Last week, I ran down some possible best casts of all-time. This week, I'd like to do the same thing for bad casts. This list, unfortunately, is heavily weighted to the last decade or so, because I simply don't know bad movies as far back as I know good movies. Here are the considerations:
1.They must be big names. Sure, any Lifetime movie can have a terrible cast, but generic crappy actor doesn't count. Tom Cruise...now you've got the making of a terrible cast.
2.Inconsistent Actors, Actors who Jumped the Shark, and Actors who turned a corner all count.
Examples: Anthony Hopkins can be better than almost anyone else. He's also frequently terrible and can count as a black mark for a cast.
Pre-Scent of a Woman Al Pacino is a feather in a cast's cap. Post-Scent Pacino is bad news.
Both Brad Pitt and George Clooney are really, really good actors. Mid-90s Pitt and Clooney: Do not want.
3. They should be bad in the film in question, i.e. Tombstone should have a terrible cast but bad actors Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer are actually good in it.
4. Depth counts. A movie with a lot of bad actors is worse than one with just two or three.
Just like with last week's list, there's a prohibitive favorite. And that's Richard Kelly's Donnie Darko follow-up, Southland Tales:
As you can see from the poster, the movie appears to feature The Rock, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and not one but two Seann William Scotts! Disaster already! But what if I were to tell you that the movie also featured Justin Timberlake, Christopher Lambert, Jon Lovitz, Janeane Garofalo, and Mandy Moore. If that is not the worst cast ever (as evidenced by two comedians who weren't even funny comedians, and three, count 'em, three "entertainers" (Rock, Timberlake, Moore)). Oh my god. Avoid.
Welcome to your destiny, Colin Farrell. You suck. Angelina Jolie's with you? That's great. You'd like to add Val Kilmer? Wonderful. Anthony Hopkins is cashing a paycheck at your expense? Bring it on. And you'll throw in Rosario Dawson for free? I guess Christopher Plummer is your Katie Holmes.
2.The Wedding Singer
I know I said depth counts, but I loathe the two principals in this movie so, so much. This is the bad cast version of The African Queen. And no, the Billy Idol cameo, while fun, doesn't alleviate anything. Totally not Awesome.
3. Rat Race
Picking on Rat Race just makes me feel bad about myself. John Cleese, 25 years past his prime, is surrounded by Rowan Atkinson, Dean Cain, Cuba Gooding, Jr, Jon Lovitz, Whoopi Goldberg, and Seth Green. I don't actually know who Breckin Meyer is, but he's in this movie, so he probably sucks. And don't even try to say "Whoopi's made some good movies." She hasn't. See:
Shudder. The bad cast version of The Philadelphia Story. You have to watch Patrick Swayze for two hours, and frequently Whoopi Goldberg is with him. Also, Demi Moore. And yes, Patrick Swayze's ghost does inhabit Whoopi Goldberg's body at one point, so we get to watch Whoopi and Demi make-out, with Whoopi acting as Swayze. Acting.
5. Mission Impossible: II
Oh, Tom Cruise. We knew you were showing up. Anthony Hopkins is back, and I've actually seen this movie and can vouch: he is terrible, terrible, terrible in this movie. Thandie Newton is even worser, and she should be a no-name, but has somehow continued to get work. And Dougray Scott. Dougray Scott is a no-name. He is absolutely horrendous in this movie - even worse than Newton. I shouldn't count him, seeing as he's never been an actor of note, except: he was originally cast as Wolverine for the X-Men movies, but overruns in this movie prevented him from taking the part. Please now, imagine an alternate universe in which the crappy villain from MI:2 has Hugh Jackman's career. Damn, that's scary.
I know, I know. Just like some of you probably like Buffy and think Sarah Michelle Gellar is great, plenty of you probably like Kevin Smith. Well, we're just going to have to disagree there.
Crappy actors/gay-lovers Ben Affleck and Matt Damon anchor this picture, and by themselves they'd constitute another Wedding Singer. But such pseudo-actors (ie comedians, singers, etc) as Janeane Garofalo (again!), Chris Rock, Alanis Morissette, and George Carlin are running around making things worse, while perpetual craptor Selma Hayek and pre-tolerable Jason Lee bring their lack of magic to the proceedings. I'm not really familiar with leading lady Linda Fiorentino, and Alan Rickman is always awesome, but even if Linda is the second coming of Julie Christie, that's still a bad cast. And again, I've actually seen this movie. Ugh.
Well, I've got a few other ideas, but those are my top picks. Now I want to hear from you. Do any of these casts get your vote? Have I left anyone out? Are you confused as to why this list is completely lacking in Cameron Diaz? Let me know.