Hello, and welcome to another episode of moviemanMDG's "Movie Talk", where I talk about everything film-related. 2022 has some of the best movies we can watch over and over again. However, this year also has some films that we stay far away from for the sake of our sanity. In this next episode of "Movie Talk", I will be counting down the worst movies that came out in 2022. As usual, I tend to remain optimistic about the movies I dislike. I even appreciate the silver linings the films offer amid their sea of flaws. Unfortunately, those positive remarks aren't enough to keep these ten movies from appearing on my "worst of 2022" list. This year's list is different compared to last year, as I watched only ten films that were as horrendous as the coronavirus, which is probably for the better. So don't expect a "dishonorable mentions" list to appear on this year's worst list. With that in mind, let's count down the stinkers of 2022.
Coming in at the bottom of the list is another disappointing misfire from the folks at Happy Madison. "Home Team", which came out on Netflix in January, centers on the true story of the New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton during his one-year suspension. What seemed to be a funny and heartwarming story about a coach's relationship with his son was actually an underwhelming, by-the-numbers underdog story that's very forgettable. Admittedly, Kevin James delivered one of the most respectable performances of his career as Sean Payton, and its messages were inspiring for young viewers. But, unfortunately, they're constantly sacked by its clichéd script, forgettable characters, and dull humor. This is another Happy Madison project that fails to capture the trophy and the hearts of Adam Sandler's followers. More importantly, it's also a bland way to conclude last year's football season.
Even though Liam Neeson makes for a convincing action star, it's not always enough to compensate for the poor quality of his movies. Martin Campbell's latest thriller, "Memory", is no exception. When you have a director who revived the James Bond franchise and an actor who specializes in the genre, this movie would've been something worth remembering. Instead, it was another mediocre and soulless thriller that we likely forgot about, like Neeson's character, Alex Lewis. Despite the efforts made by Campbell and the cast, the film is a forgettable low point for Neeson and the filmmaker, thanks to its weak and formulaic screenplay and a frustratingly dull finale. It's no "Green Lantern", but it did give me doubt about Campbell's future as a director.
If you want another reason Sony's Spider-Man-less universe struggles to survive without the web-crawler, look no further than its latest villain spin-off. "Morbius" attempts to provide the same superhero entertainment values as the "Venom" movies, with Jared Leto as the titular vampire and Daniel Espinosa in the director's chair. Instead, it delivered a shallow and inconsistent Marvel appetizer before the main course, which was "Doctor Strange". Jared Leto was serviceable as the Living Vampire, and the visual effects were okay for the most part. Unfortunately, those elements hardly matter when the execution is overly disappointing. The supporting cast felt wasted, the screenplay was full of cliches and rushed character arcs, the action scenes were underwhelming, and the direction was lackluster. "Morbius" is another misfire that puts doubt on the future of Sony's separate cinematic universe involving Spider-Man's adversaries.
I'm definitely going to get a lot of flack from people with my number seven pick. "Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul." is another film that's dividing critics and audiences regarding its topics and presentation. Surprisingly, I'm more in favor of the audience for this one. The movie had the potential to be good with its satirical and dramatic representation of the religious community's dark side. Unfortunately, that expectation was quickly overshadowed by its uneven tone, direction, awkward humor, and average screenplay. Luckily, Regina Hall and Sterling K. Brown provided an engaging chemistry that helped make my experience worthwhile. Other than that, Adamma Ebo's directorial debut didn't do much else to make me praise the Lord.
Another horror icon returned to the screen to bring the slasher franchise back from the dead. Unfortunately, the psychotic, chainsaw-wielding maniac's return was far from terrifying. Director David Blue Garcia hoped to reinvigorate my interest in the slasher franchise with a sequel that followed the same path as 2018's "Halloween". However, instead of being as great as "Halloween", "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is a scare-free and painfully insulting slog that favors gory kills over storytelling. The actors involved were okay in their roles, and the bus massacre sequence was the best part of the movie regarding Garcia's direction. Sadly, they're not enough to slash its way out of its formulaic screenplay, unlikable characters, and a disappointing story about trauma. Like the recent installments that came before it, it's another forgettable revival of one of cinema's scariest and most iconic antagonists in history.
