While we wait for 2015’s promised treasure trove of films with bated breath, it’s easy to imagine that this is going to be one of the best years of film in recorded history.
Then there are those few movies that seem to have been nefariously placed to ruin all of that. For every ‘Star Wars VII: We’ll Get it Right This Time, Honest’, there is its exact opposite.
These are the films that are poised to suck all of that sweet, sweet box office money right out of your wallet before you realise that you’ve made a terrible mistake…
Mall Cop 2
Our first entry is the unanimous winner in the ‘Why Does this Exist?’ award.
The first Mall Cop wasn’t quite so bad it crossed into that hallowed The Room territory, but wasn’t nearly good enough to provoke any more of a response than a vague ‘meh’ from cinemagoers. The plot was implausible, the love story clichéd; it should’ve quietly dissolved into a stain on the annals of movie history, like ice-cream dropped onto a hot pavement.
Instead, we’re getting a sequel, apparently to answer all of those burning questions we were left with at the end of the last one. Like the fate of Paul’s first Segway, perhaps.
Chances it’ll be terrible: Fairly high. The first Mall Cop elicited a collective shrug. The best this one can hope for is a groan.
Can we stop it?: At this point, it’s best ignored. Sadly, the same goes for Kevin James’ career.
FIFTY SHADES OF GREY
It’s not enough that the original Twilight fan-fiction ‘novel’ (loose term) took the world by storm with its disturbing/forced love story and bizarre turn of phrase (“My inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves.”)
Now we’re getting the big-budget film version, starring Brunette #49 and that guy from Once Upon a Time, who took a role rejected by big name actors for being too bland.
The unsettling themes have already been discussed elsewhere; instead, Fifty Shades of Grey will be defined by disappointment. Fans of the excessive smut from the books will be underwhelmed by how little of it ends up on screen (the film is rated R, not X, which means big limitations). And seeing as how that’s the only real draw card of the entire franchise, what you have is a film based on a book that gained popularity purely through its risqué nature…with all the risqué bits reduced to blurry, candlelit shots in the background.
Plus the trailer is laughable.
Chances it’ll be terrible: Very high, unless the script deviates a ridiculous amount from the book.
Can we stop it?: Of course not. This is the world’s collective punishment for buying so many copies of the stupid book. Bored mothers of the world, you brought this upon us.
THE TRANSPORTER LEGACY
Wikipedia helpfully offers this goldmine of information on the upcoming installment in the Transporter franchise:
‘In France, Frank Martin delivers anything for money.’
That’s right, folks. France.
Jason Statham’s original trilogy might not have had rave reviews, but with the man himself a skillful martial artist, they delivered on the action front. Plus there’s the fact that Statham’s acting is just entertaining in all the wrong ways.
The Transporter Legacy does away with its main actor in an inexplicable reboot to a franchise that had very much run its course. Statham’s replacement is Ed Skrein, AKA ‘The Dinner Lady P.I.M.P.’.
No, seriously. Have fun with that one.
Chances It’ll Be Terrible: Very high, if recent reboots are any indication. The loss of Jason Statham’s inexplicable charm does not bode well.
Can We Stop It?: Nothing can stop the Transporter. Especially when there’s money involved.
Hey, remember when Van Helsing was released, and nobody really cared? And remember when I, Frankenstein came out and people EXTRA didn’t care? Then there was Dracula Untold, and you began to wonder when it would end?
The answer is ‘probably never’, since big name movie monsters often have no copyright attached to their name and are easy pickings for lazy movie studios. That’s why we’re getting Victor Frankenstein, only a year after I, Frankenstein was released to icy-cold critical response.
Despite the big names attached (Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy), audiences have repeatedly been unmoved by old-timey monster/origin stories, so the film could be doomed to failure by its own premise. Plus there’s the fact that the film is mostly about the man and not the monster. There’s room for unexpected brilliance here, but it’s definitely a big risk.
Chances It’ll be Terrible: It could go either way, but Victor Frankenstein is battling against historical precedent.
Can We Stop It?: Actually, I’m curious about this one. Hold off on the torches and pitchforks for now.
Speaking of origin stories…
Pan is all set to give us that Peter Pan/Captain Hook origin tale that you neither asked for nor ever wanted to see, and its attempts to drum up interest have so far included Hugh Jackman in Johnny Depp makeup and a set of posters that looks like they belong to a Disney Channel original movie.
Truly, this is an age in which classics have to be yanked from the shelves, twisted to the point where we don’t even recognise the characters then dumped in front of us with a Hollywood executive pointing at the tangled mess and saying “There, that’s always what happened. You just missed it the first time.”
Maleficent might have had some impressive visuals and splendid acting from Angelina Jolie’s lips, but it attempted to rewrite a Disney classic and essentially ruined its most notorious villain. People were not happy.
Now Pan is set to unveil the backstories of two beloved characters who did not need backstories. Sometimes an origin adds nothing to a character. Presumably, we’re going to find out that Hook used to be a swell guy who turned evil because of some wacky misunderstanding between him and his best buddy Peter. Then comes the redemption, presumably set to piano music and pouring rain, and moviegoers will stagger out of the cinema wondering why Disney is ruining its own franchises.
Chances It’ll Be Terrible: Fairly likely, if only for the reasons listed above. The best chances it has are Garrett Hedlund’s manly sideburns.
Can We Stop It?: 2015 is set to bring us a Cinderella origin tale, with Beauty and the Beast following soon after. There’s no stopping this reboot train.
THE LAST WITCH HUNTER
Do I even need to say it?
This is a film about an immortal witch hunter played by Vin Diesel. It is being directed by Breck Eisner, who has a shaky track record.
There will be action, grunting and probably lots of really, really hammy lines.
Although...there is Michael Caine.
Chances It’ll Be Terrible: In the same endearing way that all of Vin Diesel’s other movies have been terrible, probably.
Can We Stop It?: Maybe, if you send a very nice letter to Mr Diesel. Just make sure to write in at least 50% guttural grunts. It is the tongue he knows best.
ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: ROAD CHIP
There are so many reasons to hate this film.
So, so many. But I’m just going to pick one.
And that’s the fact that somewhere in the world, someone is working on this right now. That someone is slaving away over a computer, working long hours animating these miniature monstrosities with implausibly high-pitched voices…when they could be somewhere else.
This person could be working on a glorious magnum opus, a poem so magnificent it would cause grown men to weep. They might’ve been composing symphonies, volunteering at local soup kitchens, or simply spending time with their kids in those golden years before they turn into jaded teenagers.
But no. This person is instead slaving away over Alvin and the Chipmunks 4. And that is why I already hate this film.
Chances It’ll be Terrible: Astronomical.
The first Chipmunks film opened to negative reviews, and they’ve been steadily falling ever since. This shameless cash-grab is headed straight for the bottom of the pile.
Can We Stop It?: Unless you know of a convenient way to summon meteors to strike the Earth, probably not.
The worst thing? Your kids will probably love it. It’s like it was made for them, or something.