Did you regret spending money on an awful movie this year? Are you aching to share your thoughts on the head-shaking, face-slapping, run-for-the-door flops of 2010? This is your chance – but not until we give you our choices of the 10 worst movies of 2010.
The box office had its fair share of behemoths this year, but not all were well-received by fans and critics. Poor movies come in all different styles – some are filled with explosions and fancy CGI meant to distract you from the weak plot, while others beg for laughs with humorless jokes. Those two types of theatrical failures, and more, are accounted for in our list.
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10. Grown Ups
A handful of the best comedians of the 90s finally made their passion project. Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, Chris Rock, Kevin James and David Spade are apparently a close-knit group of comics whose main goal over the past few years has been to join up for an ensemble comedy. Unfortunately, the result of that effort was Grown Ups – a sloppy mess designed for the wrong audience.
Grown Ups would have a chance if the comedians took a look at what made them famously hilarious in the first place – raunchy humor. Just about all of the big careers in this film were made by pushing the limits – even co-star Salma Hayek. Instead of producing a family-friendly camping adventure comedy in the same vein as Dr. Doolittle 2, a touch of the old school would have been the smart move for Grown Ups.
Adam Sandler has been a part of some comedy misfires in his time, but there is always that faint hope of a resurgence to his old form. The same goes for most of the cast of Grown Ups. The movie was just another nail in the coffin of careers nobody wants to see dwindle.
9. Repo Men
In our 2-star review of Repo Men, Kofi Outlaw called it “as mangled and messy as the unfortunate victims it portrays.” Stereotypical plot developments run amok in this action film that doesn’t even deliver enough to keep you interested. The concept of the film is the only thread holding it together (barely).
The problem is that a great concept can be easily corrupted. Somewhere along pre-production, the point of Repo Men was tossed aside for specific scenes that just don’t fit with the overall mold. It tries so hard to be different that it ends up a conglomeration of bad decisions.
There is a huge difference between thought-provoking or mind-bending and downright confusing. The forced twists and disastrous storytelling strategies created a complicated clutter of calamity.
8. Jonah Hex
In our 2-star review of Jonah Hex, Paul Young stated the movie has “lots of ridiculous action, bad dialog, cool weapons, rock music and poor acting.” None of these descriptions are synonymous with a proper Western. While Jonah Hex is anything but a classic Western film, its connection to the genre was bastardized to capitalize on Hollywood’s comic book movie boom.
It wouldn’t have been that difficult to make an exciting adaptation of the Jonah Hex comic. The DC Comic character isn’t one of the more well-known, but it packs a punch of Old West drama and serious action. Even better is its supernatural twist. All of these great aspects are twisted around so far that it becomes lost in an attempt to show Megan Fox’s sexiness and Josh Brolin’s scowl.
Even the actors knew they were part of a flop. You can see it in their lackadaisical performances. The only worthy moments on screen were Michale Fassbender’s sarcastic quips as John Malkovich’s hired hand. Overall, Jonah Hex is overloaded with one-liners and short-handed jokes about facial scarring. If the minds behind the film tried a little harder, it might have been left off this list.
Jack Black is still a funny guy despite a few missteps along the way. Gulliver’s Travels is another bump in the road that continues to force us to question his sense of humor (or his choice in scripts). This movie may be geared for children and families, but even those childish jokes don’t seem to be mustering many laughs from the target demographics.
Gulliver’s Travels is bad, but it isn’t disgustingly bad. It simply lacks any kind of effort to be truly funny. The least that director Rob Letterman could have done was to give Jonathan Swift’s original book a proper portrayal. Instead, the movie is a studio cop out in search of big bucks at the expense of cheap 3D tricks. In fact, little remains from the original work that isn’t exploited for modern audiences.
Frankly, Jack Black was just the wrong person for this movie. He plays pieces of his former characters instead of creating a fully formed human being as Lemeul Gulliver. It isn’t the worst display, but it is disappointing when Hollywood bruises great literature in an effort to jump on a trend.
6. Every Lame Rom-Com
Every year presents audiences with countless romantic comedies – some of them surprise us (Going the Distance), but most disappoint. Then again, disappointment suggests an expectation for greatness and few actually predict an enjoyable theatrical experience with films like Leap Year or When In Rome. Even The Last Song proved Nicholas Sparks’ work is not a guaranteed success – and hopefully Hollywood remembers this in the future.
The rom-com genre used to be something to get excited about… somehow we still watch 80s movies to remain hopeful of the future. The problem may come out of a misguided sense that every romantic comedy is an easy buck. Sure, certain crowds flock to the genre, but there is no reason to spend anywhere near $100 million on one like How Do You Know.
Another lesson we all hope Hollywood learned in 2010 is to stop obsessing over Katherine Heigl. Her two rom-coms of this year, Life As We Know It and Killers, combined for a $100 million domestic box office gross. Her three films prior averaged that much. Ultimately, it comes down to the filmmakers who help produce the annual rom-coms to make a difference in the products that are delivered and there is no sign of change on the horizon.
