Top 10 Disappointing Movies of 2016
As is typical of many would-be blockbusters, sometimes things don’t work out the way we’d hoped. These films are no exception. In this list, we’re counting down the 10 most disappointing films of 2016.
These movies either had massive buildup, great marketing, awesome trailers, or even looked like Oscar bait. When they came out, however, people were less than impressed, and were very disappointed with the final product.
We’re not saying these movies are bad (some of them may actually be bad), but we’re a little pissed that they weren’t what we thought they were going to be when the trailers came out.
Hate me if you will. I wasn’t that big a fan of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar-winning film. The trailer looked badass, with intense fight scenes, chilling visuals, and a Leo that looked like he’d go through anything to win (and boy, did he do anything and everything in this one) an Oscar he so desperately deserved. The Inarritu film is beautifully shot, and earned cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki his third consecutive Oscar, and DiCaprio certainly suffers for his art, but The Revenant seems to be little more than that. Tom Hardy’s a great actor and a formidable villain, but there was far less action in the film than the trailers and reviews made it out to be. There was lots of pretty snow, though. It does receive an honorable mention, however. As, for what it's worth, it fares a lot better than some of the other films on this list.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Roald Dahl’s original children’s book The BFG. My third grade teacher read it to me. It holds a special place in my heart. I didn’t know how I felt about Steven Spielberg directing with Mark Rylance playing the titular friendly giant. Was it a children’s movie? Was it going to be some kind of magical Oscar bait? I think that was the problem for the film: it couldn’t figure out it’s target audience, and landed on a plot that was so coated in sugar, we couldn’t see some of the more human moments that the book offered. The film just barely recouped its budget at the box office, but many critics are calling The BFG a major career whiff for the great Steven Spielberg.
Key and Peele are great. Their sketch comedy show is legendary, and it’s a shame that it ended. And Keanu looked like a really interesting film at the outset: it features Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, and a cat named Keanu. Hilarity looked like it was about to ensue. Unfortunately, the film was badly received when it premiered at the SXSW festival, and never really caught on as an upper-echelon comedy film. And that’s a shame, too, because Key and Peele are hysterical. Looks like they’ll have to try again to find another hit that brings them to the forefront of real comedy film stars.
The Top 10:
A film based on a massive online role-playing game. What could go wrong? Films based on video games have tendencies to be either subpar or just downright horrible. Warcraft fell right in the middle. Its visuals were stunning, but the characters were un-relatable (which made them unlikable), and the plot was hard to follow. I think we just ended up with a knockoff Game of Thrones film here.
9. Free State of Jones
Matthew McConaughey was still at the high point of his career when this film was announced. He had won an Oscar for Dallas Buyer’s Club, and had starred in the critically acclaimed first season of True Detective. And when this Civil War-era drama was announced, everyone was gearing up for everyone’s favorite cool guy to return to the ceremony in February. That’s not going to happen after Free State of Jones. Not a lot was done to bring the true story of farmer Newton Knight to life, essentially. The film bombed at the box office, making back only half of its $50 million budget.
8. Alice Through the Looking Glass
The first Alice in Wonderland wasn’t half bad. Tim Burton was the perfect director to take on Lewis Carroll’s bizarro world of Cheshire Cats and queens with overly large craniums. But Johnny Depp wasn’t able to save this one, as the magic and wonder he and Tim Burton (even though Burton didn’t direct the film) had achieved throughout their careers together had been lost. The film holds a 30% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and for good reason. Also, P!nk wrote a song for the film. Not like it has a place being attached to the movie, but she wrote a song for it. So there’s that.
7. The Huntsman: Winter's War
Much like I walked out of Snow White and the Huntsman, I walked out of The Huntsman: Winter’s War as well. How many times would they mention Snow White’s name without even showing her on screen? How many? I couldn’t tell if they wanted Kristen Stewart back, or if they were really trying to drive the point home that she was not in the movie.
