It doesn’t matter how bad American-made movies are these days.
Foreign audiences, dazzled by the CGI wonders Tinsel Town can conjure, will gobble them up. That’s particularly true for films this year. Some of the worst summer movies in recent memory are making major coin overseas these days. That doesn’t make sitting through them any easier.
And while the year is only half over, it’s hard to imagine we’ll see movies much worse than the following six stink bombs.
Transformers: The Last Knight
Saying this is the worst of the five “Transformers” films to date doesn’t describe how awful this sequel truly is. Try incoherent. Dumb. Illogical. Clumsy. Silly. And never, ever entertaining.
Finding the worst part of a terrible movie can be tricky. Not here. Watching Anthony Hopkins, the Oscar winner who made Hannibal Lecter one of the greatest movie villains in history, embarrass himself here is too painful to describe.
Tom Cruise is a control freak, and he’ll tell you that himself. It’s one reason the actor remains a major action star into his 50s. He controls the films he stars in, making sure to pick the best screenplays, directors and co-stars.
So what happened with “The Mummy”? It’s flat-out awful, playing out like a parody of a generic Cruise blockbuster. It’s meant to kick off the “Dark Universe” of classic movie monsters. So far, it’s a bust at the U.S. box office, and for good reason. Yet, like “The Last Knight,” it’s performing well overseas.
What do you get when you mix comedy, drama, heartfelt activism, an adorable CGI creature and action? A complete mess, or more specifically “Okja.”
This liberal screed is an attack on both capitalism and Big Meat. That’s why it’s clumsy, not why it’s awful, though. The dialogue is atrocious. A sea of F-bombs straining to be meaningful and/or funny litter the screenplay. The performances are brutal. Jake Gyllenhaal’s turn as a Steve Irwin type may be the worst comic turn in modern screen history.
The creature, dubbed Okja, is adorable and masterfully brought to life by CGI. Everything else here is, to quote a former presidential candidate, deplorable.
They made a dumb TV show dumber. The R-rated “Baywatch” features words you couldn’t say on the “classic” TV show that inspired it. A few more F-bombs can’t make this limp comedy funny, though. Nor can Dwayne Johnson, trying mightily to muscle the movie into the win column.
We get the obligatory cameos from two “Baywatch” stars of yore. Seeing them again only makes us pine for the source material. And that was a guilty pleasure … at best.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Time to hang it up, Jack Sparrow. The original “Pirates of the Caribbean” caught everyone by surprise. Johnny Depp’s drunken pirate became a sensation, earning him an Oscar nomination in the process. That was then. Now, five features in, Captain Jack is a predictable bore.
The latest movie begins well, but soon the franchise’s penchant for bloated set pieces and nonsensical narratives takes over. And Depp is clearly phoning his iconic character at this point.
The plot sounds original if nothing else. Sigourney Weaver plays a surgeon who takes revenge on the female assassin who killed her brother by changing her sexual identity. Suddenly, Michelle Rodriguez is playing a male, not a female, hitman.
That pulpy set-up delivers very few thrills. The story is absurd to the core, even though Weaver treats the material like Shakespeare. Rodriguez isn’t believable as the newly male killer, turning what might have been compelling scenes into giggle-inducing moments.