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The Worst Movies of 2014 (So Far)
For moviegoers, there is but one universal truth about the months of January and February: with the occasional exception, it’s pretty much a given that a majority of the movies released will be terrible. They’re often the castoff movies, pushed back away from an earlier Winter release in favor of Oscar bait and the top family blockbusters that help so many digest turkey on Thanksgiving. We’ve been subjected to it just as much here in 2014 as we have been in the past ten years, seeing everything from ancient Rome to terrible sappy 80s remakes gracing the silver screen at our local cineplex. Just to start the conversation early, let’s take a loving look back at some of the worst films 2014 has had to offer us so far.
The criteria for this list? 1) Score less than 20% on Rotten Tomatoes, and 2) Be relentlessly awful.
Not since Thor: The Dark World have we seen a film as throwaway and poorly written as I, Frankenstein. Starring Aaron Eckhart for some reason, I, Frankenstein is the vapid imagining of Frankenstein’s monster coming to life and fighting the undead hordes of hell alongside the esteemed ancient Gargoyle order. It’s just as dumb as it sounds, with an ugly grey filter making the film feel more depressing than it did to start with. Characters go nowhere, the story takes a leap of faith out of a 100-story building only to fall flat on its face, and every cliche that can be named will appear in here at one point or another. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and even Constantine have shown us that demon slaying can be fun and enjoyable, but in I, Frankenstein, it was nothing more than a lifeless slog.
Legend of Hercules
Well everyone, you asked for it, and Summit Entertainment delivered: The Legend of Hercules. Oh wait, you weren’t asking for that? In fact, you’re tired of re-treading stories we’ve seen depicted on screen upwards of a thousand times? Well…Summit Entertainment is giving it to you anyway.
Starring the abs of Kellan Lutz, The Legend of Hercules tells, well, the legend of Hercules, who has been sold into slavery thanks to a forbidden love. It’s essentially a terrible patchwork of much better films stitched together using terrible acting and a dull plot. It released silently, and it’s best that it goes out that way as well.
Of all the Paul Andersons in Hollywood, Paul W.S. Anderson is probably one of the least-beloved among critics. He’s the type to trade meaningful story development for ‘sploshions and all manner of cool effects on screen because, you know, pretty visuals.
Here’s a basic breakdown of his latest film Pompeii: there’s a strong, ab-ridden (why always with the abs and ancient Greeks?) gladiator trying to woo a pretty noble lady. He has to save her before Mount Vesuvius erupts. Will he? You’ll have to watch to find out, although terrible acting, bad pacing, and annoying camera work will leave you cheering for the mountain to just end it all.
The Nut Job
You know you’re getting a good film when the main character’s name is Surly, the plot revolves around park animals pulling off a heist on a nut shop, and the comedy consists of fart jokes and over-used double entendre. Now, go ahead and tell me that we can’t judge animated films too harshly. Go ahead. I’m listening, with both Frozen and The Lego Movie on hand to prove that we can, in fact, expect animated films to be entertaining and more thoughtful than washed up garbage that turns kid’s and adult’s brains alike into runny piles of goo. Really, The Nut Job belongs in the bottom of a bargain bin as a straight-to-DVD release that only the most negligent of parents ever purchase to quiet their screaming children at Wal Mart.
Fact: Kevin Hart is funny. He really, really is. Another fact: Kevin Hart consistently winds up in some of the worst roles that never fully utilize his comedic potential. Ride Along is one of these roles.
Essentially a buddy cop movie, Ride Along stars Hart alongside the completely relevant Ice Cube as the two try to get to know each other while Kevin vies for his girlfriend’s hand in marriage. Naturally, Kevin’s character is a nice, albeit deadbeat-ish dude who is eager to prove his worth as husband material. In order to test him out, he’s taken on a ride along designed to scare him and make him reveal his true colors. It’s cliched buddy cop fare that, while funny, never amounts to anything more than a vehicle for typical Kevin Hart goofiness.
There wasn’t ever much hope for this film to be better than its 25% on Rotten Tomatoes-earning original predecessor, was there? Still, it managed to do the impossible by being even worse than the original, with a completely drawn out and cliched plot that never became anything more interesting than a total drama fest ripping the soul right out of Romeo and Juliet in order to tell the same story yet again with even more bland acting than ever before. The story? Romeo and Juliet, only in modern times. That’s really all you need to know, other than this shouldn’t be on the date night movie list, no matter how much your partner might be interested. If you love them, deter them from this mess.
Speaking of schlocky romance films that should never actually be viewed, 2014 also graciously rewarded us with Winter’s Tale, the mess of a film that saw Colin Farrell traveling through the years in order to perform a miracle he mistakenly thought would lead to saving his one true love. Meant to be a meaningful tearjerker, Winter’s Tale is Hallmark Channel-quality fare ridden with more plot holes and time travel silliness than a film ever should have. In fact, the best thing to come out of Winter’s Tale was this amazing episode of How Did This Get Made?
Have any other terrible films you’ve seen this year you’d add to the list? Tell us in the comments below!