- Willy’s Wonderland: Nicolas Cage had some great/interesting movies this year like Pig or Prisoners of the Ghostland but Willy’s Wonderland was a baffling misfire that wasted everything that Cage normally brings to the movie. Even though it was apparently Cage’s idea, the decision to have his character not speak for the entire movie robs the movie of a lot of the crazy energy that Cage brings when he’s going on a rant or freak out. The movie also has bizarre pacing to the plotting where Cage’s character is on a timer for no reason and it falls it a tedious pattern of fighting an animatronic character and then taking a break for an energy drink and pinball. None of the fights with the robots is visually interesting or unique and there’s also no sense of danger or tension as Cage’s character easily defeats them all without almost no effort. Throw in terrible and superfluous teenagers and this movie is just a terrible disaster that, given the premise and Cage’s involvement, should have been an instant cult classic.
- America: The Motion Picture: I love almost everyone involved in this animated parody but America: The Motion Picture feels like it’s trying way too hard to be edgy and instead it comes off as stupid and boring, especially as it’s way too long for this type of animated comedy. Trying to put a subversive and anachronistic spin on American history, the movie is a hodgepodge of ideas that mostly don’t work and it repeats a lot of the same beats or jokes over and over again seemingly thinking that eventually it will work and be funny, but it never does. It also feels like there’s barely any script and everyone involved is just improvising on the spot but just can’t crack it. You’re better off skipping this and watching something like Drunk History instead.
- Spiral: Jigsaw was the worst movie of 2017 for me when that came out and while Spiral is definitely better, it’s still mostly terrible. Following a new killer (with an absurdly terrible voice) that is targeting corrupt cops, Chris Rock tries to solve the mystery, which involves new traps and new convoluted revenge plots. Tonally the movie is a mess as Rock’s character will just seemingly launch into Rock stand-up routines about marriage and relationships at random times and his character feels out of place for the grimy and gritty world of Saw. Some of the new traps are kind of interesting but there’s almost nothing to tie into the larger Saw world for fans of the franchise and the movie’s big reveal isn’t that interesting, despite what the main Saw theme might be trying to make you feel in the moment. Saw needs to just wipe the board completely and reboot or give us a proper sequel with stuff like Cary Elwes that was set up in the last proper entry in the series.
- Chaos Walking: Tom Holland was in my favorite movie of 2021, Spider-Man: No Way Home, but he was also in one of the worst movies of 2021, Chaos Walking. Based on a YA novel series and seemingly falling out of a time warp from the mid-2010s when everyone was trying to copy Hunger Games, Chaos Walking, despite an extremely talented cast, never comes together into a satisfying movie and The Noise, where every thought men have on this new planet colonized by humans is broadcast audibly (and can be controlled to be visual as well) was probably interesting on the page but incredibly stupid in practice on film. There are also plot points that make no sense and could have used more fleshing out, like David Olewoyo’s mad preacher or the seemingly hostile native species of the planet that are built up and then seen in one brief scene. From the behind the scenes to the actual film, everything about Chaos Walking seems like a disaster.
- Snake Eyes: I don’t know why it’s seemingly so hard to make a GI Joe movie but Snake Eyes continues the trend and delivers almost nothing of what fans want from the series. Going back to the beginning yet again, the movie follows Henry Golding’s Snake Eyes as he kind of becomes the ninja we know from the franchise and if the movie had been more like a martial arts/training movie, it would have probably been infinitely better but the training feels like an afterthought, as does the actual GI Joe stuff sprinkled throughout that is so superfluous it might as well have not been mentioned to begin with. The action is also regressive in a post-John Wick world with frequent editing and too close camera angles and there are bizarre magical elements, like literal giant snakes, that feel tonally out of place with the military action of the franchise. Hopefully, because this movie didn’t do that well that Paramount can go back to the drawing board again and start over to bring us an actual GI Joe vs Cobra movie that they should have done from the beginning.
Dishonorable Mentions: Cosmic Sin, Halloween Kills, Warning
I’m like the J. Jonah Jameson of Everything Action, writing and editing and constantly demanding pictures of Spider-Man.