Moving on to the big screen, these are the ten films that, whilst not necessarily being the absolute worst cinematic offerings that 2017 had to offer, are the ones that just so happen to be at the bottom of my list of films that I saw this year – some are simply forgettable, some had potential but ended up being disappointing and others were just plain bad. Of course there are surely worse films out there (The Emoji Movie, Fifty Shades Darker, Geostorm etc.) so clearly, this is not a definitive “worst of” list and is all based on personal opinion.
All are based on UK releases.
Just missing out (luckily for them!):
10. The Space Between Us
It’s not completely unsalvageable as the whole “looking at the world through alien eyes” bit works quite well and Britt Robertson proves to be quite the find (later going on to amaze in the harshly treated Girlboss) but it often gets excruciatingly cloying and sappy, the whole thing hindered by a poor script and bad music. Although, I don’t think I was the target audience – for a time, this seems like a Young Adult version of The Martian.
An unoriginal, forgettable and LIFEless “Spring blockbuster”, Life is what would you’d get if you put Alien and Gravity in a blender; it’s a story that you can’t help but feel you’ve seen many times before, there’s hardly any excitement and the cast don’t have too much to do – you’d think that a film starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds would offer some fireworks, but sadly not.
Unfortunately, whilst watching, I spent a lot of the time just thinking about all the things I could have been doing instead.
Admittedly, it has a few unexpected, jarring moments, as well as fine performances from Oscar Isaac and Noah Jupe, but there’s an inescapable mishmash of tones and moods, trying hard to be a socially relevant tale as well as a Coen Brother comedy, and it’s all just too much of an incoherent jumble. Not the worst film ever, just incredibly forgettable with a confused, nonsensical plot.
And the “grown man rides a kid’s bike” bit? American Made did it so much better.
7. King Arthur and the Legend of the Sword
Or “Cockneys vs. Wizards”, if you prefer. Seriously, whatever were they thinking – making the bizarre decision to apparently fuse Excalibur, Lock, Stock, The Lord of the Rings, Elder Scrolls and maybe even Assassin’s Creed together results in a truly weird film that, although with some decent effects here and there, is actually quite boring and very misjudged. With a truly embarrassing David Beckham cameo to boot.
We should all be very worried about what Guy Ritchie will do to our beloved Aladdin . . . (“Oi! Jafar! That’s bang out of order!”)
6. Logan Lucky
I had such high hopes for this film, having loved the trailer, and I prepared myself for a hilarious, high-energy, fun filled joy ride. It’s a shame then that, despite boasting an insanely impressive ensemble cast, Logan Lucky turned out to be one of the most boring, joyless and sluggish disappointments of the year; the jokes don’t work, the energy levels are way too low, it’s dull, Hilary Swank is criminally underused and Seth MacFarlane once again proves that he can’t act in live-action.
Or “How to make a generic crime film 101”. It’s an inherently forgettable film, apparently an attempt at adapting a French film for an American audience, choc full of cliches and frustratingly incompetent characters – Jamie Foxx’s lead character is too much of a wimp and the lovely Michelle Monaghan deserves better. It also ends with a set up for a sequel but who the heck will be eagerly anticipating THAT one?!
“This city is crawling with dirty cops”, the trailer says. Speaks for itself.
4. The House
Further proof that Will Ferrell just ain’t that funny, The House is just a generic Summer comedy where the premise is uninspired, the comedy doesn’t work, it often gets schmaltzy in the phoniest way possible and is overall a huge waste of time. I had hoped that it would be this year’s Sisters but alas, it wasn’t to be.
3. The Mummy
A film that both launched and then immediately killed off a cinematic universe, The Mummy is bland, messy, ludicrous, poorly acted and with some woeful attempts at comedy. To its credit, it’s actually not terrible – just overwhelmingly “meh”. And at least Tom Cruise earned back some street cred this year by delivering a highly entertaining performance in the great American Made.
Anyway, R.I.P. Dark Universe. I think I speak for all of us when I say: we never really cared.
Perhaps a controversial choice since it received a fair share of positive/average reviews but I can’t deny that I thought Mindhorn was embarrassing, offensive drivel that was the wrong side of silly, the story was uninspired and it all ended in a truly ridiculous, plot hole ridden finale. It also had one of the most horribly offensive stereotypical characters imaginable and I was surprised when no other reviews seemed to mention it.
A truly cautionary tale about the dangers of remaking an older film, Flatliners is one of the most boring, pointless, nonsensical, tiring and incredibly patience-testing films of the year. The cast try their best (Diego Luna is surprisingly rather charismatic) but the characters are just the worst (it’s impossible to believe that they’re junior doctors), their motivations are non-existent and the entire plot just doesn’t make any sense; it’s all just really dull and confusingly switches to subpar horror halfway through.
It’s also the film that managed to bore me in record time – about ten minutes in. Flatlining indeed.
* * *
So unfortunately, those were the films at the bottom of my 2017 film barrel but tune in tomorrow when we can celebrate the very best (well, my favourite at least) that 2017 had to offer!