These people will make one cringe no matter what they do on the big screen. And wearing an elaborate costume only made matters worse. When they spoke, it was painful. Their actions didn’t speak louder than words, but they easily led audiences to shout out a plethora of curse words as they watched. Yep, we’re talking about the worst portrayed comic book movie characters of all-time and the thesps that filled their latex suits and utility belts.
A list such as this comes up because it’s May and the 2011 Summer movie season is upon us. This blockbuster edition ushers in plenty of high profile comic book adaptations. With Thor, Green Lantern, Captain America, X-Men and a host of others, jumping off the colorful pages of their respective comics and invading the realm of cinema; let’s hope the actors playing these superheroes manage to do loyal comic fans justice and avoid making this list list this down the road. And when we say they, we mean the performers who are portraying these larger-than-life characters.
So here’s the ones that needed more than just superpowers to save them from BuzzFocus’ wrath:
10. Sylvester Stallone as Judge Dredd – Judge Dredd (1995)
What was worse? The movie? Or Stallone as the renegade law enforcement judge? How about both?! Stallone will go down as one of cinema’s greatest action stars, but at this point, he was already a character in himself. So it makes that much harder for him to depict an over-the-top gritty comic book hero. When these elements combine, the result is just goofy (yes, that’s the only word to describe this).
9. Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane – Superman Returns (2006)
When did Lois Lane become a moron? Oh yeah, in this crappy – yet expensive – version of Superman. Kate Bosworth was either micro-managed or never did her homework on the character. Personally, we believe she was out of her area of expertise in this role (the upcoming Straw Dogs remake is an example of where she shines). Granted, the script wasn’t helping anyone out, but the majority of performances were spot on with the source material. Save for this mess.
8. Topher Grace as Eddie Brock/ Venom – Spider-Man 3 (2007)
The biggest on-screen pansy – in terms of the characters Topher Grace has played – gets a shot to do a favorite Spidey villain. Venom/Eddie Brock was already given minimal to do in the screenplay. And for whatever reason, slapping a pair of horrendous false teeth on the Opie/clean-cut looking Grace, did not strike the necessary fear the character needed. The word “miscast” is very appropriate here.
7. David Hasselhoff as Nick Fury – Nick Fury: Agent of Shield (1998)
Do we really need to explain ourselves with this one? And for the ones that think this is a joke…This really happened. Look Hasselhoff – or, The Hoff – you were great in Knight Rider and your dramatic performance of eating a burger on YouTube will always be cherished. But what you did here had every movie studio frightened to even touch this character for 10 years. Hey, at least you didn’t sing though.
6. Josh Brolin & John Malkovich as Jonah Hex & Quentin Turnbull – Jonah Hex (2010)
“Jonah Hex.” Or as we like to call it…Wild, Wild West II with Oscar nominees..and Megan Fox. Josh Brolin and John Malkovich were either doing a studio friend a favor or were just bored and wanted to spice it up for a change. Either way, when the supporting actors come across more natural than the leads; and then inserting random powers; this idea was dead and buried from the get go.
5. Edward Furlong as Jimmy Cuervo/The Crow – The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005)
Put it this way, kids who dress up as The Crow on Halloween did a better job than this guy. Sure the direction was about as bad as it gets; but Furlong’s emo-acting still haunts our dreams to this day. Hopefully Bradley Cooper will try to resurrect this franchise.
Career Achievement Award For Awfulness (CAAFA): Halle Berry – Catwoman (2004) & Storm (X-Men trilogy).
Funny how an Oscar winner ends up sucking as a superhero. Just like in sports, it’s all about match-ups. And this was a match made in pure hell. Catwoman will be licking its wounds for years to come, so we’re not going to harp on that terrible take of the feline femme. However, her scant work as Storm in the X-Men movie franchise is just as horrendous. Fan boys across an infinite number of message boards have already sounded off with everything that has needed to be said about Berry’s take on the character. And hearing her lines of dialogue in the two sequels (2003, 2006) are about as much fun as an enema.
So all we have to add to this is that being an attractive woman, will not have the movie geeks of the world showing you the mercy others typically received in the past. Hence, Megan Fox’s current career.
4. Dick Durock as Swamp Thing – The Return of Swamp Thing (1989)
Now this one is baffling. Durock played the DC Comic character in Wes Craven’s 1982 Swamp Thing and nailed it. Seven years later – along with a change of directors – Durock reprised the role and turned the swampy mutant into spoof. Whether or not that was the goal of this sequel, it was just wrong. There’s a saying in the world of music: The audience will always remember the last few notes of a song no matter if it started off poorly. Well, Durock’s uber-campy portrayal in the sequel left a sewer-like taste in a lot of people’s mouths.
3. Arnold Schwarzenegger as Dr. Victor Fries / Mr. Freeze – Batman and Robin (1997)
Mr. Freeze. His name says it all. So it should not be hard to derive the proper persona when depicting the character. Yet Governor Arnie decided to channel – and create – a tragic Shakespearean cartoon entity and blend it with a Gene Hackman’s “Lex Luthor” demeanor. Sans the brainpower. Although he was trying to add drama and wit to the Freeze identity (completely unnecessary), he indirectly turned the famed comic villain into a Wayans Bros’ parody. Now that’s talent! Albeit bad.
2. Nicholas Cage as Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider – Ghost Rider (2007)
We were racking our brains trying to find someone else besides Nic Cage to rag on here. The guy has taken enough shots to the chin already. With that said, professionalism warrants us to place him on this shameful list; if only to keep our credibility secure. Frankly, the performance was so off it became enjoyable in a bad horror movie sense. Actors are encouraged to make the character their own, but when it comes to the comic world, follow the source or face the proverbial music. And just think, Ghost Rider 2 is firing up for next year! More fodder!
1. George Clooney as Bruce Wayne/Batman – Batman & Robin (1997)
Director Joel Schumacher is partially to blame for this disaster. Actually, Warner Bros. should take the brunt of this ripping, for they’re the ones that hired Schumacher and his flashy style. In the end though, one would think that a steady dose of the Batman character could save the day right? Not so much kids. Clooney clearly – and to a certain extent admittedly – botched this up. Batman became laidback and polished with Clooney dawning the mask. The guy is way too suave and obviously couldn’t turn it off. He ended up making us miss Val Kilmer. Fortunately for us, we can turn this flick off whenever it miraculously finds its way onto our movie channels.
As for the foreshadowed comments of, “What about Daredevil?” “How about Fantastic Four?” Trust us, they would fall in the 11-20 range. But from a historic standpoint and trying to speak for multiple generations and sectors of fans, this list is what you get people. Feel free to give us your numbers 11-20 in the comment section below.