The H8est: The Worst Films of 2021 We Wish We Could Unwatch
Dec 30, 2021   •   Mikhail Lecaros
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Dec 30, 2021   •   Mikhail Lecaros
Yesterday, we took on the Best Movies of 2021, now let’s dive into the Worst Films that 2021 had to offer!
While the 1995 adaptation has long been considered one of the better video game adaptations, there’s no denying that film’s inherent cheesiness. Banging soundtrack aside, it was hoped that 2021’s Mortal Kombat would be an improvement all around. What we got instead was a convoluted, overly explained PRELUDE to the titular tournament that the movie arrogantly assumes it will show us in a sequel. Aside from a criminally underutilized Hiroyuki Sanada (The Ring, Avengers Endgame) as Scorpion, the film is packed with terrible performances, led by Deadpool 2’s Lewis Tan as an unbearably dull new character. Maybe it’s for the best that this movie about the Mortal Kombat tournament never actually shows the Mortal Kombat tournament – they’d probably have found a way to screw that up, too.
When Resident Evil first hit the big screen in 2002, it was a slick reimagining that had precious little to do with the classic video games other than the base concept. Despite this, the Milla Jovovich (Ultraviolet) starrer went on to generate five sequels and $1.24 billion in global box office over the next 15 years. Barely five years later, the series has received the reboot treatment, care of Johannes Roberts (47 Meters Down), with marketing hyping the new film’s faithfulness to the original game. They shouldn’t have bothered, as Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is a low-budget affair with a sub-par script that mistakes shoddy fan service for a plot. Bottom line: pretty much everybody involved with this bomb would be well-served erasing this film from their CVs.
There are remakes, and there are reboots. Hell, there are even straight-up rip-offs, but all of these are acceptable if executed with a modicum of respect to both the source material and — if one is lucky — the audience’s intelligence. Unfortunately, no such luck is to be had with Home Sweet Home Alone, which isn’t so much a knock-off, as it is the putrid afterbirth of a much, much better movie. Exacerbating this skid mark of a film is the lead character’s (played by Jojo Rabbit’s Archie Yates) overt unlikability, and the inexplicable decision to give the “thieves” ENTIRELY JUSTIFIABLE reasons for breaking into his house.
Not to be confused with 1992’s animated Tom and Jerry: The Movie, the new film is a live-action/animation hybrid along the lines of The Smurfs and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Presented as an origin story that has the famed cat and mouse duo up to old tricks in a posh New York hotel, while Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass, Carrie) tries to keep the peace.
Devoid of charm and utterly pedestrian in its sanitized execution, Tom and Jerry makes the same mistake as the lesser Transformers movies in assuming that anyone watching cares about the human characters. An utter and complete waste of time, you’d be better off looking up classic Tom and Jerry shorts on YouTube.
One would think that a Pierce Brosnan (Goldeneye, The Thomas Crown Affair)-starring heist film from director Renny Harlin (Cliffhanger, Die Hard 2) would be a slam dunk, but — apparently — one would be wrong. Not to be confused with the 1961 film (starring Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe) of the same name, this film has the former 007 as a professional thief chasing the score of a lifetime is wasted. Along for the ride are the likes of Jamie Chung (Sucker Punch, The Hangover Part II), Nick Cannon (Drumline), and Tim Roth (The Incredible Hulk, The Usual Suspects), who help make up a kind of poor man’s version of Ocean’s 11 that make Steven Seagal’s direct-to-video/streaming output look look almost competent. Once you’re done, you’ll mourn the hour and half that you will never, ever, get back.
Promoted as a musical drama, Australian singer-songwriter Sia’s directorial debut is a film that elicits laughter in all the wrong places for its ineptitude in conveying even the simplest human emotions. Nominated for four Razzies (including Worst Actress, Worst Supporting Actress, and Worst Director), this story of a former drug dealer (Kate Hudson, Almost Famous) and her autistic half-sister tries to present a profound message about the power of love and acceptance in adversity, but ultimately only succeeds in delivering a thoroughly confounding film that fails at being either musical or a drama.
For some reason, 2021 saw a slew of films about hot young female assassins being instructed by elder veterans (The Protegé, with Maggie Q and Michael Keaton; Kate, with Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Woody Harrelson), and Vanquish was…one of them. The movie stars Ruby Rose (John Wick: Chapter 2) as the homicidal ingenue, who is tasked by former cop Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight, Unforgiven) to retrieve bags of money in exchange for her daughter’s life. A number of extended fight scenes ensue, each more ridiculous than the last, culminating in a third-act twist that isn’t really all that twisty. For her part, Rose looks and moves great, but she and Freeman definitely deserved better.
It’s probably a bit of a cheat to lump these three together, but seeing as Netflix was responsible for unleashing them all on our collective eyeballs, it’s entirely justified. First up, Red Notice, which managed the impressive trick of stripping Gal Gadot, Ryan Reynolds, and the Rock of any and all charm they may have had individually to place them in a cookie-cutter plot with “twists” a blind man could see from a mile away with his eyes closed, while facing the wrong direction on a dark night.
He’s All That is a reimagining of the 1999 teen take on Pygmalion, with Cobra Kai’s Tanner Buchanan taking on the social outcast role made famous by Rachael Leigh Cook (Josie and the Pussycats). Sadly, the gender-swapped title reflects the extent of the filmmakers’ wit, as nothing that made its way to the screen warrants so much as a chuckle. One would imagine that the social media influencer culture added would be ripe for satire, but the film fails to do anything interesting with the notion. Also, the painful attempts to integrate cameos from original cast members Cook and Matthew Lillard (Scooby-Doo) are more embarrassing than anything else.
Finally, we have Diana: The Musical, a stage play that could have served as a whimsical counterpoint to Spencer, the Kristen Stewart film currently drawing rave reviews. With its official opening being canceled due to the ongoing pandemic, Diana was filmed and debuted on Netflix, clearly hoping for a reception similar to that of Hamilton on Disney Plus last year. The show rears its ill-advised head from the opening number and doesn’t pause for breath (or good taste) until the final frame. Speaking as someone who watches bad movies for fun, and knowing how beloved Princess Diana was and continues to be, one genuinely fears for the well-being of everyone who had a hand in creating this trainwreck.
What 2021 movie do you wish you could unsee? Tell us about it in the comments.
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