You’ve had some of my best. Now it’s time to tip the tree upside down and look at some of the Worst film experiences I’ve suffered this year.
Again, these are exclusively *not* releases from 2018, rather films I have first watched in 2018. I will be delivering some kind of 2018 choices list at some point.
Here we go. Brace yourselves.
10. The Accountant (2017)
I’d love to say that “this really should have been better”, but I don’t think I’d believe those words if I did. Gavin O’Connor has never exactly set my world alight as a director and The Accountant, in which Ben Affleck plays an autistic genius with a particular set of skills, is a bizarre picture. Not bizarre enough to be fun or memorable, rather a two hour slog through a strange, fratricidal conflict in which Affleck is powerfully miscast. Brooding he can do. Autistic… no. He looks like he needs a number two for the entire film.
I have heard the point made that The Accountant does treat the subject of autism with a sensitivity lacking in many mainstream films but I can’t remember the last film which tied that particular difficulty into a world of gun-toting organised crime. A film, I guarantee, that will sound better when someone describes it to you than it actually is.
9. 47 Ronin (2013)
For a film which fuses medieval Japan with Keanu Reeves wielding a sword while fighting gigantic monsters, 47 Ronin is remarkable in how dull it is. Truly remarkable.
So much so, I genuinely can remember almost nothing about it, except that Reeves thankfully found John Wick and made all right with the world soon after.
8. The Holcroft Covenant (1985)
When you think of Michael Caine, you probably conjure up The Italian Job, Alfie, Zulu, maybe The Man Who Would be King, probably The Dark Knight trilogy these days. You almost certainly don’t think of The Holcroft Covenant, the limpest Caine film you’ve never heard of.
What’s amazing is that this tale of Caine’s wealthy businessman who finds out he’s been left an inheritance of Nazi plunder by his Reich-loving father, and becomes embroiled in a sinister conspiracy to control it, comes from a Robert Ludlum novel and is directed by John Frankenheimer, who had made and would go on to make far superior films to this (I’m looking at you, Ronin).
This should be all kinds of pulp silliness but it ends up being dry, featureless espionage, and poorly written at that.
7. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)
Go home and take your valium, Guy Ritchie. Enough is enough.
Though do get hold of Daniel Pemberton’s thumping, jaunty score to this, because it’s belter.
6. Pitch Perfect 3 (2017)
The first one on this list I was genuinely cross about, but truth be told I should have known aca-better.
First Pitch Perfect? Cracking. A real surprise of catchy tunes, witty bon mots and Anna Kendrick rising up as a promising new talent (sadly she’s in two films on this list so far). Pitch Perfect 2? Not as good but oddly enough, I enjoyed it even more, as it pulled the same trick but made it work. What it did, however, was close the story off. We didn’t need a trilogy. Which means, of course, a trilogy is what we get.
Truly, Pitch Perfect 3 makes the first film look like the pinnacle of cinema to date. It is ghastly on almost every level. Avoid like weapons grade plutonium and forget they ever decided to make it, especially if you enjoyed the last two.
Check back in soon for My Cinematic Best of 2018 #5-#1. Some absolute gold to come.