I enjoy watching bad movies as much as the next cinephile. But I’m not the kind of person to spend large amounts of my free time watching movies I don’t think I’ll enjoy. Having said that, I saw a few 2018 films this past year that I disliked. So let’s take a look at three movies from this year that I thought were bad. Keep in mind, none of these movies were awful, let alone horrible. They were simply bad. In alphabetical order:
First, we have a movie you likely haven’t heard of before. I certainly never heard of it before I saw Metacritic list it as one of the worst reviewed movies of the year. Nicholas Cage (in a mostly solid performance) stars as a cop who gets caught up in an out-of-control bank robbery while taking a kid on a police ride along.
The film has several strange choices when it comes to aspects like character development and storytelling. The first of these was the decision to not give Cage’s character a single line of dialogue until about 20 minutes in.
Interestingly enough though, the movie spends a decent chunk of time developing one character who didn’t need developing. This character was the manager of the bank that got robbed. This doesn’t really add anything of value to the movie. He never really interacts with any of the actual main characters. We don’t get to know him enough for him to work as a stand-alone interesting character. He has no character arc or anything like that.
The plot also suffers from some problems. For instance, we get some forced conflict that only exists because of a character acting in a way that makes little sense. The sad part is that these scenes had the potential to be effective if not for the fact that you could tell none of it would actually amount to anything. This sequence of events also treats the audience to a single moment of that sort of over-the-top acting that has given Cage his more negative reputation in recent years. I would say skip this one, but you were probably never going to watch it anyway.
Duck Duck Goose
This past decade has no doubt been a strong one for animated movies. Whether you’re talking about Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks or LEGO, there’s a lot of great stuff out there. Having said that, the Netflix original film Duck Duck Goose is clearly the kind of movie that was mainly created just to entertain young kids for an hour and a half.
And if you have young kids, then sure, you could do worse than this. They’ll enjoy it just fine. But if you’re an adult looking for the next Zootopia or The Lego Batman Movie, well, this ain’t it chief.
The movie stars popular comedian Jim Gaffigan as Peng, a selfish goose who gets separated from his flock and breaks his wing right before he has to fly south for the Winter. So he offers two ducklings the opportunity to walk to the south with him. Why does he do this? I’m not really sure, to be honest. They suggest he’s just using the ducklings, as opposed to helping them get back to their family as he tells him. But there doesn’t seem to be any benefit to him traveling with them.
From here on, we get one of the most clichéd and predictable kids’ movies you’ll see in a long time. You know where this is all going to go. He goes along with them on the trip. They annoy him at first. But eventually, he starts to warm up to them. Then just when they start to get close, they find out that he’s using them and he has to win them back by saving them and blah blah blah.
We also get an uninteresting villain in the form of a cat who chases the ducks all the way to the south just so he can eat them. Why doesn’t he just eat some other birds? I don’t know. I guess he’s just really determined.
The comedy is also pretty juvenile and predictable. I only laughed a couple of times through the whole runtime. And honestly, it’s not that hard to get me to laugh.
The animation is great and some of the emotional moments are okay but it’s not enough to save the movie.
No, not Roma. That was one of the best movies of the year. This is another Spanish-language movie you can watch on Netflix. But this one is a horror/thriller that isn’t scary or thrilling. It’s a very basic horror movie premise. A group of young people go into the woods for a camping trip. And some bad stuff happens.
Early in the movie, we get the first of many scenes where they attempt to be more artistic with the camera work. But it’s just not done well. They sort of just move it around from one character to another as they speak. It just looks sort of messy and shaky.
Later in the movie, two of the male characters assault one of their classmates who also happens to be camping nearby. She’s the titular Romina. And it’s not much of a spoiler to say that she gets revenge by torturing and murdering the whole group of campers. She even goes after a park ranger who had absolutely nothing to do with her attack. Not sure why.
One problem here is that the story is just so typical and uninteresting. Some unlikable young people go out camping and get killed. Even as someone who hasn’t seen a ton of horror movies, I can tell this is a pretty common slasher movie plot.
Another problem is that none of the characters get all that much development. We see them go through the plot points but we don’t get to know a ton about their lives or personalities. They don’t feel like real people.
But once again, the movie just isn’t thrilling or suspenseful. All it really has going to for it is blood and gore. Any attempts to be scary or shocking fall flat. They attempt to build some suspense with a bland score that I swear is largely just made up of someone hitting a single piano key repeatedly.
In a sense, this is the least bad of the three movies here considering the bad elements aren’t quite as bad. But on the other hand, unlike the other two, there’s nothing that really sticks out as good or even decent. It’s a totally forgettable movie.