Here we have another set of actors that, somehow, managed to carve out great performances while being surrounded by outright cinematic nonsense.. Check out part one here, and drop your favourite performances from awful movies in the comments below!
Raul Julia: Street Fighter
Raul Julia is rightly remembered for his delightfully deranged performance as Gomez Addams, but his final role is a proper slice of ham that the ghoulish patriarch would have adored just like I do. Street Fighter is, by every measurement, a terrible movie, but Julia’s role as the villainous M. Bison is such perfectly calculated camp that it elevates proceedings to not just watchable, but enjoyable too. Julia departs his career on a high, putting in one of the very best villain performances of the nineties and making Street Fighter memorable for the right reasons. Or at least not entirely the wrong ones.
Eva Green: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
This really shouldn’t have worked, mainly because nothing else about this movie did, but Eva Green pulls off the near-impossible feat of making at least a third of A Dame to Kill For watchable. It’s strange that a sequel to Sin City, the hyper-stylized homage to classic film noir, could feel so perfunctory and downright dull at times. In the decade since the first movie, it seems like director Robert Rodriguez lost his mojo, and co-director Frank Miller lost his damn mind. So thank the Ava Lord for Eva Green as she’s the only person who looks like they are having any fun. Especially since she has to consistently remind the audience that she’s not just a piece of eye candy (she spends most of her screentime naked). An honorable mention goes to Jessica Alba as her reprisal of Nancy may be her best cinematic work to date, despite being mired down in a sordid stack of silly story machinations.
Michael Sheen: The Twilight Saga: New Moon
The other two spots on this list go to actors that make bad movies watchable, but even Michael Sheen isn’t good enough to save this mess of a movie. The reason this brilliant actor makes the list is because he really is just superb as the head of the series’ ancient vampire order: a character who oozes potential mythos with every line. Except he’s only in the movie for about five minutes out of just over two hours, and, while he’s fantastic ,I’m telling you to watch any other film or TV show with him in it. Take my word for it: he’s great, but you will never get that time back.
By Kevin Boyle
Header Image: Bloody Disgusting