Worst Films of 2015
As 2015 comes to a close, it’s time to look back at the year’s films. While 2015 was a primarily good year for cinema, there were still some terrible films in the last twelve months that I regret seeing. Here are my picks for the top five worst films of 2015.
- Kingsman: The Secret Service
Kingsman: The Secret Service is a huge missed opportunity from the talented director Matthew Vaughn, and a failed attempt at satire. The film follows an extremely formulaic story of the secret spy agency known as “The Kingsman”, and though the film attempts to satirize the espionage genre, it’s never clever enough to provoke a comedic effect, ultimately feeling stale and forced. The use of excessive violence is definitely attempting to be humorous, but the film takes itself too seriously to be fun, and too cartoonish to be legitimate. A disappointment, Kingsman: The Secret Service is a misguided and unfortunately poor film.
- Point Break
In an era of unnecessary remakes and reboots, the height of the ridiculousness has been reached with the completely incompetent remake of Point Break, a film that not only fails to match the unique comic action of the original but completely fails as its own standalone action film. The original film is deemed an action classic due to the great characters and cheesiness of its story, and while the original had a sense of fun, the remake is overly dramatic, and it’s the pseudo seriousness that makes it so flat. Instead of rising to the heights of camp and embracing the original, Point Break is a laughable silly and horribly written product of Hollywood’s infatuation with remakes.
- Run All Night
Run All Night is a horrible exercise in action formula, replicating some of the worst traits of the genre. The film’s characters are charmless and emotionless, with forced and gimmicky character development that is almost comic. Tonally, the film switches from a brooding and serious thriller to a corny adventure film, ultimately feeling inconsistent and convoluted, and for a film that relies heavily on action sequences, the use of CGI and shaky camerawork ruin any potentially entertaining action. Not even the star power of Liam Neeson can elevate Run All Night from its status as a cynical and painfully generic action film.
Another product of generic Hollywood formula, Insurgent is a blatantly generic sequel that needlessly panders to its adolescent audience through its melodramatic writing and convoluted story. The story itself is based upon conveniences, and the character development is stilted and forced. Additionally, the script’s dialogue is so unrealistic and campy that the skills of talented actors like Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller, and Kate Winslet are wasted. But the real crime of Insurgent, and what establishes it as worse than Kingsman: The Secret Service and Run All Night, is that the film is merely a setup for future franchise installments. Insurgent doesn’t aim to be a good film; it just needs to prompt a sequel.
- Jupiter Ascending
Jupiter Ascending is the epitome of the worst that Hollywood blockbusters have to offer. The film’s major problem is in how the script is constructed. The first hour of the film is primarily exposition, but the only way the film conveys information through bland dialogue and conversations. Exposition in Jupiter Ascending is spoon-fed to the audience, it’s never actually shown in a creative way, which slows down the plot and delays the main conflict until nearly the third act. In comparison, some events are speed up and result in undermining character development and any reaction from the characters to the world. By the end of the film, the film just turns into a predictable series of incoherent events.
The cast contains some talented actors, but the script rarely gives any of the characters a chance to really develop. Mila Kunis is mostly bland as the film’s lead, and never really has a definite arc or turning point. Her role is primarily used to react to different events that occur within the world, and never really holds her own as a character. Channing Tatum doesn’t necessarily give a terrible performance, but his character is completely flat and never develops at all throughout the film.
Another major issue with the film is its convoluted subplots. The film introduces several different characters, including those played by Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, and Tuppence Middleton. These are talented actors, but their storylines rarely interact in a cohesive way. In fact, the last acts of the film has trouble wrapping up all of the storylines, which leads to a hastily crafted conclusion that attempts to conclude all of the subplots. On top of that, Redmayne gives an embarrassingly over-the-top performance that never gives him a presence, and is more laughable that effective.
Jupiter Ascending, outside of being a mess of plot and tone, is not fun. At least, not in the way it should be. There’s no emotional connection. There’s nothing intriguing about the characters. It’s a failure of a film, and the worst of the year.