Hello, readers! Another year has come and gone, so that means it’s time to rundown the very worst films of 2015.
2015 piled up more than its share of garbage, and some months – March and August, I’m looking at you – were so brutal, I dare say this year was worse than 2014. What do you expect for a year that subjected us to Aloha, American Ultra, Area 51, Barely Lethal, Blackhat, Burying the Ex, Fantastic Four, Fifty Shades of Grey, The Gallows, The Gunman…
Should I keep going? Sure, why not? Hitman: Agent 47, Jupiter Ascending, Joe Dirt 2, The Last Witch Hunter, The Lazarus Effect, Max, Magic Mike XXL, Our Brand Is Crisis, Outcast, Pan… Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, The Perfect Guy, Point Break, Seventh Son, Sinister 2, Strange Magic, Ted 2, Tracers, The Transporter: Refueled, Unfinished Business, Vacation, Victor Frankenstein, We Are Your Friends, Wild Horses and The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death.
All of the above mentioned films are quite bad; in fact, they’re I’d rather receive a cancer diagnosis bad. But they’re not the worst of the year, and if there are actually ten other films that suck more than a Joe Dirt movie, then you know you’re dealing with some awful cinematic trash.
Anyway, having given all those grease fires their not-so desired due, let’s snap on the clothespins and dive into this filth. Here’s the worst of the worst that 2015 had to offer, starting with…
10) Hot Pursuit
In a year replete with “comedies” more likely to trigger clinical depression than laughs – or even just half-assed snickers for that matter – Hot Pursuit kicks off this list as one of the worst offenders. It’s a shame that Reese Witherspoon had to follow up one of her best performances in Wild with this embarrassing display of lousy improvised setpieces shared with a shrill and extremely unlikable Sophia Vergara. The repetitive gags depending comedy (Vergara is unintelligible, Witherspoon’s short… haha!!) at best, is cringe-inducing; the chemistry between the two leads is non-existent; and even at 90-minutes, this film already feels so long-winded by the end of the opening credits it makes the combined run times of The Hateful Eight and The Revenant (5 1/2 hours) feel like a 30-second commercial. Most of all, this film arrives DOA simply over the fact that we’re rooting for the bad guys to shoot the victim dead from the moment we meet her.
9) The Boy Next Door
Believe it or not, The Boy Next Door is actually the funniest film to appear on this list. Why it makes the list then is ’cause it’s meant to be a tense, erotic thriller; it’s just too bad that it winds up being as tense as an AirDancer and as erotic as erectile dysfunction. At best, Jennifer Lopez looks great. At worst, it’s everything else. Amid the generic stalker plot, we’re treated to characters so stupid, it would probably be a struggle of all struggles just to count from 1-10; key events that are telegraphed like an IMAX-sized “SPOILER ALERT!!!!”; and a hilarious psycho villain in the form of a 19-year-old that looks like a 34-year-old. God bless him, he tries so hard to be rough and menacing ever time he snarls his lip, but he fails every time. All that adds up to a Fatal Attraction wannabe that is hands down the most laughably bad train wreck of 2015.
Let’s give Johnny Depp his due. He at least redeemed himself with his chilling portrayal of Whitey Bulger in Black Mass. Mortdecai, however, is a painfully dull, unnecessarily R-rated caper that fails miserably at every one of its desperate attempts to emulate Peter Sellers’s Pink Panther films. Depp once again flops around, makes goofy faces and acts like a complete unfunny imbecile. The talented supporting cast that includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Goldblum and Olivia Munn take phoning-in a performance to new lows (Paul Bettany is the only one who scores any sort of laughs here), and if you think that stupid mustache joke is terrible the first time, you’re gonna love it when they beat you over the head with it the next five hundred times. For a film that tries so back-breakingly hard to squeeze out laughs from its viewers, the only thing it succeeds at doing is boring them to death.
7) Hot Tub Time Machine 2
Everything that worked for the knowingly absurd, R-rated romp Hot Tub Time Machine is abandoned in its sequel and replaced with a barrage of mindless, humorless, aggressively unlikable crimes against all self-respecting moviegoers. The chemistry between the four leads is gone, a fault made all the more problematic by the absence of John Cusack’s grounded, relatable anchor. The effort put into the witty jokes and references are gone. What do we get instead? We get Rob Corddry playing the most unlikable, douchebag lead in the universe, yet the film still tries to get us to give a single shit about his dilemma. You know your film sucks when the smartest thing it can boast about is a dick joke. Take your pick; there’s about fifty million of them. Now if only I could go back in time and erase this film from my memory.
