The final 5 films in my worst films of 2013 are an eclectic bunch of films to say the least with two soul crushing action features, a documentary that lacks any semblance of tact and a biopic nobody wanted or needed. So without further ado her are the 5 worst films of 2013 and the reasons why.
5. The Expatriate – This Aaron Eckhart, direct to DVD actioner is a sorry excuse for a film. Crafting itself after the far superior Bourne series (the first three at least), The Expatriate follows Eckharts ex-covert ops father, a man who has tried to remove himself from his past life but finds it catching up to him when his new job is linked to people from his past life. Poorly plotted and featuring some out there action sequences, the film relies heavily on Eckhart and he doesn’t deliver. In fact he turns this loving father into a depressive killing machine, a man who doesn’t care about collateral damage (for which there is plenty) as civilians die left right and centre. Much like this years Getaway with Ethan Hawke, the film is cheap and looks it but unlike Getaway it doesn’t accept its ridiculous premise as Eckhart tries to play it straight. The appearance of Olga Kurylenko, a regular in this series, only adds sickly icing to this horrible cake.
4. A Good Day to Die Hard – John McClane has always been a killing machine, a man of brute force and little thought. However the previous directors in the series (even Die Hard 4’s Len Wiseman) managed to give the character a certain charisma and some semblance of a brain. Die Hard 5 borrows heavily from other films while sapping the life out of McClane. The addition of his son Jack (Jai Courtney) only makes matters worse. Turns out baby McClane is a spy for the CIA, a job he managed to get not due to his abilities but more for the sake of this unfortunate expedition to Russia. Director John Moore, the man behind such instant ‘classics’ as Max Payne and The Omen remake is behind the camera on this one as he destroys everything in sight with little regard for realism or suspense. The film has no stakes with subpar villains, an immortal lead and a twisted sense of familial bonding. The whole thing is just rubbish and to make matters worse at one point the lead villain barks like a dog, and not a manly one at that.
3. The Curse of Chucky – I have never been a big fan of the Chucky series as a whole for many different reasons. For one there has never been a big enough audience to justify a film with a big enough budget so the special effects look like they were done on Flash. Another reason is the films only ever really have one or two good actors in them with Brad Dourif returning as the titular psycho killer and Jennifer Tilly providing an interesting cameo in this version. The film, produced by the director and ideas man behind the first Chucky, is an exercise in nepotism as the films lead character is portrayed by Dourif’s real life daughter Fiona. The story follows the arrival of Chucky, by Fed Ex no less, to the house of a wheelchair bound woman who on a weekend while her family is visiting must face off against this manic. Filled with a cast of unknowns who haven’t gotten to the acting school lesson on emotion yet, Curse of Chucky sputter and dies before it even starts so by the time the film’s twist ending comes about you couldn’t care in the slightest.
2. The Act of Killing – This documentary about the 1960s genocide in Indonesia is a nauseating affair with director Joshua Oppenheimer manipulating a group of bonafide killers to his will to depict the horrors of the period. The film follows him as he asks the men in the hit squads to re-enact their killings in increasingly elaborate ways from playing them straight to showing them in musical form. Completely devoid of any kind of human dignity, Oppenheimer aims to shock audiences into change, something he deep down knows is unobtainable. The whole exercise is just attention grabbing dross, a film designed expressly to cause outrage and never inform. The whole bizarre, almost 3 hour feature is Oppenheimer’s way of getting noticed and nothing more, making it shameless that the film even got made in the first place.
1. Diana – From the get go there is something not quite right about Diana, the film and the character. Not only does she not act regal, she doesn’t feel real. The problem being that Diana herself was an enigma, a mystery nobody could solve. Not only does the film provide a glimpse at their idea of her but it also turns her into something of a harlot, a manipulator and a liar. Naomi Watts bring her to life but also brings out the desperation in the character. In trying to show an honest depiction of the woman there is very little here that seems real. It doesn’t help that the script feels like it was written by a foreigner with lacklustre English comprehension. Grand ideals of love and belonging float around but the core of the woman is left out of it as she never sees her children, spends most of her time stalking a surgeon called Dr Khan (Naveen Andrews) while toying with the idea that her divorce and subsequent disconnection from the royal household wasn’t traumatic at all, just a breeze in comparison to the paparazzi. It’s ultimately hard to feel sorry for Ms Watts or the Diana presented in the film as they both knew exactly what they were getting themselves into and let the film and its events consume them. Poorly filmed with outright ridiculous, over stylized shots of ‘exciting’ action such as walking, slightly faster walking and even driving, Diana is a film absolutely nobody was clamouring for and now we finally understand why.
What did you think? What was your worst of the year and was it on this list? Let me know in the comments.