We've looked at the very best of 2018, but now it's time to cast our minds back the lowest of the low, the worst movies of 2018 - the ones that not only tested my patience but my wellbeing. That being said, as I mentioned in my other list, there haven't been a significant number of truly terrible flicks - just a large number of disappointing ones. Nevertheless this list is chocked full of the very bottom tier movies of 2018, and as we work our way towards the top of the list there are some real stinkers.
15. Pacific Rim : Uprising
This robotic smash n' bash fiesta is shackled by a massively un-engaging premise. Combining the clunky metal action of the Transformers series with the campy colours and corny catchphrases of Power Rangers, Pacific Rim: Uprising will probably appeal most to those who enjoy the Saturday morning cartoon's from which it's inspired. In the final analysis however Pacific Rim: Uprising is just another heavy-handed robot caper to add to the ever growing rusty junkyard pile.
14. Hotel Transylvania 3 : A Monster Vacation
Hotel Transylvania 3 escalates from mildly to immensely annoying in a Frankenstein flash. Whilst animation is definitely suited for Adam Sandler and his friends - the latest monster outing plays like a string of tiresome slapstick shorts as oppose to a progressive storyline. Director Genndy Tartakovsky's portfolio to date consists mainly of cartoon TV shows - notably Samurai Jack and Dexter's Laboratory - explaining the film's un-cinematic and frantic quality, trying to cram Cartoon Network material into a ninety seven minute feature film.
13. A Simple Favour
Twisted to the point of self indulgence, A Simple Favour plays like an overly extravagant and trashy episode of Real Housewives, struggling hard to understand itself. After much success in the comedy scene with Bridesmaids, Spy and The Heat - Paul Feig attempts to step outside his comfort zone and tackle a new type of film. A Simple Favour flounders indecisively between black comedy, erotic thriller and crime drama, unfortunately for Feig his latest film is two frozen margaritas short of a tonal mess. Some parts really work, some don't at all - and the film is thwarted by poor comedic timing.
Tag doesn't tap into our inner child at all, and watching the characters getting hot, sweaty and occasionally bashed is less exhausting than actually sitting through this flick. The concept itself is fairly inventive but it's discouraging to be reminded that comedy films can still be as vulgar and lazy as they use to be - particularly with a cast that should have delivered if not a great time then at the very least an amusing one. Tag - like the game itself - galavants aimlessly, desperately trying to think of its next move.
11. Early Man
Nick Park's cave man caper may be set at the dawn of time but sadly is prehistorically uninspired. Creator of the legendary Wallace and Gromit along with the equally legendary (and academy award winning) Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Early Man fails to live up to the roaring slapstick success of its predecessors. Known for it's irresistibly zany Brit humour - Park fails to find the charm previously established in his works, clumsily - and perhaps surprisingly - falling into the trap of too much toilet humour over sharp one-liners.
10. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Over-stuffed and half-baked - The Crimes of Grindelwald couldn't be any less spellbinding. J.K Rowling's need to service the more hard-core Potterheads takes priority over making a half-decent adventure for wider audiences. She crams in big third act reveals and easter eggs that are sloppy, awkward and occasionally eye roll worthy - unfortunately Rowling is clearly struggling to write straight for the silver screen. The film suffers from feeling completely and utterly aimless - full to the brim of impenetrable sub plots and characters - The Crimes of Grindelwald has too much going on. There is so much content that doesn't make sense, this outing is way more complicated than it needs to be despite the fact that it all feels so inconsequential anyway.
Skyscraper aims high but has just about as much character as a crumbling bungalow. Although it's entirely derivative of Die Hard and Towering Inferno (even down to the european terrorists) that isn't particularly the issue - Skyscraper lacks enough originality and creativity to bridge from the two classic movies from which it's inspired. Obviously Dwayne Johnson movies are either hit or miss, Fast and Furious 8 was quite poor as was Jumanji - despite both of their roaring box office achievements - but San Andreas was great, big, dumb fun similarly to Rampage - released in April. Yet as ridiculous and non sensical as Skyscraper is, it just isn't all that enjoyable.
8. The Leisure Seeker
The Leisure Seeker just about meets the mark of its elderly demographic, however it suffers badly from ageing wooden performances and - much like the faithful RV it follows - a rickety delivery. It seems almost impossible to imagine the all conquering Helen Mirren, Best Actress Oscar winner for the imperious Queen Elizabeth II back in 2006, in such a lacklustre role. The Leisure Seeker's journey is as wayward as Mirren's shockingly inadequate southern accent. Her performance offers little character exposition; although Donald Sutherland's performance is a tad more nuanced the two acting veterans fail to pump enough fuel into this rusty road trip flick.
