We have finally reached the midpoint of the year, and it is once again that time of the year where we take a look back at the best and most disappointing films of the year. If you haven’t seen any one or all of the top ten, then you survived some painful moments, at least in my opinion you did. Of course if you have already, and you share my sentiments, why not revisit the disappointment you felt after watching them. But if you haven’t seen them, I am not saying you shouldn’t see these films, because its easy to say which ones were the worst of the year. Picking the ones that disappointed me the most is a harder task, especially this year since there are no real stand outs on both sides of the spectrum. But these films aren’t entirely bad either, they just are the ones that disappointed me the most. Let me say that again, these are not the worst films, they just really disappointed me.
There were many things to take into consideration before I compiled my list, but the one that is most important is the release. Whether the film was released theatrically or during a film festival, as long as the film was screened between January 1st and June 30, you could end up on this list. So as you can see from the header image, those are the five films that ended up disappointing me this year. Hit the jump to see the rest of the top ten and where they rank.
10 – Muppets Most Wanted
This one stings a little considering how much I liked The Muppets. While the caper premise was a nice throwback to The Great Muppet Caper, it did not match the heart of it. It’s a sequel that has awkward pacing, and never really gets the chance to find it’s footing because it hits the ground running right from the start. On top of that, the film numerous subplots will most likely keep the audience confused, and because of that, we never get a chance to know what the film is about. With an over-extended runtime, Muppets Most Wanted even finds a way to lack of Muppetiness we would normally see in a Muppet film. Whether that was intentional or something we missed is certainly up for debate. But the film wasn’t a complete travesty. The songs are ever so catchy, and will have you tapping to the beat. One them even alludes to the fact that the sequels are never as good as before, and that is the kind of self-deprecating humor we love about the Muppets. With that, who could possibly say that this was a bad film, yes it does have itself problems, but the fun songs, great cameos, and light-hearted humor are just enough to make us all almost forget about them.
9 – The Signal
Not going to lie, this is one that I really had high hopes for. Ambitious to a fault, William Eubank‘s sophomore film banks on big ideas and impressive visuals. But it is a film that requires a bit too much from the audience to overly taxing and disastrous results. The Signal‘s terrible narrative structure collapses on its overly ambitious foundation. The premise sounds promising with the idea that three young college hackers are looking for the source that tried to hack into their school, only to find themselves prisoners or a strange facility. But with The Signal, you don’t know what you are watching, and the film turns out to be one giant narrative mess. The film tries to keep audiences intrigued by keeping everything they see or hear about the facility a secret. But any answers that are revealed about the facilities intentions end up being hollow ones.
8 – The Raid 2
Here’s another that I had very high hopes for, more so than The Signal. Gareth Evans follow up to the highly successful The Raid, The Raid 2 takes place years after the first film, with Rama having infiltrated the highly organized crime ring behind the events of the first film. But as action packed as this film is, it bites off more than it can chew. There is no doubt that Evans is trying to make The Raid universe a bigger one, by introducing two Mafia families vying for criminal control of Jakarta, but he does this without any attempts to edit or widdle down the film itself. The action is fast-paced and almost none stop, and the world is full of wonderful comic book-esque characters like Hammer Girl and Baseball Bat Man. There is no doubt that The Raid 2 doesn’t hold anything back in the action department, but the film loses focus by paying more attention to the rivaling families instead of making it Rama’s (Iko Uwais) story. Rama has been the beating heart of this franchise, he does get his moments to shine in the film, but the film keeps circling back to the two families, and with a nearly two hour plus runtime, The Raid 2 will undoubtedly make you feel exhausted by the end of the film.
7 – Ride Along
Kevin Hart and Ice Cube have proven themselves to be great comedians. The two know the craft of making audiences laugh, so it makes sense that the Tim Story-directed and Phil Hay-written film puts the two talents together for a promising comedy. Unfortunately, the buddy cop film doesn’t do much but give us the cookie cut buddy cop comedy tropes we have already seen in the past. Overly protective hot head cop sees if a jittery fiance is good enough for his sister taking him on a Ride Along (get it, because that’s the title of the film) and responding to very simple police calls, which turn out to be something he cannot handle. There isn’t really anything innovative or fresh about the premise or approach itself, but there really isn’t anything wrong by playing it safe. The problem is, the film doesn’t take any risks or put any twists on the genre itself, and with two high caliber comedians at your disposal, you’d expect more from the two. Instead we are treated with another boring cookie cut comedy that only makes us laugh at every other joke, assuming a joke has been told.
6 – Need For Speed
Scott Waugh‘s sophomore directorial effort is just a competitive response to the highly successful Fast and Furious franchise. But what would separate Need For Speed from Fast and Furious was the idea that Need would not rely on the use of CGI effects, instead it would opt to use Waugh’s knowledge of stunt work and practical effects. Which actually would look great on screen, but a boring plot, would make this film crash and burn right from the get go. There was really nothing about the film that was remotely interesting. Need For Speed is based on the very popular video game of the same name, for which the franchise is known not be plot drive. So creative leeway was certainly out of the question, as film only stayed true to the racing aspects of the game, and nothing else. The characters were pretty boring, and the plot was just a mess, its amazing that it got produced in the first place. If anything Need For Speed is nothing more than a glorified car commercial you paid to watch.
Hit the jump to see the top five most disappointing films of 2014 so far.