Sometimes a great trailer can yield a flop sweat disaster.
Film critics often get a bad rap.
You’re elitist! You hate everything! You don’t care about anything with blood and guts!
There’s a kernel of truth in all of the above. Critics sometimes lack the common touch needed to connect to ticket-buying readers. Some critics, although their numbers are dwindling, don’t appreciate genre work, period.
RELATED: HiT’s 10 Best Films of 2016
One thing remains true for every critic I’ve ever met . We don’t settle into our seats hoping the film we’re about to see is terrible. Who wants to waste two hours just to bang out a snarky review?
Bad movies are the price we pay for seeing so much content for free. So, with that tucked out of the way, here are HiT’s worst films for 2016.
- “Suicide Squad“ – The trailers were nothing less than perfect. Great rock classics. Tons of attitude. Potential galore. And Miss Robbie looked … fetching in her Harley Quinn garb. And then we saw the movie. Clunky, tonally confused and just plain dull, this can’t miss supervillain romp missed by a mile. It belongs in the same conversation as “Green Lantern,” “Catwoman” and the recent “Fantastic Four” reboot. What a waste.
- “Zoolander 2“ – Can we call a moratorium on sequels that gestate for more than a decade? There’s simply no reason to revisit an overrated comedy like “Zoolander,” even if the sequel makes the source material look a thousand times funnier. Part two proved painful in every way a comedy can, and no amount of star power (Stiller! Cruz! Wilson!) could salvage it.
- “Independence Day: Resurgence” – Let’s take a deep breath and remember the 1996 original was pure cheese. Still, it had Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum, bringing their respective charisma to the alien invasion. Back then, the sight of monuments going ka-blooey was downright novel. The sequel gathered most of the old crew and handed them a soggy script and absurd situations. We’ve matured as an audience in the past 20 years. Now, we demand more sophisticated sci-fi like “Arrival,” “The Martian” and “Gravity.” The creative team behind “Resurgence” assumed just the opposite, apparently.
- “Neighbors 2” – It’s easy to write off this dud as one more unnecessary sequel. The story essentially repeated the comic beats of the original with half the enthusiasm and wit. No, what made “Neighbors 2” so dreadful was the politically correct script. It suffocated any attempt Seth Rogen and co. made to generate fresh laughs. Audiences must have sensed this and reacted accordingly. Hard to imagine anyone is talking about a third “Neighbors” film. Phew.
- “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them“ – Turns out the Harry Potter universe isn’t quite the same without the boy wizard himself. This bore, designed to kick off a fresh franchise, may have done the trick, financially speaking. It’s still a slog, with bland lead characters and way too many “creatures” from ye olde CGI tool kit. If “Captain America: Civil War” reminded us how good popcorn cinema can be, “Beasts” is a cautionary tale for modern movie goers.
A personal note: I somehow missed several films that could have made this list – “Dirty Grandpa,” “9 Lives” and “Max Steel.”