Thursday, 27 December 2012

Worst films of 2012

Worst films of 2012

Well, we've had the best movies of 2012 - so it can now only be the turn of the worst of 2012; the cinematic stinkers, the celluloid catastrophes and the filmic flops that made being a reviewer just that little bit more difficult to bear.

In no particular order, these are the films which didn't do it for me during the past 12 months - and as a proviso, this list is confined to the films I saw on the screen, which means some which I endured on DVD get a bit of a break (Project X and Piranha 3DD, I'm looking at you!)

So here are the top 12 worst films of 2012....

Alex Cross - Alex Cross? It made me Alex Angry. Everything a thriller shouldn't be - a mess of acting (Matthew Fox gurning his way through serial killing anger) and a hero whose powers seemed to be provoked by his co-investigator urging him to "Think like him, and get inside his mind." Just a disappointment all round - and a shock to hear a sequel is on the way.

Fresh Meat / Two Little Boys  - a double helping of Kiwi let downs this year. Kiwi cannibal "comedy" Fresh Meat didn't have anything new to bring to the table and felt a real let down because it held back when more would have been perfect for it. Two Little Boys wasn't as dark as it could have been and sure wasn't as funny as it was forced. Towards the end, it threw in some great visual touches, but it was hard yards getting there.

Battleship / John Carter - Taylor Kitsch started the year as the guy who could take over the world but whose two celluloid outings torpedoed those dreams. To be fair, it wasn't so much his acting ability which let him down but the films which let him down. Battleship made good on its Transformers x Hasbro game premise with plenty of hokum and noise; and John Carter turned a great idea into a wonderfully realised but ultimately frustrating film which failed on the story telling front.

The Campaign - Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis in a comedy about elections? That should be funny. But yet, it wasn't strong enough or subtle to reach the satirical highs it could, settling instead for a proliferation of profoundly unfunny moments with a smattering of minorly amusing punchlines.

Taken 2 - A mis-Taken attempt at a sequel, whose first outing was original, clever and a subtle twist on the established action formula. The problem with this one, which had the families of the bad guys that Liam Neeson's Bryan Mills offed in the first place coming after him and his family, was that it was robbed of any surprise and originality as it dispensed with logic and sanity. Please, no Tak3n sequels - though given how well it performed, am guessing there will be.

Bel Ami - RPatz ditches Twilight and goes for period drama in this flick about a man's rise to power and his seduction of women was about as sexy and enticing as some wet lettuce, left soaking in the back of your fridge. By making Pattinson's character dull and uncharismatic, a lack of chemistry with any of the leads, the filmmakers made this a drudgery and dull night out at the cinema.

StreetDance 2 3D - this time, the dance flick goes to Europe. And appears to leave any semblance of a script somewhere on the plane as it passes time zones. A flat lead character and story, plus frenetic editing - including speeding up and slowing down - of the dance sequences mean nothing stands out or is given the time to breathe. Even worse was Tom Conti's character being brought round from a heart attack by the rhythm of a drum.

Men in Black 3 / Total Recall - Agent J and K return for MiB3 but leave most of the J-O-K-E-S behind. Despite Josh Brolin's wonderful impression of a younger Tommy Lee Jones, a confusing ending and general misuse of characters showed that I desperately needed to be zapped by one of those memory forgetting devices they carry around. Likewise, Total Recall offered up some tantalising hints of a remake, but forgot to add anything in other than wall to wall action/ running/ shooting/ slow mo running/ slow mo shooting. Again, I wanted my memory wiped afterwards.

Dark Shadows - a remake of a 60s show which very few people saw, put a cursed vampire played by Johnny Depp back with Tim Burton to mixed and undercooked results. A spooky atmosphere was squandered by some boring narrative and unamusing jokes. Throw in way too many characters as well and this gothic horror should have been staked at birth.

So, those are my thoughts - what did you make of 2012's films?

Here's hoping 2013 is a slightly better year....

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