This list is coming out just a couple day later than I wanted. It was suppose to come out the day after I published my top 10 list for the best movies of 2017, but I came down with a fever out of nowhere and was bed-ridden for the entire weekend. But now I’m feeling better, so let’s celebrate that fact by talking about the movies that may just make me go back to feeling ill. These are my personal picks for the 10 worst movies of 2017 and the rules that applied for my best of list also apply here. It’s a completely subjective list and I know for certain that some people may find enjoyment in some of the movies on the list. If that’s the case, then there’s nothing wrong with that. We all judge film differently and what I see as garbage can be viewed as enjoyable for others. That out of the way, let’s recap the very worst that 2017 had to offer.
Starting off this list is easily the most divisive movie of 2017. Hell, I’ve seen some people place this movie on their list for the BEST movies of the year. That’s great for those people who can tolerate this movie, but in a world where people either loved this movie or hated it, I fell on the side of hating it. This movie is the epitome of pretentious arthouse film-making. Director Darren Aronofsky fills this movie with metaphors, allegories, and all sorts of forced symbolism and it’s all to beat us over the head with a self-important retelling of certain Bible stories. That’s all the movie is, just certain characters filling in the roles of people like Adam and Eve, but nothing new or clever is done with it. It’s just acting out the Bible and…that’s it. Nothing new, nothing innovative. It’s just Aronofsky stroking himself over all of these ham-fisted metaphors and gratuitous violence. I normally love Aronofsky’s work, but this is a huge misfire on his part.
2017 had some pretty bad comedies, but few came close to being as terrible as “Baywatch”. The sad thing is that this movie was rife with potential. You had a likable cast starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron, plus an attempt at modernizing the old TV show and poking fun at it while also embracing its over-the-top style that people were attracted to back in the day. They could’ve pulled of what the “Jump Street” movies did, but instead we got an unfunny movie with your typical lazy jokes. Fat people falling over, people puking, and other forms of gross-out sex humor that could work if given to competent writers, but it’s all just thrown out there for the sake of having it. Mix that in with a cheap plot about drug-smuggling and you land yourself a spot on my list for the worst movies of the year.
8. The Mummy
This movie perfectly embodies everything wrong with Hollywood in its attempt to franchise everything. Rather than have a movie simply be a movie on its own, it has to set up for a future shared universe and “The Mummy” failed miserably in doing that. Want to make a self-contained movie about Tom Cruise fighting an evil mummy? No, let’s just set up the shared monster universe with forced references to other monsters like Jekyll and Hyde and not focus on a cohesive story whatsoever. The shoe-horned attempts at setting up a universe were bad enough, but having to sit through Annabelle Wallis screaming “NIIIIIIIIIICCCCKKKK!!!!” every five seconds was enough to add to the migraine that this movie was already giving me. You can criticize the Brendan Fraser Mummy movies all you want for being cheesy, but at least they didn’t kill an entire planned universe.
7. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Well here we are, both Guy Ritchie and Darren Aronofsky have movies this year that ended up being on my worst of the year list. With “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”, there’s really nothing more to say than it’s just a clusterfuck of bad CGI, inconsistent acting from the entire cast, and a mythology that isn’t as developed as it wants to be. What really hurts this movie is the editing, specifically in how it doesn’t properly illustrate passage of time, or even something as simple as the characters current location. This movie feels like the main editor quit because of how poorly directed the movie was and then he got replaced by one of the boom mic operators with no prior editing experience. This movie as a whole feels like a made for TV film that only got a theatrical release because it just so happens to have a few well known actors in it, including an over-the-top Jude Law.
At this point in his career, Gerard Butler just seems to love picking terrible scripts. This movie could’ve been like “Independence Day”. A fun, entertaining disaster movie that knows it’s ridiculous and has fun with its absurd premise and characters. But instead, “Geostorm” takes the route of taking itself too seriously with its attempted “story” revolving around Butler and his daughter, only to have that story scrapped and replaced with an even worse one centered around Butler and his brother. And while the movie is trying to get you to care about that, it’s also trying to get you invested in disaster sequences that not only have laughably bad CGI, but displays of power that don’t make any logical sense. I don’t require every movie to be 100% realistic, but at least acknowledge the laws of physics, or better yet, the laws of good film-making.
