Reviewing 2016—The Not So Great. Review by Finn Holland
I’ve lumped these two together because they both have the same problem—they lack ‘wow’ factor. Both contain redeeming qualities in the acting and visuals department, but the compliments stop there. Both products were evidently rushed and suffered deeply for it. Batman v Superman was a sloppy mish-mash, with one decent action scene and virtually no compelling drama. Suicide Squad was cut to hell in the editing room, leaving a product that lacked plot, pacing, and character arcs. It’s all too obvious that DC’s first priority was to make a product to be consumed, not savoured.
With each passing year two things become increasing obvious: Lord of the Rings is about the only full-on fantasy series worth watching (I know, Harry Potter is great, but I’m talking about hard-core fantasy—like bloody Dungeons and Dragons) and that video games just do not translate to the screen at all. Warcraft cements both of these things. The effects are laughable for the majority of the movie, with the exception of several of the Orcs, and the human characters are all poorly written with equally bad acting to round it all off. Sadly, even though I saw this on opening day in a near empty theatre, it made a tonne of money in China, so the awkward and abrasive sequel set up at the end will probably go ahead.
This year yielded some truly brilliant animated films. Zootopia was fantastic, Kubo and the Two Strings was poignant, and even Kung Fu Panda 3 was plenty of fun. Enter Angry Birds, a film four years behind the game trend and aimed at children under five. The animation is nauseatingly bright and epileptic to keep children still for ninety minutes, but pacifiers belong in the aisle of the supermarket where I hopefully won’t end up for another decade or so, not in the cinema. The humour is also awful. Sexual comedy is great, but not in a kids film. When Josh Gad’s character suggested they solve the egg crisis by “getting busssssssyyyyyy” with the ladies I didn’t so much chuckle as gag. Also I swear they suggest Sean Penn’s character Terrence is a serial killer and murderer of women. Watch it and tell me I’m wrong.
In the category of ‘biggest disappointments’ there’s a tie between The BFG and Jason Bourne. Both left a lot to be desired and the mediocrity was heartbreaking. In the ‘our fears were confirmed’ category is Ghostbusters, which committed the cardinal sin of being brutally unfunny. Not an awful film by any measure, and one that could have worked had a little more thought and effort been put in. Lastly, in the ‘I forgot that came out in 2016’ category is The Huntsman: Winters War. Yeah, I reviewed this and I can’t even remember what I said about it.
Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad
Now admittedly, unlike the best films, I did not seek out bad movies this year. Still, I did not take into account any external factors (hype, trailers, casting) when weighing the merits of the film. I just straight up didn’t like them.