6) Love the Coopers
What happens when you toss three Oscar winners and a strong group of invaluable character actors together in the same film? You get this tonally jumbled, irritatingly mawkish mess, and Diane Keaton playing the same frazzled housewife she’s been playing for the past twenty years. Love the Coopers is the cliche plot we’ve seen time and time again where every family member is required to have some sort of baggage, and they all get on everyone’s nerves. Some of it is petty, some of it is annoying, some of it is downright depressing and all of it is totally useless. Never fear, though, ’cause this film is gonna manipulate the hell out of wrapping up their bull shit issues in a neat little ribbon. By the end of the film they’re all laughing and hugging and dancing. Good Lord, if only this film could personify itself so I could punch it square in the face. All the Christmas joy in the world can’t do a damn thing to alter the utter depression that smothers this catastrophe.
5) Rock the Kasbah
Much like Love the Coopers, Rock the Kasbah also features a talented cast that includes Bill Murray, Kate Hudson, Zooey Deschanel, Danny McBride and Bruce Willis. The big and most disappointing difference, however, is that this film doesn’t have the writer of Stepmom, I Am Sam and Because I Said So in the director’s chair, but Oscar-winner Barry Levinson. Among this film’s many problems are key characters that are introduced and then forgotten about with no explanation, failed attempts at satire and the biggest crime of the all, turning what could’ve been a tailor-made role for Bill Murray into a obnoxious caricature of himself. The only insight this film seems to provide is that apparently singing Cat Stevens’s “Peace Train” will immediately bring peace to the country of Afghanistan. Well, Afghanistan’s problems may be solved, but this film still sucks.
4) The Ridiculous 6
I guess in a weird way you could say it takes some sort of skill to stoop so low with a film that it manages to make the other Happy Madison shit-heaps look like respectable art. The Ridiculous 6 aims to be the offspring of Blazing Saddles, but it’s more like the lazy poop, boob and dick joke loving, unwanted, abandoned in the dumpster child of the Mel Brooks classic. Adam Sandler is in prime, paycheck-collecting lazy mode, which is expected, but what isn’t expected, and what I refuse to accept, is that talent like Nick Nolte, Luke Wilson and Harvey Keitel believed this was the offer of all the current offers made to them that they just couldn’t refuse. Even Taylor Lautner, going full-retard and a half here, deserves better. Come to think of it, even Rob Schneider is undeserving of such a cruel fate as this. That shitty of a movie, huh? In the words of Ed McMahon, “You are correct, sir!”
3) Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
A humorless and equally purposeless sequel that is a Caddyshack 2 level of bad, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 must’ve been the easiest script in the world for Kevin James and Nick Bakay to write. I mean, how hard can it be to write 90-100 pages of nothing more than a fat security guard falling, tripping, stumbling, and bumping into objects? Sure, James and Bakay squeeze in a dumbed-down heist plot to pad the film out, but in the end, the film all boils down to James, who’s capable of playing charmingly clumsy to great effect (King of Queens), making a horrible fool of himself with that stupid Segway. So little effort, and it still inexplicably took these two writers six years to come up with this turd.
2) The Loft
The Loft may feature a talented cast, but the only strong performance I got out of this was from the suicide prevention counselor talking me down from hanging myself after suffering through this filthy, mind-numbingly tedious slog. The only thing sleazier than this intrigue-lacking mystery story – and believe me when I say you’ll need a shower after watching it – is its ragtag group of unlikable, personality-less assholes that bear not a single redeemable quality. None. Nothing. Zip. Nada. Nyet. Zilch! Zero! Goose eggs! On the upside, you could turn this into drinking. Hammer that bitch down every time Karl Urban says “the loft”, Rachael Taylor reminds everyone she’s a prostitute or one of the guys calls the other a “sick fuck” and watch your liver slip away!
Well, here we are. The #1 spot on the list. And the worst film of the year goes to, drum roll please…
1) Accidental Love
Let’s give James Marsden a round of applause. Not only does he make back-to-back films on just this list alone, combined with last year’s “Top 10 Worst” entry, Walk of Shame, this makes back-to-back years for him. But let’s be fair to Marsden, ’cause he’s far from the only one to blame. Jake Gyllenhaal, Jessica Biel, Catherine Keener, Tracy Morgan, Beverly D’Angelo, Kirstie Alley and director David O. Russell (under the pseudonym Stephen Greene) all have proverbial blood on their hands with this disastrous mess. Filmed around a decade ago, before being abandoned by Russell and eventually patched-up like a fucked up Build-a-Bear, Accidental Love is a certified abomination. Every talented actor turns in an atrocious performance, the over-the-top satirical gags fall flat and it’s no exaggeration when I say there isn’t a laugh to be found in the film, not even one out of pity. If there’s any redeemable aspect to be found here it’s that this shit-show will probably serve the farming community well in fertilizing their fields.
There you have it. 2015’s celluloid abominations. Agree or disagree? Feel free to comment and let me know what films you thought were total disasters. Next week, I’ll have the top 10 best of 2015.