With the month almost in the books, it’s time for Rolling Stone movie critic Peter Travers to bring out his handy scum bucket, tossing in the “10 scummiest movies of the merry month of May.” It’s an especially gross list this time around, so our critic brought along a special guest – monster-movie legend Godzilla – to help digest the waste.
Fittingly, the creature’s Bryan Cranston-starring reboot is up first at Number 10. While Travers isn’t too harsh on the flick, saying he enjoys the last 20 minutes “when Godzilla is on the screen,” he takes issue with the boring set-up – and especially “Cranston’s wigs.” Up next is Steven Brill’s by-the-numbers comedy Walk of Shame, which stars Elizabeth Banks in a boring “morning after” plot (“Really? That’s as much a concept as you people could think of?” Travers says) that gives the actress little of substance to work with.
Number Eight, the drama God’s Pocket, is a major heartbreaker because of the talent involved. Travers calls the film “a slog” – a shaky directorial debut for Mad Men star John Slattery, with Philip Seymour-Hoffman wasted in one of his final screen appearances. The next scum-tastic film is The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, which stars Robin Williams as a man with 90 minutes to live, trying to reconcile with his friends and family. (“Can’t you just hear the overacting?” Travers asks.) At Number Six is the crime-thriller Devil’s Knot, which focuses on the famous wrongly-accused murder case of the West Memphis Three; but Travers says this story was better told in documentary form: “It’s not much better than a documentary. It’s not much better than anything. It’s bad.”
Travers saves his strongest hate, however, for the scummy Top Five – starting with rom-com disaster The Love Punch, which stars Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson in a one-note plot. (“Godzilla, I think you would throw up if you chewed on this one,” Travers says.) Meanwhile, Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return is an eye-rolling sequel to the original classic, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 wastes the acting talents of Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield on an “unnecessary” film that “represent(s) the worst in Hollywood.”
The worst of the worst? Number Two is the Angelina Jolie-starring Maleficent, which updates the Sleeping Beauty story with a bizarre “feminist tilt” that ruins the whole vibe. (“Take a kid to it, and the kid will hate you forever,” Travers promises.) And no drumroll is needed for the reveal of May’s scummiest film, the atrocious Adam Sandler vehicle Blended. Travers calls the leading man “the Michael Bay of actors,” saying, “If he didn’t make a bad movie for summer, it wouldn’t be summer.” Between flat romantic scenes with old friend Drew Barrymore, Travers says Sandler tosses out “the worst jokes I can remember hearing in movies in this century.” Not even ol’ pal Godzilla can help find the good in this one.