Matthew Parkinson has watched over 100 films in 2013. This week he selects his picks for the worst films of 2013.
21 and Over
A completely forgettable and unfunny comedy that feels like a crossover between The Hangover and Project X, 21 and Over is a film that follows two unlikable people — and one who is more often than not asleep — wandering around a college campus and doing nothing of consequence while doing so. They get into situations that aren’t funny, the characters are poor and it isn’t even close to how offensive it wants to be.
After Earth stars Jaden Smith on an adventure while father Will Smith watches on a TV screen. Will downplays his trademark charisma so that Jaden can take the reins, but Jaden turns in the worst performance of the year and demonstrates a complete lack of ability to do anything but look mildly pained for 90 minutes. Add terrible special effects, needless exposition and uninspired action scenes, and you’ve got a terrible movie.
Getaway is destined to be a cult classic similar to The Room and Birdemic. It fails in every regard you can think of. Its characters are shallow. The dialogue is annoying and never amounts to anything. Any attempt to maintain suspense is shattered by poor cinematography and editing. There’s one minute of good filmmaking here which just goes to highlight how terrible the rest of the film is.
The Hangover Part III
I’ve hated The Hangover franchise since the first instalment but at least the first and second chapters had Mike Tyson to distract us from the horrid main characters and a plot that was barely tolerable when it was in Dude, Where’s My Car?. Tyson is absent and as a result there isn’t a single laugh to be had. This one isn’t even as boundary-pushing either, so even those looking for gross-out scenes will be disappointed.
Stephanie Meyer drew a lot of hatred for her Twilight saga, although the first and third films were fun in a campy sort of way. The Host, another adaptation of her work, is a sci-fi film where science fiction is underutilized. Instead, a love triangle takes centre stage and is as romantic as a rock sitting there doing nothing. The main premise is mostly forgotten and the film is too long and has too little of consequence to be worth watching.
The Last Stand
The Last Stand wants to be a campy action film but it’s not funny enough. Its action isn’t well staged, inventive or silly enough to work. It has low stakes and is incredibly predictable. The actors don’t seem to care and I see no reason why you should either. If you need a 2013 “old-person action movie” you should check out Stallone’s Bullet to the Head. It’s actually quite good.
For 12 hours once every year, all crime becomes legal. That is the premise of The Purge. That is probably one of the best ideas in any film this year. It is completely and utterly wasted in this movie. All it does is set up a worse version of The Strangers. It’s a generic-to-the-bones home invasion thriller that becomes worse the more you think about how much it wastes its exciting premise.
Men in Black was released in 1997 and yet somehow it has better action and special effects and is more clever and humorous than R.I.P.D. R.I.P.D. looks terrible. It is dull, unfunny, has no chemistry with its two leads and never even for a second begins to work. Its undead creatures look like they were given no more than five minutes of thought when they were designed.
Sharknado took the Internet by storm, despite dozens of similar films over the years. This is an intentionally terrible movie that is supposed to be enjoyed ironically. The problem is that there’s too much time taken between big set piece moments. Everything that doesn’t involve the sharks is an affront to your intelligence and even the shark parts aren’t inventive or exciting enough to be worth it.
The Starving Games
The Starving Games was released direct-to-DVD, but it comes from filmmakers whose previous films were released in theatres. Remember Vampires Suck, Epic Movie and Meet the Spartans? It’s one of those. It’s a spoof movie without an ounce of creativity or humour. It’s unwatchable. It doesn’t last 90 minutes but it’s enough to turn you off cinema for a long time.
About Time, Adore, Drinking Buddies, Escape Plan, Expecting, Gangster Squad, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, A Good Day to Die Hard, Grudge Match, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, The Heat, Lovelace, Machete Kills, The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, Now You See Me, Passion, Rapture-Palooza, Romeo & Juliet, Runner Runner, Silent Hill: Revelation, This is the End.