The other day I received an angry comment on a review of The Legend of Hercules, not because I gave that film a negative review but because I suggested the upcoming other Hercules movie starring Dwayne Johnson will likely be better. Apparently giving any favor to the Rock meant I was "trolling." Mind you, I didn't say he was a good actor, just that he'd bring charisma to the role. He has a movie-star appeal that is undeniable, and we've seen that his presence can turn whole franchises around.
Even as far as his acting talent, though, Johnson is no worse than most of the previous generation's muscles-over-method screen stars, like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. And for the latter, that says something. Stallone is another guy who unfairly gets a bad rap. He's done fine work and he's done terrible work. So had Brando and Olivier. Stallone has never been as good as them, but I'd rather watch him in Escape Plan than Brando in The Island of Dr. Moreau or Olivier in The Jazz Singer.
Escape Plan is one of three movies linked to Stallone's latest nomination for a Worst Actor Razzie, the "award" often said to be too lazily given to people with bad reputations. They're not always unfair, but I'll go on record again as saying that Taylor Lautner -- who I do believe is a bad actor through and through -- is in fact the funniest part of Grown Ups 2. I don't think he deserves a Razzie for that, but I guess his work in the Twilight movies continues to leave a bad aftertaste in the mouths of snarky critics.
Other actors I think are better than they're given credit for, mostly because of choices they make in their career, include Vin Diesel, who could probably do well under Spielberg again if he wanted to (he's also great in Boiler Room, as I was reminded recently thanks to The Wolf of Wall Street). As for actresses, there are plenty, and they go in waves. Remember when everyone thought Sandra Bullock was one of the worst, even after The Blind Side Oscar?
I can't wait for the day Kristen Stewart changes minds with a good performance -- one that, unlike Welcome to the Rileys, people actually see. Maybe in something directed by Cuaron or Nolan. I swear she has at least a bit of talent in there, which is more than most people will believe let alone admit. I also swear I'm not trolling.
Which actor or actress unfairly gets a bad rap?
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