Recently on “Party Time With Brownie,” I discussed the television show “Devious Maids” and why it is horrible for so many reasons. As the discussion carried over to Twitter, I commented that Hollywood must be lacking new ideas. One of my followers countered that they are complacent. I would call it lazy. Laziness must also have been the driving force behind this year’s summer releases.
There’s a disturbing trend that is irritating me as a movie lover. It involves pairing an older, talented, even Oscar-winning actor, with a younger, mediocre or poor actor whom white women find tantalizing. On top of this glaring talent mismatch, the actors are cast in corny action-comedy flicks with nonsensical plots.
Case in point: 2 Guns (release date 8/2/2013) starring Academy Award winner Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg (who should get an award for having the best agent). I am a Denzel Washington fan, so it pains me to see him in a trailer for a movie that makes me roll my eyes. Wahlberg has one facial expression. Family Guy described it as “annoyed and confused.” I think it’s more “shocked and confused.” Any of us can do it. Raise your eyebrows, widen your eyes, and open your mouth slightly as if you are shocked. Then furrow your brow and squint your eyes as if you are confused. Congratulations, you just graduated from the Mark Wahlberg School of Acting.
In 2 Guns, Denzel is a DEA agent and Mark is a Naval Intelligence Officer. They are undercover partners but neither one knows that the other is undercover. Mmmkay. They realize they’ve been set up, they can’t trust their respective agencies, the Mexican drug cartel is after them, cars explode, they still don’t really trust each other, they get into petty arguments at the most inopportune times—you know the story. The only good thing about this movie is that Mark Wahlberg’s acting may improve after spending so much time around Denzel.
Case in point #2: R.I.P.D. (release date 7/19/2013) starring Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges, and People Magazine’s 2010 “Sexiest Man Alive” winner, Ryan Reynolds. The trailer for this movie is absolutely ridiculous. Ryan is a cop who gets killed and recruited into the Rest In Peace Department (R.I.P.D.)– a supernatural police force that protects the living and captures fugitive souls. 0_o
The incredibly talented Jeff Bridges lost a bet and signed on to play Rooster Cogburn the veteran R.I.P.D. cop who shows Ryan the ropes. Very Men In Black-ish but with worse CGI effects and without Will Smith’s charm. I understand this is a comic book adaptation, but some ideas should just stay ideas. In my opinion, this role is beneath Jeff Bridges. It is like Daniel Day Lewis playing Deuce Bigalow.
Case in point #3: White House Down (release date 6/28/2013) starring Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx, and People Magazine’s 2012 “Sexiest Man Alive” winner, Channing Tatum. Reminiscent of Olympus Has Fallen, the movie is a “protect the President, protect the White House” action film with the added mission of Capitol policeman Channing Tatum also trying to protect his daughter. People get shot and things explode and Tatum saves the day, the country, the President, and the (little) girl. The movie wouldn’t be so bad were it not for the overly simplistic dialogue, bad jokes, excessive CGI, and endless clichés. But then again, that’s the whole movie.
Denzel, Jeff, and Jamie: I’m sure these summer action flicks have huge budgets for you and are fun to shoot. I’m sure most actors (and some actresses too) want to blow stuff up and handle big guns. I get it. Hopefully you got it out of your system. Now get back to work.