As you all enjoyed our first career ruining movies piece we thought we’d do another batch of movies that ruined perfectly decent careers
- Halle Berry & Pitof – Catwoman (2004)
Having won an Oscar, made a show stopping appearance in Bond film ‘Die Another Day’ and bared her breasts in ‘Swordfish’ Halle Berry was hot but her career was given a double blow by the lacklustre ‘Gothika’ followed by the fatal body blow that was ‘Catwoman’. It was a $100m summer event movie which made a catastrophic $82m worldwide. Perhaps it was the fact the Michelle Pfeiffer’s iconic turn in ‘Batman Returns’ remained the defining interpretation of the character or perhaps it was that the movie had been directed by an ex visual effects artist who decided that he was such a star that the world should no him only as Pitof (though it could be argued that he was mishearing people telling him to ‘P*ss off’). Test screenings were poor and extensive reshoots were done but made little difference as the film bombed taking everyone with it to such a degree that it earned a huge number of Razzie awards which Halle Berry won as worst lead actress. In fairness to her she was the first actor to ever attend the ceremony and accept the award telling everyone there,’ I’d like to thank Warner Brothers, for making me do this godawful, piece of s**t movie!’ It was a good point well made and her career never really recovered after that and she appeared in such detritus as ‘Movie 43’ and relied on the X-men movies to maintain her profile. Pitof never directed a cinema feature again and returned to visual effects and producing other forgettable dreck.
- Hayden Christenson – Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Up to this point Christenson had forged a half decent career in TV but had come to attention in ‘The Virgin Suicides’ which bought him to George Lucas who cast him in ‘Attack of the Clones’ which many looked forward to only to find themselves once again bored rigid. ‘Revenge of the Sith’ was the one that many Star Wars fans looked forward to as it marked the transition to the 1977 Star Wars film and finally saw the transition of Anakin Skywalker into one of cinemas great villains, Darth Vader. Unfortunately his shortcomings as an actor were compounded when appearing alongside Christopher Lee, Ewan McGregor and Samuel L Jackson and audiences were less than convinced that this stroppy on screen teenager was to become the Galaxy’s Evil One. It hardly helped that Lucas dialogue was as dire as ever and audiences were to continue to be disappointed with the Star Wars prequel trilogy which was little more an overlong CGI-fest. Since then he has returned to far better low budget independent films such as ‘Shattered Glass’ though his attempt at a return to event movies fizzled again with ‘Jumper’.
- Mike Myers – The Love Guru (2008)
After the huge success of Wayne’s World and even more success with Austen Powers and going stratospheric with Shrek Myers turned to Indian mysticism for laughs with a character that he had been trying out in comedy clubs and decided that now was the time for the character to make its big screen debut. He was wrong. Very, very wrong. Dragging Justin Timblake, Jessica Alba and worst of all Ben Kingsley in a truly cringe worthy turn. Arguably racist in its portrayal of Indian mysticism it was also immensely unfunny and audiences seemed to agree staying away in droves and the $62m budgeted movie bombed at the box office taking only $40m worldwide. Understandably it was nominated for a whole slew of Razzies winning worst film, worst actor and worst screenplay all for Myers. Critically mauled by everyone Myers has not made a film since apart from a small cameo in Tarantino’s ‘Inglourious Basterds’. Instead he’s stayed behind camera doing his Shrek voice for the TV spin offs. His first confirmed role in almost ten years is in ‘Terminal’ out later this year whose success may influence appearing in any further films including a rumoured fourth Austen Powers film.
- Chris O’ Donnell – Batman & Robin (1997)
O’Donnell’s career was taking off having made appearances in regarded films such as ‘Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe’, ‘Scent of a woman’ and ‘Circle of friends’ and moved into blockbuster territory with 1995’s Batman Forever returning in 1997 for Batman and Robin with George Clooney in the lead role and again directed by Joel Schumacher. With Schwarzenegger, who was still a big box office draw as the lead villain Mr Freeze, all seemed assured. Then the test screenings began. A hint that things were not going well when an audience member having sat through the pun laden electric neon lit cobblers shouted out, ‘Death to Joel Schumacher!’. The press unfairly taunted Alicia Silverstone about her weight gain and inability to get into the batgirl costume. Clooney himself even joked that they’d killed the franchise. The film made money but the fan fury was so great that the franchise came to an immediate end for years until Christopher Nolan rebooted it all. In fairness it put Silverstone’s and Schumachers career on hold too. O’ Donnell didn’t help himself by turning down the lead role in Men in Black either. Subsequent films tanked too and he now makes a living appearing in TV series NCIS;Los Angeles.
- M Night Shyamalan – The Lady in the Water (2006)
After huge success with ‘The Sixth Sense’, ‘Unbreakable’ then ‘Signs’ the director had the first indications of a box office wobble with ‘The Village’ but it was his next film ‘The Lady in the Water’ that proved his downfall. Having left Disney for Warner’s and pretty much given carte blanche to make what he liked he came up with the fairy tale like ‘Lady in the Water’. His signature twist in the tale he abandoned choosing instead to write a script that had obvious digs at critics of his work but perhaps worst of all was elevating himself from cameo appearances to fully fledged major roles in the film. A limp story was met with limp reviews and poor box office which bombed with a $72m worldwide gross against its $70m budget. Accused of arrogance when he refused to acknowledge the films failure he returned to his twist in the tale films. Unfortunately it was the unintentional laugh fest ‘The Happening’ a film which featured Mark Wahlberg talking to a pot plant. It did make money but his career crashed with ‘The Last Airbender’ which was derided by many even though financially it was a success – although it did include one of our all time favourite unintentionally funny lines, ‘I always knew you were a bender!’ His name, which had featured so prominently on film posters, was now kept off the Will Smith starrer ‘After Earth’ which fared badly against other summer blockbusters and since then he has stripped his budgets right back with ‘The Visit’ and ‘Split’ both of which have seen him return to form and box office success. Hoorah!