For movie fans, there is nothing worse than sitting down to enjoy a movie, only to see the movie get destroyed by a terrible performance. There are many ways that this can happen, ranging from awful acting to an actor just being plain old not likeable. But in the end, the story is always the same: you leaving the theater wishing you could punch someone in the throat. So, without further adieu, here are ten actors who have ruined their movies.
10. Kevin Costner
Movie: Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Robin Hood is a legendary English folk hero, well known as the suave rogue who stands up for the little guy. So, naturally, when it came time to cast a Robin Hood for the ’90s, studio execs thought that Costner, an American who has trouble with his own accent, would be the ideal choice. Of course, whenever Costner is forced to play anything other than a washed up old athlete his acting turns as rigid as a totem pole. It was mildly hilarious to watch every other actor bring an English accent – even poor Christian Slater – while Morgan Freeman and Alan Rickman acted circles around everyone and Costner stood around sounding like he was dumped by a time machine from 1991 into the 1200’s. You can get away with a weak link like that in your films. It’s a little harder to do when the film is, you know, based around that character.
9. Diane Keaton
Movie: Because I Said So
Yeah, it’s a chick flick, and yeah, I watched it. Leave me alone. But my God, Diane Keaton’s character may have been the most annoying person I have ever seen in a movie. And I have watched all the Police Academy movies. I am not sure how much of the shrill harpy of a mother Keaton played was her fault, but in a movie where you are supposed to feel for the mother/daughter bond, it’s probably not a good thing to spend the entire movie hoping the mother gets hit by a bus.
8. Jon Voight
Yeah, I know it was supposed to be campy, but there is a world of difference between campy and whatever the hell Voight was doing in this movie. Somehow, in a movie with an obviously CGI’d snake, Voight and his absurd Cajun accent managed to be the most ridiculous thing about the movie. If there was a Mount Rushmore of overacting, Voight’s performance in Anaconda would take up the whole thing, just one giant Jon Voight head, looking all crazy.
7. Paul Walker
Movie: The Fast and the Furious
Walker was hilariously wooden, calling on his inner Keanu to stumble through a movie about street racing. It probably isn’t a good sign for your abilities as an actor when you can’t rise to the challenge of playing a cop who just likes to drive fast cars. Perhaps Walker’s biggest sin is that because he was so bad, it just made Vin Diesel look even better, convincing America that Diesel was a hugely charismatic star on the rise. Thanks a lot, Paul Walker, because of you the whole world had to be exposed to The Pacifier.
6. Every Actor Not Named Christian Slater in Pump Up The Volume
Movie: Uh, well, Pump Up The Volume
Pump Up The Volume is kind of a classic for my generation, the story of a high school kid who adopts a hilariously foul mouthed alter ego in order to broadcast a pirate radio show. I mean, come on, what teenage boy wouldn’t love that? The only problem is the rest of the cast, who turn in such ridiculous performances that you start to realize that poor Slater is working like a mad man to keep the film from devolving into a lame after school special. Extra points go out to Cheryl Pollack, who played the popular girl turned suicidal nutjob, and whose spectacularly ridiculous freakout during a school board meeting was Saved by the Bell level acting.