Hot town, “scummer” in the city — Peter Travers is back once again to count down the worst movies of the month, and July was particularly rife with garbage. Our trusty critic says he could’ve tossed 25 movies into the Scum Bucket, but he’s gracious enough to leave us with only 10.
Starting things off is Earth to Echo, a kid’s movie that thinks it’s E.T. but doesn’t even land in the same universe as Steven Spielberg’s classic. Speaking of recycled plots, Very Good Girls finds Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen playing two young girls trying to lose their virginity over summer break, and as Travers succinctly puts it, “It’s a very bad movie.”
Next up is the atrocious documentary America: Imagine the World Without Her, in which filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza tries to debunk all the “myths” liberals spew about their homeland doing bad things. Travers points out some of D’Souza particularly egregious claims — like slavery wasn’t bad because black people also owned slaves, and American soldiers gave candy to children in Vietnam — before throwing it into the Scum Bucket with bewildered disgust.
At number seven is Road to Paloma, an insufferably slow revenge story that stars Jason Momoa (a.k.a. Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones), who also wrote and directed the movie. Next up, Planes: Fire and Rescue marks another tragically dull children’s movie; while Scarlett Johansson stars in Lucy, a promising film about a woman who starts using more than the average 10-percent of her brain and gains super powers. “Didn’t they make this movie with Bradley Cooper and wasn’t it called Limitless — and wasn’t it better?” Travers asks. “Uh-huh.”
Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz’s seriously unfunny Sex Tape flounders to number four, and The Purge: Anarchy is basically the same movie as 2013’s The Purge, except it plays out in the city instead of a gated community. And speaking of terrible horror movies, Eric Bana stars as a cop who gets involved in creepy crime scenes and exorcisms in Deliver Us From Evil and it’s so bad Travers can’t help but bemoan: “It’s all over the trades, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, that horror movies just aren’t doing the business that they used to do. Is that a mystery? There’s no mystery because they stink! Deliver Us From Evil? I say, deliver us from bad horror movies. Give us good ones and we’ll go!”
And last but not least, our old friend The Rock, a.k.a. Dwayne Johnson, puts on a lions-head hat and takes up the role of titular role in Hercules. It’s a movie so terrible, so dumb, that it left Travers completely speechless. So instead, he allows the Rock have the final say — and let’s just say it ain’t pretty.