We got another Liam Neeson movie on this list, proving that 2022 is not a great year for the action star. This time, we have "Blacklight", which is far more underwhelming and forgettable than "Memory". I wasn't able to watch this film in the theater, so I rented it for around 16 dollars in the comfort of my home. Honestly, it made me wish that I didn't. Like "Memory", Liam Neeson's presence is the only redeeming factor in this mediocre and irritatingly dull thriller that features similar elements done better in other films. Fans of Liam Neeson might give it a shot. As for the rest of the population, they're not missing much.
I'm into vampire movies as much as the next guy, but my number four pick has gotten me concerned about the bloodsuckers' future on the big screen. "The Invitation" is another horror film that was dumped on the last weekend of summer vacation. Based on my experience with it, I can see why. It is a bleak and painfully mundane film that offers nothing new to the tiring genre. It tries to combine the gothic romance element with the usual scare tactics from other horror films, but sadly, it winds up becoming nothing more than a lifeless chore to sit through. Despite Nathalie Emmanuel's effort to make it watchable, the movie's predictable plot, mediocre direction, and weak scares make this invite far from welcoming. It's a shame, too, since its director Jessica M. Thompson showed promise thanks to her directorial debut in 2017, "The Light of the Moon". Maybe she should stick with directing drama films involving humans for the time being.
You would think that a movie about Owen Wilson being a superhero would result in a fun and action-packed treat for families. Well, surprisingly, my number three pick managed to prove me otherwise. "Secret Headquarters" was originally set to be a theatrical release before being dumped to Paramount+. From the looks of it, I can understand why, but that doesn't make it redeemable. Instead of being a charming and entertaining addition to the superhero genre, "Secret Headquarters" is an overly bland and uninspiring retread of better movies, particularly in the superhero genre. The visuals were fine for the most part, and its message about trust was sweet, but that's about it. The movie is a highly dull and bare-bones approach to an interesting concept due to its weak cast, a vague sense of direction, formulaic script, and forgettable characters. It's easy to admit that this isn't a good sign for Paramount+'s future regarding its original content.
We all thought "Collision Course" was the final nail in the coffin for Blue Sky's popular money-making franchise. We thought wrong. "The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild" was the first installment of the icy animated franchise to be released after Disney acquired 20th Century Fox and the closure of Blue Sky Studios. After watching it, it made me wish that it wasn't released at all, not even on Disney+. This animated piece of frozen poop has done the impossible: being more irredeemable and less entertaining than "Collision Course". Not only did it replace the main cast from the previous films, save for Simon Pegg, but it also removed the charm and wit that made the franchise enjoyable. As a result, it became another pointless and extremely generic movie that fell prey to Disney's greedy attempt to revive the Fox properties with no effort whatsoever. Despite Simon Pegg's vocal performance as Buck Wild, the film suffers from its forgettable storyline, weak characters, bland humor, and lackluster animation. "The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild" is more along the lines of a dinosaur fossil that further proves that the franchise has officially gone extinct.
There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. My absolute worst film of 2022 is a horror remake that's more insulting and frustrating than the 1984 film adaptation. At least, in my eyes. The 2022 reimagining of "Firestarter" had plenty of changes that would've helped provide a better experience than the previous adaptation featuring the young Drew Barrymore. Sadly, those modern upgrades are immediately burned to a crisp by the movie's terrible execution. Even worse, they made it into a formulaic superhero origin story instead of a horror film about the dangers of harnessing unknown power. The cast did what they could with their performances, but they're not enough to keep this poor excuse of a remake from being burned alive. The storytelling was extremely generic, the characters were uninteresting and poorly developed, the scares were nonexistent, and the ending was disdainful for its narrative choices. As a result, 2022's "Firestarter" is not only the worst Stephen King adaptation to grace the screen, but it's also my worst theatrical experience of 2022, horror or otherwise. Let's hope the upcoming "Salem's Lot" movie will make me forget about this flaming pile of cinematic poop.
That concludes my top ten stinkers of 2022, with no dishonorable mentions included. That's the first year this has happened since I first started my blog. Either I was getting good at avoiding most of the movies that looked bad, or I wasn't interested in talking about the ones I had already watched. Whatever the case, I'm glad I didn't have to struggle with this list compared to my previous top ten lists. Hopefully, that will continue in 2023, which looks to be another strong year for movies. With all that said, stay safe during the wintery weather, and I'll see you all next year.