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  • Will Simonds

Movies That Suck



Have you ever walked into a theater, excited to see the movie you’ve been waiting to see for a year, just to watch the most horrible, disappointing, piece of garbage that you’ve ever seen? Well that’s happened to me far too many times to count. So I’ve decided to simply write an article about terrible, overrated, ill-conceived films that I’ve made the mistake of watching. While I understand that some readers may actually love these movies, (baffling to me) I would like to lay out why certain films leave me unimpressed, peeved, and disappointed.


Tusk



Let’s start with A24’s notoriously disturbing walrus-themed horror comedy starring the incomparable Justin Long (Starring in Barbarian, Dodgeball: The True Underdog Story, Galaxy Quest, and Alvin and the Chipmunks). Now I’ve never seen this movie (some experiences are best to avoid), nor do I plan to ever watch it, but I have heard reports about the pure unnecessary gore and human-centipedesque body horror present throughout the movie. Here’s the basic synopsis: Justin Long plays a successful podcast host who likes making fun of disabled people (the podcast is named: Not See). After a disabled interviewee dies from accidentally cutting their own hand off, Justin Long finds himself forced to interview an old man with a disturbing obsession with walruses. Long story short, the old man drugs and cripples Justin Long, then performs a strange surgery to turn Justin Long into a walrus. That’s basically it. No deeper themes, no hidden meaning; just a dude who gets turned into a walrus.


Mean Girls 2



Who doesn’t love Mean Girls? It was one of the funniest, most original, and purely fun movies of the 2000s. And when I learned it had a sequel, I wasn’t surprised. Most comedies as popular and influential as Mean Girls found ways to continue their story. However, upon further research, I learned that Mean Girls 2 was not a sequel to the original, but instead a total reboot. Why? A sequel would’ve been fine, but a reboot is almost always a terrible idea, especially when the original had only come out 7 years earlier.


X-Men: Dark Phoenix



X-Men: Dark Phoenix is the second attempted adaptation of one of the most beloved and critically acclaimed comic sagas and, truthfully, this movie could have been really good. It features an exceptional cast including multi-Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone, American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook, Joy), Oscar nominees Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs, 12 Years a Slave) and Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye), Emmy winner Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones), and James Macavoy. The visual effects are truly impressive, and the action is definitely entertaining. However, that doesn’t excuse the terrible writing present in the movie. I can barely remember the central plot of the movie (it was just so dull), but I’ll try to recap it: Jean Gray (The Dark Phoenix) and other X-Men go to space in order to save astronauts or a space colony or space people (doesn’t really matter), but while in space, Jean Gray absorbs the power of the sun or something, and instantly becomes the most powerful being in the entire universe. Then, Jessica Chastain (who is an alien queen) comes to Earth in search of Jean’s power, and simply tells Jean that she’s powerful, instantly corrupting Jean. (SPOILER ALERT) Jean then proceeds to kill Professor X, Katniss Everdeen, and a bunch of innocent people. But her boyfriend thinks there’s still good in her, so he teams up with Magneto to kill an alien army and turn Jean back to the good side. This bland and forgettable story paired with the laughable dialogue and notoriously bad one-liners (such as the X-Women quote said by Jennifer Lawrence's character: “By the way, the women are always saving the men around here. You might want to think about changing the name to X-Women.”) make X-Men: Dark Phoenix the only movie I’ve ever rated a 0/100.


The Emoji Movie



Remember how The Lego Movie was awesome? Or how The Lego Batman Movie was awesome? Or how Toy Story was awesome? Or how Wreck-It-Ralph was awesome? Well this isn’t any of those. This is The Emoji Movie, the most lifeless, poorly animated, poorly conceived, living simulacrum of a movie. Honestly, I almost feel bad writing about it because by writing this article I’m legitimizing it as a piece of fiction, which is something that it really doesn’t deserve to be. Again, I’m struggling to remember the plot of this movie, but here’s what I do remember: Meh is an emoji who lives in the text app on some a kid’s iPhones, but Meh wants to feel more than one emotion, so he teams up with one of the most insufferable characters ever created, a British hand (yes, just a disembodied hand that is somehow British), and a Disney princess (I think) in order to travel through a bunch of apps on the phone like Dance or Candy Crush to eventually arrive at a wall they have to break through — I guess. I don’t really know (or care for that matter) but it’s a sucky movie. I refuse to give this movie an official rating because again, it would legitimize its existence. But don’t take my word for it, take Rotten Tomato critic Leigh Monson’s word for it: “It's a horrifying scene set atop a pile of trash, but the pure absurdity of its existence is enough to make one laugh in shock and disbelief.” Indeed it is, Leigh Monson, indeed it is. Six percent on the Tomatometer! Even that is a generous score.


