Top 5 Most Disappointing Movies In 2021

(Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

Yesterday, I covered the top five movies of 2021. You can read that list below. Let me know what your top five are while you’re at it.

(READ: Top 5 Movies of 2021)

I thought if we’re going to list the best, we should also list the worst, and as I started to compile the list I realized that what I was undertaking was an impossible task. I can’t choose which one was the worst because 2021 was a year of so many bad films that I’m having a hard time deciding.

But one thing is for certain. There were films that I was very disappointed by. Films I really wanted to be good but felt ultimately let down and unsatisfied with by the end. Films that promised a top-quality ribeye and delivered a well-done piece of jerky with ketchup on it.

So let’s go through these top five, and you can list your top five in the comments below. Just a warning, some of these may contain spoilers.

5. Mortal Kombat

It shouldn’t be this hard. You have a fighting tournament in a different dimension with the world being the prize. We’ve made better movies about martial arts tournaments with far fewer stakes like Karate Kid and Bloodsport. How is it that we can’t just take the spirit of those movies and add a little fantasy/sci-fi?

I endured 2021’s Mortal Kombat more than I did watch it. In fact, I remember pausing it and walking away at one point to do something a bit more interesting, then proceeded to play it again when I felt I could pay attention without absentmindedly picking up my phone and browsing Reddit.

The film starts out interesting enough with the telling of why Sub-Zero and Scorpion have the rivalry we do, but then it quickly devolves. The main character is a washed-up MMA fighter who must find his inner strength amongst better-known characters from the franchise, but I felt left with very little reason to actually like him. Cloud watching is more dynamic than his story. Moreover, there are moments in the film that will have you cringing just like the second Mortal Kombat did back in the day.

Overall, another ridiculous attempt to bring a franchise past its prime to the big screen.

4: Venom 2: Let Their Be Carnage 

When I was a kid, everyone wanted to be Spider-Man, but me, being weird, wanted to be Venom. Having an alien symbiote companion that could turn me into a superhuman fighting machine at will with all the powers of Spider-Man and more just seemed like a solid choice for powers, and the black suit just made it all the cooler.

When the first Venom movie was announced I was excited. When I was told Tom Hardy was going to play Eddie Brock, I was even more jazzed. I tempered my expectations since this was a Sony property, not a Marvel/Sony work, and to be sure, I’m glad I did. The first Venom wasn’t bad, but it could have been far better. Sadly, I can’t say the same for the second one.

The plot was shallow, predictable, and felt more like a film with nothing but filler than anything substantial. In other words, it’s a Sony superhero film. My biggest problem wasn’t even with that, though. It was the fact that this film would have worked far better as a buddy comedy but instead became more about Brock and Venom bickering like a married couple. It was annoying to watch, especially because it felt like that too-thick side-plot didn’t even really go anywhere.

Venom 2: Let Their Be Carnage let the younger me down.

3: Godzilla vs Kong

Kaiju movies don’t have to be very deep. When you have giant monsters throwing hands, you can kind of skimp on a lot else. A perfect example of how to do this is the first Pacific Rim. A great example of how not to do this is the second Pacific Rim. Now, we also have Godzilla vs Kong as the way to not make a kaiju movie.

To give you an idea as to how disappointing and underwhelming this movie was, I attempted to recall, from memory, much of the plot points and characters and couldn’t remember the vast majority of the people in that movie or the reasons for them being there. I remember there was a little girl who could communicate with Kong via sign language and Eleven from Stranger Things is in it, but what she did in that movie escapes me.

What I do remember is that Kong and Godzilla were rivals and that the fight between the two was destined to happen one day. Indeed, they had their epic battle, but eventually had to team up after slugging it out themselves in order to defeat Mecha-Godzilla, and that created begrudging respect between the two of them. End film.

Godzilla vs Kong had its moments, and those moments happened when they weren’t trying to shoehorn human elements into it that basically was there to be filler.

2: Free Guy

Free Guy had all the elements to make a film enjoyable. It had a video game backdrop, it had ridiculous digital action, it even had Ryan Reynolds making Ryan Reynolds jokes. What it didn’t have was a way to keep my attention focused on it.

Despite a colorful movie that should contain a lot of action scenes and references to things I liked, Free Guy didn’t manage to keep my attention. In fact, I have to confess that I didn’t even finish it. The dialogue in the movie became so cringe-worthy and horribly acted that it literally made me turn it off. I was so divested from the plot of the movie by that point to boot and realized I spent more time looking at my phone.

If you want a good version of Free Guy, go watch The Lego Movie. It’s effectively the same premise but executed far better.

1: Space Jam: A New Legacy

Maybe Lebron really should shut up and dribble.

When 1996’s Space Jam hit theaters I went to see it and was blown away by the spectacle. In fact, it was pretty beloved by the world. I even had the entire soundtrack on CD and to this day I can’t hear one of the songs on it without getting a little nostalgic. To be honest, the movie doesn’t hold up as well to my adult self as my kid self, but even with that said, I wouldn’t say it’s a bad movie.

Space Jam 2 attempts to hit all the notes of its predecessor but falls short due to the introduction of modern elements. Lebron James is no replacement for Michael Jordan. An evil digital AI is no replacement for the Monstars. Modern Lola Bunny is no replacement for Lola Bunny. The plot is, more or less, a direct rip-off of the better Space Jam but with Warner Bros effectively advertising itself while stroking James’s ego, which he really doesn’t need more of. To boot, it adds just a dash of wokeness, including stripping out the character of Pepe Le Pew, because a French skunk constantly trying to seduce a cartoon cat is a bit too much in this post #MeToo era.

They did put the boys from A Clockwork Orange in there, but I’ll let you figure out why that’s a bit hypocritical on your own.

If you haven’t seen the 2021 Space Jam yet, just skip it. Go watch the original and spare yourself the disappointment.