I’m a film snob so its very rare for me to watch a film that I’m sure is going to be terrible. Why would I waste my time when I could be watching something that I was a little more confident in being, well, good? In 2017, I went to the cinema more than I’ve ever had before, and while its been the predictable mix of masterpiece, just ok, nearly perfect, not as bad as I’ve heard, and horrible shit, I don’t have enough movies that I truly hate for a top ten. As much as it’s fun shitting on things and nit-picking the tiniest of details, I try to be as open-minded as possible which is why the likes of The Mummy and Geostorm, two of the worst reviewed films of the year (I haven’t seen The Snowman. Why? I refer you to the first sentence), weren’t nearly awful enough in my view to warrant inclusion here. Still, shitting on things is fun so, without further rambling, here are my five worst movies of 2017.
- My Cousin Rachel
Based on the novel by Daphne Du Maurier and starring Racheal Weisz and Sam Claflin, I initially had high hopes for My Cousin Rachel. Rachael Weisz plays the titular Rachael who, as an unknown quantity, is given a villainous reputation by her late spouse’s younger cousin after the death of her husband: both played by Claflin. It takes a long time before Weisz, who is as excellent as ever, formally enters the story, so we are left with Claflin as a woefully miscast Philip as he mopes about for no interesting reason other than because the script says so. My Cousin Rachel’s worst offence is that it’s dull. It misuses the novels strong themes of the nature of a woman’s reputations and how that can hamper her chances of an independent life. Watch the extraordinary Lady Macbeth instead.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge
In normal circumstances I would have never seen the new Pirates film. I mentally checked out after Dead Mans Chest, and have hated Johnny Depp since this, the most famous of his roles, has completely cannibalized any talent he once had. Yet, since I’m a shill, I did it for the money and to cover it for another site, and made sure to see it by myself so as not to ruin anyone else’s afternoon. Salazar’s Revenge is like a cobbled-together greatest-hits package of the last four movies, mixed with a Force Awakens-style conceit of a new generation taking over. None of it works, but at least Orlando Bloom keeps getting work playing the blandest fantasy characters of the millennium.
- Transformers: The Last Knight
Another review got my arse into the velvet seat of doom on The Last Knight’s opening day. I’m a lazy prick when it comes to almost everything – but not film. Which means that I had just three days from getting this assignment to watching The Last Knight to catch up on the previous four films in Michael Bay’s franchise. It almost broke me, with each calamitous action scene, Shia Laboeuf playing the symbol of everything that is wrong in my gender, and the sexism -oh! The sexism. By the time I watched The Last Knight I was wrecked enough to realise that it isn’t the worst film of the whole franchise, and Mark Wahlberg’s Cade is always preferable to Sam, but still one of the worst films of the year. Anthony Hopkins was great though. Or maybe my brain had just leaked out my ears by then.
- Justice League
I never thought I would wish for a full Zack Snyder cut of a DCEU movie. Justice League was a complete disaster from start to finish: from Batfleck completely giving up, the Flash being a conduit for Joss Whedon’s awful stand up routines (brunch, am I right boys!), Wonder Woman having to suffer through a small fraction of Whedon’s original leaked monstrosity of a script, and Aquabro just giving away Batman’s identity to random villagers, Justice League is a stinker from start to finish I forgot about Cyborg but that’s okay – so did the film, and Steppenwolf as a villain isn’t nearly as bad as the decision to have him get the last motherbox by picking it up in a car park. I don’t think Joss Whedon is wholly to blame here – he’s an easy target because his name is on the finished film – but it’s Warner Bros that are the true villains here.
- The Dark Tower
I love Stephen King, as you may already have guessed, and I was Star Wars-level excited for The Dark Tower, the big-screen adaptation of perhaps my favourite novel series of all time. The casting was perfect, Idris Elba should be Roland in any version of the project’s future, and the decision to make it a sequel to the novels was an interesting direction. Yet in trying to introduce the world of this fledgling franchise, the film’s director Nikolaj Arcel played everything far too safe. The Dark Tower was a tonal mess of inconsistencies, with none of the grit of King’s novels, and the character arcs of a partially-burned first draft. It didn’t deliver on the promise those books have held for years, and for that, it earns the top spot on this list.
By Kevin Boyle
Please tune in tomorrow for the second half of this list, and if you enjoyed this article and want to see more stuff like it, please consider supporting us on Patreon!