Thankfully, reviewing is not my paid job. It’s just as well. The list of movies I am prepared to sit through is ever-shrinking, thanks to an in-built content filter that flashes red at the very casting of certain actors. Their very names on a poster has become a guaranteed indicator of cinematic sewage not worth my time. Life is simply too short and getting shorter by the day. It’s becoming quite a list.
Steven Segal was never that watchable, even Under Siege succeeded in spite of, not because of him; after all, it was Die Hard on a Boat. He’s now been making the same ‘action-thriller’ for twenty-five years.
Speaking of Die Hard, Bruce Willis has been unwatchable for decades – Twelve Monkeys was his last decent performance and only Looper has coaxed him into anything close. Both Red‘s were the laziest, contemptible (toward the audience) performances imaginable.
Gerard Butler has and probably always will be terrible. The gruff Scottish lump has ruined many a project from Phantom to Lara Croft, just by being a gruff Scottish lump. From his nasty, mean-spirited Has Fallen series to the downright unpleasant Law Abiding Citizen, the Butler acting vaccuum punched a whole in 300 big enough to pass a Persian army.
Nicolas Cage now cranks out three or four equally nasty, mean-spirited pictures a year, none of them even close to Snake Eyes. A standing joke since Con Air, his performances in 9mm, Knowing, Ghost Riders and the latest crop of ‘thrillers’ are increasingly disturbing.
Adam Sandler. Just. Not. Funny. Amongst a vast and generally abhorrent back catalogue, Little Nicky is a crime against humanity, a stain that can never be forgiven.
Owen Wilson. An ‘actor’ who exists on a plane so far removed from humanity he may actually be a mythological creature.
Those are just the A-list who for some unfathomable reason, are continually hired on the basis of past glories. I could go on through the B-list of actors associated with someone else’s past glories who now get paid to headline; Vince Vaughan, Aaron Eckhart and anyone surnamed Baldwin.
Then there’s a list of C- and D-list nobodies, some of whom were never and never will be ‘actors’ so much as personalities who parade in front of the camera growling compostable dialogue: Dolph Lundgren, Danny Trejo, Scott Adkins, Vinnie Jones, Craig Fairbrass. Sometimes you get these morons in a movie together (the grammatically unsound Avengement? Not going there).
You can frequently spot a ‘lemon’ by playing the ‘with, and, but…’ game of casting, for example, Sahara: Matthew McConaughey, Penelope Cruz, with William H. Macy and Lennie James but Steve Zahn. And it’s often the but casting that sinks a movie. Sahara is a bad example, I had forgotten Penelope Cruz, thinking it was a Kate Hudson, whereas McConaughey will have to carry that cross for life…
Therefore I urge you to use your time wisely, as all those hours in the company of Martin Lawrence can never be regained. RC