We have spent a month looking forward to the potential cinematic highs and lows of 2016. But before January draws to an end, we should look back one last time at the hits and misses of 2015. We asked our readers to vote on their best and worst films of the past year and the results are in…
1 – Fifty Shades of Grey
The infamous Fifty Shades of Grey has an awful lot to be proud of, despite its place on this list. Not only will it go down as one of the most PG pornographic films ever made, but it will now be known as the worst film of all time to receive an Oscar nomination (for its soundtrack).
Never mind #OscarsSoWhite, why isn’t anyone hash-tagging Oscars So Grey?
Beyond the sex, there is a feeble attempt at exploring Christian Grey as a victim of sexual grooming, with clear psychological issues. Rather than exploring this mature theme, the film places its focus firmly on the infamous sex scenes, passing up an opportunity to become something more than its fan-fiction roots intended.
The screenplay provides laughable lines to two leads with chemistry so icy, that not even the attempted sex scenes were able to heat things up.
The film is so unintentionally bad that it may The Room of its generation, giving it serious competition for the title of – “it’s so bad it’s fun to watch” film.
Too bad there is so little to enjoy in this 2 hour sleeping pill.
2 – Jupiter Ascending
Jupiter Ascending had a lot of promise in 2015- a great cast with stars like Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean and Eddie Redmayne, and a trailer that previewed some amazing special effects and promised an intergalactic world not far from the previous summer’s hit Guardians of the Galaxy. Unfortunately, the film was far from it.
This film has a lot of problems. In fact pretty much the whole film is a problem. Firstly, the acting is poor, with Tatum trying to be both funny and serious at the same time, coming across completely awkward. The film also takes itself too seriously, and this just conflicts with the completely unrealistic plot. Although it’s difficult to make a realistic story in space, little details make the film laughable, especially when Mila Kunis’ character Jupiter has no idea other worlds even exist, and doesn’t really question it when told. Unfortunately, the story is highlight repetitive- Jupiter does something she thinks is OK but actually she’s being tricked. She’s then saved by Tatum’s Caine who storms in and takes her away- this happens at least three times. And the romance between Kunis and Tatum is not only predictable but, as they have no chemistry at all, incredibly uncomfortable. It was a very disappointing film and deserving of its high place in the poll.
3 – Fantastic Four
To say Fantastic Four was a “Fantastic Flop” is an understatement.
The biggest flaw was the script. Not only was it a gross oversimplification of the original source material, but it had some fundamental pacing issues. The first half was painfully slow and the second just whizzed through, culminating with the most anticlimactic sequence they could’ve come up with. It then tried too hard to be “dark”, which took away from the comedic elements of the comic books.
Ultimately, what it boils down to is this – the four were treated as stereotypical caricatured superheroes as opposed to complex characters. As an origin story, its main priority was to convincingly develop their backstories. Failing to do so left us with two-dimensional characters that lacked chemistry. While the film nailed Mr Fantastic’s intellect, this was at the expense of his personality, which meant the Sue/Reed vibe was nothing more than an awkward flirtatious interaction. After all, if Mr Fantastic was the most boring element of Fantastic Four – what hope did it have?
4- Taken 3
The first Taken outing was fantastic – Liam Neeson led a face-paced, action packed global adventure, delivering vengeance and cool speeches to those who kidnapped his beloved daughter. Taken 2 went with the policy ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’- rehashing the first film with a few location changes. The result was distinctly average but still enjoyable. Taken 3 takes all the best bits of the other two films… and replaces them with a dull movie desperately trying to gain back its former glory.
The least enjoyable sequence of the entire franchise is the appallingly cut, confusion-inducing car chase towards the climax of the film. With explosions galore, cars careering out of Mill’s path and so many jump cuts that you can’t tell who’s who or which side of the road they’re on, Taken 3’s car chase is possible the WORST sequence of 2015. Combined with a complete mess of a plot, it is unsurprising that it features in the worst movies of the year.
5 – Mortdecai
Mortdecai – as a concept – was made for Johnny Depp, but unfortunately, the film was an eccentric mess. The jokes were infrequent. Often a set up was made, but the punchline was either missing or fell completely flat. The main reason this film was voted bottom of the pile is due to its niche view of comedy. It is bourgeois slapstick, and should not be taken as anything else other than one hour and forty six minutes of Depp exploring his snobbish alter-ego. Although stupidly fun, as a film, Mortdecai doesn’t offer much in terms of artistry. However, Ewan McGregor as a pompous twat is certainly a sight to evoke a mild smirk.
‘Debonair’ is how Mortdecai is described as a character, annoying and arrogant to some. Fans of Scary Movie will likely enjoy the outrageous mess of comedy, which neglects all subtlety. This year sees Depp reprise his role as The Mad Hatter in Alice Through The Looking Glass, a strong case of stick to what you know.
Images from: ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, Universal Pictures, ‘Jupiter Ascending’, Warner Bros. ‘Fantastic Four’, 20th Century Fox, ‘Taken 3’, 20th Century Fox, ‘Mortdecai’, Lionsgate Films