Tuesday, May 24, 2016

"A Good Actor Is A Terrible Thing To Waste": 6 More Perfectly Good Actors Wasted In Subpar Superhero Movies

Well, this worked out pretty well last time, so why don't I take a take a look today at six more actors who got their considerable talents wasted in subpar superhero movies?
Josh Brolin (Jonah Hex)
It's borderline astonishing how every single aspect of Jonah Hex was a disaster. Its filming was a nightmare, it was released opposite fellow cowboy-led film Toy Story 3 and its greatest claim to infamy at this point is being an early role for one of the great actors of our time, Michael Fassbender. And then there's Brolin as Jonah Hex. Brolin is an incredibly talented actor whose managed to turn a Southern disposition into something more substantive in the likes of No Country For Old Men, but good Lord is he out of his element here. It's doubtful anyone could have made this pathetic script work, but it's a pity this black hole of a motion picture had to such in such a gifted performer like Brolin into its jaws.
Christopher Eccleston (Thor: The Dark World)
There are bad guys with poorly fleshed out or sporadically shifting motivation. Then there are bad guys like Malekith from Thor: The Dark World, who doesn't even have much of a motivation to speak of. He's just "a bad guy" and he's even less interesting than that description implies. Christopher Eccleston, buried underneath a ton of prosthetics, was the "lucky" actor to land this role, after Mads Mikkelsen passed on the part after having to choose between playing Malekith or the lead role on Hannibal. At the time, I thought it was crazy he was for passing on playing a Thor foe, but four years later, it's apparent Mikkelsen got lucky (hopefully Doctor Strange gives him something to do) while Eccleston got saddled with one of the weakest comic book movie bad guys of all-time.
Will Arnett (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Will Arnett might be the definitive big-screen Batman in my book, but his other forays into the realm of comic book movies has been...well, not so good, to put it gently. He actually got a supporting role in the aforementioned Jonah Hex and then there was his turn as Vernon in the 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. Aside from one brief Arrested Development reference while he's making a sandwich, the ample comedy talents Arnett possesses are thrown out the window in favor of him just lusting after Megan Fox's ass. It's a gross and unfunny performance, one that tremendously wastes Will Arnett, which is always a huge mistake.
Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Hot off his turn in The Social Network, Andrew Garfield was one of the hottest rising stars of his generation. 99 Homes last Fall proved this guys still got plenty of chops and that the duo of Amazing Spider-Man movies just gave him nothing to do from a screenwriting or directing perspective. Garfield may have been a little old for the role when he was cast as Peter Parker, but I'm sure he could have been a solid Spider-Man if he had the chance to do things that were dramatically compelling. Instead, he got to rock out Coldplay, act like a dick, lug a skateboard around his High School (do you get that he's a loner yet?) and stalk his ex-girlfriend. The problems of these two Spider-Man films are great in size but giving a talented actor like Garfield nothing to do over the course of two feature length movies has to stand as one of its greatest failings.
Christoph Waltz (The Green Hornet)
In his first post-Inglorious Basterds role (for which he won an Academy Award), Christoph Waltz played the bad guy in this forgotten Seth Rogen headlined action/comedy. While I like how Waltz bad guy character is motivated by a mid-life crisis, he doesn't get to really chew the scenery or provide much menace. Much as I love Christoph Waltz, this part probably should have gone to the initial actor slated for the role, Nicolas Cage, who insisted on playing the character with a Jamaican accent. Now that would have at least been memorably bonkers!

Jesse Eisenberg (Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice)
I could just copy and paste the entire cast list on IMDB for Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice and it would suffice since there isn't a soul on this sordid production that gets to utilize their talents properly. Jesse Eisenberg may be the most tragic of all of the films massive amount of wasted potential though. Here's a guy whose shown considerable talent in dramas like The Social Network, The Squid And The Whale, Adventureland and The End Of The Tour and it gets wasted here with a tonally disjointed character that's like the most aggravating version of a Joel Schumacher Batman villain plopped into a typically color and quality devoid Zack Snyder film.

In theory, such tonal dissonance should provide some unintentional amusement, but Lex is such an incredibly irritating creation that no such humor comes to fruition. Instead, we get a character with zero noteworthy motivation for hating Superman and whose "quirky" antics register more as baffling rather than funny or menacing. Let me put it this way; I'd rather have someone shove a thousand cherry Jolly Ranchers down my throat than have to endure another minute of this dreadful character ever again.

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