Lazy projects and franchise-extending duds blight our screens every year, but it’s the ambitious and well-meaning failures that really hurt.
Here is my countdown for the top 10 worst films of 2018.
10. Isle of Dogs. A charming, beautifully-animated drama about responsibility and self-respect, it still has a meandering flow, and portrays its setting of future Japan with broad strokes and mostly white voice actors.
9. Venom. Generally fun, and features humorous interplay between its two main characters (Jimmy Brock and the alien being infesting his body), but the plot is a disjointed mess and the action climax is incomprehensible.
8. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. This latest Jurassic Park film has some cool sequences and powerful imagery, but the characters remain bland and the plot is bogged down with contrived details.
7. The Predator. It has visceral, thrilling action and quirky characters. It’s also meat-headed, obnoxious and got chopped to pieces in the editing room.
6. The Cloverfield Paradox. Well-acted and features some cool or disturbing scenes in isolation, but the plot is unfocused, under-explained and utterly ridiculous.
5. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Tedious and unfocused. Little is accomplished or developed by the end, as the film is preoccupied with fan-service and setting up sequels, and the major sub-plot involving Credence is breathtakingly pointless. 4. Red Sparrow. The engrossing first act feels like a cross between Full Metal Jacket and Salo (an infamous Italian exploitation film), but the remainder is a slow, strangely tame bore with a pointless (and lukewarm) romance sub-plot.
3. Ready Player One. A glitzy yet depressingly shallow film (especially coming from Spielberg): flimsy characters, chaotic action scenes, droves of hollow pop-culture references and an ultimate dramatic goal – to protect a digital fantasy world – with no real value.
2. The Titan. A shockingly incompetent film. Poorly-shot, garbled editing, bland characters and awkward dialogue. The plot is sluggish and predictable and carries no urgency whatsoever.
1. Fifty Shades Freed. Tepid, in its bland characters, glacial pacing and amateurish production, but abhorrent in how it glorifies an extremely abusive relationship and tries to pass it off as kinky.
Stay tuned next week for my countdown of the best films of 2018.