In our 2-star review of Skyline, Ben Kendrick argues the film did not live up to the lofty expectations associated with its comparisons to District 9 and Independence Day. Instead, we got something that felt more like a glorified SyFy channel movie. But we knew the potential pitfalls with the Strause Brothers’ previous foray – they directed Alien vs. Predator: Requiem.
Skyline wasn’t all bad. The filmmakers didn’t hold back any punches on the city of Los Angeles like some alien invasion blockbusters. Unfortunately, the focus on effects and action proved costly with some of the weakest acting and plot development in 2010.
Just days after Skyline was released in theaters, the producers stepped up to the plate and defended their film against a barrage of negative reviews. While some critics did overreact by calling it the worst film of the year, it certainly won’t be shunned by the Razzies.
My sixth sense is tingling and all signs point to M. Night Shyamalan’s destruction of what many saw as an unbreakable television franchise. The anticipation was palpable for the theatrical adaptation of one of the most heralded animated series on television. $318 million in worldwide box office didn’t stop movie fans from turning Shyamalan into the laughing stock of Hollywood.
In our 1.5-star review of The Last Airbender, Rob Keyes criticizes the movie for “fail[ing] miserably at doing justice to the hit cartoon series it’s based on.” He goes on to say it is “a poorly constructed film with no sense of plot, character or emotion – and aside from the visuals, there are little to no redeeming qualities in this wasted opportunity of a fantastic property, which was ripe for a film adaptation.” Considering the visual effects were the best part of the movie, it also created mass confusion by distracting the audience from a plot that was already confusing enough.
Few films prompted such a flurry of editorials as The Last Airbender. We couldn’t help but wonder what happened to M. Night Shyamalan and whether or not the film would be the next Transformers 2. This won’t be the end of Shyamalan’s career as he still rakes in big box office results, but maybe audiences are finally catching on to his major faults as a filmmaker.
In my 1-star review of Little Fockers, I say that the all-star cast not only sucks the last bit of life out of the tired Meet the Parents franchise, but manages to besmirch their own careers in the process. It wouldn’t have been nearly as bad (though still Bottom 10-worthy) if the movie didn’t just throw the legendary actors’ careers under the bus to make a buck.
Some roles embarrass great actors, but are quickly forgotten. We can only hope Little Fockers is quickly forgotten for its general lack of humor and failure to promote any kind of laughs. Like the others on this list, Little Fockers is a mess. The interesting thing is that Little Fockers thinks it’s a real movie, but actually ends up a parody of itself and the actors within it.
Aside from a weak script, Little Fockers may be proof (along with Grown Ups) that all-star casts don’t equal classic comedy. There are almost 20 Academy Awards nominations between the cast and 16 MTV Movie Awards nominations for Ben Stiller. That’s quite a lot of nominations for a movie where every ounce of talent is siphoned into a paycheck.
2. Vampires Suck
In some ways, Vampires Suck may not belong on this list. It is a part of a genre that is hardly welcome at the Hollywood lunch table. If it is Forrest Gump looking for a seat on the bus, the people who actually watch this trash are Jenny Curran – “You can make your movie here if you wawnt.”
The problem here is that parody films didn’t always get pushed to the bottom of the barrel. Not Another Teen Movie and the first couple of Scary Movie films were actually hilarious. Unfortunately, some producers got dollar signs in their eyes and jumped into the profitable genre. Now, we are getting sloppy, recycled comedy. It’s hard to even call Vampires Suck comedy, because it lacks any form of originality. If anything, the movie is a concoction of well-financed recreations of the generic vampire movies without any forethought put into what makes them funny.
When you look a little closer at parody films, the most misguided sense of humor is the focus on pop culture. Instead of focusing on the humorous side of vampire movies, Vampires Suck basically puts actors in the attire of famous movie characters and prompts them to attack pop culture for the MTV crowd. At the end of the day, Vampires Suck is a product of the MTV culture that has forced music videos out of the station and replaced it with insanely awful reality television.
Furry Vengeance falls under the family comedy genre. The only person in any family that might find this movie funny is the uncle that still uses his noisy farts as a source for laughs. The first sign of this movie’s inevitable failure was the decision to cast Brendan Fraser in the leading role. While they most likely went after Jerry O’Connell as well, Fraser has been in his fair share of flops – Dudley Do-Right, George of the Jungle – but Furry Vengeance is the worst one yet.
Summit Entertainment continues to “impress” audiences by providing poor entertainment every year. Aside from The Twilight Saga, the studio has not made a movie that grossed over $100 million. It doesn’t help when they continue to produce movies like Furry Vengeance, which almost feels like a slap in the face to anybody else who works hard to make a feature film. More importantly, it seems like the minds behind Furry Vengeance have some kind of vendetta against quality cinema.
It’s hard to believe the hundreds of hands that helped develop Furry Vengenace had nothing better to do than make the worst movie of the year. Is it possible they knew it was a flop and just thought it would be funny to see how bad it could get? I have yet to encounter a single person who enjoyed the movie at all, which is grounds for the number one spot on our list of the worst movies of 2010.
The ten worst films of the year are about as entertaining as a dying palm tree. Some of them are so frustratingly bad, it takes a 24-hour Best Picture marathon to wash the memory out of your mind. But every year brings us bad movies – and 2010 was no different.
What movies do you think were the worst of 2010?
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