Cats the Musical



No, I have not seen Cats the Musical. No, I do not plan to watch Cats, the Musical. No, I do not understand why anyone even bothered to create a play version of Cats, the Musical, let alone a movie adaptation. I’m not going to actually write about the story of Cats, or any specific elements of Cats. I will, however, mention the image included above. That animation is honestly one of the most unsettling things I’ve ever seen. I’d rather watch The Human Centipede ten times over than watch a single frame of James Corden morphing into a half-human half-cat unholy hybrid and sing about how he wishes to be released by his God (which I guess is just death, not really sure). This movie scares me.


Dishonorable Mentions



There is definitely a plethora of terrible movies that didn’t make the list, but here are a few of the dishonorable mentions that were either mentioned in my survey or that I didn’t have the time to rant about.


Avatar: The Last Airbender



Why would anyone put the unfathomably difficult task of adapting the masterpiece that is ATLA into the hands of M. Night Shyamalan?


Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker



What? Why? How? A soulless borderline-nonsensical conclusion to an iconic franchise.


Ghostbusters: Afterlife


Well, I watched this.


Morbius


Jared Leto is a vampire. Matt Smith is a vampire who dances. Jared Leto has a forgettable love interest who’s also a vampire. That’s about all I remember about this movie.


Mr. and Mrs. Smith


Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are bad actors in a bad movie.


After


It would be a 0/100 if it had had the audacity to have a theatrical release. Luckily, it didn’t.


Overrated and Overhated Movies



I already talked about movies that basically everyone agrees are terrible. None of them have any redeeming qualities, and they usually feature poor acting, uninspired writing, and dull characters. However, once we move past the lowest of the low, we get to a point where no one can agree on anything. So I’ll be writing about movies that are either overrated or overhated.


Fargo



I’ll start by saying that I respect the opinion of whoever included this in my survey. If you didn’t enjoy Fargo, I respect that. However, I couldn’t agree less. Maybe I’m biased (Fargo is my second favorite movie, behind Rango), but I just don’t understand how someone could hate it. In my opinion, it features some of the best acting, writing, direction, and storytelling in any movie ever, and has one specific kidnapping scene which I consider to be one of the funniest scenes of all time. Its environment completely pulls you in, and it absolutely pushes the limits of complex storytelling within such a simple world. I would actually go as far to say that Fargo is underrated, and should be watched by more people.


The Usual Suspects



This movie disappointed me. Everyone had told me “Will, you’re going to be obsessed with The Usual Suspects,” so when I finally got around to watching it, I was really excited. And then I was bored. The Usual Suspects is what I call a ‘twist movie’, which is a movie that gets most of its praise and fame from a shocking plot twist. A couple examples are Memento, Fight Club, and The Sixth Sense. But even though those movies are made better by their incredible twists, they still stand on their own as really great movies (especially Fight Club, which is not overrated, because it’s awesome). However, The Usual Suspects had nothing going for it besides its twist, and truthfully, it made me sit through an hour and 40 minutes of uninteresting plot in order to reach a twist I saw coming. Aside from that, the movie is well constructed, with a relatively clean plot, decent characters, very solid cinematography, and believable dialogue. The Usual Suspects isn’t bad, but it is overrated.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi



