Suicide Squad, Jason Bourne, Batman vs Superman: Five Hollywood disappointments in 2016

Mihir Fadnavis

Dec 29, 2016 16:06:52 IST

To pick negative elements of 2016 cinema would be like picking out a needle from a needle stack. There were a lot of terrible films this year and there’s no dearth of lists you can find on the worst movies of 2016.

There is, however, one factor that seems to be common ground between both good and bad mainstream movies this year – a sense of disappointment. Even in the good films there were nagging inconsistencies that are impossible to overlook.

Listed below are the top 5 movie disappointments of 2016:

5. The Story of Jason Bourne

Now Jason Bourne was not a bad film – it was a passably entertaining commercial thriller, but also a vastly disappointing one. When The Bourne Legacy came out and tanked we thought it was because it didn’t contain the original team of Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon. In Jason Bourne we got both the men back together, and yet the film turned out to be a light retread of the first three movies.

The story, beat by beat, was a remake of the original films – Bourne coming out of hiding because he’s framed, a rogue assassin out to kill him on the instructions of a dirty CIA honcho, and a female CIA operative helping him. With such a weak foundation the technical aspects of the film (like the shaky cam) began to look even worse than they actually are. There was not a single plot thread you haven’t seen before and the predictable nature of the movie ultimately cost its overall quality. Bourne was supposed to evolve to 2016 – he seemed stuck in 2007. What a let down.

4. The Characters of Rogue One

Rogue One was in fact a very enjoyable film. It was almost everything the new Star Wars audience want in a space saga – terrific action, giant set pieces and good performances. There was, however, one thing that was sorely missing – the presence of interesting characters. Everyone in the film was deadly dull with zero charm. There was no time spent on the character development, so when they all died ultimately it didn’t seem to matter much because you had zero emotional connection to them.

It was all action action action, but no character dynamics. Contrast this movie to the original trilogy which had very little action and mostly character dynamics – it is what made names like Luke, Han, Leia and Yoda pop culture phenomena. Even The Force Awakens did a good job of making its protagonists likable, but Rogue One absolutely failed on that front. What was the function of Forest Whitaker in the film? And what was the name of Donnie Yen’s close friend? No one can answer because no clear information was given to us.

Suicide Squad, Jason Bourne, Batman vs Superman: Five Hollywood disappointments in 2016

(L to R): Star Wars: Rogue One, Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Nice Guys and Suicide Squad. Images courtesy: Facebook

3. The Edit of Suicide Squad

According to news sources there were seven different cuts of Suicide Squad. I’m sure that one of the cuts is less shambolic, unfocussed and messy than the one that we got to see in theaters. If you traverse through a few film blogs they’ll tell you that the film originally began with the archaeologist lady becoming the Enchantress and the Joker inaugurating the chain of events.

Of course that made sense because the Joker had been hyped up for almost a year as a central character – and his introduction in the film was the biggest cinematic belly flop of the year. With so many characters popping in and out, being killed randomly and a barrage of pop songs blasting at the worst possible moments, it was clear that post production in the film was a disaster. The scene with the Enchantress dancing was emblematic of everything wrong with the film and how much the people who edited it gave a damn about what you think.

2. The Box-office collections of The Nice Guys 

It’s disappointing when a movie you expect to be good turns out to be bad, but it’s even worse than a movie you expect to be good turns out to be even better but bombs badly at the box office. Why The Nice Guys didn’t do well commercially is a mystery – it had great reviews, a good cast of Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe and a solid director’s name attached and yet no one went to see it.

Writer director Shane Black brought all his experience of buddy cop movies into a beautiful package that doubled as a throwback to the good old times of buddy cop comedies, and Gosling rendered a hilarious performance to boot. There’s literally nothing unlikable about the film and yet there were crickets chirping in the halls. Perhaps the marketing is to blame, but it could also be the wrong timing of release since it was sandwiched between awful superhero movies. If it did well we could have watched at least one sequel. Pity because this is a franchise the world could need more of.

1 - The showdown between Batman and Superman

For almost six decades comic book fans waited for the most iconic superheroes to fight against each other. As children we used the action figures of Batman and Superman at home to construct the most epic fight scene of all time.

In the hands of Zack Snyder we all thought the on screen battle would smash all kinds of expectations. And when the time arrived, the showdown between Bat and Supes felt like watching two monkeys flinging their own fecal matter at each other in the zoo. The ordeal ended with ‘Martha’ – which will now go on to become the most ridiculed phrase of modern cinema. For all the bad things that happened in the world in 2016, this scene tops the list, by a very significant margin. I wish Doomsday killed both of them.

Updated Date: Dec 29, 2016 16:06:52 IST