2008 is already widely regarded as a mediocre year for movies. This is partially because 2007 had so many great movies, and the movies of 2008 aren’t proving to be that spectacular so far. But no matter how great or bad a movie year is, every year has some really bad, rotten movies at the bottom of the barrel. 2008 had a couple of those, with some movies being as bad as audiences expected, and others being gigantic disappointments. The worst movies of 2008 helped to insult audiences intelligence, and were career setbacks for many stars who should know better.
Here are the five worst movies that I myself was subjected to in 2008 so far.
5. Speed Racer
When one thinks of Speed Racer the cartoon, they remember very limited and cheap animation. So it is even weirder that in 2008, the movie version of Speed Racer never stopped moving, even though its visuals could damage the eyes. Speed Racer’s assault on the senses was the fault of the Wachowski Brothers, who took another step backwards from the original Matrix. And even in movies without evil machines or masked terrorists, the Wachowskis still can’t stop writing big, clunky speeches when the camera stopped moving so much. The plot developments and eye-rolling messages were lifted straight out of cartoon world as well.
2008 offered a lot of steps forward in movie visuals, but Speed Racer wasn’t part of it. Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, John Goodman and Matthew Fox were also left stranded, trying to act in green screens.
4. Eagle Eye
The earliest warning sign that Eagle Eye was in trouble is that it used the old “twin brother” plotline about 10 minutes in. Eagle Eye’s trailers promised a great thrill ride, as Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan were forced to take orders from a sinister voice in control of all technology. Instead, Eagle Eye was the biggest ripoff movie of 2008, borrowing all ideas from 20 other movies- the least of which was 2001, of all things. If the trailers for Eagle Eye actually reflected what the movie was actually about, it would be a much, much harder sell.
LaBeouf has been on the run from special effects once too often, and his quasi-serious facial hair doesn’t help. The final half hour alone is one of the biggest unintentional acts of comedy in the movies in 2008.
In the case of Leatherheads, it is a worse movie because of its missed opportunities. With George Clooney starring and directing, it is natural to expect more, considering how well Clooney has delivered in recent years. But in 2008l, Clooney had a missed field goal with his homage to 30’s screwball movies and the early days of pro football. Renee Zellweger is hardly a match for the likes of the old fast talking movie dames, with Leatherheads’ bickering/love affair between her and Clooney not convincing for a second. John Krasinski, as Leatherheads’ big new star, looks even more lost and confused than he is alongside Michael Scott.
Clooney is not used to failure, but Leatherheads is a series of fumbles that should make him think twice the next time he pays homage to movie genres few people care about now.
In 2008, Will Ferrell officially ran out of movie ideas. Semi-Pro is Ferrell’s latest sports movie, and should be his last for a while. Ferrell’s Jackie Moon has absolutely none of the invention and hilarity of Ron Burgandy, Frank the Tank, Ricky Bobby, Buddy the Elf, or even Chazz Michael-Michaels. As a tribute to the ABA, Semi-Pro has little to offer besides weird hair, even as it actually tries to be a serious sports movie for a little bit. Both sports movies and Ferrell movies hit and miss, but when they miss together, it doesn’t make Semi-Pro pretty for Ferrell and sports fans.
Ferrell put himself in further danger of falling off the comedy A-list with Semi-Pro, as his brand of comedy needs a makeover in 2008’s Judd Apatow/Tina Fey dominated comedy world.
1. Righteous Kill
Pacino and De Niro. Countless articles and rants by movie lovers have complained about how these great actors aren’t great anymore. In 2008, Righteous Kill merely gave them their biggest evidence. Even with Pacino and De Niro together, few were expecting anything good thanks to their respective downfalls. Even so, it was worse than many imagined.
In Righteous Kill, De Niro can’t even look suspicious or imposing anymore, even as his character is suspected of wacking criminals. De Niro is now just another aging actor who needs to prove his vitality by having hot, rough sex with a far younger woman, in this case poor Carla Gugino. Pacino, for his part, is barely even there at all. Even when he finally has something to do, it’s another repeat of Pacino’s previous rants..
The only reason Righteous Kill exists is to put De Niro and Pacino on screen. But even though they appear together in almost every scene, they barely interact or face off at all. Their one scene in Heat may have lasted longer than their conversations together in Righteous Kill.
We had grown used to the idea that a Pacino/De Niro pairing would likely fail, but Righteous Kill doesn’t even try to let them prove us wrong. For that, Righteous Kill performs below its already criminally low expectations, and is the worst movie of 2008.
Film.com- “2008: Worst Movie Year Ever?” www.film.com/movies/story/2008-worst-movie-year-ever/24597415