In the past years of movie going (when it was safe to actually go to the movies), I would sometimes actually manage to see so many that I would be able to make up a list of the year’s ten worst films. During the pandemic, I (like many) spent some time watching past movies I have missed out on while trying to watch the new releases. Still, there were some films that stood out to me not as the worst per say so much as they were, in some way shape or form, just did not live up to expectations (though a few were so bad I had little expectations to begin with.)
Here are the six most disappointing films of 2020
The original Wonder Woman (2017) was a surprise to many after the previous DC films (Diana was arguably one of the very few good things in Batman v. Superman), though I did have doubts that Wonder Woman 1984 would be able to be that rare sequel (even rarer for a comic book film) to be better than the first. While I did not dislike it as many on social media did, it was indeed not as fresh as the original, even with that wonderful chemistry between Gal Gadot and Chris Pine.
If you told me (or basically anyone for that matter) that there was a new Ron Howard film that was based on a true story and starred both Amy Adams and Glenn Close, I would be there with ticket in hand at the earliest showing. Yet the film Hillbilly Elegy is another classic example of “Oscar Bait” that does not work, giving us an ever so rare example of the excellent Amy Adams giving a bad performance (I thought Glenn Close was passable.)
Like virtually any millennial, I grew up with the magic of Disney/Pixar, whose creators have as solid a batting average as any studio out there. Sadly, it was a swing and a miss for them with Onward, the last film I saw in theaters before the pandemic. It’s hard to imagine anyone would prefer this film after seeing the much more endearing Soul.
The last time a Hitchcock film was remade, it was a shot by shot remake of Psycho, which is now considered one of the worst remakes of all time. Though unseen by me, I assume it is still worse than the remake of Rebecca (the only Hitchcock film to win Best Picture). Even with ideal casting that includes Lily James, Armie Hammer, and Kristen Scott Thomas, the film falls flat with a loud thud.
While not a reader of the books, I know a good amount of loyal fans who were heartbroken and angry at the result of the film adaptation of Artemis Fowl. Even those like me who don’t know the source material could tell the film seemed rushed and incomplete. A friend of mine said it was akin to the live action adaptation of The Last Airbender.
Speaking of films that seemed incomplete, it says a lot when Robert Downey Jr. is unable to save a film. Then again, not every movie feels as unnecessary, bogged down, and overall forgettable as Dolittle. The cast of the film is filled with stars, but I will let them off easy by not mentioning them here. Like RDJ, they would most likely see this as a career blip to be forgotten.