Today we celebrate the roses that grew out of a steaming pile of horse manure. It’s easy to bask in the accolades of a strong performance in an epic superhero flick. Chris Reeve got us all started with his turn in Superman. Ledger was all-time in the brilliant Dark Knight. RDJ was amazing in the transformative Iron Man. But what about the people who rise to the occasion in a real stinker? Let’s give them their moment in the sun!
Mark Strong as Sinestro in Green Lantern
WHY THEY ROCKED IT: This movie was not good, mostly because of the plot lines on Earth. Want to know when this movie WASN’T awful? Any time Mark Strong was on the screen! It is quite a challenge to play the character everyone KNOWS will be the villain in a sequel but still come off as the noble character Sinestro was until Hal Jordan pushed him over the edge with his constant stories about Katy Perry. That happened here. Strong is probably in my top ten villain performances in all superhero films. Strong was strong in Imitation Game and Kingsman. It’s a shame they wasted his brilliance on a one shot film.
Helen Slater as Supergirl in Supergirl
WHY THEY ROCKED IT: Look. There’s a high chance she might not have rocked. She might have been as dreadful as the movie. I need to admit this upfront. I haven’t seen Supergirl since the 80s. I just seem to recall liking her (and I’ve liked Slater in other things since) but mostly she is included just LOOKS like Supergirl in the pictures and nostalgia does the rest of the work for her. If you want to judge me harsher, this whole article was born around Helen Slater.
Chris Evans as Human Torch in Fantastic Four.
WHY THEY ROCKED IT: Because Chris Evans knows how to play superheroes. Before he was the guy who could make Captain America a character instead of an army recruiting poster, he nailed the brash, impetuousness of Johnny Storm. Not as tricky of an assignment as fleshing out a living legend but the way he played Human Torch, especially in the snowboarding scene, was pretty much the way I always imagined him.
Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze in Batman and Robin.
WHY THEY ROCKED IT: Just kidding.
Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
WHY THEY ROCKED IT: Notice I didn’t say Deadpool. In my mind, RR hasn’t played Deadpool in anything other than the motion capture teaser video that led to the green light of a feature film. But he was amazing as Wade Wilson. In the opening scenes where Wilson, Logan, and company storm that enemy base, he was utterly amazing. He was so amazing that years later, despite this train wreck of a film specifically ruining HIS CHARACTER, he’s getting a second bite at the apple.
Emma Stone as Gwen Stacey in Amazing Spider-Man 2
WHY THEY ROCKED IT: Mostly likely because Shailene Woodley wasn’t available but Emma was good too… Seriously, the failure of the ASM reboot had nothing to do with Stone or Garfield. They were fantastic and their chemistry drove everything good about the franchise. Stone was a standout in the vastly inferior sequel to a really good first film.
Anybody Who Does a Good Job in the Wonder Woman Movie
WHY THEY ROCKED IT: I really only included this to irk Jenny but it taught me something: Apparently Brian Schweitzer’s picture is what Google Images spits out when you search for “average looking person.” Man of the people much, Governor?