High Frame Reviews: Most Disappointing Films Of 2015

I tend to avoid bad films. With so many amazing films out there and limited hours in a day, I avoid the Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Taken 3’s of this world. So the below list is made up of films that could have been winners but just failed to reach the bar they could have, falling short and disappointing audiences. 

5. Scouts Guide To The Apocalypse I was quite excited for Scouts Guide To The Apocalypse. Comedy horror has frequently been a winning combination and with previous undead efforts such as Zombieland and Shaun Of The Dead I was ready to laugh. Unfortunately after a first act which set up generic stereotypes but frequent chortling, the film fell apart into little more than two dimensional characters tracking through D grade comedy cliques. The nerd, the jock, the unusual guidance counsellor, the stripper with the heart of gold. This was more Zombie Strippers than Zombieland and just plays on the base instincts of young adults and any others still immature enough to equate flatulence and nudity with entertainment. Tye Sheridan and Blake Anderson deserve better. 

5. Scouts Guide To The Apocalypse
I was quite excited for Scouts Guide To The Apocalypse. Comedy horror has frequently been a winning combination and with previous undead efforts such as Zombieland and Shaun Of The Dead I was ready to laugh. Unfortunately after a first act which set up generic stereotypes but frequent chortling, the film fell apart into little more than two dimensional characters tracking through D grade comedy cliques. The nerd, the jock, the unusual guidance counsellor, the stripper with the heart of gold. This was more Zombie Strippers than Zombieland and just plays on the base instincts of young adults and any others still immature enough to equate flatulence and nudity with entertainment. Tye Sheridan and Blake Anderson deserve better. 

4. Hunger Games - Mockingjay Part 2 Episode 4 The Finale If you split a novel into two films you need to ensure each part still contains all the elements of a stand alone story. Hunger Games falls down for more reasons than just its stunted plot, but there was always going to be fatigue and cynicism attached to the fatigue despite the franchise being a massive success. Jennifer Lawrence is a talented actress, she has shown time and time again she can be engaging, dramatic and hilarious but here she is dragged into melodrama by a script and direction that lacked the vitality of Catching Fire. There was more laughter in the crowd than anything when I endured the film and the few salutes thrown up by diehards in unison with the movie felt more in solidarity, like the band playing as the Titanic went down, than in actual jubilation. A stink pile that hurts the entire series.

4. Hunger Games - Mockingjay Part 2 Episode 4 The Finale
If you split a novel into two films you need to ensure each part still contains all the elements of a stand alone story. Hunger Games falls down for more reasons than just its stunted plot, but there was always going to be fatigue and cynicism attached to the fatigue despite the franchise being a massive success. Jennifer Lawrence is a talented actress, she has shown time and time again she can be engaging, dramatic and hilarious but here she is dragged into melodrama by a script and direction that lacked the vitality of Catching Fire. There was more laughter in the crowd than anything when I endured the film and the few salutes thrown up by diehards in unison with the movie felt more in solidarity, like the band playing as the Titanic went down, than in actual jubilation. A stink pile that hurts the entire series.

3. Absolutely Anything A film has Monty Python reuniting in it, Terry Jones directing and starring a who’s who of British comedy royalty like Eddie Izzard, Joanna Lumley, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Simon Pegg and a special slot for Robin Williams. I expected this was going to be the funniest film of the year and I spent the first two acts of the film clawing at jokes (mainly delivered by Izzard) as the concept of a man with infinite power is used to very limited effect. Rob Riggle is atrocious, Kate Beckinsale is a blank canvas and even Simon Pegg fails to spark again, leading me to question why nobody thought to get Edgar Wright involved to save the trainwreck with some interesting film making. By the predictable end of the film I was ready for it to be over and just found myself truly sad that something I expected to love so much that contained such talented comedians was so atrociously vanilla.

3. Absolutely Anything
A film has Monty Python reuniting in it, Terry Jones directing and starring a who’s who of British comedy royalty like Eddie Izzard, Joanna Lumley, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Simon Pegg and a special slot for Robin Williams. I expected this was going to be the funniest film of the year and I spent the first two acts of the film clawing at jokes (mainly delivered by Izzard) as the concept of a man with infinite power is used to very limited effect. Rob Riggle is atrocious, Kate Beckinsale is a blank canvas and even Simon Pegg fails to spark again, leading me to question why nobody thought to get Edgar Wright involved to save the trainwreck with some interesting film making. By the predictable end of the film I was ready for it to be over and just found myself truly sad that something I expected to love so much that contained such talented comedians was so atrociously vanilla.

