What to do with Ryan Reynolds?

Can you remember a time before Ryan Reynolds? No, neither can I. I was going to write an essay outlining why I think he might either be a) a time-traveller or b) an alien, but I guess it doesn’t really matter. The problem with Ryan Reynolds is not where he came from (Canada, according to Wikipedia, but that is surely a guess). It’s not his ridiculously alliterative name, nor is it his perfect hair. It’s not even his alarmingly strong jaw. No, the real problem with Ryan is that as an actor, I just don’t know what to do with him.

I am a man, and like all men, I like lists. I have lists for everything. Albums, alcoholic beverages, clouds, dinosaurs, amusing pictures of cats on the internet, crisps, stages of tiredness, the various items of clothing I don’t keep in my wardrobe for reasons I won’t go into, Germans. I have lists for everything. One of my favourite lists is my list of male leading actors. It is broken down into four categories (I love categories as well):

A: Unique, innovative, creative actors – e.g. Heath Ledger, Christian Bale

B: Boring, pointless box-office favourites – e.g. Shia LaBeouf, Danny Dyer

C: Solid, dependable, if uninspiring actors – e.g. Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Downey Jr

D: Handsome men who can’t really act – e.g. Tom Cruise, Hugh Jackman

And here is the problem. Where the hell does Ryan go?

I think we can safely say that Ryan is never going to make it into the hallowed ranks of Category A. For starters, he seems far too normal, and true Category A members are all a bit mental. Can you see Ryan converting to Bale’s single-apple-a-day diet for a role like The Machinist? Can you see him actually becoming The Joker and living like a psychotic recluse as Ledger did for The Dark Knight? Ryan seems like the kinda guy who enjoys a good steak, and probably goes to the pub with the rest of the crew after he’s finished shooting for the day.

We can also rule out Category B. There are many minor reasons as to why he cannot be slotted in here, but they are all dwarfed by the fact that Ryan is simply too handsome for this category.

This leaves us with Category C and Category D. At first glance, Ryan seems like a shoe-in for Category D. He is unquestionably handsome, and was unspeakably bad in films like Definitely, Maybe, The Proposal and Adventureland. Surely this category was made for him? Unfortunately, it’s not as straightforward as it seems, because after that horrific run of dribbling nonsense, Ryan went and starred in a genuinely good film called Buried, and worse still, he actually played the part very well. He was so good in fact, that he is now knocking firmly on the door of Category C.

So, the million-dollar question. Can the strength of one good performance undo the awful memories of a run of bad performances, and allow Ryan to finally take his place among the George Clooneys and Daniel Craigs of the acting world?

No, it can’t. Into Category D with you, you handsome devil.

3 Comments on “What to do with Ryan Reynolds?

  1. He seems to be aiming for the Category D with the Green Lantern film anyway. He’ll be in a costume as opposed to a box in that one.

  2. you think Tom Cruise can’t act?

    might want to see:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUk8bJJg8Kg
    before the next time you try to make yourself look bad. Friendly advice 🙂

    Of all the actors you mentioned, only Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise, and Robert Downey Jr are bankable. Of those three, only DiCaprio and Cruise are indestructible. Controversies, underperformances, even the media can not kill their careers, they’re established and powerful in the industry. Downey can not afford to mess up.

    Clooney does not rule the box office, neither can Craig. He was the lead in “Cowboys & Aliens” and that movie was a big budget flop. Clooney is not an international star, Robert Downey Jr is not a major international star either, yet. He had a different career path than Cruise or DiCaprio who have been ruling the industry for decades.

    DiCaprio and Cruise are legends on a bigger scale. Reynolds is already 35. Tom Cruise already had two Oscar nominations by that age and had his name (star) on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (Hollywood Blvd). There’s only a few years of difference between Reynolds and DiCaprio. We can not put these men in the same category — ever.

    Ryan can perhaps be in a new category with Shia LeBeouf and Ryan Gosling. Throw Channing Tatum in there too. This category is the one that Hollywood wants to morph into the next Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise, Leo DiCaprio but is seeing no success. These are not solidifying as bankable and the bankable ones only have so much time.

  3. Just to support the above with WorldWide numbers from the last three movies of each:

    Leonardo DiCaprio
    J.Edgar: 79M
    Inception: 825M (Director Nolan, TDK)
    Shutter Island: 294M

    Tom Cruise
    MI4 (his own franchise): 685M
    Knight and Day: 261M
    Valkyrie: 200M

    Ryan Reynolds
    Safe House: 177M Worldwide (this was because Denzel is lead)
    Fireflies in the Garden: 3M (wow really)
    The Change-Up: 72M (producers lost over 20M on this one)
    and the Green Lantern disaster that cost it’s studios over 100M in loses.

    Both J.Edgar and Valkyrie have a limited audience. They are based on history and true story and are not very appealing. Only DiCaprio and Cruise could milk $$ out of these two and they did. However, if Cruise leads, 200M at a minimum is guaranteed.

    Whereas Reynolds is consistently making flops, only excluding his recent where Denzel carried the movie. This calls for category E.

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