2016 was a solid year for cinema after giving us many great movies, yet there were still those that ended up being truly disappointing, especially after generating so much hype and anticipation around them. Some honourable mentions include Assassin’s Creed, The Legend of Tarzan, Jason Bourne, Blair Witch, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Allied and The Girl on the Train. These films came close, but none quite make the ‘Top 5 Most Disappointing Films of 2016′:
5. Passengers (Dir: Morten Tyldum) – Jon Spaihts’ screenplay was circling The Black List as one of the best unproduced screenplays ever, and the premise alone was enticing. The trailer looked interesting and the fact that both Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt were in the movie as leads was promising enough. However, Passengers is a movie that impresses through visual spectacle and performances alone and nothing else. It’s the classic case of all style and no substance with the plot slowly falling apart despite its strong opening. All of the major events and plot explanations feel far too convenient and contrived, the finale is incredibly blown out of proportion, and the ending feels very forced, bordering on dream-sequence levels of dumb. It’s beautiful to look at, the actors do their best, and the score is impressive, but even if the eyes feel sated, the brain is still craving for more, and Passengers disappoints because of that.
4. Ghostbusters (Dir: Paul Feig) – Okay, it was no surprise to see how bad the Ghostbusters reboot turned out to be, but even then, the fact that it was based on a beloved franchise still makes this a disappointing movie. There were a few positives to be found, including some of the action and special effects, Slimer’s cameo and Kate McKinnon’s presence, but everything else was an absolute mess. This is what happens when you hire a director who didn’t want to do the movie in the first place since Sony had to persuade Paul Feig to take the helm, and what we got in the end was a middle-of-the-road Paul Feig comedy with elements of Ghostbusters thrown in. It is NOT a Ghostbusters movie. It has none of the style, the tone, the horror, the humour, and certainly none of the charm, wit, heart or longevity either. What’s even more sad is the fact that this could so easily have been Ghostbusters 3, and the fact that it’s not just makes this all the more disappointing as a result considering the potential. A very average, mediocre movie when this could have been so much more.
3. X-Men: Apocalypse (Dir: Bryan Singer) – I think it’s fair to say that this sunk the X-Men franchise hard. Frankly, I now no longer care about X-Men movies in general. First Class was highly enjoyable and Days of Future Past is, without a doubt, one of the best superhero movies of all time, but Apocalypse just shows how desperate Fox is becoming. This movie demonstrates that they’ve run out of steam, ideas, and momentum all at once; character development that was built up in the previous movies was thrown out the window and the timeline became completely messed up, all in favour of one insipid villain. This goes to show that what we need is a great Wolverine movie (Hopefully Logan doesn’t disappoint!) or just another great Deadpool movie, but if we do get another main X-Men instalment, perhaps the only way forward is to do a full-on adaptation of the iconic ‘Dark Phoenix Saga’. That would be frickin’ awesome! Until then though… eehh…
2. Suicide Squad (Dir: David Ayer) – Great trailers and an excellent marketing campaign does not equal a great movie in result, and that was particularly the case with Suicide Squad. Given the fact that WB/DC’s last movie got a mixed reception, they were really desperate to step up their game, even if they probably did end up spending only just six weeks on the script. Major reshuffling took place behind the scenes, reshoots were involved and there were many different cuts, all of which resulted in a movie that felt scatter-brained, strangely-edited and felt almost pedestrian-like in the end. Despite great performances from the likes of Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis and Jai Courtney, all the positives were cancelled out by a predictable plot, lacklustre action, a lame villain and Jared Leto’s weird portrayal of my favourite villain of all time. The fact that expectations were so high and the end result was nothing short of a letdown, Suicide Squad would probably deserve the right to be 2016’s most disappointing movie… that is if it weren’t for another big WB/DC connected movie that came out shortly before then.
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Dir: Zack Snyder) – This was arguably the most anticipated superhero/comic book movie of all time since it contained two of the most iconic superheroes in comics mythology on big screen together for the first time. However, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was the perfect definition of quantity over quality since it felt like watching five movies that were jammed together to create one messed up movie, reminiscent of the similarly flawed The Amazing Spider-Man 2. It succeeded with flying colours in terms of action, music, cinematography, performances and visual effects for the most part, but it was let down thanks to its joyless tone, contrived character motivations and situations, its magnitude of plotholes, both Lex Luthor and Doomsday being underwhelming villains, Superman being reduced to a mopey, glorified plot device and Batman being turned into a straight-out killer. Plus, trying to condense all of that into two-and-a-half hours made no sense as demonstrated by the three-hour ‘Ultimate Edition’, even though that wasn’t a great film either despite making more sense. The pressure is now on DC Films thanks to the frosty reception of both BvS and Suicide Squad, but hopefully, Wonder Woman will turn things around for the DC Extended Universe. Whether Justice League will do the same remains to be seen.