Earlier, I quickly mentioned the sequel to this installation, referring to it as soulless and borderline nonsensical; however, much to my dismay, The Last Jedi receives far more hate than its cash grab of a sequel. Don’t get me wrong, this movie isn’t without its flaws. The entire story that follows John Boyega is entirely pointless, meandering, and rather unenjoyable if not for the inclusion of Benicio Del Toro — along with the B-plot that follows Laura Dern, which happens to put one of the most insufferable characters on full display, that being whichever character Laura Dern plays. However, the intertwining storylines that follow Luke Skywalker, Rey Palpatine, and Kylo Ren are all really fun and interesting, and bolstered even further by an incredible performance from Adam Driver. The multiple climaxes of this film are also excellent, and they provided one of my favorite theater-going experiences ever. The Last Jedi is without a doubt the most overhated Star Wars movies, and one of the most overrated movies of all time.


Movies that are so bad… they’re good



Most of the time, when you watch a bad movie, you absolutely hate it. You feel like you have just spent two hours of your life that you can never get back, and a feeling of emptiness grows within you. But then there are those movies, those terrible movies, those terrible, wonderful movies that suck so much, that you just want to watch them over and over again.


Sharknado



Let’s start with what is most likely the most iconic bad-movie of them all: Sharknado. Sharknado follows a recently divorced chainsaw-wielding surfer named Finn who, when L.A. is struck by a tornado that has picked up hundreds of angry sharks, has to fight his way across the flooded city to save his ex-wife and daughter. I am pretty sure I’m one of the few people who have actually watched Sharknado from start to finish, and I can say from firsthand experience that this movie is awesome. It’s also incomprehensibly bad, featuring some of the worst CGI, dialogue, and direction that has ever graced the silver screen. I love this movie with a passion, and to anyone reading this article, I highly recommend it. It’s included with Prime Video for anyone interested.


Tommy Wiseau’s The Room



“I did not hit her, it’s not true. It’s bulls**t. I did not hit her, I did not…oh, hi Mark.”

One of the most quotable movies of all time, The Room came out of nowhere and quickly became known as “simply the worst movie ever made.” Solely funded by the director and star Tommy Wiseau, The Room has actually turned a profit through re-releases despite having a budget of over $6 million. While I have yet to fully watch this movie from start to finish, I have watched the biopic starring James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogan, Alison Brie, and Zac Efron that focuses on the making of this movie, and I have also seen numerous clips from this movie. So, from what I’ve seen, this movie lives up to its hype, mainly thanks to its unfathomably terrible performance from Tommy Wiseau and some relentlessly laugh-out-loud bad dialogue throughout the film. So while I can’t say from firsthand experience that this movie is as terribly great (greatly terrible?) as its reputation claims, I would still probably recommend it.


Batman & Robin



The fourth installation in the original Batman franchise, Batman & Robin completely defiles the once iconic legacy that had been built up in the first two movies in this franchise (Batman and Batman Returns). Featuring George Clooney and Chris O’Donnely as the titular characters, and featuring Arnold Schwarznegger and Uma Thurman as the main villains, Batman & Robin manages to be a far worse movie than anyone could have imagined. I’ll be honest, I was initially hesitant to include this on the list because the movie is just plain terrible in so many ways. But eventually decided against it when I remembered two things: 1. Every line spoken by Arnold Schwarznegger’s character is an ice pun; 2. Batman has a Batman-themed credit card. With those two things in mind, I decided that no one in their right mind could take this movie seriously, and therefore it would only be right to include it in the So Bad It’s Good section. However, that does not mean I recommend watching this absolute dumpster fire, and in fact, I strongly advise against it. This is a terrible movie that should be viewed by no one.


Napoleon Dynamite



I’ll just start off by saying that I do not consider Napoleon Dynamite to be a bad movie. Not even a so bad it’s good movie. Instead, I consider Napoleon Dynamite to be a gleaming example of low-budget films that exceed all expectations. Filmed and edited in under 21 days, and with a budget of 400,000 dollars, Napoleon Dynamite grossed just under $45 million at the box office along with winning over the hearts of both critics and audiences alike. Since then it’s become quite the cult classic, and happens to be the movie I consider to be the greatest underdog movie of all time. Better than Rocky. If you haven’t watched Napoleon Dynamite, go watch it. It’s amazing.


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