Well, it’s that time of year again – we’re closing things out with a look at the best and worst movies of 2019, with a few articles over the course of this week so we can wave our arms around and spend far too long ranting and/or raving about what we loved and what we hated. With all that gruelling Christmas cheer out of the way, let’s focus on some misery, and get started with our least favourite movies of the year. To this list!
Now, I’ve watched a lot of horror movie sequels this year (did you catch the Franchise Fanatic series? If not, you should, because I watched a dozen Friday the 13th films for that shit and it’s the least you could do), but perhaps the one that annoyed me most was the latest addition to John Carpenter’s Halloween canon. Smug and with no damn reason to be, this version of Halloween promised the showdown between Badass Laurie Strode and Re-Canon’d Michael Myers, and delivered instead on a teenage stalk-and-slash with Jamie Lee Curtis threateningly loading weapons in cutaway shots. Alright, so there was more to it than that, but the movie chickened out on giving us the proper cathartic showdown it should have focused in on, and for that, it has earned its place on this list.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story
I know a lot of people who don’t think much of Solo, but don’t hate it – for them, it’s a fine fantasy fluff-piece with nothing much to it but not a lot to get pissed off about. But me, being the asshole Star Wars fan that I am? This is on my worst of the year list. I mean, would you enjoy watching one of your all-time favourite characters get the Disney perma-frost-teeth treatment while Emilia Clarke churns out the worst accent you’ve ever heard on the sidelines while rattling some symbolic dice around and wiggling her eyebrows at you to make sure you Get It? No, me neither. Despite all its attempts to be a swashbuckling rollick of space-fan, Solo was just a gruelling, galling, boring waste of my time.
- Deadpool 2
I promise I don’t just have it out for blockbusters this year, but man, there have been some stinkers. I made no secret of the fact that I hated the first Deadpool movie, so I wasn’t exactly brimming with hope for how much I would enjoy this one, but even with lowered expectations, I hated this. Opening with a fridging they don’t even have the nerve to see through and packed with the kind of masturbatory bullshit that the writers clearly imagined as witty self-referential comedy, the whole thing feels like an exercise in seeing how far a single movie can vanish up its own genre, all while Ryan Reynolds yells “do you GET IT” directly down the lens. Ugh.
- Molly’s Game
Ah, we meet again, Mr Sorkin. Again, maybe I came into this movie with an opinion that was already unfairly low, given that I hate everything writer and director Aaron Sorkin has ever done with every beat of my pulsing heart, but if that was the case, it should have been easy to outdo my expectations. Instead, they were crushed further, with the agonisingly mannered, stunningly patronising Molly’s Game. What stood as an interesting premise soon descended into a cluster of mid-noughties thriller clichés, and whatever Aaron Sorkin seems to think strong female characters are (which is, to be clear, not fucking this). Well, maybe if more women could actually act, right, Aaron?
- Ready Player One
Rarely have I felt so betrayed by a movie as I was by Ready Player One. Steven Spielberg is a man who knows how to bust those blocks, and this is a premise that lends itself to the exploration of the very pop culture that he helped define. But instead of delivering on that at least mildly juicy premise, RPO decides that it would rather spend two and a half interminable hours screeching around nineties nostalgia memes on Tumblr while a bunch of atrocious characters walk into each other like video game NPCs glitching out. Hideous, boring, and, more than anything, stupid, Ready Player One is the worst movie of the year – and a major disappointment from Steven Spielberg to boot. I wrote a thousand words on this when it came out, and wish to spend no more time letting this movie rattle around my head. Let’s move into 2019 happier, healthier, and hoping that Spielberg hasn’t lost his blockbuster mojo for good.
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By Louise MacGregor
(header image via StarWars.Com)