Well, with the niceties out of the way, let’s get to the snark, shall we? The best of 2020 is done with – now, it’s time to get to the very worst that cinema had to offer over the last year. Without further ado!
5. Brahms: The Boy II
In truth, this is probably the objective worst film on the list. It’s a mess. It’s a fucking disaster. The bare inches of effort that were put in when this idea was first pitched are only reflected in some grimy glass twenty feet away in the final product; the script is dreadful, the connection to the first movie basically invisible, the acting iconically laboured. But Brahms, for all that it fucking sucks, is probably the total definition of the good-bad-movie. We still quote this movie on the regular around Casa de No But Listen, because damn, that shit never stops being funny to us. Bad? Yes. But pretty darn entertaining, too.
4. Fantasy Island
Okay, now for the bad that’s just a little more straight-up bad. Fantasy Island is a film that occasionally displays these flashes of witty, dry-humoured horror goodness, but mostly sinks into this bland, boring, dragging mess that really wastes the talent of some of the perfectly good (Michael Pena, murmuring “it’s…the island” after every sentence in particular) and highlights the lacking skill in the rest of the very bad cast. Wasteful, scattered, and fundamentally uninteresting, this is just a bad-bad movie. Avoid.
3. I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Ha! Didn’t expect to see one of the critical darlings of this year on this list, did you? Well, here it is. I wanted to love I’m Thinking of Ending Things, but darn, Charlie Kaufman’s latest made it nigh-on impossible to even try. Frustratingly evasive, ennervatingly pretentious, aggravatingly up-itself, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is a gloopy, deliberately difficult movie that doesn’t even offer anything particularly interesting at the end-up to justify its indulgent runtime and Pauline Kael monologues. I’m Thinking of Ending Things made me think of ending things – namely, any more movies in this pointlessly overwrought canon.
2. The New Mutants
While we haven’t had a chance to review this movie on No But Listen yet, due to a way pushed-back UK release date (that snark-fest is incoming, don’t worry), here’s a little sneak preview of what to expect we’ll say about it: The New Mutants fucking sucks. It’s a solid premise aggressively wasted with awful writing, mailed-in performances, and a little misunderstanding of mental illness as a metaphor to boot. Nobody’s surprised that this is on this list, but it still deserves to be here.
- Artemis Fowl
Of all the movies out last year, of all the films released in this catastrophic wreck that was 2020, only one felt like an insult to me personally. And that was, of course, the long-awaited cinematic Artemis Fowl adaptation. Not only does it have the temerity to dismiss the fantastic source material as little more than a name generator, but it dares to not even make the effort to replace it with anything remotely worthwhile. As a die-hard fan of the book series upon which this is based, to sit there through an adaptation that might as well have taken my own personal dog-eared copies and used them as toilet paper for an hour and a half felt like a genuine attack on my excellent self. To call it wasteful, to call it pointless, to call it stupid, none of that even comes close – the Artemis Fowl movie is a downright assault on one of the best pieces of children’s literature ever written, and will (hopefully) stay rotting in 2020 where it belongs.
(header image via Film School Rejects)