When lots of big names are playing a cast of characters in a large-scale blockbuster, it can be hard to give everyone the screen time they deserve. There’s not a lot of time and scenes, and great actors can get lost in the shuffle, especially if they’re in deleted scenes that end up sitting on the cutting room floor.
But while some may consider it a reality of modern blockbuster cinema, that doesn’t make it easy to ignore or bother with. If one of your favorite actors is in a movie, even if it’s a supporting role, you want to see them as much as possible. Even the best actors are underused in films that were otherwise good (even great). We would have liked to see them deploy their talents a little more in films that could have been even better if they had had more chances to shine.
Walton Goggins in “Ant-Man and the Wasp” (2018)
Far from being the only actor to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe fleetingly and without fanfare, Walton Goggin plays a secondary villain in the second The ant Man movie (which is admittedly an improvement over the first).
As Sonny Burch, however, he’s little more than a mild nuisance to the film’s heroes and doesn’t appear much onscreen. Goggins is arguably one of the best parts of TV shows like The shield and Justified(the latter of which has him playing a great antagonist) and was also a highlight of Quentin Tarantinoit is The Hateful Eight. For this to be the best the MCU could offer an actor as good as Goggins was disappointing.
Max von Sydow in ‘Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens’ (2015)
On the seventh star wars film, legendary Swedish actor Max von Sydow plays a character who is only a few lines before he dies in the film’s opening scene. It’s unlikely anyone would expect him to play a significant role in the film or participate in the main adventure, but it’s still a disappointing small role for an actor of his reputation.
To be one of Ingmar Bergmanfavorite actors to star in The Exorcist working with directors like Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorseseit’s fair to believe that he should have had a little more to do here. Lupita Nyong’o was similarly wasted in the same film, playing a CGI character, but at least she got to make appearances in the other films in the sequel trilogy.
Mads Mikkelsen in “Doctor Strange” (2016)
This one stings even harder than Walton Goggins being underused in Ant-Man and the Waspa sin strange doctorthe emblematic Mads Mikkelsen plays the film’s main villain. Mikkelsen is also no stranger to playing great villains; To look at Hannibal Where Casino Royalefor example.
But you wouldn’t really know he was a great actor of strange doctor, as Kaecilius ends up being one of the series’ most forgettable villains. As an origin story for Doctor Strange itself, it’s still pretty good, and other acclaimed actors like Tilda Swinton and Chiwetel Ejiofor are well used in supporting roles. Still, it’s a shame that Mikkelsen got more than a little dirty in the final cut of the film.
Kerry Washington in “Django Unchained” (2012)
Django Unchained is a great movie, even if it’s not quite one of Tarantino’s best. It’s an entertaining and thrilling western that tackles serious subject matter and rewrites history with cathartic (and often violent) takedowns of slave owners and racists.
But Tarantino’s tendency to write strong female characters (mostly seen in Kill Bill, Jackie Brownand Inglourious Basterds) is unfortunately missing here. Kerry WashingtonThe character of is just a damsel in distress that Django has to save and, oddly enough, there isn’t at least another layer or two to make the character feel more like a character – you know. Washington would have been more than capable of that, so it’s odd that a 165-minute film didn’t find more room for her to have a bigger impact.
JK Simmons in “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (2021)
As one of the most memorable characters to feature in Sam Raimiit is Spider Man trilogy, there was a lot of excitement when JK Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson joined the MCU via a cameo in 2019 Spider-Man: Far From Home.
And yes, his role has been expanded in 2021 Spider-Man: No Coming Home, but not to the degree he deserved. Casting Jameson as an over-the-top online news host was creative and reflected how the news media has changed since Jameson was last seen on screen – but he wasn’t as funny or memorable in No coming home as it had been before. He didn’t really steal any scenes, and all of Jameson’s most popular memes and moments are still from Raimi. Spider Man movies, so his reduced role in the 2021 film was a shame.
Vivica A. Fox in ‘Kill Bill Vol. 1’ (2003)
In Kill BillThe Bride is a woman wronged by Bill and four members of his team of assassins, as they ruin her life and leave her for dead after she tries to get away from them.
Over four hours, split into two parts, Bill and three of his would-be victims of The Bride’s rampage all get some solid character development. Vivica A. FoxVernita Green is however the intruder. We learn that she has a daughter and something similar to the life the bride wanted, but she’s only in a full scene, dying within the first 15-20 minutes of Kill Bill Vol. 1. It’s a shame because the other assassins all fare much better, and Fox deserved the same kind of screen time.
Colin Farrell in “The Batman” (2022)
This is a milder example of great actors wasted because colin farrell leaves a substantial impact on 2022 The Batman, even with just a few scenes. As such, calling it “wasted” might be an overstatement. The fact that there is a spin-off series featuring his take on the character in the works also lessens the sting.
Still, Farrell makes such a big penguin that you wish there were more of him in the movie. He’s funny, intriguing, and remarkably successful when it comes to makeup, considering Farrell is almost entirely unrecognizable. Here’s hoping the TV series is great and gives Farrell more time to happily chew on the scenery.
Zendaya in ‘Dune’ (2021)
Dunes tells a large-scale story with many characters to do justice and many spinning plates to balance. And while a sequel is officially in the works, when 2021 Dunes was first released, there was no guarantee that there would be a sequel.
It would have done Zendaya feeling extra wasted, cause she’s barely in it Dunes. It’s certain that her role will be expanded in the sequel, given how the first movie ended, but it’s weird to think that if a sequel hadn’t been greenlit, Zendaya’s role would have been so tiny. Technically, it’s still next to nothing until the sequel comes out, and it will (hopefully) get more use.
Bryan Cranston in “Godzilla” (2014)
In general, the longer Godzilla is in a movie, the better. Beyond the fact that the monster is really cool, it’s also because human stories tend to be a bit boring in most cases. Godzilla movies, and the on-pitch drama is usually far less interesting than the drama between giant monsters.
But with the years 2014 Godzilla, there was actually one character that people really liked: Joe Brody. This was helped by the fact that he was played by Bryan Cranstonwho is a great actor even outside breaking Bad. But sadly, her character dies about a third into the film, and no one ever quite fills the hole left by that screenwriting decision. At least the monster fights towards the end are cool (once the movie finally focuses on them).
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