2012 Calvin Awards: Worst Picture
By Reagen Sulewski
February 15, 2012
It's a funny thing. Even though there weren't many films that got us extremely passionate about them this year, there weren't very many films that inspired a lot of passion in the other direction – at least not in the ones we saw. A lot of this year's truly terrible films sank without a trace and didn't force us to consider them, with the side benefit of saving us a lot of psychic trauma. There's also nothing with the epic grandeur and incompetence of last year's worst. Don't get me wrong – there were still a number of complete wastes of time in 2011, it's just that they announced themselves well in advance. Here's the worst of what's left.
Sucker Punch earns the top spot in large part because it could have actually been something. A sci-fi amalgam of The Matrix, 300 and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and filled with a bevy of young actresses, this should have been right up our alley. Instead we got a nonsensical plot that seemed patched together from spare parts of better movies, retina-deadening special effects and a set of costume choices for its young actresses that had us looking over our shoulder for Chris Hansen. What worked great in a two minute trailer quickly became tedious and exasperating in a full length feature. Director Zack Snyder is quickly burning through the good will he earned from us for his first feature, Dawn of the Dead, and the very least needs to be forceably restrained from using that slo-mo speed up effect. It's one thing to have a trademark, but it's another thing for that trademark to be suck.
Falling under the category of “yeah, we should have known better”, we have Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son in second place. We can only presume that Martin Lawrence saw the success of the Madea movies and thought that men in fat women suits was back in vogue, and you know what else wouldn't be creepy? Having a father and son cross-dressing team! Wait, no, the other thing. Do you ever get the feeling that in the universe where this movie exists, Lawrence's character's superiors are just messing with him? Like, they have perfectly qualified female agents and are just seeing how far they can make him go just for the hell of it? These things keep me up at night.
The Hangover Part II earns its third place finish for sheer laziness, in making us pay for almost exactly the same film we saw the first time, told with all the fervor of the drunk at the bar who's sure you're not laughing at his joke for the right reasons. No, you see, it's funny because it's a monkey giving a blow job! Hold on, let me tell it to you again! Moving the action from Vegas to Thailand doesn't really change your movie, but I'm definitely looking forward to The Hangover III, where they all end up in space somehow.