With Oscar season here to highlight this year’s achievements in filmmaking, one group of critics makes sure to recognize this year’s disasters. The Golden Raspberry Awards, or Razzies for short, honor the best of the worst performances and pictures, announcing its winners just a day before the Academy Awards. Some films wear a Razzie nomination like a badge of honor, but for others, a Razzie nomination can be the ultimate mark of failure, a final kick in the gut.
This year, three Worst Picture nominees stood out to the Wolf Pack: Gods of Egypt, Independence Day: Resurgence, and Batman v Superman. Though these films may never have been Oscar contenders, they definitely didn’t intend to be among the worst films of the year, by Razzie standards. So, where did they go wrong?
Batman V Superman
When it was announced that the two most popular superheroes ever created would be joining each other on the big screen in a live action film for the first time, people were pumped. Fans followed the movie for months, tracking its development, casting decisions, and story details, and rejoiced after the release of its first thrilling trailer. Fans thought for sure this would be the superhero film that they had all been waiting for.
What Went Wrong:
Superhero fans and moviegoers alike went to go see BvS and were crushed. The film they got was an overly long, convoluted blockbuster with a disjointed narrative and an unsatisfying villain. Cutting the film down to 2.5 hours from the 4-hour director’s cut resulted in a narrative that was hard to follow and hard to find. Fans didn’t like Doomsday and wanted more out of Lex Luthor. Wonder Woman’s cameo oversaturated the film, with her only there to promote the character for her upcoming solo film. Ultimately BvS set out to do too much.
Independence Day: Resurgence
The first Independence Day film was an instant hit when it was released back in 1996. Redefining the disaster genre, it became as iconic as it was exciting. The Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum duo proved to be a winning combination. Fans hoped the sequel would recapture the magic in its own original way.
What Went Wrong:
As feared, Resurgence didn’t bring anything new to the table. Seeing landmarks get obliterated doesn’t have the same impact when countless disaster films have done just that since 1996. But what ultimately doomed Resurgence was the absence of Will Smith. Smith and the badass charm he brought to the original were nowhere to be seen in this sequel and the film suffered because of it. The death of Smith’s character was revealed in an online campaign that chronicled all the major events that occurred between the two films. An unfortunate plane crash claimed the life of the beloved hero, simultaneously crushing any chances for a quality sequel.
Gods of Egypt
Never expected to be a miraculous achievement in filmmaking, Gods of Egypt could have been a fun and exciting ride with an A-list cast and cool visuals. 300 set a high bar for epic fantasy films during its triumphant box office run but no similar themed film has successfully met that standard since (i.e. Clash of the Titans and Immortals). Nevertheless, with Gods of Egypt toting Gerard Butler once again in the mythological action role, moviegoers held onto hope.
What Went Wrong:
Gerard Butler and all his might could not save this disaster of a film. Though the box office yield was solid, moviegoers were met with a bizarre and formulaic action flick. The film was predictable and over utilized clichés of the genre. The film’s greatest downfall was its subpar CGI and its lack of physical sets. And with bad acting to top it off, this film never actually stood a chance of being good.
I like to believe that these filmmakers set out to make good movies but the results make this difficult to see. One thing that is for sure is that these three films drew an audience, with each raking in millions of dollars at the box office. So from a financial standpoint, they’re all winners (I guess). Good luck at the Razzies!