Ryan Reynolds Syndrome

Stephen Norrington’s Blade is a brilliant film, Guillermo Del Toro’s Blade II is Aliens to Blade‘s Alien and then along comes Blade: Trinity, directed by David S. Goyer (screenwriter on all three films), playing the Batman Forever card and guffing up a perfectly good franchise. What Blade 3 (Trinity’s an awful subtitle) did have though was the presence of one great performance, Ryan Reynolds as Hannibal King – seemingly channeling Jason Lee but in a rather ripped action star body, Reynolds gave far better than the movie deserved stealing the whole show from the likes of Snipes, Kristoffersen, Parker Posey and Jessica Biel.

Reynolds was no stranger to acting as lifeguard to drowning pictures, he single handedly made the absolutely bland Van Wilder: Party Liason very entertaining with his expert comic timing, delivered with perfect dead pan and his rogue-ish good looks. Similarly he made the totally risible Just Friends watchable, he popped up in Joe Carnahan’s messy Smokin’ Aces, he took an interesting – if flawed – project in the shape of The Nines, and most recently has acted in the so-so Adventureland and the terrible X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Now after much industry talk about the comic book spin-off Deadpool, Reynolds has been snapped up to star in Martin Campbell’s adaptation of The Green Lantern. Neither project particularly excites me on its own merits, though Reynolds’ Deadpool stole the entire film from Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine (despite only being on screen for about three minutes). It seems that Reynolds is finally getting his bid for super-stardom, but does this usher in a change for his career, will Reynolds now be head-lining bigger and better projects, or will this strange phenomenon of great performance, poor film continue?

Are there other actors out there who suffer from Ryan Reynolds Syndrome? And have I over-looked a film starring Reynolds that is actually as good as his performance in it?

© BRWC 2010.

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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.

  • Anonymous 12th July 2009

    While I love Ryan and think he did a great job in X-MO:W, you are definitely over-stating his case. He did not steal the entire film! Hugh Jackman was awesome as Logan and the movie was terrific. Probably why it’s made buckets of money.

  • Owain Paciuszko 13th July 2009

    It seems though, and this is not me band-wagon jumping, that Wolverine was a general disappointment (though not financially) with viewers, and I’ve read in many articles and on forums that Reynolds brief performance as Deadpool was a highlight of the film for many people, and thusly earned him the chance for a spin-off.

    I, personally, found Wolverine to be a very poor, inconsistent, under-whelming movie, which was a shame as I was very much looking forward to it. It had a few moments here and there (the title sequence being particularly good), but it just felt very ‘seen it all before’. Of course Jackman did well as Wolverine, but he was great as Wolverine even in the absolutely terrible X-Men: The Last Stand, so no surprises there. Reynolds on the other hand was the real surprise of the film it was just a shame that (a) he had so little screen time and (b) what happened to him in the film!

    It was that performance that kind of spurred on this little quest, and gave me the ‘confidence’ to watch Just Friends, a film I probably would have otherwise avoided.


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