Thursday, 25 November 2010

Failure to Launch, Season One: Episode 4

I knew I’d end up featuring this guy sooner or later here I suppose better sooner than later – Anthony Anderson. Anderson easily ranks in the top ten of actors I find most annoying. He’s one of those character actors who shows up in a slew of Ebonics’ movies playing the same tired old wingman and making feeble attempts at comedy that fail to impress. Am I being harsh? You bet. Let’s take a look at the evidence.
Prosecution, Exhibit A: Kangaroo Jack

I cited this some time back as one of the worst films of the last decade, and that’s
a pronouncement that wasn’t done lightly. This film is awful, truly everything about it is, but Anderson is the most awful portion. From the over exaggerated expressions, the whiny voice the terrible acting – it was all just a very, very bad accident, but it can’t be that much of an accident. They did read the script after all.

Prosecution, Exhibit B: Romeo Must Die

I like Romeo Must Die. As far as Asian actors go I’d say Jet Li is one of the better ones and I’m a big fan of Aaliyah. It’s a typical action/romance/comedy but it’s enjoyable enough. Anthony Anderson doesn’t help. True, his involvement doesn’t turn the entire film into a hot mess or anything but his presence adds nothing. The only thing that makes him slightly passable is the fact that the characters in the film find him just as annoying, so there’s always the vicarious thrill of seeing him embarrassed. Call me cold-hearted, whatever.

Prosecution, Exhibit C: King’s Ransom
King’s Ransom is one of those awfully generic unfunny comedies that infuriate me to no end. It involves a running gag on kidnapping, and truly the script is awful but having Anderson as the lead makes it even worse. Usually I think that Rotten Tomatoes is ridiculous, but I can’t argue with the 0% rating for it. (I forgot to list it in my worst of the decade list, but who’d want to remember this?)

Defence, Exhibit A: The Departed
I don’t think it’s coincidental that the film where I find him tolerable is the one where he has a minute amount of screentime that’s balanced out by having Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Vera Farmiga and Leonardo DiCaprio buttressing the talent in the film and preventing any potential annoyances he may incur. He works in The Departed. I don’t know why, and I don’t know how...but he does. The only time I can admit to that happening.
This seems essentially cut and dry to me, but what do you think about Anderson? Guilty? Innocent? Has he Failed to Launch


Mike Lippert said...

I find this guy painfully unfunny except for his one scene in the first Harold and Kumar flick. I'm glad he isn't around very much any more. He just tried so hard all of the time. I find it funny how you call him a character actor since his entire career has been made of the same tired crap.

Univarn said...

I think the reason he works so well in The Departed is that he doesn't do much. Most of his lines are concern and control oriented, so there's no need for him to express any detailed, genuine, emotion. He doesn't laugh, cry, scream, or any of the things he usually overdoes.