I have usually stated, in front of unforgiving people, that I consider the recent influx Superhero movies a bane to the cinema industry. Don’t get me wrong, I was equally thrilled to see my favourite superheroes out of the comics in live-action movies. But it’s not so exciting anymore when the producers see what exactly works with the audience and decide to bombard them with a stream of movies with the same plots and characters if you strip each film down to its core. Even the acting falls under the generalist category, with characters that are rarely multidimensional or unique. However, there are those who tried to still fail to do deliver even within the given stencil. Be it the fault of the writer who failed at giving personality to the character, be it the director who failed to make a gripping film, or just the actor themselves, there are those who just failed at being a superhero. Here is the list of actors who played superheroes the worst.
10. Ryan Reynolds as Weapon XI/Deadpool: X-Men Origins Wolverine
We all know that there cannot be a better Deadpool than Ryan Reynolds, but this was proven only because he was given a second chance to prove himself. His name on the list comes because of the fault of the story rather than himself, but the shallow characterization and the downright outrageous portrayal where his mouth is sewn, taking away his most prominent chatterbox characteristic. However, if any of the character could be retained through the body language or through expressions is left unexplored, and we’d rather settle for the new Deadpool anyway.
9. James Marsden as Cyclops: X-men series
Seems like the only purpose of casting James Marsden as Cyclops was to get someone who is shorter than Hugh Jackman so he could be intimidated the moment they share the screen. Although thecharacters of almost the entirety of the X-men is reduced to meaningless side characters apart from Wolverine, Charles Xavier, Magneto, and Mystique, Cyclops received the saddest treatment of all, existing only to provide a weak hindrance to the romance of Jean Grey and Logan. His appearances are equally annoying and predictably timed with him materialising out of nowhere to interrupt a moment between Jean and Logan. It’s a pity that Cyclops’ character was reduced to that of a jealous boyfriend who turns his nose up like a third grader every time he is displeased.
8. Malin Akerman as Silk Spectre II: Watchmen
You either hate Watchmen or you absolutely love it, but everyone together would dislike Malin Akerman’s Silk Spectre II. She’s seemingly perfect for the role, and looks the part straight out of the graphic novel. However, she pales severely in comparison to Carla Gugino who portrayed Silk Spectre I so extraordinarily, pulling the audience in with the depth of her acting. Malin Akermancan barely emote and recites her lines like broken verses with a deadpan face, and fails to carry forward the legacy of Silk Spectre I.
7. Eric Bana as Bruce Banner: Hulk
Hulk, 2003, was an innovative take on the character sure, but in the end, a Hulk that cannot smash too much, or store enough emotions to let go doesn’t catch enough attention. Eric Bana was nothing more than a barely moving mannequin and not particularly perfect for the superhero although he was perfect for the speech heavy film.
6. Nicholas Cage as Johnny Blaze: Ghost Rider series
Another laughable superhero film with laughable acting. I could leave it at that, but then I could also make a list of all those times that Nicholas Cage tried to be funny, or sensitive, or seductive, or heroic and failed equally at all of those. He did manage to look the part of a popular motorcycle stunt rider facing a mid-life crisis, and that was all he did in the 110 minutes when Johnny Blaze wasn’t transformed into a fiery skeleton with unhinged jaws.
5. Jennifer Garner as Elektra: Elektra
You’d think that if an actor resembles the character, they’ll be suitable for the role. But a supporting hero in Daredevil was where the legacy of live-action Elektra should have stopped, but unfortunately didn’t. When Elekta was adapted into a stand-alone film, the flaws of the adaptation of the character was magnified, and even if Garner visibly tried her best, she couldn’t help but fail.
4. Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan: Green Lantern
Another film that takes a considerable amount of effort to sit through, Green Lantern is just a mess of a film that falls into the queue of films with smug, smart-mouthed superheroes that turn to Ryan Reynolds by default. It’s not particularly that Reynolds was bad in this film. He was just Ryan Reynolds as Ryan Reynolds just like what he does in every film he gets till he hits a jackpot where the film should be written around the Reynolds to make a mark.
3. Brandon Routh as Superman: Superman Returns:
A porcelain doll-esque Superman was the last thing the world needed to recover themselves from the grief of Christopher Reeves. Although the last two movies of Reeves were highly disappointing, Reeves did manage to make his mark as the beloved Superman, which Routh was not able to remotely equate to. The lack of care and emotions in Routh’s face and gestures makes us wonder if Superman really should have returned or it was too soon.
2. Helen Slater as Kara Zor-El: Supergirl
It was hard to even take this movie seriously, but given the times where superheroes were expected to be all smiles and positive, Helen Slater was probably expected to perform in the movie the way she did. However, if you’re expected to be the smiling beacon of hope and a stereotypically feminine and a superhero at the same time, any actress would do just about as good as Helen Slater to match the poorly written character with equally bad acting.
1. George Clooney as Bruce Wayne: Batman and Robin
It is painfully hard to digest that a man who looks like an incarnation of Bruce Wayne himself would be such a gigantic disappointment. People have always been sensitive about Batman, and even a slight falter in portraying that superhero would sent the masses rioting. However, there is only so much you can do to salvage an already dead film where the only thing worse than George were the nipples on his suit. Sigh.