6. X-Men: Apocalypse
I really like the X-Men franchise. Days of Future Past was really good, and these spin-offs featuring Wolverine’s backstory are pretty cool. And I really thought Apocalypse would be on that same plane as well. Unfortunately, it was not the case. The plot and character development (or lack thereof) of these mutants we’ve come to know and love is marred behind gratuitous explosions, and even when we do get to see these characters really act, we find they’re becoming a little stale. If the franchise is going to survive post-Hugh Jackman, they’re going to need to find some fresh blood to reinvigorate the X-Men world.
5. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Did I miss something with Fantastic Beasts? With all the buildup and nostalgia from the Harry Potter franchise, I think we were all excited for the release of this Eddie Redmayne-helmed film. But after seeing it, I thought to myself: “Why did this movie need to be made?” I think the idea for most spin-off films is that they actually connect to the focal point of the franchise in some way. The Hobbit works with The Lord of the Rings franchise because Bilbo Baggins appears in the three movies himself. The Star Wars prequels and Rogue One work with the Star Wars trilogy because we’re shown backstories and events to all these characters and plot points. But Fantastic Beasts doesn’t do any of that. “Hogwarts” and “Albus Dumbledore” are mentioned once in the film, as if that will satiate all the Potter fanboys and girls. None of the characters change, Eddie Redmayne is in this movie merely for the sake of being cute, the subplot of the bad guy is blurred, and the film has a lot of sexist undertones to it. This film really had no purpose in being. I’m all for David Yates’ directing and J.K. Rowling’s writing, but they missed the point on this one.
4. Zoolander 2
We waited for 15 years for a sequel featuring Derek Zoolander’s patented Blue Steel™. The problem with Zoolander 2 was that the 15 years we were waiting showed. The jokes weren’t funny, the film tried way too hard to stay relevant with its humor, and the authenticity of the characters we knew and loved from the first film just felt fake. There’s something about early 2000s comedies that were the best, you know? Back when Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, and others hit the right amount of funny? This one felt more like a large payday than something more for the fans.
3. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy is comprised of three of the finest films of this century. When it was announced that a Batman vs. Superman film was in the works, the world flipped out. But casting Ben Affleck as Batman is the wrong decision. The guy can’t act for shit. Now, Man of Steel is a half-decent movie: the visuals are pretty good, and Henry Cavill is watchable as Superman. But I think continuing the franchise is another wrong decision. What would have been really cool is if they had gone with the supposed “God vs. God” angle we were given in the trailers, making it more about the people watching these two heroes fight and their reactions to the effects of their actions.
2. Independence Day: Resurgence
Okay, so no one really expected the Independence Day sequel to be good, right? I mean, the idea that we knew the aliens would come back? That we had twenty years to prepare, and so did they? Come on. The first film in the franchise wasn’t the best either, but its memorable moments and likeable characters made it a classic. It’s nice to see some of the familiar faces in the sequel, but most of them are gone by the end. The attempted humor in the film doesn’t land, and the film just comes across sloppier and more stupid than the original.
1. Suicide Squad
I think we all thought D.C. was finally going to get one right with Suicide Squad. Featuring an all-star cast which included Viola Davis, Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Jared Leto, the film featuring some of the comic book universe’s biggest baddies looked to be onto something, particularly with the casting of Robbie as Harley Quinn and the Oscar winner Leto as the Joker. Unfortunately, audiences were massively let down by this one. Leto was not only featured in the movie for a measly eight minutes, but his Joker portrayal was being compared to that of the great Heath Ledger, and came off as unnecessarily cartoonish and wrong for the role. Also, I get that Leto’s a great actor, and he does the whole method-acting thing, but I think that his preparation for the role was just for show, like: “Look, everyone! I’m acting super crazy because I’m playing the Joker!” The film holds a 26% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which means it’s probably about as good as the Panic at the Disco cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody” was necessary. Either way, it earns our title of biggest theatrical letdown of 2016.
What movies left you feeling ripped off this year? Leave a comment down below.
You can check out the rest of According to Andrew's "Best of 2016" spread HERE.