When movies are really, truly terrible, publicists don't schedule screenings for the press. But sometimes I like to play catch-up on the shitty ones—the ones that didn't screen—on my own time. Shitty things give me a reason to get up in the morning. It's like I'm the Roto-Rooter of movie reviewing, and shitty movies represent the chunks of shit blocking the underground shit-pipe (which flows into, um, the pristine ocean of cinematic artistry), and the only thing that can save the day is the action blade of my righteous critical word-snake, slicing and dicing through the subterranean obstruction.

Wow. The deeper I get into this metaphor, the less I like being a part of it.

Last Sunday, I saw three terrible movies. In a row. In this order: Babylon A.D., Righteous Kill, and Bangkok Dangerous. These movies have several things in common. All three protagonists are renegades: a futuristic mercenary, a rogue cop, a lonely assassin. All three renegades have good intentions (if not quite hearts of gold). Also, all three movies make zero fucking sense.

In Babylon A.D., Vin Diesel is Toorop, a bald, busty soldier of fortune in the year Not-That-Long-From-Now-Wink-Wink. When a lumpy Russian named Gorsky (Gerard Depardieu! Hoh-hoh-hohh!) conscripts Toorop to smuggle a pretty lady (Melanie Thierry) to New York City, you know what's coming—yep, iiiiit's ROAD TRIP TIME!!! Against the combined wisdom of a thousand lifetimes, I sometimes find myself attracted to the barely conscious Vin Diesel. I assume it's some visceral, hormonal nesting instinct that causes me to seek out the man most likely to defeat a saber-toothed tiger in hand-to-paw combat. Anyway, this movie is about a psychic Russian nun impregnated with magic babies for no reason. It has possibly the worst ending in all of cinema.

Righteous Kill is about two grizzled police detectives (Robert De Niro and Al Pacino) who are also best fwiends! One of them is secretly murdering "dirtbags" and leaving horrid little poems at the crime scenes: "Merchant of the thieving class/I slit his throat and capped his ass." "He took what women would not give/He did not have the right to live." This movie is worse than Babylon A.D. No joke.

And, finally, Bangkok Dangerous, which raises a lot of questions. For example: How hard does Nicolas Cage have to poop? Is Nicolas Cage part shark, or are all sharks part Nicolas Cage? Is it written into Nicolas Cage's contract that he must be allowed to wear loose, breathable sweat pants for at least 75 percent of all his films? And, most importantly, Nicolas Cage's hair: WTF? Just what exactly is clinging to the top of that head? A prehistoric beaver pelt? A coal miner's sooty beard? The mystery deepens. But one thing's for sure—it'd clog the shit out of your sewer pipe. (Call me! Metaphorically.) recommended