5. The Bye Bye Man
A group of teenage idiots are being haunted by a figure known as “The Bye Bye Man”… there’s your premise, make of it what you will. And if you choose to make of it a cliched horror movie filled with jump scares, terrible acting, and a completely WTF appearance from Carrie-Ann Moss, then you’re 100% right. I knew this movie would be bad from the opening scene in which a man goes around killing people in his neighborhood in a way that’s unintentionally hilarious, and it only got worse as we were shown things like the Bye Bye Man walking around with his weird-looking scab dog and death scenes that came off funnier than they should have. As a horror movie it’s not scary, but as a comedy I can at least recommend it.
4. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
The silver lining with this movie is that it finally marks the end of one of the worst movies series of all time. I haven’t enjoyed any of the movies in this franchise and while I haven’t played any of the video games, I can still judge them as pieces of film-making and in that regard, they fail every time. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Paul W. S. Anderson and Milla Jovovich soon realized how useless their careers are without these movies, so they decide to reboot it with “Resident Evil: The Next Generation”. And that movie will play out exactly as this one did: With horrible editing, shaky cam galore, and stock characters who only exist to either die or shout a bunch of horrible one-liners in the middle of a sloppy action scene. Paul W. S. Anderson, you sent off this movie series, now please do us all a favor and stop making movies.
3. Transformers: The Last Knight
At this point, it’s such an easy thing to put a Transformers movie on a year-end worst of the year list. “Transformers: Age of Extinction” was even my pick for worst movie of 2014. This movie is even worse than that movie, which just goes to show how awful the next two movies on this list are. But back to Michael Bay’s monstrosity, we have Mark Wahlberg trying to pass off as an inventor all while he has to deal with Optimus Prime apparently being a bad guy, and having to save some little girl while being chased by more transformers. There’s all the stuff you’ve come to expect from Michael Bay: Headache inducing action scenes, childish humor, a forced romantic subplot, and a big name celebrity appearance who’s in the movie only to spout exposition, this one being Anthony Hopkins. This movie even has the audacity to throw in the mythology of King Arthur and Excalibur and it just made the movie even more boring. The bright side is that this movie wasn’t a big hit at the box office, meaning that the studio might take the hint that people are getting sick of these movies.
2. The Emoji Movie
The silver medalist for worst movie of 2017 is “The Emoji Movie”. We all knew this movie was going to be bad once it was announced and then we started to hear and see more things. Patrick Stewart is voicing the poop emoji, T.J. Miller is the lead voice actor, and the trailer itself being garbage. And this movie is every bit as bad as you’ve heard it is and then some. It’s a cynical plug for outdated phone apps, it’s a ripoff of much better animated movies like “Wreck-It Ralph” and “The Lego Movie”, and it’s a lazy, unfunny bore of a movie with our main character being voiced by the always unlikable T.J. Miller. But wait, we also get a subplot involving two meh emoji parents who talk in the most slow, dull way possible, making this only eighty-six minute movie feel like two and a half hours. And of course it all ends with all of the characters dancing to a song that’s like five years old, because why do anything original? And yet, there’s still one movie in 2017 that was worse than this one and it is…
1. Fifty Shades Darker
Yep, this is my pick for worst movie of 2017. The first movie, “Fifty Shades of Grey” was bad in the sense that it was a boring romance with no likable characters and no scenes that were legitimately sexy. Now “Fifty Shades Darker” not only doubles down on that, but also puts on a display of incompetent film-making that no other movie in 2017 showed. The flaws from the first movie such as the lack of chemistry between the actors, Jamie Dornan’s bad acting, and the laughable dialogue are all present, but this movie offers up some scenes that are so poorly handled that I don’t even know how they made it into the movie. First there’s some mysterious girl from the past, but now she’s gone after just a couple tensionless scenes. Now there’s a helicopter crash, but wait, that’s resolved in less than five minutes and it adds nothing to the movie. Also, we have Kim Basinger and her Botox showing up for another useless side story. And again, these movies could be slightly more tolerable if the sex scenes themselves were filmed with some competency, but of course they’re not. They’re just portrayed as a five year old’s interpretation of what sex between mommy and daddy looks like. The final installment in this book-to-film adaptation comes out in February and it couldn’t come soon enough, assuming that it isn’t split into two parts.
So that completes my picks for the best and worst movies of 2017. There were a lot of really bad films this year that could’ve easily been on this list, but I narrowed it down to 10 just for the sake of being traditional. And looking back, I honestly think 2017 could’ve been a much better year for movies. There were some great gems for sure, but there were also a lot of movies that I found to be bad or not as good as they should’ve been. Here’s hoping that 2018 can pick things up.