Torch

The worst movie I’ve ever seen is “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Somehow, every time I checked, there were 40 minutes left in the movie. I judged these categories on that basis. 

Worst Actor: Tyler Perry, “A Madea Family Funeral” 

Unfortunately, I saw this film. This is how I feel for most, if not all, Madea movies. 

Perry’s much too long “Madea” series is finally at an end, but not even that fact was enough for me to enjoy this film. As the 11th installment in the series, it would be nearly impossible for this film to be good. I knew this. Yet, every time I finish one of these films, my brain must forcibly repress the memory of the entire film because every time, I am surprised at what a mess it is. Perry’s performance has lost the energy of the original character--if not even he is invested in the character anymore, how is the viewer supposed to be? As a whole, the movie was flat, the script and jokes were stale and off the mark, and I felt this film was wholly forgettable. 

Worst Actress: Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story” 

Since I can’t put her on this list for the disaster she put the world through with “Ghost in the Shell” (2017). I’m putting her up for her performance in the critically acclaimed Netflix film “Marriage Story.” I wasn’t a huge fan of this film, as I thought the story was unoriginal, the characters unlikeable and the dialogue eye-roll worthy, but I did see some of the worth other critics found in the feature. Although the film did leave me slightly concerned for Adam Driver, who’s back must be aching from holding up the entire film. 

Johansson acts with only two emotions--crying and yelling. Occasionally, to mix it up, she’ll combine them, which is how her performance in “Marriage Story” can be explained. Besides looking sad on screen, her performance here didn’t bring anything to the story. 

Worst Picture: “The Hustle” 

While I originally debated putting “Avengers: Endgame” in this place, as well as “Men in Black: International,” I would have to say my biggest disappoint of the year would have to be “The Hustle,” purely because I went in with absolutely no expectations yet was still somehow disappointed with the film I watched. I’ve enjoyed Anne Hathaway in her past performances, but not even she could save this poorly written and plotted film. It felt way too long, the jokes flat, and left me feeling incredibly bored while I watched. Rebel Wilson and Hathaway may have made a good comedy duo in another film, but neither of them was able to save this film from genuine badness. 

Worst Screenplay: “Men in Black: International” 

I really did want to like “Men in Black: International.” The trailers were exciting and funny, and Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson have incredible chemistry as a comedic duo. And, while the sequels were disappointing, I love the original 1997 “Men in Black.” I saw it opening weekend, which means my hopes were quickly and effectively destroyed with a crowd full of other moviegoers. The well-done casting, set, and special effects kept this film from being the worst picture, but these factors couldn’t the film from its own script. 

While the ending plot twist was vaguely interesting, I didn’t feel invested enough in the characters to really feel the depth of Hemsworth’s emotion after he realized what had happened. Their detour into the desert was boring, disconnected from the plot, and wasted too much time without much character bonding to make up for it. The characters were flat and one-dimensional, and not even their actors could revive the stale script given to them. 

Although my hopes were disappointed with this film, I hope it doesn’t warn off Hollywood from making future films with Hemsworth and Thomspon--just look to “Thor: Ragnarok” (2017) for example instead. 

Worst Supporting Actor: James Corden, “Cats” 

If I could, every single entry on this list would be for “Cats.” I saw this film with a group of friends, and we all completely expected to laugh our way through 110 minutes. Except, when as we sat in the theatre (in a nearly completely auditorium) we were completely silent, shocked even. “Cats” wasn’t even so good it was funny, it was just purely awful. At one point, I began going through my purse and organizing it just for something to do. I counted down the minutes when Taylor Swift was going to come on and then I was disappointed with that too. This movie deserves to win its own special Razzie for just the pure awfulness I paid to see. 

In regards to the actor most deserving of a Razzie, I couldn’t decide. Should it be Idris Elba, who genuinely confuses me by his choice to agree to do this film? Ian McKellen, perhaps, a once-great actor who defended the movie’s creepy and lifelike CGI? 

However, once I started unblocking the film from my memory, the answer became obvious: James Corden. Of course. His over-the-top performance as Bustopher Jones transcended bad CGI to be one of the worst aspects of this movie. I’m almost impressed, but remain mostly nauseous at the memory of Rebel Wilson eating human cockroaches. 

Worst Supporting Actress:  Jennifer Lawrence, “Dark Phoenix”

I had such high hopes for “Dark Phoenix” when I first heard of it. While I’m not a huge fan of the X-Men series, I was familiar enough with the characters and a few of the films to be excited for this new installment, especially with Sophie Turner fresh off her role as Sansa Stark in the final season of “Game of Thrones.” However, as I tuned in to watch, I was quickly disappointed with not only the writing of the plot and dialogue but with the actors as well. 

Lawrence, who has received Academy accolades in the past, did not bring the same award-winning performance to this film. While this film is full of problems and dull moments, I found her scenes to be lacking interest and energy as the stale plot commenced. Reprising her role of Mystique, I couldn’t bring myself to invest into her character at all in this film. Her lack of seemingly genuine emotion and dull energy in this role makes her an excellent contender for the Razzie. 

Worst Director: Simon Kinberg, “Dark Phoenix” 

While Kinberg has had some success with producing films such as “The Martian” (2015) and “Logan” (2017), he wasn’t able to find the same with his directing debut of “Dark Phoenix.” The lowest-grossing X-Men film to date, “Dark Phoenix” was the anti-climactic and disappointing end to a once profitable and entertaining series. Kinberg has owned up to the failure of a movie, citing his creative choices and rough journey to making the film, which at least gives me hope for any future films he directs. However, as is, this film was simply a mess from any angle. I wish Kinberg could have given fans a single great part of the movie to latch onto as they said goodbye to the characters who have graced movie screens for the last two decades, but alas.  

As Disney now owns the X-Men rights, any further adaptations with the characters will now be as a Disney/Marvel product--which may lead to the X-Men franchise integration into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hopefully, we’ll see these characters again so we can enjoy them again.

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of The Torch.

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