelings in the comments section below, and as always, remember to viddy well!