Worst Films Of 2016

Before bringing you my favourite films, here are the turkeys…


5. Jason Bourne

Jason Bourne, Matt Damon, Paul Greengrass, movie, review

I know. Putting a Bourne movie here seems harsh. It’s not that I thought Jason Bourne was terrible, it was just that we’d seen every frame before and the whole thing felt pointless. Bourne’s hiding out in Europe. The CIA track him down. He gets a heads-up from an ally. He finds out something about his past. He has a few close calls. He walks away to Moby.

At least when The Bourne Legacy came along it had the excuse of having a different lead and different director – but this was Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon back in the front seat, and it still did nothing new or interesting. I think it was just one step too far. The original trilogy rounded off a perfect character arc, and all this did was skew it. Damon should have listened to his past self when he said, before the release of The Bourne Ultimatum, “We have ridden this horse as far as we can”.


4. The Other Side Of The Door

other-side-of-the-door

The Other Side Of The Door was one of those films that was kind of okay at the time, then the more I thought about it the less I liked it. Which, admittedly, is something of a falsehood as the film is entirely forgettable and I rarely thought about it afterwards. But in those brief moments where my mind has fluttered back to this story of a grieving mother trying to reach out to her dead son but conjuring something sinister instead, I can’t recall anything meaningful beyond a half-interesting premise. The ending could have worked really well, if it wasn’t so predictably rushed toward.


3. Batman vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice

Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice

Unfortunately for DC and Warner, this isn’t the worst they got this year. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t hate BvS as much as most people, and I actually rather enjoyed portions of it, but I also can’t deny it was an absolute mess. For a movie called Batman vs Superman, a movie which finally pit these super heavyweights against one other, I was kind of expecting more than eight minutes of them brawling – which only begins, let me remind you, because of an infuriatingly contrived blackmail plot (rather than making use of, I don’t know, the preceding two hours to build to it), and ends because the dudes’ mothers have the same name. There’s also a jar of pee which acts as a quasi-McGuffin and multiple shots of Superman looking like he’s just lost a puppy.


2. Mercy

mercy

Netflix are making so much original content now that it’s hard to keep track of everything, but one clear emerging trait is the gulf in quality between their TV shows and movies. With a few exceptions on either side, Netflix original movies tend to display a real lack of finesse, with weak scripts that likely wouldn’t be produced by any other major studio. No film testifies to that more than Mercy, You’re Next-wannabe, masked man ‘thriller’ which stretches about twenty minutes of plot into ninety and mistakes building atmosphere and tension for tediously long shots of toilet seats. Some of the cinematography is quite nice, but the rest is such a derivative and narratively pretentious slog which carries an irritating air of self importance. Avoid.


1. Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad, DC, movie, film, Batman, Joker, Jared Leto

Yep, it really is that bad. The king of the turkeys. Suicide Squad is a complete insult to the art of filmmaking, and I’m genuinely not sure I’ve ever seen such a clunky movie. There’s an extended cut available on shelves, which I imagine must be an improvement (it must!?), but I just can’t bring myself to go near it again. Perhaps if it was a director’s cut I’d be more interested – David Ayer’s a good filmmaker and I don’t believe he was completely responsible for the mess. Warner Bros. have developed a nasty habit of panicking at the last minute and re-cutting their films based on how well the last blockbuster did, and Suicide Squad must be the most painful example.

The comedy is desperately shoehorned, the characters lack development and a basic sense of place within the narrative, the soundtrack is just a smorgasbord of classic rock tracks aimlessly chucked in to sound cool, The Joker is an entirely superfluous character despite Jared Leto’s clearly unnecessary method acting, and it goes on and on and on. I mean for Pete’s sake, the theatrical cut was just two entirely separate cuts smashed together, one of which was cut by a trailer company (that’s a trailer company; a company whose business it is to cut together random snippets of footage that they think will make people want to see a film). The whole thing is just a complete and utter mess. No other words for it. Suicide Squad has a fairly sizable fanbase online, which is fine – but if they’re allowed to love it, I’m allowed to hate it without being a “stuffy critic with a vendetta against DC” (I have been accused of this).

1 Comment

  • BEST FILMS OF 2016 - Lights Overhead December 16, 2016 at 9:07 am:

    […] like 2016 has been a particularly bad one for movies, I can only find five worth putting on the Worst list, as opposed to ten here on the Best, with competition. I missed a lot of the blockbuster and […]

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