9 Of The Worst Movies Of 2019
2019. Holy crap, did anybody get the license plate on the year that just hit us? It feels like we were just counting down into this weird, wonderful, wily old year the other day. Fast forward through an endless collection of Baby Yoda memes, American politics, and awful, awful movies, and here we are, staring down the barrel of 2020, again.
And it’s that last one that we’re here to talk about, today. Because, and not to be negative here, but we saw some shockingly bad movies this last year. So join us, today, as we break down nine of the worst movies of 2019, so we can bury their memories and move on to better things.
Ready? Good. Let’s go.
If you’ve ever seen the Hulk movie with Eric Bana, you’ll know one thing: sometimes Ang Lee movies suck tremendously. And, unfortunately in the case of Gemini Man, sometimes Ang Lee movies that have been in development for twenty damn years suck, as well.
In a similar problem to what we saw with Avatar, critics praised the amazing CGI of Gemini Man but shot down its story. A high concept sci-fi flick about clone assassins always has the potential to be awesome, but if you don’t give it something special to say, it’s going to be crap.
Add in the unreasonably high framerate of the movie (look up this issue if you’re unfamiliar but, basically, when the frame rate is too high, it makes movies look like cheap telenovelas) and the “meh” marketing, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Missed this movie? It’s cool – you didn’t miss much.
Man, I wanted this movie to be great. M Night Shyamalan released Unbreakable in 2000 and it wasted no time blowing our minds, as a slow-paced, dreamy superhero movie about working-class people not ready for their powers. It was an instant talking point for film and comic book lovers, the kind of stuff we all want to watch but almost never get.
Then we got Split in 2017, a Shyamalan horror movie with a twist coda: the movie ended with Unbreakable’s David Dunn arriving on the scene to glare into the camera and confirm that, yes, these two movies exist in a shared universe ™. It was the Shyamalanverse we didn’t know we wanted, and there was a threequel incoming, as well!
Then we got Glass. And it was bad. And that is so disappointing. Throwaway deaths and a shallow plot that doesn’t live up to the awesome potential of the overall story. With 37% on Rotten Tomatoes, there’s a lot to say about Glass being bad, but no real need to say it at all.
Rambo: Last Blood
This movie was a bad call, all around. Let’s start by getting the original movie out of the way. John Rambo is a vet who has PTSD. It is ridiculous that he keeps being thrown into battle situations, the first movie was literally about how messed up he was over all the killing. Stop. Stop making John Rambo kill people. He’s suffered enough.
Now, with that out of the way, this movie sucks on its own, without needing the first movie. Despite buckets of blood, the deaths couldn’t be more boring and predictable. And the movie has been lambasted by the Latino community for basically pushing the narrative that Mexico is where dreams and goodness go to die, which means this movie is bad and problematic.
Somebody let John Rambo die.
Guillermo Del Toro’s original Hellboy movies were pretty loveable adaptations of the Mike Mignola comic books. They earned their positions as cult classics and fans of the movies were waiting, eagerly, for the last in the trilogy. What we got, instead, this year was a reboot of the franchise by Neil Marshall, starring David Harbor.
Here are the reasons why this movie was bad:
- it tries to be other movies – It’s got the Guardians of the Galaxy-style big names on the soundtrack without any of the thought behind them, derivative British stylings, ala the Kingsman movies, and black and white scenes like Sin City, but not like Sin City.
- it misses the emotion of the other movies – Whatever your feelings about the campier Del Torro movies, they had a sense of family and fun which is just missing from this flick.
- too much lore – There’s far too much input from Mike Mignola on this movie, which I know is sacrilege from a comic book fan. But the truth is this movie is bogged down in references and winks and nods to the greater world, with unexplained cameos and references done without ever earning their spot in the movie.
Look, I know it’s easy to punch down on Fred Durst but, at the same time, that’s all because of choices he continues to make. I think that, if he were to take a step back and figure out how to do work that’s actually interesting instead of trying to sneak stories about his own harrowing rise to stardom into the mainstream, we’d be ready to give him his snaps. But we got the Fanatic, instead, and there are no snaps to be given.
John Travolta plays a man named Moose who is autistic and obsessed with a movie star. He stalks the guy, they conflict, blood happens, and that’s it, only it’s worse than you’re imagining it is. As Roger Ebert accurately pointed out, this movie ” really, really hates autistic people”, painting an unkind, unrealistic, un…good picture of the condition and leaning into childish provocation.
The Fanatic wasted all of our time.
I think we all saw this one coming. Dark Phoenix was the lame coda to a franchise that had been struggling with plot issues, unexciting openings and stiff competition for many, many years already. The X-Men series saved the world from the boring, who cares superhero movies of years before, with wild, superhero antics in a realer-than-real world. But, by the time we got to Dark Phoenix, these movies had forgotten most of the plot points they themselves had set up, stopped giving characters any chance to develop, and were knee-deep in predictable plot points and repetitious storylines.
This movie wasn’t all bad, with some great visuals, but we’ve come to expect that from tentpole Hollywood movies with massive names and big budgets attached. Sorry if that sounds snobby and if younger me would have been embarrassed to hear me talk like that, but the truth is we want more than just the best looking Phoenix Force ever.
Dare I say it? We want substance.
Playing With Fire
It always hurts to see a movie flop so hard when it stars such funny people. It just makes you think, “Well, one of you guys dropped the ball, and I want to know who it was.”
This is a dumb, uninteresting movie. But I will say this: I think I might be the bad guy for having issues with this movie. Because it’s everything it says on the box. A badass firefighter adopts kids and has to awkwardly adjust to being a dad. I’m not saying it’s a good movie. But I do almost feel like I went into their house and made fun of the furniture.
But it is dumb, and this is a list of dumb movies, so here it is.
The Curse of La Llorona
How are we six installments into the Conjuring universe, but you can’t give me a Dog Soldiers sequel?
Alright, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ve definitely heard all of these complaints. But let’s talk about this God-awful movie and why it was bad sauce on a crap steak with a side of dumb:
- a formulaic plotline that you could 100% guess from just seeing as little as the trailers
- tired horror tropes ranging from rustling wind to creaking doors
- problematic whitewashing Mexican folklore
- a missed opportunity to cash in on a truly terrifying monster
Men In Black International
It’s always sad to see a franchise with so much character and vibrancy devolve into something bland and predictable. I’m not calling the original MIB sci-fi genius, but there were clear decisions about style and comedy. And yes, the sequels already established a downhill slide in those standards. But International buys that house, movies in, and lives on Mediocre Street for the rest of its life.
Bad tropes and vanilla callbacks make for a movie that feels like the movies you saw that inspired this movie. A predictable plot twist means you’re watching a movie you’ve already figured out in your head. And yes, Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth have incredible chemistry, but when sparks fly underwater, nobody gets to see them.
Forget this movie, like I’m about to do.
The Worst Movies Of 2019
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