Retrospect: 10 Worst Films of 2010
The tagline of the movie Salt is “Who is Salt?” After two hours, the question is not answered. The plot twists and turns countless times. Characters appear and disappear in a matter of minutes, characters are revealed to be Russian spies one minute then be actually working for the good guys another minute. Most of the plot elements seem to have been thrown in for no other reason than “Why the hell not?” There is minimal explanation or motivation for most of the characters’ actions. There are some creative and exciting action sequences, but when coupled with the annoyingly convoluted plot, it turns the entire movie into an unnecessary chore to watch.
9. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: the Lightning Thief
Chris Columbus churns out another movie annoyingly targeted at the younger generation. Pop culture references are in abundance here, from Lady Gaga songs to iPods. The script is cliche and stupid. And the movie as a whole is incredibly boring. It’s really sad, because I always jump at the chance to have fun with a good mythology movie. Some of that mythology is there, but overall it’s pretty watered down and certainly not worth the trudge through such a poorly made film.
8. The Bounty Hunter
Bounty Hunter‘s gravest sin is that it’s just plain frustrating. Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston basically play themselves in what amounts to a smug, self-conscious “comedy”. The poor script is not anywhere near as funny as it thinks it is. It’s entirely forgettable and simply no fun to watch.
7. Jonah Hex
Jonah Hex breaks the trend of recent entertaining comic book adaptations with a putrid supernatural western-ish action movie that deviates heavily from the original comic. It’s truly sad that the movie is from Jimmy Hayward, the director of the delighful Horton Hears a Who! His directing talent seems to be limited to animated films, because his first live-action foray is very, very poor. Take it from star Josh Brolin, who, during production of the movie, admitted that he was starring in Jonah Hex because he wanted to make one terrible movie. You know your movie’s in trouble when your main star knows he’s starring in a pile of crap.
Owen Wilson plays a talking dog based on a one-panel daily comic. George Lopez plays a talking cat. There’s also a dance sequence with a bunch of CGI animals involved. Need I say any more?
5. Alice in Wonderland
It seems like Tim Burton is a one-trick pony. All of his movies have that dark, strange, off-kilter feel. After over a dozen movies that exhibit this style, it’s not as exciting anymore. Not only that, but Burton’s attempt to fashion a pseudo-sequel to the original story by cobbling together elements from multiple Wonderland stories ends up feeling like a hodgepodge of strange elements. Another element of Burton’s films is the presence of Johnny Depp, and as such his character the Mad Hatter becomes a central character, while Cheshire Cat and the Caterpillar are relegated to only a couple of minutes of screen time. Also, Wonderland is apparently supposed to be called Underland, and there’s a huge battle sequence at the end. What the hell is going on in this movie?
At its core, Legion has an interesting idea (God decides humanity is too corrupt and sends His own angels to finish us off) with the potential to be either awesome or just completely stupid and horrible. Predictably, it fell into the latter category. Legion is rife with stupidity, missed opportunities, underdeveloped characters, and anemic action sequences. And why does an entire army of angels choose to attack one by one, every few minutes, instead of all at once?
3. The Last Airbender
How the mighty have fallen. M. Night “What a Twist!” Shyamalan (whose name I won’t bother looking up for correctness, because I don’t care) has come a very long way from his Sixth Sense and Unbreakable days. This time, he takes the popular Nickelodeon cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender and turns it into a tortuously boring “action” movie. Probably the worst part about The Last Airbender is that there are actually some pretty well-directed scenes, my favorite being one action sequence that was filmed all in one shot, with the camera spinning around Aang as he blasts enemies away. Unfortunately, it’s Shymalan’s writing that kills this movie. Endless exposition still yields little to no coherence in the plot, and the trailer shows just about every action sequence that’s in the movie (which amounts to less than five minutes of extremely tame action in a movie that is almost two hours long). It’s just boring and doesn’t make any sense, even to fans of the show.
2. Cop Out
There are two things I found funny about Cop Out: The first is the original title for the film, A Couple of Dicks. The second is the tagline, “Rock Out With Your Glock Out”. Even those are mildly amusing at best. The rest of the movie is a train wreck of bad ideas and poorly conceived jokes. It does have something of a fondness for old-school buddy cop movie, and its heart is definitely in the right place in that respect, but the execution of its tribute just doesn’t work. It’s too bad, because Tracy Morgan can be really funny on 30 Rock, and I love me some Bruce Willis. Kevin Smith needs to stick to directing his own work; even this is below him.
1. Grown Ups
I can reasonably compare Grown Ups to putting several of my least favorite things in one place and then forcing myself to be subjected to them for an hour and a half. I’ve never really cared for any of these actors. The only two Adam Sandler comedies I really like are Happy Gilmore and Anger Management, Kevin James stopped being funny halfway through The King of Queens, and I have only ever enjoyed David Spade and Chris Rock in The Emperor’s New Groove and Head of State, respectively. Rob Schneider can go die in a fire. Grown Ups is a travesty of a comedy film. There is barely a plot. The humor is an endless stream of lowbrow, juvenile bathroom humor. It’s insulting that studios put this out and expect me to laugh.