One of the great aspects of acting is that in almost every case it is the collaborative effort of dozens, sometimes thousands of people working together on a common goal.
From people fresh from acting classes to Hollywood A-listers, every single person plays their part to make a film what it is, and in cases where a film is not exactly well received, it is always essential to note that everyone tried to make it succeed, often in less-than-ideal circumstances.
A case in point for this is how so many films that have notably been received negatively by critics tend to have a brilliant, standout performance that often contrasts with other elements that work far less well.
Here are some of the best examples.
Raul Julia In Street Fighter
The 1994 adaptation of the popular computer game to the silver screen was in a difficult position from the start, with a mix of studio and game publisher mandates that hampered director Steven E. de Souza’s ability to make a meaningful film.
The biggest issue was its huge central cast, headlined by “Muscles from Brussels” Jean Claude Van Damme hopelessly miscast as All-American Colonel Guile, alongside relative newcomers such as Kylie Minogue and Kenya Sawada.
However, the shining light throughout a somewhat cluttered mess of a film is the casting of the wonderful Raul Julia, in what would become his final role, as the megalomaniacal General M. Bison. His sheer dedication to the role lifts what was otherwise rather poor material.
Angelina Jolie In Hackers
Contrasting an incredible actor making his swansong in a bad film is a great actor making her debut in Hollywood as the standout in a film known far more for its strange direction and depiction of hacking than less ethereal concepts such as plot, narrative and acting.
Ms Jolie’s biggest strength as an actor is the sheer presence she brings to scenes, and this is on full display even in a film where she plays a high school hacker with an exceptionally 1990s pixie cut.
It would not take long for Hollywood to realise this, which is why she has films such as Tomb Raider – The Cradle Of Life and Mr and Mrs Smith on her CV.
Phil Hartman In Jingle All The Way
Jingle All The Way is a film that is more fondly remembers now it has become a nostalgic touchstone, but a subtle and carefully crafted film it is not. This is perhaps fitting for a comedy starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
However, one aspect that works brilliantly is the late Phil Hartman’s pitch-perfect performance as Arnold’s impossibly smarmy neighbour Howard, and it is his fine performance that gives the world one of Arnold’s most famous lines.