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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This misogynistic, hackneyed and mind-numbingly dull movie has taken the I out of AI.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most thrillers take a few liberties with the plot to tie up loose ends. But Survivor features so many implausible moments it becomes ridiculous.
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.
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