Welcome to Hell
“2016 was a dumpster fire of a year,” echoed the chorus that was the entire freaking world. Seriously, so much bad shit went down that for many, 2016 has gone on record for being a miserable fucking experience. But hey, it was the founding year of the After Lobby; and after publishing over a 100 blog posts seen over 10,000 times by you fine ladies and gentlemen, it has given me a tiny glimmer of joy. But among my most popular reviews were the highly negative ones, and by God, I saw a ton of bad movies this year.
Now, do keep in mind, I’ve seen almost 100 films this year and I must confess that I get a tad miffed when some people decry certain mediocre or underwhelming movies to be “the worst thing they’ve ever seen.” I mean seriously? I don’t get why anyone would call Rogue One the worst blockbuster ever. I know Batman v. Superman was bad, but there were at least 19 films worse than that circle jerk. And if fucking Ghostbusters (2016) was your most painful experience, than my dude, you got off easy. I’ve got plenty of films that I wanted to crap all over more than any of these movies for being infuriatingly insulting.
Hell, I don’t even have room to slag off everything I want to, but I find restrictions to be just another challenge to overcome. So here we go, the absolute ten worst films theatrically released in the United States in 2016.
#10. Norm of the North
As with last year, my #10 goes to a film that’s not just bad, it’s entertainingly awful. As in there’s a certain level of joy to be had in tearing a film apart for how just how hilariously it fucks up. Last year it was Jupiter Ascending, the year before that it was The Identical, and 2016’s entry is the year’s most embarrassing animation. Not only does it have painful acting, shoddy animation, and a script composed entirely of verbal diarrhea; but it’s mishandling of various plot points was like watching a clown attempting to juggle five chainsaws laced with arsenic and then witnessing the ensuing carnage that followed. I’m still having trouble figuring out what the fuck this film was even about, but the only thing I knew for sure was that the movie was all about a polar bear played by Rob “Kill Me” Schneider. Everything else from the plot point about green condos being sold in the Arctic to a kid trying to get in a gifted school to a talking polar bear being used as a spokesperson for an international architecture company involved in a finance scheme was just goddamn baffling. And yes, every single one of those plot points appears in this bloody film. But I couldn’t stop thinking about what a disaster this film was throughout 2016, so it takes home the dishonor of being my favorite little failure of the year.
#9. Independence Day: Resurgence
By God, we got a lot of sequels for shit no one asked for in the first place. From Ride Along 2 to Now You See Me 2 to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows to Jason Bourne, there were a crap ton of unnecessary sequels. But at least those films tried to do something to separate itself from their source material with a limited budget, even if they still cocked it all up. But Independence Day: Resurgence was packing a ginormous budget that was completely wasted on a bland, un-quotable script that still discussed much cooler and fun concepts for a sequel that will never materialize because Roland Emmerich thought it was a good idea to remake what he did 20 goddamn years ago. Except he stripped his sequel of any of the offbeat, endearing moments that made the original a classic around the 4th of July. It paraded around like an uninspired cash grab as if it were proud of its own mediocrity while making people wonder if there was anything to love in the 1996 original. For the crime of having me second guess my love of Independence Day, this film deserves a place towards the center of Hell.
#8. Assassin’s Creed
I initially didn’t think about including this bottle of worthless rhino spunk because I thought so many other films were way worse; but upon reflection, nothing in this video game adaptation worked and somehow brought us back to the dark era of Uwe Boll game movies. What makes this movie so insulting is that all the talent in the world (Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Michael K. Williams, and the director of Macbeth (2015)) could STILL not produce a decent action movie. The hunt is still on for the first truly great video game movie, but I’ve now abandoned any hope we’ll see such a sight in the next decade when stuff like this garbage is going to be trotted out. And coupled with Warcraft and Angry Birds, these movies also demonstrate a discouraging trend that other game developers and publishers will meddle with their respective film adaptations to such a degree that they’ll deliver a far worse product than anyone could have anticipated.
