The Most Disappointing Films of 2023!
It's still January which means it’s the time of the Year where I rank the most disappointing films, I have seen in 2023. While other sites or what have you, listed theirs, I would be remiss if I didn’t take the traditional dive into films, I either despised or cringed at for being the colossal failures they were. Some of those listed are not necessarily bad films to others perse, but your mileage of course may vary. And with that out of the way, let's get to it!
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
In the worst Indiana Jones sequel since Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Indy is portrayed as a grumpy curmudgeon enthralled in a artifact that was smuggled by his Goddaughter
And while I admired the Sixties setting, and its subtle nods to events from the decade, there was wasted opportunity when you have cringe inducing dialog wasted supporting characters even a farfetched time traveling scene. Dial of Destiny's only saving grace was the first 10 or so minutes that served as the prologue for this train wreck.
I expected better from James Mangold.
What was to be Director Zack Snyder's answer to Star Wars, is instead a squandered project lacking any true effort from the infamous filmmaker.
The story is bland, the characters are generic if not cookie cutouts, and I had problems with weak dialogue which had me laughing at times. While some of Rebel’s aesthetics were palatable, it lacks thematic effect when compared to the original Star Wars trilogy, and less engaging than even JJ Abrams' films aka "Reylogy" well except Rise of Skywalker. Unless the impending Director's cut can redeem this colossal failure, Rebel Moon beats out Army of the Dead as Snyder's worst movie. I kind of have buyer's remorse for wasting my money and time on Netflix .
DCU's first Latino Superhero movie featuring Xolo Maridueña (Cobra Kai) unfortunately failed to break the Comic based studio's losing streak brought on by a recent string of flops and Blue Beetle can be added to the "F group" thanks to silly tropes, a misused Jack Kirby concept, dull comedic scenes with the exception of George Lopez, and Susan Sarandon whose portrayal as the main baddie, was very uncharismatic.
As if controversial Ezra Miller didn't have enough problems, what may be seen as his last appearance in cinema, The Flash, is the final nail in the troubled actor's coffin.
Despite an entertaining premise, and special CGI cameos and appearances, including Michael Keaton resuming his iconic role as well, you know..The Flash was offset by ridiculous comedic timing and a annoying doppelganger also played by Miller so it's twice the aggravation.
Ant Man Quantumania
It seems that the once great Marvel Cinematic Universe has now imploded starting with the Phase Four era and showing no signs of progression.
Case in point "Ant Man Quantumania" a boring follow-up to the once exciting and whimsical movie starring Paul Rudd, now in the third and hopefully final installment of our pint sized Superhero, who faces a new threat-Kang the Conqueror and while the controversial Johnathan Majors delivered a good performance as Kang, the majority of this sequel was bogged down to ridiculous comedic scenes including the very disappointing appearance of MODOK, who was far less threatening than the classic Jack Kirby and Stan Lee Captain America comics. While the first Ant Man movie had plenty of charm and well-balanced humor and heart, Quantumania was a poorly rushed production with lame CGI and a lamer script. And just when I thought Love and Thunder was among the top 5 worst MCU movies, well it is and Quantumania sits right next to it.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods
How I loved the first SHAZAM movie only to be very disappointed in the follow up sequel, which is Deja Vu regarding WW 84. Zachary Levi reprised his role as the titular Superhero but has his "Marvelous Marvel Family" accompany him for another adventure this time, it's against Helen Mirren as a vengeful ancient goddess whose magic was stolen from them long ago. While the premise sounds entertaining, the overall movie was a dumpster fire whether it’s the storyline, not enough character development compared to the first SHAZAM outing, and a wasted cameo appearance from Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot. Now instead of bringing back the "SHAZENGERS" a team up between Shaz and WW, hell, even Isis would’ve been a better option, if there's a solid script.
And speaking of "Captain Marvel" out of all the disappointments, The Marvels tops the list and is also one of the worst films of 2023. While Dud of Destiny is a close second, the flashback prologue at least counts as a saving grace. Same goes for Quantomania when you have the "former" actor Jonathan Majors delivering a decent performance based on what he had to work with. As for the Marvels, I really can't think of any redeeming qualities for this Nia Da Costa directed Dumpster fire.
While Iman Vellani was the standout here despite me not investing time into her Ms. Marvel series, where Teyonah Parris' Monica Rambeau was underused. And then there were a few things that annoyed me whether it’s the Singing planet scene or worse, the "Memories' needledrops which includes a scene with Flarkens that was a lame in-joke to "Cats." DaCosta needs to try much harder in order to stay relevant. After disappointing entries such as Little Woods, Candyman and now The Marvels, I think Nia should prioritize her craft or just make a career change.
So here was my short list of disappointing films from last year. Disagree? Feel free to discuss.
Note: As of this writing I haven't bothered to watch Exorcist: Believer as it would obviously be too easy to trash. Ergo it's a no brainer.