While Hollywood was busy repeatedly patting itself on the back for its supposed cinematic triumphs, the Golden Raspberry Awards continued their mission to balance things out by skewering the year’s most dismal releases. The 38th edition of this annual ritual was held at the peak of the award season, with the "winners" announced a day before the Academy Awards.
The contenders in all the main categories for this year’s Razzies were about as surprising and creative as the movies they were "celebrating". The announcement of the nominees in January had resulted in a bit of a backlash from audiences for the three nominations given to the polarizing Mother! (including a Noxious Enactment by an Actress nod for Jennifer Lawrence and Worst Director for Darren Aronofsky), but by and large the choices across the board were mostly easy targets.
To the shock of absolutely no one anywhere, Transformers: The Last Knight and Fifty Shades Darker led the list with 10 and 9 nominations respectively. The disappointing The Mummy found itself targeted in 8 categories, while the damp-squib Baywatch and the absolutely abysmal The Emoji Movie earned 5 nods each.
The winners - which can be seen on the Razzie’s YouTube channel in a shoddy video that could itself have won a Razzie - mostly went to very worthy offenders.
The Emoji Movie scored four well-deserved dishonours, not only earning the trifecta of Worst Picture, Worst Director (Tony Leondis), and Worst Screenplay (Tony Leondis, Eric Siegel, and Mike White) awards but also snagging the Worst Screen Combo title for any two of its many obnoxious emojis.
Other predictable winners included Fifty Shades Darker which was a shoo-in for the Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel trophy (Kim Basinger also won a Worst Supporting Actress award for this film); Tyler Perry, who beat the aforementioned Lawrence as well as Dakota Johnson, Katherine Heigl, and Emma Watson in the Worst Actress category for his reprisal of the role of Madea in the critically reviled Boo 2! A Madea Halloween; CHiPs, which was given the Barry L. Bumstead Award for being a critical and financial failure; and Baywatch, which won in the new category of The Razzie Nominee So Bad You Loved It! (with Dwayne Johnson subsequently accepting the blow "humbly and graciously" in a video online).
But Tom Cruise was a slightly unexpected - and a tad unfair - winner in the Worst Actor category for The Mummy. Surely that wasn’t the worst performance by an actor last year?
And just how did Transformers: The Last Knight and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales manage to escape unscathed? Was Mel Gibson really a worse supporting actor in Daddy’s Home 2 than Josh Duhamel was in Transformers: The Last Knight? The Razzies seem to think so, although the audience opinion remains divided.
Other highlights of the 2018 Razzies included an In Memoriam segment which, in light of last year’s events, featured a montage of sexual misconduct offenders, and the Razzie Redeemer Award, which went to Hollywood itself for changing its Razzie-worthy behaviour and morphing into an industry "where talent is protected, nourished and allowed to flourish with proper compensation."
So, as always, the Razzies weren’t exactly a revelation but they did offer a bit of fun, and they also left us with a very important question: what would a local version of the ceremony look like? Sunehri Bair Awards, anyone?