These types of articles are never easy. It’s never easy to take an entire year’s worth of movie content and compress it into a list of 5 films that sucked the most.
However, being a generally balanced guy when it comes to critiquing movies there weren’t too many nominees for this list to start with; so that kind of made things easier. Let’s get started…
Yes, I have a Dwayne Johnson movie on my list of worst movies for the year. Well that’s because, as I mentioned before, this list wasn’t very long to start off with. Hercules made my list for one simple reason: context. The story takes place after his legendary twelve labours, as a great civil war wages.
But, but, but… the trailer had so much footage from the labours. Well, that was all from a few flashbacks and dreams that take place throughout the main narrative. I’m not sure if the budget was smaller than expected, or if The Rock was too busy to film a full fight scene with a giant lion, a giant warthog and a hydra, or maybe it was that the creators of this film knew they just had to beat the other (even more shitty) Hercules movie (The Legend of Hercules) that came out this year. Either way, this movie was not bad because it was bad, it was bad because it could have, and should have been so much better.
4. Need for Speed
Speaking of high hopes for movies; we had Aaron Paul fresh out of his highly praised and awarded role in Breaking Bad, on set for one of his first really big lead parts in a feature film with a good budget. Do you blame us for having high hopes? You shouldn’t.
I must admit I was already slightly turned off when I saw the trailer. I was keen for the extensive use of practical effects the producers promised (who doesn’t appreciate good, old-fashioned practical effects in this day and age?), but what I couldn’t look past was the dark voice over by Aaron Paul about his past and coming back for vengeance.
It just kind of felt like something you should save for the finale of a film, instead of slotting that tone into the trailer. This set the stage for the feel of the film, which was (from that moment) very confusing; the film oscillating between “very serious stuff” and “not taking itself too seriously”.
Yo! Make up your mind, bitch!
3. Devil’s Due
Oh dear, oh dear. The odd thing about this absolute waste of space and budget is that it actually had quite a successful viral marketing campaign this year, when a tiny experiential ad agency decided to put a pop-up demon baby in an abandoned pram to scare good Samaritan passers-by (see the video below).
The movie itself I don’t really have much words for, but that campaign was cool, so they’ve got that going for them I guess.
2. The Signal
I only recently watched and reviewed The Signal, which I seem to loath more each time I think of it and how it wasted a couple hours of my life. Look, I’ve seen tons of existential-crisis creating movies in my time; and good ones, mind you.
What I had not seen until The Signal, was one that didn’t leave me with enough to think about. It wasn’t close enough to reality to do that. A classic like The Matrix, that does a very similar thing keeps you reminded of the idea of being plugged in, and how that’s the life before all of this, the life you see the “normal” people around you living; the life you left behind. It’s excruciatingly near, and yet so far.
The Signal, however isolates you, and gives you nothing but psychological and physical torture for a long time, before dropping the bigger context on you in a deadpan that just so happens to be the final shot of the film. And for this, I can’t forgive them.
1. Transformers: Age of Extinction
If you really want to get my detailed opinion on this movie, I would suggest reading my review on it instead.
In summary, Transformers: AOE had it all: terrible destruction-porn, ridiculous product-placement, poor acting, and a weak narrative. A nail in the coffin would have been if this movie was almost 3 hours long… oh, wait.
Let me know what you thought of this list in the comments below, and which movies are on your worst of 2014 list.
About the Author: Stephen is a critic who does this kind of list not because he is cynical, no he does it for the people; in the same way The Rock used to do the people’s elbow. But now The Rock can’t do the people’s Hercules, which is disappointing. I digress, follow me on Twitter @thesnagel.