MaryAnn Johanson July 14, 2010
Editor’s Note: We gave two writers a shot at this list, and they both came up with the same “worst” film of 2010. The good news: you can now safely avoid that film!
Unless something really dramatic happens this autumn, 2010 could well go down as one of the most blah years for movies in recent memory — maybe in forever. (We think it’s safe to assume that August will be as blah as always, so we’re skipping right over it.) This year has been littered with tedious sequels and unnecessary retreads … even the supposedly “original” movies feel like we’ve seen them all before.
But even in a blah year, some movies stand out as uniquely terrible. With the year half over, here are the very worst of what the multiplex has had to offer us so far:
5. Grown Ups: Even grading on the Adam Sandler scale, where cruel jokes and general mean-spiritedness are par for the course, this turkey came with all the trimmings: halfhearted performances, lazy scripting, and they-just-didn’t-give-a-fudge plotting (or should that be “plodding”?). If Sandler thought we’d get a kick out of watching him and his besties lounging around trading juvenile insults, he was wrong.
4. I Am Love: Oh, sure, it looks gorgeous, and Tilda Swinton is a goddess in it, and it’s in Italian — with subtitles and everything! — so it may fool you into thinking it’s Important and Meaningful. But unless you think women should be punished for daring to have any kind of life beyond wifely and motherly devotion, and should be happy to accept punishment for transgressing those boundaries, stay away. Beautiful misogyny is still ugly.
3. The Human Centipede: You’d be forgiven, after seeing this revoltingly pointless and casually horrific film, for assuming that Dutch filmmaker Tom Six finds the notion of Nazi-esque human experimentation sorta, you know, intriguing. Or maybe he actually does.
2. Sex and the City 2: It’s like a nightmare of wealthy white Western privilege come to life — with cocktails! Later, there will be karaoke, dancing, and bitching about how life simply isn’t good enough no matter how rich your husband is or how perfect your nanny can be. How these women cope with the awfulness of their lives is anyone’s guess.
And the very worst movie of 2010 so far:
1. The Last Airbender: If M. Night Shyamalan had deliberately set out to make a movie that would set the RiffTrax guys a-drool with anticipation, he couldn’t have done better than he actually did. Cardboard acting, cheap-looking CGI, and nausea-inducing 3-D … all in aid of a hero’s journey that’s more like a forced march through flimsy mythic nonsense. It’s instantly legendary in its epic vapidness.
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