When it’s hot outside, there’s no better place to cool off than a movie theater — except when it turns into Hollywood hell. Yes, our intrepid Peter Travers has returned with his trusty Scum Bucket to regale you with his tales of suffering through the absolute worst movies of June.
Travers needs to say little more than the title of the movie clocking in at number 10, All Cheerleaders Must Die. Though he adds a curt “Do I need to say more?” before moving right along to The Signal, which tells the miserable story of a mission to rescue a computer genius somewhere in the desert.
In Trust Me, the great Clark Gregg is relegated to portraying an agent for child actors, while the equally wonderful Richard Jenkins finds himself playing a cancer patient who wants his family to pull the plug in the too sad, too terrible, Lullaby. The Moment falls at number six, another awful project for another great performer, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and should lead to the firing of another agent.
Aaron Paul’s post-Breaking Bad run takes another unfortunate turn with Hellion, and despite the best efforts of Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler, Travers says the rom-com send up They Came Together “falls flat in every way.”
At number three is the latest from Oscar-winner Paul Haggis, Third Person, which wastes a metric ton of talent, including Liam Neeson, who stars as an author with writer’s block who begins imagining things are happening to him. “It pretends to be an art film,” Travers says dryly, “but it’s a fart film. I call it that, that’s the technical term.” And the movie at number two, Think Like a Man Too, once again gives the fantastic comic actor Kevin Hart absolutely nothing to work with. “You want to destroy it, you want to give them all permanent homes in the Scum Bucket!” Travers says. “I’m sorry Kevin, you’re great. The movies you do are horrendous.”
Unsurprisingly, Travers has saved most of his breath and anger for June’s ultimate punching bag: Transformers: Age of Extinction directed by Travers’ archenemy, Michael Bay. The film trades Shia LaBeouf for Mark Wahlberg and essentially kickstarts another Transformers trilogy, which makes Travers want to put a bag over his head.
Wahlberg plays a Texas father who discovers a Transformer amidst a pile of scrap metal and has to help combat the government’s efforts to outlaw the shape-shifting robots so they can amass an army of their own. The tedious 165-minute film culminates with a brutally drawn-out climax in Hong Kong, during which Travers recalls telling the people next to him, “‘Let me out of this movie! I want to escape here!'” He adds, “It’s as if someone took the lid of an old garbage can and kept banging it on your head!”
Not only is Transformers: Age of Extinction the worst movie of June, Travers says before delivering it to its rightful home in the Scum Bucket, he’s declaring it the worst movie of the first half of 2014. “And,” he adds, “I’m betting right here that when it comes to the end of December this will still be the worst movie any of us will see.”