Hollywood Fails: The 8 Worst Movies Of 2022

Hollywood suffered several body blows this year.

Yes, “Top Gun: Maverick” delivered on its hype, and superhero fatigue evidently hasn’t set in given the gonzo box office for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and “Thor: Love and Thunder.”

The year’s awards season contenders got pummeled at the box office, though, and the streaming revolution kept many glued to their couches. So did woke busts like “Strange World” and “Lightyear.”

The year also delivered some classic clunkers, films that made the movie-going experience a burden. The worst of the worst arrived with plenty of fanfare, but even one of Hollywood’s most intriguing directors couldn’t prevent it from topping 2022’s worst list.

Nope

Jordan Peele shocked everyone by uncorking 2017’s “Get Out,” a horror film mocking liberal elites in the most delicious way possible. His follow-up, 2019’s “Us,” couldn’t match that debut’s shock value but included smart scares and thoughtful, Left-leaning commentary.

Peele’s third film finds him abandoning his woke messaging for a tale with an intriguing first act. A mysterious force lurks in the sky, and it’s up to a family of horse trainers, led by Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer, to stop it from crushing their ranch and possibly much more.

The lo-fi effects aren’t the problem here. Palmer’s character is irritating to the core, while Kaluuya has trouble staying awake on screen. We know the feeling. The finale is a dud for the ages, blending head-scratching character choices and dread-free confrontations. 

Suddenly Peele’s directorial promise has a decided M. Night Shyamalan vibe. Did Peele peak with his first major hit like Shyamalan did with “The Sixth Sense?”

Marry Me

Rom-coms are currently on life support thanks to absurd plot gimmicks and a fear of old-school romance. This 2022 debacle helps explain the genre’s sorry state of affairs.

Jennifer Lopez plays a pop princess prepping to marry her pop prince during a sold-out show. She learns, mid-performance, he’s been cheating on her. She decides to select a random dude out of the audience (Owen Wilson, who should have known better than to take this gig) to marry instead.

Yes, that’s the actual plot of the film. Really. Suffice to say, matters don’t improve from there.

Clerks III

Remember when it was cool to watch movie nerds debate “Star Wars” lore on the big screen? Kevin Smith’s 1994 indie smash “Clerks” ran with that theme, but every third YouTube channel now provides that service.

That left Smith scrambling for both relevance and a reason to reunite his old “Clerks” crew one more time. He found neither in this cinematic stink bomb.

Forever clerks Randal and Dante (Jeff Anderson, Brian O’Halloran) shoot a movie about their days behind the counter after Randal recovers from a near-fatal heart attack. The jokes are few, the sentimentality would embarrass a Hallmark movie buff, and the sequel smells like a misguided attempt to revive Smith’s glory days.

The Lair

Director Neil Marshall delivered one of the best monster movies in recent memory with 2005’s “The Descent.” The Brit has been working steadily ever since, never coming close to that modern classic in the process. Think “Hellboy,” “Centurion,” “Doomsday,” and “The Reckoning.”

“The Lair” marks a low point not just for Marshall but for the horror genre. A Mary Sue-style heroine (Charlotte Kirk) battles nasty creatures who have staked out a base in modern-day Afghanistan. 

Now, Kirk’s character and a rogue’s gallery of forgettable soldiers must subdue both the monsters and atrocious, even by B-movie standards, dialogue.

The only positive note about “The Lair?” No socio-political lecturing between the dumb action scenes and dumber monster battles.

Me Time

Kevin Hart needs a heart-to-heart chat with his agent. He’s one of the industry’s most likable talents, but he routinely chooses projects beneath those talents. Fellow critics threw his other Netflix original, “The Man from Toronto,” under the bus, too.

“Me Time” offers an example of his terrible decisions. He’s cast as an emasculated dad who reunites with his buddy (Mark Wahlberg) for some extreme adventures. Laughs? Forget about it. This strained affair offers a sly premise but never becomes the rip-roaring buddy comedy it wants to be.

The Munsters

This Netflix original proves writer/director Rob Zombie loves the classic ‘60s sitcom as much as we do. So why did he update its gimmick in such slipshod fashion?

It’s not a casting issue. Sheri Moon Zombie, the director’s wife/muse, oozes sweetness as Lily Munster, while Jeff Daniel Phillips nails Herman’s cornball shtick.

The film’s aesthetic – cheap neon hues and cut-rate production design – only hints at the debacle in motion. Prepare to sit, stone-faced, as the hard-working stars scramble to replicate the source material’s deft touch.

They/Them

The horror film’s title is darn near brilliant (it’s pronounced “They – Slash – Them”). Everything else about the Peacock thriller is a train wreck.

The uber-woke story follows LGBTQ+ campers dropped off at a deprogramming camp run by Kevin Bacon. So why is Bacon’s character so kind, so tolerant? Is it an act, or are there other threats lurking on the camp grounds?

You won’t care. The film’s progressive bona fides are off the charts, but audiences have little tolerance for a film lacking tension, horror-style kills, or other genre necessities. It’s a bore, something no horror film should be.

Run Sweetheart Run

The 2019 comedy “Booksmart” set the standard for super-woke movie making. “Run Sweetheart Run” begs to differ.

This brain-dead thriller follows a woman (Ella Balinska) who goes on a, “it’s not a date, but what is it?” business meeting with a client. Before the night ends she’s on the run, said client hot on her trail.

What follows is a clumsy pastiche of feminism gone wild, victimhood on steroids, and other progressive platitudes. How woke is it? Even The New York Times called foul on the film. “We get it: The male villain is a stand-in for the patriarchy, and for women, it’s an uphill battle just to survive. No need to bludgeon us over the head with it.”

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