7. Bohemian Rhapsody
This sluggish Queen biopic isn't any kind of magic. Even though Rami Malek is somebody to love as Freddie Mercury - Bohemian Rhapsody is a watered down, less than mediocre music flick that glazes over the trauma and struggles the band's leading man endured. Freddie's story is told at a ridiculously elementary level with no new insight into the hardship of his life. It's almost like Bohemian Rhapsody reads as a transcript of facts from Wikipedia, lacking any sense of grit and subtlety. The scenes between the band members feel corny and bogus and Freddie's sexuality is dealt with very heavy-handedly, in a black and white way that overlooks any nuance or complexity.
Venom, like the psychotic symbiote itself, is a dark, sticky mess. Sony's flawed Jeckle and Hyde style romp lacks an engaging hero at its centre with Tom Hardy delivering a laughably feeble and highly irritating performance. Eddie Brock staggers across the screen, mumbling aggravating pieces of dialogue and failing to hold himself together. Hardy is awfully miscast and brings nothing to the human side of Eddie, although that being said his head chomping alter-ego Venom really is a barrel of laughs. Where's that dancing emo Peter Parker, he's a damn sight better than all of this...
5. The Meg
It may come as no surprise that this uninspired, sloppy shark movie is a Megala-dud. Obviously The Meg knows that it isn't the next Jaws, but whatever it was thinking it ends up more of a seaside schlep then a prehistoric predator pursuit. The film is met by two clashing tones - one trying to keep it grounded and serious with the other dragging it into nonsensical Sharknado territory. The bottom line is that The Meg is a stupid and unfulfilling film but it takes around three quarters of the run time to realise so. Despite the trailers promoting this summer movie with the particularly punny caption "Chomp on this" - The Meg fails to acknowledge its sheer campiness in the way I thought it would.
4. The Cloverfield Paradox
The Cloverfield Paradox is a mystery of its own. Delayed a year with no director, cast, plot synopsis and not even a title attached to the project - the working title 'Cloverfield 3' was rumoured to bridge the gap between the previous two seemingly unattached outings. Announced for release in April this past year, Cloverfield 3 was finally given an official release date - and nothing else.
Then Netflix released a thirty second clip titled The Cloverfield Paradox, announcing the film would be available on Netflix after the super bowl that very night - and the rest is history. Paramount's estranged, reality bending Cloverfield spin off is a flawed and silly space thriller that falls victim to all the worst Sci-fi movie conventions. Here we simply have a crummy episode of Black Mirror that scrapes the very bottom of the barrel.
3. The Spy Who Dumped Me
Playing like a parody of previously spoofed spy flicks, The Spy Who Dumped Me is painfully unfunny as it is un-resourceful. Spy films are growing in popularity once again, with the release of Mission: Impossible - Fallout during the summer, along with various other comedic takes on the world of secret agents to counter the more serious stuff. The problem with The Spy Who Dumped Me, however, is that there are not only better spy films out there but also better parodies than this awkward romp. Boasting one of the worst scripts of the entire year, The Spy Who Dumped Me is incompetent and utterly cringeworthy.
2. I Feel Pretty
Amy Schumer's plus sized picture has its heart in the right place but over emphasises what it means to be of a bigger build. I Feel Pretty attempts to recreate the vibe of the frequently referenced 1988 classic Big, but lacks the cinema magic and the scriptwriting ability to do so. Sadly the writers give us no common ground between plus size and size zero - the film hints at portraying how bigger women are treated in society, yet here we see anyone with a fuller frame depicted as clumsy, frumpy, embarrassing and incapable - but at the other end of the spectrum skinny girls are presented as fashionable and glamorous but rude and spiteful. I would be wrong in saying the film isn't well intentioned, however I Feel Pretty is really - ironically - rather shallow.
1. The Predator
With guts, blood and mangled bodies - The Predator is shambolic in every sense of the word. If you try hard enough and imagine everything that could be wrong with a film then The Predator has the lot. Aside the fact that this slapdash - dare I say - "caper" is completely devoid of any thrill, fun or common sense, Shane Black's trademark wise crack humour just does not blend with this silly sci-fi material. It feels as if the film has been butchered by a giant cleaver - revealing what is by a long shot the director's worst work.
There's a particular scene towards the middle act where Olivia Munn's character pulls up Sterling K. Brown for labelling the alien species "Predator" - stating how "Predators kill their prey to survive, this is a sport's hunter". A Predator film that lessens the impact of the Predator is certainly no friend of yours. When things genuinely seem like they can't get worse, The Predator ridiculously sets up a sequel - I was just hoping, praying, begging on my hands an knees that a Xenomorph would show up, slaughter everyone and then at least the film would be over.