As per usual, the year brought us many stinkers that we as film critics were forced to sit through, so once again, it’s time to air out the dirty laundry to bring you some of the very worst films that the year had to offer.
Before I begin this countdown, it should be noted that I did not see several films that would have undoubtedly made this list such as Jack and Jill, Bucky Larson, The Human Centipede 2, and the latest Big Mama film, so if there’s a really awful film missing from the list, there’s a good chance that I just didn’t waste the time to see it.
Dishonorable Mentions: Season of the Witch, 11-11-11, Dream House
10. The Green Hornet – This is one that I’d completely forgotten about until I was preparing this list by combing over all the films of the year. This was supposed to be a fun adaptation of the radio show turned TV series, but instead, what we get is a complete mess of badly shot action sequences and an extremely annoying lead character played by a motor-mouthed Seth Rogen. On top of that, we get the pointless inclusion of 3D and Christoph Waltz, who isn’t given much of anything to do throughout the film. It’s no wonder I forgot about it.
9. Paranormal Activity 3 – This is a series that should have died before it was even allowed to start. The first film was an exceedingly dull, slow, and tedious experience, which has since been replicated twice for the two sequels. Unfortunately, these films are becoming as parasitic as the Saw films, though not as bad, but since they cost such a small amount to make, if only a few people go to see it, it’s considered successful, and therefore the studio has enough funds to finance more of them. However, just like with the Saw films, the quality of the final products don’t seem to matter at all as long as it makes money.
8. Drive Angry 3D – I’m still baffled as to how these guys managed to turn what sounded like an interesting premise of a man coming back from hell for revenge into such a bore of a film. It starts off promising, but quickly loses its way as it becomes a mess of a story involving a satanic cult. Throw in some badly shot and badly edited action sequences and you’ve got yourself one of the worst films of the year.
7. Priest – Numbers 7 and 6 actually kind of go together. Once again we have a complete mess of a story, this time involving a priest played by Paul Bettany trying to rescue a girl from vampires. This one was supposed to be in 3D, but luckily I was able to see it in 2D, though it didn’t help make the film any better. Much of it occurs in dark locations where it’s hard to tell what’s going on, not that the audience ends up caring since there’s zero plot and character development. What a waste of Bettany’s talent.
6. Sanctum – Here we have another movie that takes place in very dark locations, but this time, it’s for almost the entire film. This one was also supposed to be in 3D, but I caught it in 2D instead, and I’m glad I did, because like Priest, I can’t imagine how dark the film would have looked having to watch it in 3D when the film is already occurring in a very dark setting. On top of that, the entire film is simply about a group of people trying to find their way out of a cave after trying to find where water is being released from it into a nearby sea. Why they would risk their lives for this is inexplicable.
5. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 – The Twilight Saga is a soap opera that somehow continues to get worse as it goes along. The three leads, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner, give their usual stiff, wooden performances which merely prove that they have no business being anywhere near the occupation of acting.
The story here is even worse and more melodramatic than usual and involves Edward and Bella finally getting married and going off on their honeymoon. This takes up the first half of the film and eventually gets around to Bella getting pregnant. Meanwhile, we get little hints that there’s finally going to be a fight between the vampires and werewolves, but when we do, it lasts no more than two minutes, leaving the audience wondering what they’ve just sat through a bloated two hour soap opera for. Luckily there’s only one more film to go before we say good riddance to this awful series.
4. Transformers: Dark of the Moon – See Optimus Prime take on his most challenging enemy yet: Steel Cables! Yes, the film actually features a scene where the great Optimus Prime gets tangles in steel cables for several minutes while the never-ending climactic action sequence continues on and on. Apparently Michael Bay learned absolutely nothing from the previous film where one of the main complaints was the never-ending battle sequence at the end of that film. Once again we get an overly-long (154 minutes!!!) bore of an action film with no character development, no plot, bland CGI, and editing based on Bay’s belief that everyone has an attention span of approximately half a second. This is yet another series that simply needs to die.
3. Conan the Barbarian – Speaking of films I had completely forgotten about, here we have Conan the Barbarian, a completely mindless, pointless mess of a film. The film is loaded with problems from the nonsensical plot to Jason Momoa’s terrible performance (who thought someone could make Schwarzenegger look good?). The biggest question I was left with after it was over was how in the world they managed to get Morgan Freeman to narrate this travesty of a film. That must’ve been some paycheck. Luckily this bombed at the box office, so that supposed sequel that Momoa wrote will never see the light of day. Thank goodness for small favors.
2. Your Highness – You know those films that make you squirm in your seat just for how bad they are? Well this is one of them. Here we have a film that was written by a pair of prepubescent kids, Danny McBride and Ben Best, whose main goal was to try and fit as many sex jokes into 100 minutes as they could. The result is an embarrassingly unfunny film that will have you squirming a hole right into your seat. It seems almost impossible to believe that James Franco and Natalie Portman, both Oscar nominees earlier this year, would go anywhere near this terrible material. It’s also quite hard to believe that the director, David Gordon Green, is the same man who brought us the excellent film Snow Angels, one of the best films of 2008. Such an incredible waste of talent.
1. Battle: Los Angeles – Here’s an example of where just about everything that can go wrong with a film did. There are so many aspects of Battle: Los Angeles that are so incompetently done, it’s amazing that the film was ever released. This film’s long list of problems include a terrible story and screenplay, as well as incomprehensible editing and every alien movie cliché you can think of, including a rousing speech to raise the troops’ morale (which got a pretty good laugh at my screening as I recall).
All this film made me want to do is rewatch Independence Day, which, when compared with this film, looks like a masterpiece. Back in March when I reviewed the film, I predicted that this would be the worst film I would see all year because I couldn’t imagine that anything else coming up this year could be worse. But who knows, perhaps one of the films I skipped was even worse, and if that’s true, I shudder to think about it.
Be sure to check back soon for my list of the best films of 2011.