Harrison Abbott on the worst movie action sequences of 2018…
With the imminent arrival of January 1st, it’s worth reflecting on all the different ways that we, as a society, celebrate the New Year. Some usher in the commencement of a fresh calendar by participating in lively social events and extravagant parties. Others indulge in more intimate traditions with their loved ones. Hell, a select few of us even use the occasion to mark new beginnings, resolving to better ourselves, or seizing the opportunity to propose, move to another country or… whatever.
Then you have snide, little dickheads like me, who will use the New Year as a feeble excuse to compile pointless lists and arbitrary rankings about things they didn’t like. It’s a totally vapid and negative exercise, suiting me like a glove. Not only that, but it gives me an escape from all those pesky social engagements and awkward get-togethers. So what else am I gonna do? Talk about things I like? Don’t be ridiculous!
I’m fond of my mean-spirited comfort zone, thank you very much! This is a safe place where I can talk about the shortcomings of others, without having to acknowledge that I didn’t really accomplish anything or develop much as a person this year. It’s fun! So why not join me on my sad, bitter venture, as I take a look at the worst action sequences of 2018!
(Full Disclosure: For all I know, Venom might deserve a place on this list but I’m not going to subject myself to that, seeing as I haven’t been able to un-cringe my facial muscles since first hearing that ‘’turd in the wind line’’)
8) Tomb Raider: The Obligatory Final Boss
A film so forgettable that you risk contracting Alzheimer’s just by watching it, Tomb Raider is the cinematic equivalent of flavourless tap water. Granted, that means that it’s perfectly inoffensive and watchable, but such a proposition is hardly appealing from a consumer standpoint. With neither glaring issues nor noteworthy bright spots, Roar Uthaug’s film serves as a textbook example of what ‘’Meh’’ looks like. Everything – from the script, to the direction and even the performances – is serviceable and that’s precisely the problem!
The crushing sense of mediocrity extends to the movie’s sluggish denouement, which is admittedly among the more passable entries in this list. Yet, it’s just so dull and uninspired! When you think of the Tomb Raider games, you likely conjure up images of dazzling acrobatics, globetrotting escapades, ferocious creatures and outlandish set-pieces. However, you’ll find none of that in this listless shurgfest, which peters out on a middle-of-the-road fist fight instead. To be fair, it’s not especially terrible but at the same time you’d be hard-pressed to call it thrilling.
7) Ready Player One: The Battle for the Oasis
I’ll openly admit to liking Ready Player One. For all its embarrassing pandering and stilted dialogue, it had its moments and the blistering pace prevented you from dwelling on the flaws for too long.
That being said, it never felt like a truly authentic Spielberg flick, especially when you take into account the surprisingly clunky set-pieces. The worst offenders in this regard were (what I like to call) the ‘’Shit on the Screen’’ sequences. You know the parts I’m referring to: those totally overblown fights where the visual effects artists valiantly tried to cram in as many licensed characters as possible.
Whenever the film stumbles into this chaotic territory, the audience inevitably checks out, as the frame becomes cluttered with hundreds upon hundreds of indistinct, CGI specks, all running around in disorganised chaos. It’s pure sensory overload and completely undermines the core appeal of seeing these intellectual properties converge. After all, you can’t really make any of the characters out when they’re all simultaneously vying for your attention like this.
The thing is, I really do love the idea of seeing Gremlins, Robocop, Jason Voorhees and Batman all duking it out in a shared universe, but that gimmick isn’t done justice here. They really needed to scale things back, cherry picking a few of the best references so that they could have meaningful time in the spotlight. As it stands however, these battles are just incoherent messes.
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