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Top 10 Awful Roles by Great British Actors

VO: Richard Bush
Written by Sean Harris Even the best can have a blip. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 awful roles by great British actors! For this list, we’re counting down some of the UK’s finest acting talent, but ranking them on the worst roles from their back catalogue. We’re steering clear of outright controversial performances today, and we haven’t included commendable roles in otherwise awful movies. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Awful Roles by Great British Actors


Even the best can have a blip. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 awful roles by great British actors!

For this list, we’re counting down some of the UK’s finest acting talent, but ranking them on the worst roles from their back catalogue. We’re steering clear of outright controversial performances today, and we haven’t included commendable roles in otherwise awful movies.

#10: Eddie Redmayne as Balem Abrasax
“Jupiter Ascending” (2015)

Best known for winning an Oscar as Stephen Hawking and catching a Niffler as Newt Scamander, Eddie Redmayne’s on-screen magic has had the critics cooing for years - and fans absolutely love him. But then came “Jupiter Ascending”, and Balem Abrasax. Cast as the principal baddie for the hugely underwhelming Wachowski sci-fi flick, Eddie’s far from convincing as a planet-conquering supervillain. Perhaps it’s the voice? Or the look? Or the mind-numbing plot? Either way, Redmayne won a Razzie for the role.

#9: Colin Firth as Richard Braxton
“The Accidental Husband” (2008)

If you want a rom-com to work, then getting Colin Firth on the cast list is usually a good idea. But the “Bridget Jones” star could do nothing about this flop; in fact, his performance is partly to blame. “The Accidental Husband” sees Firth flit through the flimsiest of storylines, living up to every stereotype he’s ever played. The well-meaning Englishman; the safe bet; the spurned lover – it’s all here. By the time Uma Thurman breaks up with him, the only tragedy is that you’ve sat through 90 minutes to get there.

#8: Liam Neeson as Dr. David Marrow
“The Haunting” (1999)

Remakes often spell disaster, and 1999’s “The Haunting” fell hilariously short of the mark. A black spot on Catherine Zeta-Jones’ career as well as Liam Neeson’s, the film sees Neeson play a psychiatrist with the run of a haunted house. Only the CGI splurge of a storyline isn’t especially scary, and lacklustre parts by Neeson (and Zeta-Jones) only add to the mounting monotony. To be fair, Neeson spends much of the movie either seeming confused, or awkwardly flinching. He knows it’s pants, you can tell.

#7: Judi Dench as Aereon
“The Chronicles of Riddick” (2004)

Few actors will ever boast credits quite as impressive as Dame Judi Dench’s, but if there is a fault in her filmography, then it’s probably this. Judi’s supporting role in the Riddick sequel saw her play Aereon, an Air Elemental who can twiddle her own transparency and has a way with numbers. Her character floats through a foggy plot, unable to really affect anything, while Vin Diesel fights anyone and everyone who gets in his way. Cool costume, though.

#6: Bill Nighy as Prince Naberius
“I, Frankenstein” (2014)

To another hellish horror movie, and not in a good way. There had been big plans for “I, Frankenstein”, including a big budget crossover with the “Underworld” series, but hopes for a franchise were quickly dashed on the back of brutal reviews. And, as much as we love Bill Nighy, his role as the demon prince Naberius was not one of his best. The actor’s no stranger to supernatural roles, but he seems unequivocally bored throughout this film. He’s not the only one.

#5: Anthony Hopkins as Gaylord Oakes
“Bad Company” (2002)

Teaming up with Chris Rock and rolling through almost every action movie cliché ever created, Anthony Hopkins’ turn in “Bad Company” proved a painful career move. A man who has played all manner of masterful roles, it’s a wonder he said yes to this script, which takes the buddy cop formula and flattens all the fun out of it. Yes, some will snigger at his name, but Gaylord’s comic credentials end there, and the ball-busting bad-cop routine is just too predictable. Come on Anthony, you’re better than this!

#4: Christian Bale as John Connor
“Terminator Salvation” (2009)

While playing Batman in Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy, Christian Bale was at the height of his action hero powers when he signed up for the fourth instalment in the “Terminator” franchise. But, “Salvation” proved a nightmare from start to finish. Released amidst a media frenzy over leaked on-set footage of Bale throwing a tantrum, the movie was met with harsh reviews, with much of the criticism centred on Bale’s version of John Connor. An iconic character revamped, the intense actor just couldn’t crack the role.

#3: Sean Connery as Zed
“Zardoz” (1974)

If we were ranking solely on the ridiculousness of a costume, then Connery would win hands down. But we’re not, so third place will do. “Zardoz” is a not entirely awful sci-fi epic which, though it was panned on release in the ‘70s, has since developed a cult following. Sean Connery uses the post-apocalyptic tale to break away from James Bond, playing Zed, a gifted warrior who might just save mankind. He’s still got the accent, but where did that hair-do come from?? Thankfully, the look didn’t catch on.

#2: Ben Kingsley as Guru Tugginmypudha
“The Love Guru” (2008)

This acting great famously broke onto the scene by playing Ghandi in an Oscar-winning biopic. There’s a certain spirituality to his role in “The Love Guru”, but the similarities stop there. While Mike Myers took most of the flack for this poorly-conceived comedy, Ben Kingsley’s involvement is probably even more surprising. He plays Myers’ mentor, a supposedly insightful chap who comes armed with an elephant-inspired chastity belt. If the whole thing sounds ridiculous, it’s because it is.

#1: Michael Caine as Hoagie Newcombe
“Jaws: The Revenge” (1987)

As with everyone on this list, Michael Caine’s here because he’s a class act. But by God, he’s played his fair share of bad roles. If you remember “The Swarm”, it’s probably for the wrong reasons. And then there was “The Hand”, directed by Oliver Stone. But “Jaws: The Revenge” is in another ocean of awfulness. Caine plays Hoagie, a pilot who’s caught up in the Brody family’s battle against a killer shark. But the Londoner was way too late to this franchise, and it’s just painful to watch.
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