The 25 worst feature films of 2016, from Alice Through the Looking Glass to Warcraft

In alphabetical order: the films released in Hong Kong this year that had both critics and audiences cringing with disappointment and boredom

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 December, 2016, 9:02am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 December, 2016, 9:02am

Again, we watched them all so you didn’t have to. (We’ve also ranked every notable Hong Kong film released in 2016, which you can read about here.)

Alice Through the Looking Glass

How a director could turn one of literature’s most imaginative works into such a humdrum affair is a mystery. Everything about this film is decidedly second-rate; amazingly, it even gets boring.

Read full review of Alice Through the Looking Glass

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

Irritating characters, little semblance of a plot, weak gags and subpar performances in front of and behind the cameras result in a film that doesn’t even have enough going on to interest a five-year-old.

Read full review of The Road Chip

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

As a superhero flick, it’s shockingly joyless and overlong, with the two iconic crime-fighters presented as angry, cranky, easily manipulated men in tights.

Read full review of Batman v Superman

The Captive

Filmmakers should not shy away from making films about difficult subjects like child abuse, but Atom Egoyan’s sole intent is to emotionally humiliate his characters.

Read full review of The Captive

A Chinese Odyssey Part Three

It’d be very hard to think of a more pointless reboot than this Jeff Lau sequel, a mess of a film that relies on its title to shamelessly feign connection to his own classic two-parter from 1995.

Read full review of A Chinese Odyssey

Criminal

It is ironic that Criminal – which features a maverick neuroscientist character and spins its nutty story around a pioneering brain operation – should prove to be such a brainless genre exercise.

Read full review of Criminal

Dirty Grandpa

Keen to follow the Judd Apatow formula – crude gags plus big-hearted sentiment – Dirty Grandpa winds up losing the courage of its gross-out convictions. Offensive in all the wrong ways.

Read full review of Dirty Grandpa

Erased

Most time-travel movies have a method to their madness; this one has only madness. There’s potentially a far better film in here somewhere – if its illogical twists could be sorted out, or erased.

Read full review of Erased

Fifty Shades of Black

As if the film based on E.L. James’ novel wasn’t unintentionally hilarious enough already, this gratingly unfunny sex comedy sinks to new depths of lowbrow depravity in the search for a cheap laugh.

Read full review of Fifty Shades of Black

Galaxy Turnpike

Not even the continual procession of slimy aliens, egg-laying geriatrics, hallucinating diners or managerial holograms will entice patrons to stop at this woefully unrewarding establishment.

Read full review of Galaxy Turnpike

The Gigolo 2

The movie features a roster of buxom bikini babes, but the supposedly erotic comedy fails to perform: the sex scenes are cautious and stilted, the humour desperate and obvious, and the romance woefully naive.

Read full review of Gigolo 2

Gods of Egypt

This unfortunate film dearly wants to be Thor set in ancient Egypt, but some terrible dialogue ensures that it comes up way short of that unambitious aim.

Read full review of Gods of Egypt

Heartfall Arises

This debut feature by writer-director Ken Wu, while constantly adopting the imagery of a game of chess, displays all the wisdom of a wooden chair.

Read full review of Heartfall Arises

iGirl

This misogynistic, hackneyed and mind-numbingly dull movie has taken the I out of AI.

Read full review of iGirl

Kidnap Ding Ding Don

Since Stephen Chow stopped dishing out his mo lei tau wisdom, Hong Kong comedies mistaking moronic behaviour for humour have been a dime a dozen. This is just that kind of film.

Read full review of Kidnap Ding Ding Don

The Last Race

Not even Joseph Fiennes, as “Flying Scotsman” Eric Liddell, can rise above a procession of incompetent performances and a head-thumpingly bad script.

Read full review of The Last Race

London Has Fallen

This casually xenophobic action thriller would require fantastical conviction in American supremacy, if not a perverted desire for excessive, racist brutality, to be viewed as in any way enjoyable.

Read full review of London Has Fallen

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

A dumbed-down entry in an already dumb genre, this inane sex comedy is neither funny nor outrageous enough to interest any viewer with a brain.

Read full review of Mike and Dave

Mozu the Movie

It’s amazing how little sense this Japanese crime thriller makes, even with its clear-cut battle between boring good cops who never get shot and cartoonish bad guys who can’t resist a maniacal laugh.

Read full review of Mozu

Neko Samurai – A Tropical Adventure

Committed fans of felines and flatulence may find a modicum of entertainment in this threadbare sequel to the hit 2014 movie Neko Samurai. For the rest of us it’s a tedious ordeal.

Read full review of A Tropical Adventure

Regression

Despite its Euro-gothic pretensions, Alejandro Amenabar’s supernatural detective thriller struggles to sell its far-fetched premise and is further hobbled by a slew of unconvincing performances.

Read full review of Regression

Sailor Suit and Machine Gun: Graduation

What could have been a gleefully trigger-happy revival of a forgotten cult classic instead misfires completely, diluting its source material beyond recognition.

Read full review of Sailor Suit

Shut In

How this sorry effort managed to get a worldwide release presents a bigger mystery than its story, which, as is usual for the genre, puts a pretty woman in danger at the hands of a deranged male.

Read full review of Shut In

Survivor

Most thrillers take a few liberties with the plot to tie up loose ends. But Survivor features so many implausible moments it becomes ridiculous.

Read full review of Survivor

Warcraft: The Beginning

It’s impossible to feel for the green-skinned, tusk-sprouting Orcs in a world full of spells, incantations and other magical mumbo-jumbo that even hardcore gamers will struggle to comprehend.

Read full review of Warcraft

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