#7. Mother’s Day (2016)
Fuck me, the last three were just a goddamn warm up compared to what’s coming next. THIS is where we begin with the true calamities of the year. While I’ve expressed my dissatisfaction with Love Actually in the past, I can still recognize why certain people like the movie and even appreciate one or two character arcs. But Garry Marshall’s swan song was a poor man’s imitation of a poor man’s imitation of an already messy film. The stupidest part was that he tried this stunt already with Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve, but decided not to learn a goddamn thing from any of these projects. May God rest Marshall’s external soul, for I still have no mercy for his pus explosion of a movie. It’s packed to brim with unfunny jokes featuring actors mugging the camera for all they’ve got, and it somehow still fucks up the romantic aspect of a romantic fucking comedy. You don’t give a shit when any character hooks up with any other character because the cast is composed of nothing but assholes being shitty to each other which is somehow confused with “romantic tension.” A spectacular final fuck up from a Hollywood legend that only gets the positive distinction of being the least worst film for a famous personality to go out on in 2016.
You didn’t even know that this film even existed, didn’t you? While some people may bemoan the lack of popularly panned films on my list, my ranking comes from the most agonizing experiences I had in 2016, so I’m not letting Criminal off the fucking hook for making me sit through it’s brain dead premise that was executed with the grace of a surgeon operating a patient while suffering through a mixture of Parkinson’s Disease, tourette’s and epilepsy. Sweet Jesus Riding a Unicorn Christ, this film blew fucking chunks through its awful acting from thespians who should fucking no better and it’s piss poor understanding of how a fucking action film works. Pro tip: if you want to keep your audience invested in between your big action set pieces (which in this movie are lazy even by YouTube standards), then give us intriguing characters dealing with a layered plot as opposed to giving us confused motivations with a boring protagonist and a script composed of Tom Clancy’s mad libs generator for a plot. And don’t try to add some insane bullshit about implanting memories of one person into another person thereby affecting their emotions when your actors can’t muster an ounce of fucking interest.
#5. Rules Don’t Apply
Here we have yet another Hollywood legend riding off into the sunset by crashing and burning aboard the Hindenburg. I was shocked this got released in the middle of Oscar season as some studio executive thought that Warren Beatty would be a shoo-in for an Academy Award based on prestige alone. Of course this executive willfully ignored the fact Beatty hasn’t made a goddamn film since 1998 and even that wasn’t too hot either. However, I doubt this nameless stooge could have predicted how much of a confused, clusterfuck Beatty could have produced about the twilight years of Howard Hughes. When the dust settles, you find yourself at the mercy of a movie that fails its promising cast of actors and actresses miserably with a script that makes zero fucking sense and a first act so sloppily edited that it made the original cut of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice look like the flawlessness of mathematics. And Beatty himself turned in one of the worst, self-aggrandizing roles in 2016, a year that brought us tons of messiah complex-inflicted protagonists. Nothing is harder to see than someone believing they are making high art when they’re actually demonstrating incompetence on an unfathomable level.
#4. Nine Lives
I rationalized in my review for this film that the only reason Kevin Spacey was in this movie was because he was caught in the act of some unholy act of bestiality and needed to pay off the resulting blackmail. Because no fucking actor with a shred of self respect would stoop this low for a comedy, save for Rob Schneider, and he’s been basically declared persona non grata in Hollywood. And yet, here we are with an overworked husband/father into an animal to teach him some bullshit moral about caring for his family through unfunny slapstick. I wouldn’t have hated this film as much as I did if the physical gags were only lame, but Spacey turned in the most lifeless performance in 2016. His vocal range was bereft of any appropriate reaction to each situation he was thrust in and for me, that was the final nail in this film’s coffin for its idiotic premise and garbage script. Now before you say “what was Kevin Spacey supposed to do?” I say he should fucking try even if he knows he’s in a piece of shit. Christopher Fuck-Muthering Lee was in loads of terrible productions, but he not only showed up for work but did his damnedest to make that shit sing and ended up commanding respect for his work. Sorry Spacey, but you went down a notch for me, man.
