If you’ve read Dustin’s review, you’ll know that No Good Deed is a festering crap pile of a movie, even if it got #1 at the box office because a bunch of people would rather see it than shell out for a sixth viewing of Guardians of the Galaxy. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: September, fuck you very much.
Salt in the wound of this particular abomination, however, is that it stars Idris Elba, who by anyone’s estimation just… deserves better. The same is true of No Good Deed’s Taraji P. Henson, who’s a very good actress, but she’s not the one the Internet’s been losing its collective damn mind over for a year-plus now. Idris is great on TV, he’s great in supporting roles, he’s great on the eyes. He’s a goddamned movie star. But when you give him his own movie to star in, you get shit like No Good Deed and Obsessed. Or Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, which got a lot of buzz… until it came out, which is code for “Nelson Mandela just died, so we’d rather not talk about how his biopic kind of sucks.”
Elba’s not alone. Here are six others who deserve far better than they’re getting, but don’t, because… reasons*.
It feels like the entire damn world—or at least the part of the Internet obsessed with superhero movies, because I live in a bubble and won’t try to pretend that I don’t—bought a one-way ticket to Sebastian Stanville after The Winter Soldier came out. And why not? The man did a great job playing an intriguing, near dialogueless character with a tragic backstory. Plus, Stan’s hot. The internet knows what it wants. He was near the top of IMDB’s STARmeter for a while, because people were obsessed with finding out if he’d been in other good things they could get their grubby paws on. (Spoiler alert: He hasn’t. Don’t come to me with Kings. Kings was not good.) We should be looking at a Tom-Hiddleston-after-Thor amount of projects, yet aside from the seven other movies in his Marvel contract, Stan has one movie lined up. One, a sports comedy about gymnastics. What’s happening here? Is he not getting good scripts? Is he enjoying time off playing Yahtzee? Don’t tell me he got picky—he was in The Covenant.
The day of adorably quirky leading man John Cusack might be over, but there’s no good reason for the path his career has taken. Do you know how many movies he has coming out in 2014? Did you guess “…there’s a John Cusack movie coming out this year? Wait, is The Butler 2014? He was in that, right?” Because the answer’s eight. E I G H T. All of them, with the exception of David Cronenberg’s Map to the Stars, are either direct to VOD or look like they should be. John, I do not begrudge you the fact that you are working and pulling in those paychecks, but seriously, what the fuck is this? “A former race car driver is abducted by a mysterious thief and forced to be the wheel-man for a crime that puts them both in the sights of the cops and the mob”? With Thomas Jane. You are better than that, man. You are better than The Raven. Start snatching up more supporting roles in weirdo, prestigious indie movies, and let’s get this comeback on the road.
I’ve written about this before, but the TL;DR is that Sam Rockwell is the alpha and the omega of “Why is this amazing actor in so many bad movies?” Sam Rockwell should be in only good movies, and to be fair, he is in a whole bunch of them, like Moon and Seven Psychopaths. But then… Iron Man 2. Cowboys & Aliens. Shitty indies like Better Living Through Chemistry and Loitering with Intent. Look, I just want the entire universe to recognize that Rockwell’s one of the best thing the cinematic arts has going for it right now. Is that too much to ask?
Let’s all pretend I wrote this before Steven Soderbergh’s The Knick premiered, because in it Clive Owen has a starring role in a really, really good show. Instead, look at his movie career. No, it’s… his movie career. Over there. Jesus Christ, your brain just slides right over it, doesn’t it? Despite excellent turns in movies like Children of Men and Inside Man, the world has shown a startling ability to complete forget the fact that Clive Owen exists. There’s only room for one hot, middle-aged British dude whose name has five letters and starts with a “C,” I guess, and Colin Firth is Mr. Darcy.
I want everyone responsible for Colin Farrell accepting Winter’s Tale—indeed, everyone involved in that movie as a whole, and that includes Farrell—to be slapped with a condom full of leeches. I’ve seen In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths, Colin. I know you’re better than this. Just work with good directors and you’re golden!
*”Reasons,” in the case of Elba, might have something to do with “institutionalized racism in Hollywood.” I’m just sayin’.