2. Fantastic Four The world has taken Fan4stic to court already for its many crimes. I have myself taken time to study studio involvement in superhero films and concluded that a hands off approach seems to get the job done most often. Expectations were high for the film based upon the splendid cast. When Jamie Bell is the weakest member of the cast you have a strong field to play in. Miles Teller, Kate Mara and Michael B Jordan all put in great performances elsewhere but look fatigued and blank surrounded by a colourless landscape and CGI atrocities. A film that can be split in two, the first half is passable as an origins story before it devolves into the fastest race to the credits possible. Was there a villain? Was there any actual tension? Did the conclusion satisfy anyone including the studio? Will we ever see Josh Trank behind the camera again after what can only be described as a horror year for the promising filmmaker. This was the film equivalent of Icarus, great promise and anticipation crashing and burning in a horrendous CGI Grayscale of flames. 

2. Fantastic Four
The world has taken Fan4stic to court already for its many crimes. I have myself taken time to study studio involvement in superhero films and concluded that a hands off approach seems to get the job done most often. Expectations were high for the film based upon the splendid cast. When Jamie Bell is the weakest member of the cast you have a strong field to play in. Miles Teller, Kate Mara and Michael B Jordan all put in great performances elsewhere but look fatigued and blank surrounded by a colourless landscape and CGI atrocities. A film that can be split in two, the first half is passable as an origins story before it devolves into the fastest race to the credits possible. Was there a villain? Was there any actual tension? Did the conclusion satisfy anyone including the studio? Will we ever see Josh Trank behind the camera again after what can only be described as a horror year for the promising filmmaker. This was the film equivalent of Icarus, great promise and anticipation crashing and burning in a horrendous CGI Grayscale of flames. 

1. Pixels Kevin James is the President of the United States Of America. Adam Sandler is the romantic lead. How could Pixels be a flop with a setup like that? The concept was interesting, Peter Dinklage is a class act. Pixels is an eyesore. Homophobic, misogynistic and juvenile, Sandler continues to scrape the bottom of the barrel with other people’s money and seems to still come out fine. This film failed to make back its reported US$110 million dollar cost at the box office in the US but worldwide figures will probably keep the film in the black which is a shame. This film deserves to fail. A single thread joke is stretched out to 100 minutes of drivel. Lazy scriptwriting drives a plot that was written by a 10 year old writing for a 5 year old. The film often feels like they started the cameras rolling before figuring out what was happening and just let the actors yell and fill in the blanks in editing and CGI. I have never been a huge Adam Sandler fan, but this sits at the bottom of the barrel in a career that has more lowlights than anything else. Burn this film at the stake as an example to the entire Sandler army, we don’t need this, we don’t want this and you need to do better. I’m looking at you Nick Swardson and Josh Gad, shape up or you are next on the pyre.

1. Pixels
Kevin James is the President of the United States Of America. Adam Sandler is the romantic lead. How could Pixels be a flop with a setup like that? The concept was interesting, Peter Dinklage is a class act. Pixels is an eyesore. Homophobic, misogynistic and juvenile, Sandler continues to scrape the bottom of the barrel with other people’s money and seems to still come out fine. This film failed to make back its reported US$110 million dollar cost at the box office in the US but worldwide figures will probably keep the film in the black which is a shame. This film deserves to fail. A single thread joke is stretched out to 100 minutes of drivel. Lazy scriptwriting drives a plot that was written by a 10 year old writing for a 5 year old. The film often feels like they started the cameras rolling before figuring out what was happening and just let the actors yell and fill in the blanks in editing and CGI. I have never been a huge Adam Sandler fan, but this sits at the bottom of the barrel in a career that has more lowlights than anything else. Burn this film at the stake as an example to the entire Sandler army, we don’t need this, we don’t want this and you need to do better. I’m looking at you Nick Swardson and Josh Gad, shape up or you are next on the pyre.