Even the best of actors makes a bad movie now and again, and though we haven't seen it yet, it seems this week's non-Repo Man remake Repo Men (think of it as Repo: The Genetic Opera, but without the opera -- and the Sarah Brightman stabbing her own eyes out) is another bad movie on a fine group of likable actors' resumes. So in the spirit of terrible decisions and repossession, here are the roles we'd like to scrub from each of the movie's core cast's resumes.
There are so many! A man mired as much by his personal indiscretions as he is by his lackluster career choices, Jude Law always takes one step forward and one step back. He was excellent in Road to Perdition, then the travesty that was Cold Mountain happened. Then I Heart Huckabees offended even the most pretentious of philosophy enthusiasts, and not even a viral video of Lily Tomlin freaking out on set could compel people to watch the film. Then came Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Alfie and Closer, before The Aviator and the better-than-it-should-be romantic comedy The Holiday put him back on an upturn. Repo Men is likely his latest step backwards, but to cut to the chase here: Sky Captain was at least lauded in retrospect for its special effects, and Closer has become somewhat of a cult film, so Alfie loses. Big time. Michael Caine himself should come to collect that thing.
Carice van Houten
Black Book turned the Dutch actress into a rising star and critical favorite; Valkyrie plummeted her back into obscurity. World War II movies are indeed a safe path to awards and accolades, but it's all about role choice: going immediately from "awesome Jewish Nazi double agent" to "dutiful Tom Cruise wife" is not the greatest career path, apparently. (She'll come back from it though -- she is awesome.)
In the interest of fairness, I won't count anything before Panic Room, which was his first recent hit big enough to allow him a little freedom in the subsequent roles he chose. So to contrast The Last King of Scotland and the Oprah approved The Great Debaters (I refuse to mess with Oprah) we have: Street Kings, Vantage Point, Our Family Wedding and the direct-to-DVD Jessica Biel stripper movie Powder Blue. Admittedly, I didn't see the last two, but I did see Street Kings and Vantage Point, and while they are both very, very bad movies, I'm going to go with his role as the formulaic and cliché-riddled loose cannon cop Captain Jack Wander of Street Kings for the win!
I wasn't even going to include RZA it pains me so to discredit him, but he did participate in not only Repo Men, but a Jennifer Aniston movie as well, and there's just no excuse for that. Derailed, consider yourself repossessed from not only RZA's IMDB page, but Clive Owen's as well, while we're at it.
After 2002's City of God, critics talked about Alice Braga like she was going to promptly take over Hollywood. And she has continued working... in films like Redbelt, Blindness and I Am Legend. Which makes things easy for me: I Am Legend, for having cartoon-quality zombies despite an enormous budget, and for completely disregarding the point of the novel it was based on (not to mention Omega Man, like Omega Man was so hard to understand in the first place) in an effort to be as insultingly unchallenging to its audience as possible.
Call it the Alfie curse: a talented actor makes a couple well-received cred films, and then tries to break out as a star with an unnecessary remake of a '60s classic. In Liev Schreiber's case, that uninspired remake is The Manchurian Candidate, and it should be repossessed from his resume.
Your least favorite Repo Men cast roles? Leave 'em in the comments.
Watch an exclusive Q&A with Repo Men stars Jude Law and Forest Whitaker.