Bottom 10 Films of 2012

piranha3DD_110. Piranha 3DD

Released a couple of years ago, the first Piranha 3D was a gloriously self-aware splatterfest, well put-together and possessing an equal joke-to-blood ratio. Its inevitable sequel was something we truly didn’t need (like most titles on this list), and ended up being a poor slasher flick with a handful of desperate cameos that try to give it the same humour and bounce the first one had. It’s obvious David Hasselhoff is in a ridiculous amount of debt, otherwise he would’t be subjecting himself to appearances in trite like this.

totalrecall29. Total Recall [2012]

Oh god, the CGI. Towards the end of Len Wiseman’s remake of the 1990 classic, both your attention and capacity for caring about the sketchily-drawn characters begin to wane quickly in an overload of computer-generated awfulness, as the unevenly paced plot skewers itself atop a premise that had a lot of potential but instead opts for dumb action over intelligence.

residentevilretribution18. Resident Evil: Retribution

You think the fight scene in John Carpenter’s They Live is long? Just watch Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez attempt to destroy each other at the end of this, the five-trillionth installment of the reliably obtuse Resident Evil franchise (sorry, saga). Sounds fun, right? Well, if your definition of ‘fun’ includes the deep-seated urge to kill yourself with a rusty spoon, then it’s heap-loads of Grade A enjoyment.

abelincoln27. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

My earlier Film Journal entry for this simply reads, ‘Dogshit’. And there’s no more apt way of putting a period piece that’s all title and no substance; sometimes unbearably ugly, sometimes unforgivably stupid, the only saving grace is Benjamin Walker’s performance as the top hatted philanthropist president. Shame it’s lost in what can only be described as… yep, you got it.

thismeanswar16. This Means War

Woefully bad editing, dead-in-the-water humour and a shockingly lifeless use of the potential vibrancies the genre picture has, earnest performances from its three leads (Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy) are completely lost in this mean-spirited, convoluted ‘rom-com’ – except it’s not romantic, and it’s not comedic, meaning that’s it is literally nothing. Nothing.

chernobyl25. Chernobyl Diaries

At points, inept camerawork and lighting means that it’s virtually impossible to see anything in this formulaic, subtextually offensive horror. It’s a shame the same can’t be said for any other point of the film.

ted14. Ted

So, comedy has come to this. The gags are so broad, they pierce the screen and penetrate your forehead, turning you into a lobeless, sad mannequin of hysterical moronism, splurting laughter at anything you feel you should be laughing at (don’t worry, there are painfully long cues, so no chance of missing them). The same sharp decrease in well-constructed humour that followed Seth McFarlane’s Family Guy has managed to gradually lower expectations of what genuinely funny comedy is, meaning that what appears a potentially side-splitting premise – a grown-man and his animate, foul-mouthed teddy bear – instead opts for easy, crude laughs, and a plot so predictable it utterly sidelines the silliness that should be in its place.

gambit13. Gambit

The talent on display in Gambit is immense: Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, a script by the Coen Brothers, and directed by Michael Hoffman. This will be a high-flying genre pic of style and laughs! We get the opposite; Gambit is a gaping void in the heart of the cinematic universe, ruthlessly sucking air into a black hole where tone, consistency and humour should be. At any given moment during its increasingly tiresome story, you can almost make out each actor periodically darting their eyes to somewhere past the camera, desperately looking for the runner with their paycheck so than clear off and go do something actually worth their time.

ghostspirit12. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

There is no other film in cinematic history that will make you want to cut your eyes out in quite the same way that Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance will. Not that it’s what’s happening onscreen, but rather how it’s happening: there are some truly befuddling choices for lenses, mountingly bizarre camera angles, pauses and ‘special’ effects, including Nic Cage pissing fire. Wonderful.

jackandjill11. Jack and Jill

What’s worse than Adam Sandler?

Two Adam Sandlers. This twin-based ‘comedy’ shows us the ‘comedian’ arriving at the apex of his trajectory, and fulfilling a prophecy he outlined with Grown Ups. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Adam Sandler has finally eaten himself.

Jack and Jill‘s Rotten Tomatoes critic’s consensus states that it ‘is impossible to recommend on any level whatsoever’; I couldn’t have said it better myself. Oh wait, yes I could:


About GaryGreenScreen

Freelance film critic.


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Gary Green: Freelance film critic.

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