There are two sides to every coin.
I try to avoid crappy movies, because I think filmmakers taking risks and telling interesting stories should get my money, not Adam Sandler. However, sometimes I go to movies I don't want to see with my wife or friends and once in a while, I'm there because of a certain actor or director. Once in a great while, I'm even fooled by a good Rotten Tomatoes score (I'm looking at you, Hunger Games) or a good trailer. Anyway, here are the worst movies I saw this year.
Joe Carnahan, what were you thinking? I've been a Carnahan fan since Narc (2002), and I've basically seen everything he's done since then. My brother and I even had a VHS copy of Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane that we snagged from a Blockbuster for .99. Stretch was just plain bad though. The story of a limo driver with a gambling problem and his fare (Chris Pine) isn't interesting, funny, or sensical. Jessica Alba adds nothing. The lone bright spot in this movie was Jason Manzoukas (Rafi from The League), who was hilarious in his 5 minute part.
I can't say I've never been burned by Liam Neeson...I saw Taken 2 in a theater, and it was the worst $7 I've ever spent. However, Liam Neeson kicking ass at 30,000 feet? I was hyped...and then let down. This makes me less excited for Taken 3. The script was lousy and made no sense, and Neeson didn't get enough opportunities to kick ass. I forgot everything that happened when the credits rolled.
Aside from Joe, which was really fucking good, Nic Cage was in 3 movies this year. Dying of the Light, Left Behind and Rage. These three movies COMBINED have a Rotten Tomatoes score of 21%, Rage being the highest at 14%. It was boring, contrived, cliched and pointless. I hope he got paid a bit for this role, because clearly there was nothing to the script. It actually makes me want to see how bad the other two are. For the record, I didn't really spend money on Rage, I watched it on Netflix and went in expecting what I got...a shit movie wrapped around two glorious Rage Cage freak-outs.
2. The Expendables 3
On paper, Expendables 3 sounds amazing. You have tons of big name movie stars here - Sly Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li (for 5 seconds), Arnold Schwarzenegger, Antonio Banderas, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes...I mean, this cast is an action fan's wet dream. So what did they do? Made in PG-13. PG FUCKING 13. How could you? Obviously, it was cut to invite in a larger audience, but instead, the studio alienated their main audience, and this film did worse than the previous two installments because of that. Sixteen year olds don't know who they hell these guys are. What a wasted opportunity.
1. The Protector 2
There are two scenes from the original Protector which I'll never forget. Tony Jaa running up multiple floors of a restaurant, dispatching bad guys in one camera take, and Jaa taking out 50 guys at the end of the movie on his way to the showdown with the final boss. It was fresh, exhilarating, and I felt like Jaa was about to become a household name in action a la Jackie Chan. Then I saw The Protector 2. I don't think I've ever been as infuriated with a movie as I was with this one. It eschews everything that I loved about the first one. Jaa flies around on wires like he's in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. There is CGI in just about every scene...and it's HORRIBLE...here, check out the video I made about it back in April for a taste, because words really can't do this car wreck justice.
Seriously, fuck that movie.
Honorable mentions: Need for Speed, Sabotage, The Maze Runner, 12 O'Clock Boys & 3 Days to Kill