We’ve been over the stars who’ve seen big ups and downs this year. Now it’s time to reflect on the dashing gentlemen to whom 2015 was a cruel mistress.
Steven was no fan of The Boy Next Door, but even he had to admit Guzman’s lusty ad-lib “I love your mother’s cookies” was “an early contender for the year’s funniest line of dialogue.” Thanks to some bonkers violence and this ingendude’s hot boob-grabbing action, this Jennifer Lopez-fronted thriller made bank. But it was scorned by critics, and earned Guzman little positive notice. Things got worse with his follow-up Jem and the Holograms, which not only got trashed by critics (except yours truly), but also flopped so hard it broke records.
Armie Hammer and Henry Cavill
Both classically attractive and strapping menfolk, these two should be big deals. One is Man of Steel’s Superman. The other was to be the franchise launcher of Lone Ranger. And yet they just can’t seem to get audiences to give a damn about them. Guy Ritchie’s swinging ’60s spy caper The Man from U.N.C.L.E. failed to impress in a year overloaded with espionage flicks (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Spy, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, Spectre). But worse yet, these two were overshadowed by 2015 MVP Alicia Vikander…and her seriously coveted fashions.
It’s a bitter pill that Charming Potato had such a shit year, because the guy worked his ass off making three very ambitious movies. Sadly, two of them disappointed at the box office. The $176 million space saga Jupiter Ascending made a measly $47 million domestically, and was instantly a laughingstock for the Wachowski Siblings’ bramble of curious creative choices. Then came Magic Mike XXL, which won critical praise, but somehow failed to bring in the kinds of crowds its predecessor did, despite being a way more enjoyable movie. Thankfully, Tatum’s finishing off the year as part of the ensemble of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight. But while co-stars like Samuel L. Jackson and Jennifer Jason Leigh are scoring acting nominations for their performances, early reviews have this star getting shrugs and scorn.
If you saw the look of his face during any moment of the press tour for Fifty Shades of Grey, you’d likely say no one had a worse year than its male lead. Dornan was downright disdainful of the kinky sex the film portrayed, and his bad attitude rubbed fans the wrong way. Unfortunately for this Northern Irish ingendud, his time as Christian Grey is far from over, as sequels are in the works. And worse still, in-fighting between novelist E.L. James, director Sam Taylor-Johnson and celebrated screenwriter Kelly Marcel have chased the latter two far away from Fifty Shades Darker. So next time around, Dornan and his poor co-star Dakota Johnson will be subjected to the full force of James as well as a script penned by her husband Niall Leonard.
Did you know this guy had three movies out this year? Yup. Sure, there was Southpaw, the boxing movie that’s been overshadowed (and rightly so) by Creed. But there was also the mountain-scaling drama Everest and the “comedy” David O. Russell directed then disowned, Accidental Love. Last year, Gyllenhaal was riding high—despite the Oscar snub—with Nightcrawler. This year, the best attention he drew was over how tall he is, or isn’t.
Last year, this smoldering leading man fronted the highest domestic grossing movie of the year with American Sniper. This year, he was in Cameron Crowe’s disastrous Aloha, the Oscar bait fail Burnt and the David O. Russell mansplation Joy. Woof. Fittingly, Cooper’s next role will be voicing a dog in Lasse Hallström’s A Dog’s Purpose, which boasts this WTF synopsis: “A dog looks to discover his purpose in life over the course of several lifetimes and owners.”
Avengers: Age of Ultron made bank, but Hemsworth’s Thor was reduced to a minor role, popping in to wag his hammer and take off his shirt. (For the record: I’m complaining about neither.) Regardless, this awesome Aussie was poised to have a big year, having secured the lead in two non-Marvel movies with esteemed directors. But Michael Mann’s hacker thriller Blackhat bombed hard, and the big historical epic In The Heart of the Sea went from presumed Oscar contender to a bloated albatross lost amid December’s more buzzed about offerings. It seemed Hemsworth was trying to show us he could be so much more than a god. And he failed.
I saw two Hugh Jackman movies this year, and actually forgot both were 2015 releases. The first was the sloppy sci-fi flick Chappie, which earned disappointing box office and scathing reviews. Then came Pan, the mind-snappingly stupid flop that made a mess of Peter Pan’s story, trading Nirvana jams and cowboy Captain Hook for any kind of sense-making storyline. I like to imagine Jackman saw the latter and miffed, “I shaved my head for this?!”