2013 Calvin Awards: Worst Performance
By Reagen Sulewski
February 20, 2013
In addition to highlighting the worst overall films of the year, we also enjoy (?) pointing out the worst individual performances that were in part the reason those films were quite so terrible. While there are some usual suspects in this list (including a very old Friend of BOP), there's a number of newcomers here that may not just be cut out for this big screen business.
After a two-year absence from the Worst lists, Nicolas Cage makes his triumphant return to our roll call of ignominy, accomplishing with the Ghost Rider sequel what he never could do otherwise – topping our Worst Performance charts. Amazingly, this is actually his first win in this category after making frequent appearances on it – twice finishing second. And okay, he won Best Actor once from us, so it's not like we're entirely against him. At any rate, Cage was able to claim his title here based on his “more of the same – but yellier” performance in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Perhaps it's not the worst (best worst?) ever Nic Cage performance – for my money, that's still The Wicker Man – but maybe consider this his Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman award. We just couldn't deny him forever.
Picking on Brooklyn Decker in Battleship is probably not entirely fair as we rarely expect models to show a ton of acting ability. Indeed, there are a couple of very specific reasons why she was cast in this movie. However, she tried, and that counts in our books. Completely epitomizing the idea of “card read good," Decker made an already trying movie that much more difficult to bear whenever she did something other than stand there, such as speaking. Let's hope Andy Roddick saved his money.
Third place goes to Diego Boneta, the himbo male lead from Rock of Ages. He was plucked out of TV obscurity for this role based, it would seem, on his ability to stand there and look pretty and passably sing. One assumes the idea was that he would grow into the role, or at least show some improvement in ability. No such luck, and he becomes sort of the male counterpart to Decker on our list.
While the Resident Evil series has been a decent example of the video game adaptation (perhaps the only one!), it has not always featured the best acting in the history of cinema. While Milla Jovovich has been a solid center for the franchise, her surrounding talent has not always been quite up to her standard. We may have seen the nadir of this with Sienna Guillory in Resident Evil: Retribution, as she switched from sidekick to antagonist, and her acting abilities did not survive the transfer. Or perhaps after her third go-round with the character, she was simply bored with the idea and had her contract waved in front of her to make her appear on set. Whatever, Sienna, it's not like the world is banging down your door with job offers.
Fifth and sixth place belong to a pair of Rosamund Pike, who took time off from her busy schedule of being a load-bearing wall to nearly wreck two separate films, Jack Reacher and Wrath of the Titans. Struggling somehow with both English and American accents, Pike only stopped being wooden when she was being unbearably histrionic. While she wasn't quite bad enough to win here, she can take solace in the fact that added together, her points would easily put her on top. Career year!
Our thorough ignoring of Twilight couldn't keep Kristen Stewart off this list, as she enters in at seventh for Snow White and the Huntsman. Stewart brought her trademark sleepy/stoned style to this fairy tale update, and somehow this didn't suit the tone of the movie! I mean, what a surprise! Tick tock, Kristen.
Alec Baldwin (and perhaps more crucially, Alec Baldwin's wig) place eighth for Rock of Ages. The second of our three Oscar nominees in this list, Baldwin thoroughly embarrassed himself as the night club owner Dennis Dupree, delivering a bad sitcom level performance. Maybe that's all the material deserved, but damn, man, have some self-respect.
Ninth spot goes to Benjamin Walker, the lead in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. While I wouldn't be so cruel as to contrast him directly with the man who's likely to win an Oscar for playing the same person, I would say that even for the cartoonish version of Lincoln, Walker was distinctly lacking in gravitas. It's not an easy feat to be too ridiculous for farce.
Finally, we wrap up with Charlize Theron in Prometheus, who seemed to think that strutting around in a leather suit and acting stern was enough for the role. To call it one-note might be doing a disservice to the concept of notes.
View other awards
Best Overlooked Film
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best TV Show
Best Use of Music
|| Nicolas Cage
||Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
|| Brooklyn Decker
|| Diego Boneta
||Rock of Ages
|| Sienna Guillory
||Resident Evil: Retribution
|| Rosamund Pike
|| Rosamund Pike
||Wrath of the Titans
|| Kristen Stewart
||Snow White and the Huntsman
|| Alec Baldwin
||Rock of Ages
|| Benjamin Walker
||Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
|| Charlize Theron