Another round of 'great actor, bad movie' and this time inspired by my recent rediscovery of Shallow Grave I shall take a look at some of the terrible movies that feature Ewan McGregor.
I've had a soft spot for Ewan McGregor for quite a long time, he is Catcher Block from Down With Love to a certain extent; man's man, ladies man, man about town, people indentify with him which is what makes him so special.
Watching Shallow Grave it's hard to imagine that scrawny little kid would turn out to be a, largely, great actor. I'm not saying that he is faultless, or comparable to greats of the art form like Olivier or Pacino but he has been consistently impressive since 1994 in a series of smaller independent movies as well as making the jump to bigger Hollywood stuff.
Regular readers know of my preference for those small personal movies that make you think, over the shaking camera aesthetic paired with explosions and weak cliche that is so prevalent in Hollywood, but interestingly three of this five are not from America at all.
1. Rogue Trader (1999)
Co-starring somebody who I am going to have to turn my back on sooner rather than later, Anna Friel, this is a terrible, cliched, low budgeted biopic that sensationalised criminal financial behaviour and not in a good way. McGregor was actually believable as the type of character and put in an OK performance but I found the leap between reality and film to be way too big, there's no way Nick Leason was that charismatic.
2. Angels & Demons (2009)
I did actually watch this despite hating everything about the first Dan Brown book/movie. I was in the mood for something awful but this one just pushed it way too far, past so bad it's good and out the other side. By a country mile. I think everyone phoned in their performances for this movie. Have you seen Tom Hanks in anything recently? It killed his acting career.
3. Nightwatch (1997)
Riding high off his early success this disastrous generic remake of a Scandinavian crime movie has an incredible cast, but that's about all the positives I can draw on this one. Nick Nolte, Lauren 'Gilmore Girls' Graham, Brad Dourif, Josh Brolin, Patricia Arquette all feature, granted they mostly weren't that famous back then but still.
4. Eye of the Beholder (1999)
This movie stars Ashley Judd.
5. The Island (2005)
Oh come on, you've been coming around these parts for how long now? You surely didn't expect this steaming pile of Michael Bay to escape the list did you? The first half was great, the concept for the second half was great, the explosions, the hanging off of buildings, the helicopter crash, these things were not great.
Have I alienated any of you? Is there some fan of the original Danish version of Nightwatch who is going to tell me I was a little harsh on the remake? Got any suggestions for more terrible Ewan McGregor movies?