2014 Worst Movies

Please note that this list is based exclusively on movies we got the “chance” to watch and only focus on movies with decent production values … but there are of course plenty of other offenders that are probably worst and not worth our time (most particularly among B-Movies and Hollywood has-beens) – for more bad movies, visit our Razzie section

thelegendofhercules

The Legend of Hercules

While Hercules movies have always been known as a cheesy swords-and-sandals subgenre (see Steve Reeves series), this new adaptation by Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger) is a particularly ludicrous affair. Starring Kellan Lutz (who??) , Jean-Claude Van Damme’s protégé Scott Adkins (The Expandables 2, Universal Solder: Day of Reckoning) and Liam McIntyre (the dull replacement for the late Andy Whitfield in Spartacus) , this new version looks cheap and awkward as if Mr. Harling had forgotten how to direct an action movie since his heyday in the 90s. Even worse is the acting, starting with Mr. Lutz (who?) showcasing as much acting chops and charisma as a piece of baloney while Mr. Adkins seems to have walked on the wrong set, frustrated to not be able to kick and nunchuck. Last but not least, let’s not forget about all those bad wigs, beards, lousy and makeup which are plain laughable. By now, you must have guessed it,The Legend of Hercules is so far the worst film I’ve seen this year but let’s not undermine Hollywood’s power as to outdo itself later this year (incidentally, there is another Hercules movie coming up and starring The Rock).

ifrankensteinI, Frankenstein

Mixing Blade, Underworld, Highlander and Frankenstein onscreen … here’s the new genius adaptation from Stuart Bettie, better known for writing scripts for the Pirate of the Caribbean and G.I. Joe series. Surprisingly even though he’s a writer-turned-director here, his direction proves to be better than his uninspired writing.  Besides recycling other movies, I, Frankenstein is also filled with cliché-ridden dialogues, the Frankenstein character reciting lines such as “run”, “this ends tonight” and “I came to destroy you”.  Battling both gargoyles and demons, while walking like a bored emo teenager, the once promising Aaron Eckhart (In The Company Of Men) keeps following a Nicolas Cage-path, his performance being as soulless as its character and as humorless as this bad adaptation of a bad idea.

 

sabotageposter

Sabotage

Written and directed by David Ayer who’s made a career exploring LA’s streets, from the The Fast and the Furious to Training Day and End of Watch, this Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle tries too hard to be several movies in one, while recycling much of Mr. Ayer’s previous works.

We got the elite police team – reminiscent of the mediocre S.W.A.T. –, the corrupt cops – just like in the intense Training Day, the average Dark Blue and second-rate Street Kings – and the gangs, which are the background for pretty much all his movies, except for Fury. To spice things up, he however throws in a whodunit plot and a Dirty Dozen-style ragtag of familiar faces composing Arnold’s team.

The result is a huge mess, this poorly assembled collage lacking any sense of cohesion while the plot is just unbelievable. As for rest, there isn’t much to salvage, the acting oscillating between wooden and over-the-top performances whereas both the dialogues and violence are plain vulgar.

But maybe I got this all wrong: perhaps the filmmakers and actors were just trying to personally emulate the title, in some kind of post-modern twist.

theexpendables3The Expendables 3

As with a multitude of franchises, this series keeps getting worse, despite extending its casting with the who’s who of has-been action heroes.

While the first entry proved to be quite enjoyable and the sequel had at least Mr. Van Damme and Norris bringing some slight fun, The Expandables have been increasingly running out of steam: As the cast got bigger, the time spent on character development has become inexistent, making it had to care about any new additions to Mr. Stallone’s ragtag.

If I still don’t understand what the hell Kelsey Grammer is doing here, what really kills it is Patrick Hughes’ lifeless PG-13 direction which turns extensive action sequences into a bore fest, which is a lethal mistake for an action flick.

hercules

Hercules

For some reason unknown to mankind, Hollywood thought we needed two movies about Hercules this year and while this version isn’t as god awful as The Legend of Hercules, Brett Ratner’s direction is so lifeless that you just don’t care about the story or any of the characters, including our hero played here by The Rock wearing a ridiculous hat.

Once again, Mr. Ratner shows that he can turn anything – including popular entities such as the X-Men and Hannibal Lecter – into onscreen mediocrity and nothing seems to be stopping him (not event my numerous Razzie votes); we are surely looking forward to his next golden project, Beverly Hills Cop 4.

 

The-Amazing-Spider-Man-2-poThe Amazing Spider-Man 2

Rebooting the Spider-Man franchise less than 10 years after Sam Raimi’s trilogy was obviously pointless, except for Marvel’s accounting department, but the previous entry was at least watchable. In this sequel, director Marc Webb and his writers do not seem to know if they’re filming an action flick or some emo romance and the result is a painful mess. It only takes 20mn to realize that there is something wrong with this picture and when you reach the first hour, you realize not much has happened, besides Peter Parker sulking – as the 6-year kiddo watching it with me was saying “there’s not a lot of action”, which is quite surprising for a Spider-Man movie. 50mn later, things hadn’t changed that much, making me fall in the arms of Morpheus. Unfortunately, rhythm isn’t the only issue here: Peter Parker and his costumed alter-ego are kind of obnoxious jerks while the Electro character is just ridiculous. There’s also an unintentionally funny sequence where Peter Parker and Harry Osbourne are bounding along the water, which looks like some cheap romance novel. As for the climax, after wasting a couple hours on an “I love you but I can’t be with you” dance between Peter and his girlfriend Gwen Stacy, the film rushes to give us some overstuffed action sequences that lack an emotional impact. This doesn’t mean we’re safe though, the director delivering another unintentionally funny scene showing Peter standing by Gwen’s grave throughout the seasons. To be frank, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 might not be as bad as some of the other contenders below (there are at least some good special effects plus the presence of Emma Stone) but it’s the fact that it’s a big production with such great source material that makes it such a colossal, unforgivable failure.

amillionwaystodieA Million Ways to Die in the West

While I do appreciate Seth MacFarlane’s outrageous sense of humor – well most of it, not the scatological stuff – and laughed my ass off while watching his vicous teddy bear Ted, his western comedy was a big misfire not only because it just wasn’t funny but also because he did cast himself in the leading role. If the premise was good, it unfortunately turned into a bad comedy, a bad western and a snooze fest.

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Fred Thom

Fred Thom

Editor-in-Chief/Founder/Film Critic at Plume Noire
The founder and editor-in-chief of Plume Noire, Fred Thom covers film festivals and writes movie reviews. He was born in Marseilles, France and is now living in Los Angeles, California.