2022 was an absolutely solid year for movies, and narrowing down the best films of the year is easier said than done. Unfortunately, my task today isn’t to discuss the best films of the year. Rather, I’m here to take a look at some of the absolute worst to come out this year. From underwhelming conclusions to long-running series and generic action blockbusters, finding the worst of this year was pretty easy. Having to sit through the viewing of each was the hard part.
10. “Jurassic World: Dominion”
It’s amazing to see the continuous decline of the “Jurassic Park” franchise. Despite the original 1993 movie being one of the greatest films ever made, each subsequent sequel seemed to get worse. It’s only fitting that the final installment ends up being the worst of them all. Completely ignoring the conclusion of the previous film, “Dominion” decides to do nothing with the dinosaurs being loose in the world. The new cast has nothing to do, the returning cast is given virtually nothing to work with, and the dinosaurs are just set dressing at this point. The original film is like a mighty roar and this film is a weak, dying whimper.
9. “Black Adam”
This film was meant to be the jumpstart the DCEU desperately needed. Instead, it may have been the film that killed it. “Black Adam” is everything wrong with modern comic book movies and the film does nothing to stand out from the mountain of other offerings from the genre. Dwayne Johnson feels asleep at the wheel as he struggles to muster any kind of charisma throughout. The writing and effects are laughably bad and feel more at home with one of the lackluster outings from the early 2000s.
This is one of the most baffling films of the year for a number of reasons. For starters, it’s truly amazing that these many stars were willing to get on board with a movie directed by a notoriously disgusting human being. However, even if the director wasn’t awful, how anyone could look at this script and sign off on it is beyond me. No one in this film talks or acts like a real human being and as a result, everything is incredibly unnatural. I was left speechless at points, for how bad some of this writing and some of these performances were. On top of that, the film loves to beat you over the head with its message about the treatment of veterans, and the obvious conclusion that fascism is in fact bad. Unfortunately, like every other bad film standing on a soap box, “Amsterdam” doesn’t provide any new insight or voice to the conversation, instead just spewing the same old rhetoric as always.
7. “The Gray Man”
I’m still blown away that a film with a $200 million budget, a cast of some of the most likable and charming performers in Hollywood, and a directing duo responsible for some of the best action films to come out of the MCU could create something this boring. Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans have some fun chemistry together, but besides that, this movie was putting me to sleep for most of its runtime. The action is lackluster and I honestly want to know where most of the money went because it clearly didn’t go anywhere near the effects department.
6. “Halloween Ends”
Divisive is just one way you could describe the latest, and supposedly final, installment in the “Halloween” franchise. For me, this was certainly the most disappointing film of the year as well as one of the worst from the whole series. Subverting expectations in the worst way possible, our two leads (Michael and Laurie) are completely sidelined so we can follow an entirely new character. Needless to say, Corey Cunningham is a far less interesting and much more irritating new character that we’re forced to deal with for the entirety of this nearly two-hour flick. By the time the film actually delivers on the story we were promised in the trailer, the damage has been done and I’m already checked out.
When you put the memes aside, “Morbius” suffers from a lot of the same problems that I mentioned with “Black Adam.” Feeling trapped in the early 2000s, with a boring lead, a terrible script, awful effects, and a final product that was clearly hacked to bits by the studio, “Morbius” fails spectacularly on all fronts. After the earth-shattering “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” it’s astounding that Sony can still release such an underwhelming mess because they have to use those rights to Spider-Man for something.
4. “Jeepers Creepers: Reborn”
I don’t really know what I was expecting from a direct-to-VOD reboot to a less-than-stellar franchise, but this was a disaster right from the get-go. I truly can’t believe that a movie made this year could look this terrible, whether it be the special effects or just the general way the film is shot. Even though the film is only 88 minutes long it felt as though I was sitting there for 3 hours, and none of it was enjoyable. The movie doesn’t even work as a “so bad it’s good movie” since it’s so boring that by the time you get to something unintentionally funny you’ll already be half asleep.
3. “The Bubble”
This has to be one of the most unfunny comedies ever made, and one made even worse by the complete waste of a terrific cast. Judd Apatow really thought that what everyone needed fresh out of COVID-19 and lockdowns was to see how the rich and privileged handle everything. A miserable experience and not a single laugh to be found, simply avoid this movie at all costs.
A sobering reminder that just because Stephen King’s name is attached doesn’t mean it’s a guaranteed success. I assume most of the budget was used to get Zac Efron because it was clearly not used for any fire. It’s a “Firestarter” movie with little to no fire. The only thing worth noting here is a pretty stellar synth soundtrack by John Carpenter. It’s just unfortunate that most of the awesome music is set to scenes where nothing is happening.
The only film this year where I nearly gave up on watching it, “Dashcam” is simply awful. From the director of the pretty excellent “Host,” his second outing constantly feels like a parody of internet horror films while taking itself completely seriously. The political satire is about as subtle as a 24-hour Alec Baldwin-Trump marathon, with the main character so unlikeable that I was rooting for the monster. The horror elements are incredibly weak and the constant internet comments distract and take you out of the film more than anything. Absolutely dreadful from beginning to end and easily one of the worst films I’ve ever seen.
By Adam Beam