Welcome to Nick Picks, a regular column by Nick Spake. There are countless important questions regarding the current state of cinema and I’m here to answer them.
While 2015 brought us plenty of outstanding films, there’s always an annual laundry list of cinematic disasters that exemplify everything that’s wrong with Hollywood. Today, we’re wagging our fingers as those films that deprived us of our valuable time, money, and brain cells.
- Pan: It may have been marketed as an original take on Peter Pan, but this box office bomb was essentially just a rip-off of Harry Potter, Avatar, Star Wars, and every other popular franchise. Solid performances and impressive production values can’t save Joe Wright’s jolly mess from a poorly paced screenplay and a severe lack of imagination. All the clapping in the world isn’t going to get Pan a sequel.
- Hot Pursuit: Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara are talented comedic actresses, but you’d never know that based on Hot Pursuit. Watching them attempt to make us laugh in this alleged buddy comedy is a desperate and depressing experience. Aside from the stars having no chemistry or anything funny to say, the plot is as by the book as it gets.
- Jem and Holograms: It’s no surprise that Jem and the Holograms vanished from movie theaters at a record pace. The film could never decide who its target audience was supposed to be, today’s eight-year-old girls or nostalgia fans of the original 80’s cartoon. The end result was a misguided mess that failed to connect with anyone. At least it wasn’t the Bratz movie.
- San Andreas: The only thing San Andreas has going for it is Dwayne Johnson. Other than that, every character is a cheap stereotype, every line of dialog is a cliché, and every action set piece feels like Michael Bay’s table scraps. In other words, it’s every other mindless disaster movie ever made! Maybe something like this would’ve gotten by in late 90’s. In an age of Mad Max: Fury Road, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, though, this is a colossal step backwards for action pictures.
- Terminator Genisys: Arguably the year’s biggest disappointment, Terminator Genisys looked like it may redeem the franchise with Arnie’s return. Alas, the sequel dropped the ball with miscasting across the board, PG-13 action, and so many plot holes that CinemaSins probably couldn’t count them all. While I personally think Terminator Salvation is still a little more awful, it’s easy to see why Genisys is wildly considered the worst Terminator movie ever made.
- Poltergeist: Why does this movie exist? Who honestly thought anybody on the planet would want to see a 3D remake of Poltergeist with more CGI and less thrills? Probably the same geniuses that thought the remakes of Total Recall and RoboCop would be good ideas. Whether you’ve seen the 1982 classic or not, this Poltergeist won’t leave anybody sleeping with the lights on.
- The Last Witch Hunter: This Vin Diesel vehicle is about as compelling as a Syfy original movie and only slightly less agonizing than an Uwe Boll picture. Similar to last year’s I, Frankenstein and Dracula Untold, The Last Witch Hunter takes itself all-too seriously when it should just be campy fun. Any fanboy in the audience could make a more fun movie than this stiff, soulless dreck.
- Fantastic Four: Nobody thought it was possible for this reboot to be even worse than the previous two Fantastic Four movies. Against all the odds, though, Fox made all the same mistakes while also being more joyless and unfocused. You know that a comic book movie is horrendous when Batman & Robin, Steel, and Howard the Duck have higher Rotten Tomatoes scores.
- The Boy Next Door: If The Boy Next Door were pitched as a Lifetime original movie, I’d like to think it’d be turned down in a heartbeat. How it actually got a theatrical release with Jennifer Lopez starring is mindboggling. What an embarrassing, mean-spirited, and flat-out stupid movie this is. Nothing could save this inept Fatal Attraction knockoff, not even J.LO’s cookies.
- Jupiter Ascending: About a decade and a half ago, everybody thought the Wachowski’s were going to be the next Spielberg and Lucas. Now with Jupiter Ascending being the final straw in their long string of failures, it’s unlikely studios will ever throw millions of dollars at them again. Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum are wasted in this bland, generic, nonsensical sci-fi adventure without a shred of personality. The only remotely entertaining aspect of the film is Eddie Redmayne, who’s so inexplicably terrible in his Razzie-worthy performance that it’s hard not to laugh.
What do you think was the worst movie of 2015?