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Cinema

The 25 worst films of 2017 released in Hong Kong, from The Founding of an Army to The Emoji Movie

This year was filled with many highs in the world of cinema, but there were certainly a number of lows. We’ve drawn up a list of the worst films of the last 12 months – see which one came out on top … or should we say last?

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 December, 2017, 10:18am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 December, 2017, 7:45pm

Think it’s tough to sit through a bad film? Well, it’s even worse to have to think back about bad films in detail and write meaningfully about them. From the nearly 300 films that the Post critics have had the fortune/misfortune to review in 2017 (up until December 7), these are the 25 absolute worst. It hurt our brains all over again just to compile this list.

25. The Circle

This slapdash thriller takes aim at some pertinent targets – companies who secretly collect personal data to do bad things. But it’s so badly made that its attempts at social commentary fall flat. Read the full review

24. The Founding of an Army

Directed by Hong Kong’s Andrew Lau, the third act in this state-sanctioned film trilogy on Chinese Communist Party history is a thriller executed without much human touch. Read the full review

23. 10,000 Miles

Sports films are almost always going to be full of clichés but, even then, this one is so flooded with them it derails what is otherwise a gorgeously shot film with plenty of picturesque locations. Read the full review

22. The Snowman

This bleak slice of Nordic murder and misery begins well but crumbles towards the middle, before plodding to the end, where the detective slowly figures out what we have suspected for an hour. Read the full review

21. Husband Killers

A revolting male fantasy disguised as a women-empowering revenge thriller, this Hong Kong exploitation film is so misconceived it’ll leave an awful taste in the mouth for most viewers. Read the full review

20. White Lily

Japanese studio Nikkatsu’s successful run of “roman porno” reboots stumbles with this offering by Ring director Hideo Nakata, a leery and unimaginative tale of infatuation and jealousy. Read the full review

19. The Bye Bye Man

This horror film doesn’t offer more than a few banging doors to startle viewers. Even the evil spirit is doomed to lurk around in the shadows, out of sight of the audience. Read the full review

18. Members Only

The world of high finance makes an awkward crossover into the realm of soft-core sex romp in this dud, which surrenders to moral clichés and ends on an embarrassing note of narrative incompetence. Read the full review

17. Renegades

Save for some impressive underwater photography and a nice cameo from J.K. Simmons, this military heist thriller from producer and co-writer Luc Besson proves less enjoyable than a week at boot camp. Read the full review

16. Sky Hunter

While it mixes jingoism with romance and camaraderie in the hope of recapturing Wolf Warrior 2 ’s success, Sky Hunter struggles to take flight. Actress Fan Bingbing does get to fly a helicopter, however. Read the full review

15. Fifty Shades Darker

This film takes itself far too seriously to warrant any ironic attention, yet is neither sexy nor sleazy enough to be genuinely titillating. Read the full review | Read our interview with director James Foley

14. The Mummy

Universal Pictures has planned to launch a series based on its classic movie monsters, but not even Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe could save this lifeless abomination of an opener. Read the full review

13. Wonder

The young protagonist with facial disfigurements is having it easy in this wretched adaptation, which trivialises the physical, mental and financial hardships faced by many others living with disability. Read the full review

12. Overdrive

In this Fast and Furious knock-off, the parade of vintage classics and picturesque French locations easily outshines the half-baked plot, poorly executed action and bland pretty-boy leads. Read the full review

11. The Space Between Us

This young adult film pursues its flimsy lovers-on-the-run premise, complete with sci-fi elements and a terminal illness, with a disregard for logic or plausibility that borders on the insulting. Read the full review

10. The Only Living Boy in New York

Contemporary US indie films are generally introspective affairs, but few spend as much time gazing at their own navels as this lifeless New York story, which focuses on how difficult it is to be wealthy. Read the full review

9. Memoirs of a Murderer

With no characters to root for, and a plot insistent on wrong-footing its audience at the expense of anything approaching plausibility, this forgettable Japanese film proves a colossal waste of talent. Read the full review

8. I.T.

Recent years have seen Pierce Brosnan emulate Liam Neeson, playing ageing heroes driven to violence, but this unintentionally hilarious thriller is not the career reboot he may have hoped for. Read the full review

7. Stratton

Dreadful acting and ropy action sequences are likely to doom this thriller to well-deserved obscurity. It even manages to draw a hammy performance out of venerable Shakespearean actor Derek Jacobi. Read the full review

6. The Big Day

Rather than observing events as they occur, this documentary forces its principals into agonising, staged interactions that completely undermine its own authenticity. It’s shameless exploitation. Read the full review

5. Rough Night

This risible film shows that lowbrow comedies starring women can be as idiotic as those starring men. The mainly female cast look like they’re having a lot more fun than the audience will have watching them. Read the full review

4. Real

Ambitious, misguided and altogether lacking in a coherent vision, this star vehicle featuring Kim Soo-hyun is the first feature directed by South Korean Lee Sa-rang. Judging by the results here, it could be his last. Read the full review

3. The Emoji Movie

Films which construct storylines around inanimate objects can work. But that’s not the case with this disastrous attempt to cash in on the ubiquity of emojis. Read the full review | Read our interview with voice actor T.J. Miller

2. Cherry Returns

Lazily plotted and abysmally directed, this remarkably underwhelming psycho-thriller challenges plausibility from its opening moments, only to plummet further into relentlessly baffling nonsense. Read the full review

1. Daddy’s Home 2

The worst film of the year is clumsy, dumb and unsavoury. Drawing heavily on Meet the Fockers and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, this comedy sequel is offensive where the former was cheeky, and strained where the latter was hilarious. Read the full review

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