Looking back, 2016 wasn't a complete mess of a year for movies. Many great award-contenders were released, Disney shattered a major record, there were a quite a few hits in the horror genre, the list goes on. That said, there were definitely quite a few disappointments as well, particularly during the summer season. Granted, that comes with the territory each year, but 2016 had a staggering number of duds.
It's hard to ignore the negatives that accompanied the positives in 2016, so with just a few days left before 2017 kicks off, we've gathered the 10 most disappointing movies of the year. Keep in mind that these aren't listed in any particular order, but they're the ones that had us shaking our heads with frustration most often due to untapped potential.
Independence Day: Resurgence
Comedies aren't the only types of movies that usually don't benefit from being given a sequel a decade or more later. Unlike its 1996 predecessor, Independence Day: Resurgence lacked a compelling story and characters to care about. Oh sure, it was great to see some familiar faces back, but most of the them were gone by the end, and the new folks just weren't worth caring about. We weren't expecting Independence Day: Resurgence to be a cinematic masterpiece worthy of Oscar buzz, but sadly, the overabundance of explosions and meaningful plot elements meant that it came out more stupid than enjoyable.
It was hoped that Suicide Squad would fare better than its predecessor, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, in terms of critical reaction, but sadly, it earned practically the same amount of negative reviews. While many of Suicide Squad's characters were enjoyable to watch (Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn being among the most frequently mentioned), the plot was an overall mess, though whether that was more due to the script only being written in six weeks or the later reshoots is debatable. Even with the added humor, Suicide Squad's frantic editing and other issues didn't save it from being the perfect definition of style over substance. But hey, at least we're getting Gotham City Sirens because of it.
If ever there was a movie that proved that comedy sequels rarely work out, it was Zoolander 2. While the first Zoolander still has lines and gags that fans are quoting 15 years later, the sequel was a forgettable flick that rehashed a lot of the same territory to almost painful levels. It's fine to reference a few funny moments from the past, but a comedy sequel still needs to stand on its own with new material. It felt like Zoolander 2 was desperate to cash in on that nostalgia appeal, and few new Joes that were sprinkled in just didn't land. Zoolander 2 also showed why it's a bad idea to throw in too many celebrity cameos.
Movies based on video games are notorious from being subpar or straight-up awful, and Warcraft didn't break that trend. While longtime fans of the fantasy computer game seemed to enjoy how it adapted the world of Azeroth, the movie failed to impress most casual viewers. Even though Warcraft had a lot of great visuals, some of the common complaints directed toward it included its characters being uninteresting, the plot making barely any sense and looking like a pale imitation of Game of Thrones. All this being said, because Warcraft was financially successful in China, there's still a chance Warcraft 2 might be made, so hopefully the sequel can learn from these many mistakes.
Much like 10 Cloverfield Lane, Blair Witch was a movie that the public didn't know was coming until months before it was released, as it was originally just known as The Woods. However, like 2000's Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, Blair Witch failed to capture the magic of the 1999 original. The common consensus is that it was a boring retread of The Blair Witch Project, and even worse, it provided little decent frights for the horror fans out there. Like with Zoolander 2, this is another movie that was primarily trying to replicate the exact success of its predecessor, and it wouldn't be surprising if we had to wait longer than 16 years to revisit this world again.
The Legend of Tarzan
Tarzan is a literary character so ingrained in pop culture that it's inevitable he'll be revisited every so often. The Legend of Tarzan, though, is one of the weaker adaptations. Even with the latest visual effects, director David Yates at the helm and staying relatively true to the the spirit of the original stories, the blockbuster underperformed, both critically and commercially. The action didn't help with its slow pace and generic plot, and while we can't call The Legend of Tarzan a train wreck, it certainly didn't live up to its potential. Given all the Tarzan movies that have come before, maybe it's best if the Lord of the Apes be retired from cinematic exploration permanently.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is the latest movie on Tom Cruise's resume, and since its 2012 predecessor did okay for itself, it was hoped that the sequel would provide moviegoers with similar thrills and then some. Well, that didn't happen. Cruise may still be marketable as an action hero, but Never Go Back was anything but exceptional, telling a mediocre story and bring nothing new to the table to make the sequel stand out. Its supporting stars, namely Cobie Smulders, felt wasted. Given how Cruise has plenty of other action content on the way, plus how neither of the Jack Reacher movies have made big splashes, this series is better off not receiving a third entry.
Alice Through The Looking Glass
2010's Alice in Wonderland wasn't a critical hit, but since it made over $1 billion in theaters, it was inevitable Disney would release a sequel. Six years later, Alice Through the Looking Glass not only earned worse reviews, but it didn't make anywhere near as much money. Even though it retained the same visual vibrancy that threatens to burn your eyes out, this sequel was unnecessary to the point that it felt obnoxious. For a movie that returned to a land filled with wonder, there wasn't anything wonderful about Through The Looking Glass, and Disney would be wise to not return to this "enchanted" land a third time.
1959's Ben-Hur is such a cinema classic that's it's baffling why anyone would ever want to make another adaptation of the 1880 novel. Nevertheless, 57 years later, the new Ben-Hur remake arrived, but there just wasn't enough to make this movie stand out on its own. Sure it featured some talented actors and a lot of money was poured into making this production look good, but the story itself was nowhere near as exciting as its predecessor, with the subpar dialogue being the main problem. This was yet another example of prioritizing visuals over giving audiences something meaningful, and the end result was this Ben-Hur coming off as a forgettable affair. Stick to the 1959 version.
Nine years after The Bourne Ultimatum, many people were looking forward to seeing Jason Bourne on the big screen again, especially since Aaron Cross in 2012's The Bourne Legacy just didn't measure up as an interesting protagonist. As an action movie, Jason Bourne is okay, but as the fifth movie in this series, it hit a lot of the same beats as the previous entries. That's fine to a degree, but the movie covered so much familiar territory that it didn't bring anything particularly unique to the table, thus coming off as generic. We're still hoping Bourne 6 will be made, but only because Jason Bourne's adventures deserves a more fitting conclusion.
Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
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