Frank Langella in Masters of the Universe is why I would want to be an actor if I were an actor.
He makes that film! He embodies the ultimate movie villain!
I'll hop on The Happening before anyone else does. Marky Mark can be good, so I was kinda baffled as to what happened. I usually like him, or can stand him in whatever he's in. As for a great performance in a bad movie, I'll say many of the things Terry Crew is in. A lot of them are comedies that I am not attracted to, but Terry Crew always give this performance that makes me believe that he's giving his 100% no matter what.
Willem Dafoe in The Boondock Saints. How delightfully over-the-top he was. I'm also with Gorjan V on Terry Crews. He's great in White Chicks, his comedic timing almost makes that movie watchable.
He is so good in White Chicks. That's an underrated comedy.
Bradley Cooper in American Hustle. Honestly for the "no-sex scream" alone.
Raul Julia in Street Fighter. The rest of the cast (including Jean-Claude Van Damme) were pretty awful, but Julia (in his last major movie role before his death) gave an awesome scenery-chewing performance as M. Bison mostly for the quote he utters to Ming-Na, "But for me, it was Tuesday."
F This Movie helped convince me that The Lost World: Jurassic Park is a terrible movie, but I still enjoy watching Pete Postlethwaite's performance as Roland.
We're just doing our part.
Pete Postlethwaite is always good, a true master.
I always love it when Pete turns up in bit roles. He was awesome in Jurassic Park and Dragonheart, and even right before he passed in smaller roles in Inception and The Town. An extremely underrated actor in my view, and probably the only interesting character in The Lost World.The same could be said for fellow Jurassic Park alum Peter Stomare, who often does great work in bad movies. Take Armageddon for example, you wouldn't figure that in a movie about American pride the one Russian would be the best character. But midway through the movie I came to realize Stomare was the only character I wanted to live.
Can I get any love for K-Space in Superman Returns? Terrifyingly unstable, but also entirely convincing as a brilliant mind.
I would have to say Helena Bonham Carter in Planet of the Apes is one that comes to my mind (saw that movie so many times in the theater!). Though Roth is amazing as well in the movie. I was always fond of Richard E. Grant and Meatloaf in Spiceworld.
John Travolta in Battlefield Earth. If the director had gotten out of his own way and just focused on what was...nah, I'm just fucking around. That movie should have been taken behind the barn and ritualistically slaughtered.Ving Rhames was good in Striptease ("Do I LOOK like I follow politics?").Kevin Costner looked like he was having more fun in 3000 Miles To Graceland than he had since possibly Silverado but that flick was a pool of rancid iguana vomit. I will never forgive it for squandering Kurt Russell vs. Costner. Ugh.
This is probably out of scope but I thought of composer John Barry. He definitely had a distinctive "romantic" style, but I believe he never phoned in a score. His score was the best "performer" in these clunkers: King Kong (1976), Howard the Duck, The Specialist, The Deep, A View to a Kill.
Christopher Reeve in Superman III and IV. I actually like III, but IV is fairly indefensible except for Reeve. He's fully committed and always gives it his all. The (admittedly nonsensical) junkyard fight in III is actually my favorite Reeve performance moment in any of the Superman movies.
Chloe Grace Moretz in DARK SHADOWS. Richard O’Brien in DUNGEONS AND DRAGONSSam the Eagle in MUPPET TREASURE ISLANDThe girl who played “Chugs” in SORORITY ROWBela Lugosi in BRIDE OF THE MONSTER (too obvious?)
I would argue for Eva Green in Dark Shadows.
Michael Sheen - Tron Legacy, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
Don't forget the Twilight series! The guy obviously knows how to steal the show in bad movies. He seems to have an awareness of knowing what to bring to the table in almost every role he's been given.
How about an early nod to Eva Green in 300: Rise of the Empire? She was absolutely delectable in that role.
I love the cast in Mamma Mia - Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, et al. It's a garbage movie, but they make it fun.
Heres one- Michael Caine's voice over performance in Cars 2-I really hate Cars 2 but the one cool character is his 007 car that should have been the star of the film but for some reason they think we need Larry the Cable Guy-what a waste
Guy Pearce’s energetic and hilarious Snake Plissken mixed with a little John McClane performance was the only positive in Lockout. Without it, Lockout is incompetent, unwatchable garbage, even by B-movie standards.
What, no love for Christopher Lambert? The man clearly knew the cheese he was knee-deep in "Mortal Kombat" and, rather than pull a Bruce Willis, channeled his joy of performance into one of the best movie-stealing characters ever as Lord Rayden. The sequel replaced Lambert with James 'Dexter's dad' Remar as Rayden and man, it just bitch-slaps you across the face how much Lambert was the reason "Mortal Kombat" works.Got to second Myke's endorsement of Pete Postlethwaite as the sole reason "The Lost World" is even remotely watchable. Pete was the P.S. Hoffman of supporting actors, always turning top-notch performances whether the movies he was in were any good or not. And every once in a while, when the movie knew what to do with him (like "The Usual Suspects"), Pete could turn a small supporting role like Kobayashi into a memorable one."The French Connection II" is a pretty forgettable sequel to Friedkin's original Best Picture winner, but Fernando Rey's too-cool-for-school villain is such a suave and cool motherfucker (which is a perfect way to describe any Fey movie role, specially those in Bunuel films) that, contrasted with Gene Hackman's over-the-top Yank-in-France routine, really stands out.Keeping things French (because Alain Resnais! R.I.P. ;-(), Jean Reno's Ponton character steals the rebooted "Pink Panther" movies from under Steve Martin, which is ironic because Martin clearly intended Ponton to be the opposite of the old series' pushover/punching bag manservant Kato (played by Burt Kwouk). By contrast Reno makes Ponton a strong brute with a heart of gold and kind as a kitten, a nice contrast to Martin's Clouseau act and Reno's own screen persona.I'm not a big fan of "Constantine" at all. It's kind-of blah and just there. But man, when Peter Stormare shows up as Satan the movie just comes alive. "Q: The Winged Serpent" is a cheesy Larry Cohen horror flick that works or not depending on what scene you're watching. But man, Michael Moriarty truly goes for broke with an oddball performance (think Depp in "Pirates of the Caribbean"-type disconnect from the movie he's actually in) that both steals, redeems and lifts the movie. Between this, "Troll" and "It's Alive III: Island of the Alive" Moriarty was on fire playing against type.
Amen Vargas. How could I forget about my guy Christopher "Highlander 2" Lambert?! He totally stole Kombat & you can tell he was having a fun time with it. I know Lambert gets bashed for his stiff acting, but he gave Rayden a lot of personality. To this day, MK may still be my favorite video game movie. I don't know what Remar was thinking with his SUPER SERIOUS, glum performance in the awful sequel.
Hugh Jackman in Van Helsing and David Webham in Van Helsing. Their camaraderie is the only thing that can get me through that movie. Sort of a Bond and Q relationship.