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Well, they can’t all be gems, and as 2018 dawns, it’s time to look back at those cinematic misfires that disappointed, bored, and enraged us in 2017. So sharpen your Hidden Blade, and recite The Gunslinger’s Creed, as Film and TV Editor DAVID O’CONNELL takes aim at the worst last year had to offer.

Dishonorable Mention – King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

This fantasy film train wreck was a muddleheaded shot at meshing a woefully incompatible style and subject matter together. Director Guy Ritchie’s attempt to plaster over that disastrous mistake with a lazy grab-bag of fantasy pastiches, just compounds the problem. The result is by any critically objective means, awful, but there is so much fun to be had just through the sheer shadenfreude that it’s hard for me to hate this film.

10. The Snowman

A Nordic noir that manages to somehow be obvious, confusing, and overly-convoluted all at the same time. This sloppy reworking of Jo Nesbø’s 2007 best seller by the director of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Let The Right One In is a surprising dud of a film given the talent involved.

9. The Dark Tower

An attempt to condense the dense Stephen King series of novels into one film, that would act both as a retelling of the original tale, and as a sequel to the series (due to the cyclical nature of the worlds). This overly ambitious project ends up a complete mess that angered fans, and bored newcomers.

8. A Few Less Men

When the title sequence is the most innovative and hilarious piece of your film, then you are certainly in trouble. This follow-up to the 2011 Australian comedy A Few Best Men, has little interesting to say, and none of it is funny.

7. The Mountain Between Us

An unconvincing survival story of a couple stranded in a plane crash, turns into an unconvincing romance with what might be one of the worst and most comically mistimed sex scenes of all time. If it wasn’t for Thor: Ragnarok this would have been a terrible year for Idris Elba (The Dark Tower). A mere mountain is not a sufficiently large enough geological feature to put between us and this film.

6. Assassin’s Creed

A confusing script, limp action, and terrible acting combine to make this flop of an action franchise boring. As fans of the games know, the future storyline is merely something to be endured till you can climb back into the Animus and go do the cool historical stuff. So why make it the focus of the film?

5. A Dog’s Purpose

Americana and canine sentimentality all cobbled together into one lazy and uninspired patchwork script. There were moments when I thought I was watching a made for TV Disney film from the 70s, or a Leave It To Beaver episode from the 50s. Either way, it had me wishing for a TV remote….. and a cat.

4. CHiPS

A passion project that produced a baffling action comedy with little sense of what it actually wants to convey. It possibly may have offended everyone that saw it, and I’m not completely sure that wasn’t its intent.

3. Fifty Shades Darker

This may be low hanging fruit, but it’s still a valid target. I’m not trying to kink shame housewives, but an awful script, a creepy romantic relationship, bored actors and tepid sex creates a dull movie that is a worthy inclusion in this list. Fifty Shades Darker may not have the worst sex scene of the year (The Mountain Between Us – you know what you did), but erotica should at least be vaguely erotic. Seriously, the hint is in the title.

2. Transformers: The Last Knight

In truth, the Transformers films have long been soft porn car commercials punctuated by explosions and great actors debasing themselves for an enormous pay cheque. So Transformers: The Last Knight really comes as no surprise, but rather just another in a long line of continuing disappointments.

1. Collateral Beauty

A group of work mates decide to “gaslight” their boss (and supposed friend) to convince him he’s been driven insane by the death of his child, and sell the company he founded… for his own good !!!? Sure, as shareholders they’ll make a tidy profit from the sale, but Collateral Beauty goes out of it’s way to explain this is motivated by love. To do this, they hire three actors to play the concepts that he’s been writing letters to – Time, Death, Love. From this muddled concept Collateral Beauty manages to sink to new depths of mawkishness and stupidity, till you want to scream your frustration at the screen. Full disclosure, the audience actually did this.

Watch only if you are an extreme masochist, or wishing to inspire some sort of beserker rage for an upcoming MMA cage match.

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