Matt’s Worst Films of 2021 (So Far)

Spiral – A desperate attempt to keep a lousy franchise going. Spiral is 90 minutes long and feels like an eternity. It’s 1/3 Saw movie grotesqueness, and mostly it’s just an incredibly dull police procedural movie that gives you no reason to care about the detectives investigating the latest Jigsaw copycat murders. It also tries to add some kind of social commentary about police violence in America that completely falls flat and would also have fallen flat a year ago when this was supposed to release. The message is so muddled and murky I’m not even sure what it was trying to say.

Courtesy of Lionsgate

Music – Sia’s directorial debut feels like a doomed collection of deeply misguided choices that come together to create something that feels like an unmitigated disaster that never could have worked in the first place. I completely understand why autistic people and their loved ones are offended by this, but I personally think that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Music is a catastrophic trainwreck in every possible way.

Courtesy of Vertical Entertainment

Thunder Force – Melissa McCarthy’s fifth movie with her husband Ben Falcone proves they’ve learned nothing about working with each other and Falcone still has no idea why his wife is such a respected comedic actress. These movies are destroying McCarthy’s career and Ben Falcone must be stopped. I was really hoping this would be better than Superintelligence.

Netflix

Cherry – Buried underneath a very worthwhile story about how America fails veterans, we have a tonally incoherent, rambling, emotionally manipulative and altogether forgettable piece of moldy cheese about how you can do everything wrong and still find redemption, I guess? I’m a Tom Holland fan and I wish him the best, but between Cherry and his other movie on this list, he needs a new agent pronto.

Courtesy of Apple

Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard – An even worse sequel to a bad movie that nobody really remembers from a few years ago. Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard manages to rip any comedic talent Salma Hayek had away from her and also manages to make Ryan Reynolds completely unappealing, which I didn’t think a movie could do. Also makes a fool out of Samuel L. Jackson, Morgan Freeman, Richard E. Grant, and everybody else associated with it.

Lionsgate

F9 – I’ve never seen any of the Fast and Furious movies before, but was feeling generous a few weeks ago and decided to give one a try. Welp, I’m never doing that again. I have no idea how something so loud, full of action and alleged excitement could be so damn boring. F9 is a big, stupid, endless, loud, gimmicky action movie that somehow is never any fun.

Universal

Profile – I’m generally drawn to these mystery/thrillers that unfold on screens – over Skype conversations, or looking at emails and texts and photos, etc. This framing device can allow for really interesting and innovative storytelling. However, Profile isn’t a thriller at all really, it’s a rom-com about a journalist that falls in love with the terrorist she’s supposed to be investigating. And it becomes gradually more and more ridiculous, and not in a fun way. In a way that really takes away from any suspense or genuine emotion this story may have. Ultimately, you really don’t care what happens to either of these people.

Focus Features

Chaos Walking – Poor Tom Holland. A great, big, expensive, ugly fiasco with messy world building and very little reason to care about anything that’s going on. I kept thinking this must be more interesting as a novel, and maybe if I’d read the series prior to seeing this I would have felt differently. But as a piece of media that’s supposed to stand on its own, this is horrifyingly lame. It also doesn’t help that Chaos Walking underwent significant reshoots and sat around for three plus years after being filmed, and the dystopian YA novel adaptation trend has been over for what feels like an eternity.

Lionsgate

False Positive – I’m not even sure what this was trying to accomplish. It has the vibe of what Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig tried to do when they made that super serious Lifetime movie where only they were in on the joke. Broad City’s Ilana Glazer is fine, I suppose, in her first dramatic leading role, but considering she was also a producer and screenwriter on this, the result is totally baffling. She’s playing a woman whose only character trait is how badly she wants to have a baby. But then the movie brings up some serious points about how society treats women and this suddenly seems genuine. But if it is genuine, it’s a half-assed Rosemary’s Baby retread. Not to mention, the ending pushes it into so-bad-it’s-almost-good territory.

A24

The Forever Purge – Deeply angry political thrillers are right up my alley and always have been, but I’m so sick of this franchise and I never want to see another one of these again. The Purge franchise’s lack of nuance and heavy-handedness prevents them from truly resonating. The Forever Purge feels incredibly dated, since this was an obvious election year release meant to feel like a rallying call, but instead feels like glorified Reddit commenters shouting back and forth at each other.

Universal

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