#3. Zoolander 2
Fucking Ben Stiller. This guy. This FUCKING guy had the nerve to try and recapture the limelight with a sequel to a movie that was devoid of any laughs, and somehow created a two hour torture session that will be recommended by the upcoming presidential administration. A sequel that was 13 years too little, too late while harping on a joke that got old over a fucking decade ago. But no, it wasn’t enough for Stiller to fuck up his own reputation. No he had to try to sabotage the careers of Keifer Sutherland, Neil de Grasse Tyson, Katy Perry, Will Ferrell, Sting, Owen Wilson and Penelope Cruz while he was at it…though Kanye West may have been one of his successful targets after he lost his fucking mind. This film angered me on a level I never thought possible, and it only came out one week after something that was even worse, which was…
#2. Fifty Shades of Black
An experience that was as pleasant as having your gonads whipped into a bloody salad, this film pissed me off so goddamn much. First of all, how could you fuck up the premise of parodying Fifty Shades of Grey? That film is begging to be insulted, dissed and shat upon by the collective masses. But guess who fucks up a simple parody? The motherfucker known as Marlon Wayans, that’s who. And while it was busy poorly imitating the generally shit plot line of E.L. James’ spunk, the film opted to go for the absolute lowest hanging fruit when it came to racial comedy. And when it wasn’t going for amateur hour jokes, some gags just didn’t make any goddamn sense like using Florence Henderson (yes, this was her last film appearance EVER…again fuck 2016) in a bizarre Whiplash reference that went fucking nowhere. For making Henderson suffer the fate of Orson Welles in Transformers: The Movie and Raul Julia in Street Fighter, this film SHOULD have been the worst film of 2016 alone. But no, something far worse lay in hiding from of one of the most overrated voices in geekdom…
#1. Yoga Hosers
Here we are, my children. The absolute bottom of the goddamn barrel. The final period on the disaster that was 2016. And it comes to us through a man that has abandoned all talent, passion, creativity or drive to make a quality movie ever again. Kevin Smith’s magnum stercore, Yoga Hosers. How appropriate to compare such a miserable experience of a year to a film that features talking sausages who are also Nazis that crawl up people’s asses to kill them. For Smith, I can’t imagine anything fucking worse coming from him after seeing this movie and his preceding film, Tusk. Smith has lost any desire to advance filmmaking in general and now just wants to rest on his laurels by shooting the shit on his goddamn podcast, so my advice to him is to stay in that realm and quit trying to force your mountains of failed comedy down our collective throats.
One last note and I’m addressing Kevin Smith personally for this. If you ever come across this post, stop thinking film critics are the villains in the piece that you call “Your Life.” Critics were the ones who hailed you as a hero when you first started out and praised you for your offbeat scripts. We don’t hate your latest movies because we want to destroy art, we want art to GROW. We want art to INSPIRE. We want art to at the very fucking least, ENTERTAIN. Your films nowadays do nothing but make us resent having any faith in you in the first place because you made US look like dumbasses. And I pray to God that you can turn your life around and find that fire that once lead you to make Clerks and Chasing Amy, because I don’t want you to die without making another good film. Life is too goddamn short to fester on bitterness as you have for the past few years. Take your anger and learn from your mistakes to become the better artist that we know you could become if you only took the time to apply yourself. Or I’ll see you on this list the next time you make a bloody film. Your choice.
That’s all folks, do stop in my Some Ol’ Bullshit tag for the other bad films from this excruciating year. And stay tuned for the one year anniversary of the After Lobby, January 19, 2016, for the Best of 2016 list and runner ups as well as a special announcement. Until next time, FUCK 2016.