This year was filled with plenty of highs when it came to the quality of films put out, but with so many peaks there are bound to be plenty of valleys. It’d be easy to pick out movies that are just plain bad, those come out all the time, so instead I opted to pick movies that I was disappointed by for specific reasons. So let’s jump into it.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
To be clear, I did not expect “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” to be a good movie. I’m not that crazy. In fact, I expected it to be quite bad like the previous films. However, those films started to become bad in a way that I was able to enjoy. They fit the definition of “so bad it’s good” perfectly. However, somehow “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” managed to make the jump from so bad it’s good to just regular bad. For one, it committed the ultimate sin of being boring. There were no big dumb action sequences and the few actions scenes it did have were edited to death. Just check out the example down below. Beyond the boring action the film completely ignores all the plot points laid out in previous films by having important characters killed off before the start of the movie and never mentioned again. Then it fails to even deliver on its title as the final moments of “The Final Chapter” make it clear that it’s anything but.
“Rings” was supposed to be the grand return of the “Ring” franchise and it seemed like Paramount Pictures was genuinely trying to reignite the series by putting a talented director in charge of the project. And then somewhere along the line everything fell apart for this film. The story is pretty weak and actively tries to retcon the history of the Ring, which seemed unneeded. Then they cast a pretty flaccid actress in the lead role, so that made sure that every dramatic scene was undercut by her performance. What should have been a strong return for a classic series was dead on arrival.
After “Prometheus” revealed itself to be a bit of a stinker, it seemed like Ridley Scott and co. had learned their lesson and were working towards a better follow up film. In fact, it sounded like Scott was intending the Prometheus films to be quite separate from the “Alien” franchise despite the big teaser at the end of the film. Then director Neill Blomkamp started teasing up his crazy take on the “Alien” series complete with concept art. It even got to the point where Fox was talking about letting Blomkamp make his “Alien” movie. But then Scott revealed that the next film in the Prometheus series would actually be called “Alien: Covenant” and we soon learned that Scott’s Alien film put an end to Blomkamp’s. That would be easier to swallow if Covenant turned out to be good… it wasn’t.
The Dark Tower
When it comes to Stephen King adaptations there are a few properties that are viewed as these big golden eggs that everyone wants a piece of. You’ve got “IT”, “The Stand”, “Pet Sematary” and of course “The Dark Tower.” With the “Dark Tower” many have tried to bring the legendary story to life, but the project seemed perpetually doomed to exist in development hell. And then this year they managed to pull all the pieces together. They had a talented director in the form of Nikolaj Arcel and an amazing cast that included Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba. It seemed like only good things would happen. And then things started to get a bit muddled when it was revealed that the premise of the film was that the movie would act as a quasi-sequel to the books. What? No, just make an adaptation of the books, what are you doing?! And it was all downhill from there. What should have been a major moment in Stephen King adaptations turned into a movie that felt like a B-tier “Underworld” rip-off.
I know a lot of people were pretty down on Universal’s idea for a “Monster Universe”, but I was actually really into the idea of having all the old monsters revitalized and brought back in a major way. Universal even managed to get some major stars interested in the universe including Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Javier Bardem, and Johnny Depp. All Universal had to do was make a good first entry to get their footing and a “Mummy” movie seemed like the appropriate step to take as those have done well for Universal in the past. However, instead of the great monster revival we got Tom Cruise and his monster friends. It was supremely disappointing to see such a potentially exciting universe trip out of the starting gate and impale itself on its own ambitions. Rest in peace Monster Universe, we hardly knew ye.