Having not blogged for over a year, I've decided that I should probably be giving this thing more attention than I have been, especially since I keep coming up with ideas for new entries at least twice a day. So my apologies to you (especially my readers in Japan, since they're my only readers, for some reason) and if any of you do want to read my blogs from last year (only one of which is any good, this one, in fact; http://jonathan-sisson.blogspot.com/2010/01/10-weirdest-movies-of-all-time.html) check out my 2010 archives. So anyway, we'll kick off my return to the Internet with this, a 5 part series examining the Most Ludicrous Movie Performances of All Time.
The actors making the list have all delivered a performance of a very special calibre. While many of the films in which their characters appear vary greatly in quality form the just plane bad to middle-of-the-road exercises in mediocrity all the way up to what some might consider classic, the thespians involved are in a league of their own, all of them turning in performances so utterly over-the-top, so unconvincing and so without restraint that its a wonder the producers didn't ask for their money back and the acting school that these guys attended didn't rip up their diplomas. So lets take a deep breath, swallow some pain killers and break out the ear plugs for...
Chris Tucker - The Fifth Element
Man, I really, really hate this movie. I mean, yes, I know everyone else regards it as a Euro-SciFi classic but come on, you only love it because you know you should hate it; it's like the Jean Paul Gaultier of movies; it looks ridiculous, has no idea what it's doing, wears a kilt to get in touch with its feminine side even though a kilt is a battle dress, has ridiculous bleach-blond hair, talks more like a character from 'Allo 'Allo than a real French person and possesses a sexuality so ambiguous even metrosexuals find it confusing. I'm still talking about the film, by the way, not Gaultier (who designed the costumes, unfortunately). For some reason, everyone loves this movie. I seem to be the only person on the planet that wants to scream "GET A FUCKING GRIP! A KILT'S A BATTLE DRESS!" in its face and then kick it in the nut-sack. Still talking about the movie, folks. Still talking about the movie. I mean, the plot's incredibly cliched, its horrible to look at, its filled with flying cars (because its the future), everything is fucking yellow, the villain's a clown without any menace whatsoever (he chokes on an olive for Christ's sake) and its directed by the Luc style-over-substance Besson.
But there is one thing that elevates this film from bad-movie-so-goofy-everyone-loves-like-a-child-who's-a-bit-"special" to crime against humanity. You know what I'm talking about. No matter how much of an apologist you are for this movie, you cannot excuse Chris Tucker as Ruby Rhod.
You know that scene in War of the Worlds where Tom Cruise gets so sick of Tim Robbins that he batters him to death with a spade? Well, Bruce Willis is obviously either made of stronger stuff or deaf. If he's not deaf and all those explosions didn't wipe out his hearing, then Chris Please Die Now Tucker's screaming probably did. How else can you explain the fact that he actually went to the trouble of saving his life? What's going on here? Is Bruce Willis supposed to be playing some kind of saint?
What did you just say? Did anyone actually catch any of that? What purpose does this idiot serve to the plot? Come to think of it, what purpose does any Chris Tucker character serve? Think of how much more awesome the Rush Hour movies would have been if they had just featured Jackie Chan kicking the shit out of people.
And if Besson had to have Ruby Rhod in this film, why did they have to have someone who talks to the air hostesses like a transvestite rapist? Why didn't they just ask Prince? It's obviously supposed to be him anyway! He may be nuts but at least he has a sort of flamboyant charm. I should know, my friend Nish-Cuppa-Tea (don't worry about her name; long story) made me sit through all of his movies, even the ones that were hardly released and impossible to get hold of, and I had to admit, there's something vaguely likable about him, or at least, there is when compared to this... this... this bastard. At least Prince can look his leading lady in the eye and hold a conversation with her. Seriously, ladies, what would you do if a guy in a frock who wouldn't shut the fuck up came up to you in a nightclub and started whispering obscenities in your ear? Tucker actually comes across as creepy. He might as well be wearing a sign saying "I'm Going to Shag You To Massage My Own Ego". Ruby Rhod is clearly the type of guy who gets laid by hitting on 13-year-old groupies. Besides, are we seriously meant to believe that this guy will be a major star 200 years from now and not an X Factor reject who will never be seen again? There's nothing likable about him.
Come to think of it, there's nothing likable about Chris Tucker either. Why does this guy still make movies? Wait, what's that? He hasn't graced the silver screen since 2006's Rush Hour 3? OK. Let's try to keep it that way.