Film Feature: 10 of 2015’s Worst Films, By Spike Walters & Patrick McDonald

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CHICAGO – Gather ye children of bad movies. The film critic contributors to – Spike Walters and Patrick McDonald – are tag teaming to bring you the worst of their reviewin’ woes. From witch hunts to Kevin Hart, and old rock stars to Kevin Hart, these are the worst films of 2015.

There are no rankings, because they are all rank. The ten are listed in descending levels of dread, with Warner Bros., Robert De Niro and yes, Kevin Hart, representing once again – when will they team Bobby D and Kevin in a Warner Bros. buddy cop movie? The persons responsible for the descriptions will be marked accordingly, SW for Spike and PM for Patrick. Cover your eyes and cinema taste, by experiencing the 10 Worst Films of 2015.


Photo credit: Walt Disney Pictures

A misbegotten would-be blockbuster that exemplifies the worst impulses of blockbuster filmmaking. “Tomorrowland” has a needlessly convoluted story that drags its audience down so many narrative dead ends – and fills up on red herrings – in a desperate attempt to cloak itself in mystery. I’m usually a fan of old cranky George Clooney, but he’s as lost as everyone else here. And the usually reliable director Brad Bird can’t come up with a sense of wonder. (SW)

Star“Get Hard”

Get Hard
Get Hard
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. executives must have a dart board with bankable stars, and two magic darts to throw, and that’s how they get their slate of film projects (as you will see as you read below). This time it’s Will Ferrell and yes, Kevin Hart, together again for the first time. This clunky comedy dances the fine line of wacky hijinks and borderline stereotyping, and succeeds only in the latter. There were four “creators” on this one – three screenwriters and one extra story developer – which is usually the kiss of death through comedy by committee. There is also obviously sweaty improvisation between Will and Kevin, which mostly flop sweats. (PM)

Star“The Last Witch Hunter”

The Last Witch Hunter
The Last Witch Hunter
Photo credit: Summit Entertainment

Vin Diesel stars as a medieval cross between a hitman and Sherlock Holmes, hunting witches in modern day New York City and uncovering a shadowy conspiracy involving an unholy alliance. It’s a batshit-crazy vanity project that seems to have been reverse engineered from a single image of Diesel scowling and holding a huge flaming sword. This is a movie that begins and ends with Diesel facing off in an epic battle against a possessed tree, the only thing more wooden than he is. (SW)

Star“The Intern”

The Intern
The Intern
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

Robert De Niro definitely has some bills to pay, because he makes at least one – if not more – awkward “comedies” per year, playing off the various images of his movie personas. This one pairs him – by Warner Bros., natch – with Anne Hathaway as a Miranda Priestly-esque dotcom owner, which might have been relevant in 2003. Of course Bobby D is the older retiree who is an “intern” in the fashion company, and ends up saving the day. Full of typical character types – wacky fat guy, clueless senior citizen, sassy gay assistant – and epic miscasting (Anders Holm of “Workaholics” portrays Anne Hathaway’s “husband”), this is a perfect example of writer/director Nancy Meyers not having a clue about modern businesses. With Renee Russo as a girlfriend character for Bobby D, tiresomely insisting all the while that she is old. (PM)

Star“The Wedding Ringer”

The Wedding Ringer
The Wedding Ringer
Photo credit: Sony Pictures Releasing

Comedian Kevin Hart (yes, him again) started 2015 on the wrong foot, with this hopelessly hackneyed comedy. Hart stars as a professional Best-Man-for-Hire, for grooms who don’t have enough friends of their own – but his motormouth-high-pitched schtick only works if he has something funny to do. This is a laugh-free trod through a barren wasteland of failed jokes and contrived situations that is a disaster from the opening credits. “The Wedding Ringer” was a Wedding Stinker. (SW)

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