Welcome to another episode of moviemanMDG’s Movie Talk, where I talk about everything film-related. Now that we took care of my favorite films of 2018, it’s time for me to count down the 2018 films that hit rock bottom. While there were plenty of films that succeed in making their audiences happy, there were also some films that either failed to meet (or exceed) their expectations or frustrated their audience or even both. These are the films that I believe should belong on the 2018 Wall of Shame. This is my personal top ten least favorite films of the year. As always, if there’s a film on my list that you liked, I won’t judge because we all have different views on a certain movie. Plus, it’s not fun when everyone dislikes the same film. It’s just not. Now then, let’s get this list started.
Coming in at the bottom of the list is the latest installment in the violent franchise that took its fans back in time to see where it all began, for better or for worse…mostly for worse. “The First Purge” is a prequel that relied on its tiresome formula and annoying jump scares rather than offer a deep exploration of the concept. If you’ve seen the other “Purge” movies, you’ve seen “The First Purge”. To its credit, the film had a passable cast and its tone was nicely executed by director Gerard McMurray, but everything else had “deja vu” written all over it. Fans of the franchise should have a good time watching it, but I think it’s time for this film series to cease its senseless violence.
Movies can make people feel all kinds of emotions like happy, sad, and angry. Watching “Assassination Nation” gave me only one, and that is frustration. While the performances were solid and the film’s style was nicely handled by Sam Levinson, the film offered nothing but a bunch of drama queens killing each other and making their own lives miserable. It’s not as fun and crazy as I wanted it to be and it’s not as thoughtful as its social commentary. It’s an experience that I really don’t want to relive again, especially in this day and age where people harm others via social media.
Recently, Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg had made several action films that made them into a duo that can’t be beat, such as “Lone Survivor”, “Deepwater Horizon”, and “Patriots Day”. So it was no surprise that I was excited for “Mile 22” to be their next hit. However, it turned out to be something that made me thought to myself, “What the heck happened?”. This should’ve been the start of a potential action franchise for Wahlberg and Berg. Instead, we had ourselves a choppily-edited mess that lacks character depth and storytelling. On the bright side, Wahlberg delivered a pretty impressive performance as one of the main characters. Too bad this wasn’t the right film for him to express his suitable talent.
The Broken Lizard gang made a comeback with a sequel to the comedy hit, “Super Troopers”, and it’s not a pretty sight to behold. “Super Troopers 2” may prove suitable to fans of its predecessor, but as a regular comedy sequel, it’s a massive disappointment. From its familiar and underdeveloped plot to its mundane humor, this long-awaited follow-up made me question why these state troopers aren’t even fired yet…and not in a good way. Here’s hoping that “Super Troopers 3” will be better. That is, if they decided to do a third film.
“Action Point” is another adult-rated comedy that failed to live up to its hilarious potential. Described as the amusement park version of “Jackass”, the film didn’t come close to being as appealing as “Jackass”, not by a long shot. Despite a tolerable cast, its weak and unfunny story, along with its series of tame stunts, signify that it’s time for Johnny Knoxville to hang up its daredevil suit for good.
Back in February, I took the chance to see my first ever faith-based film in theaters, and based on what I experienced, it will probably be my last. “Samson” is a poorly-executed representation of the Biblical character that acts like a made-for-television film. Despite Taylor James’ worthy effort in bringing his character to life, the film lacks the strength and heart to fully honor the deeds that Samson performed during his lifetime in terms of Bruce Macdonald’s direction. It’s suitable for a church-going audience, but it's a forgettable journey for those who wanted an Oscar-worthy portrayal of the character.
We had three films this year that deal with the term “man’s best friend”. “Dog Days”, “Alpha”, and my number four pick, “A.X.L.”. What makes this family-friendly adventure the lowest of the low compared to the former films is that it lacked the heart that was hidden underneath its rusty metal. The story was underwhelming, the cast was mediocre, and the characters were either forgettable or uninteresting. This was probably the first time I watched a “man’s best friend” film that made me care less about its relationship between a person and their canine companion. Well, at least “Dog Days” and “Alpha” weren’t as bad as this.
“Truth or Dare” is the latest horror film from Blumhouse that sadly missed its mark when it comes to storytelling and scares. The concept sounds promising at first, but in reality, it’s a cliched and uninspired excuse to provide loud jump scares and kill off mediocre characters. This is one game that I won’t be playing again in the near future.
I think this is the second year where I had a Tyler Perry film in my “Top 10 Least Favorite” list. “Nobody’s Fool” wasted the talents of Tiffany Haddish and the rest of the cast in this dull and formulaic romantic comedy that’s more on the romance and less on the comedy. The plot had no idea what it wanted to be, the laughs were almost non-existent, and the characters were obnoxious and dumb. Mr. Perry, if you’re reading this, you got to step up your game, man. You’re starting to lose me.
Let’s face it, human trafficking is downright savage, especially when all of the victims are women. “Traffik” attempted to recreate that situation into a heart-pounding thriller, but wound up being the most forgettable and dull experience of 2018, at least from my perspective. The story is poorly executed, the characters are dumb one-dimensional beings, and the thriller aspect is neither fun nor intense. This is the film that should've been released on video-on-demand instead of in theaters.
As always, if you want to read my full thoughts on my picks, along with the other films that didn't suck hard enough to make it on my list, you can find them in the "2018 Reviews" page. With that said, here's to another year of movie magic. Stay tuned for my first few reviews of 2019, including "Escape Room".