When is the last time you saw two movies of the same lead actor release on the same weekend? Rare occurrence. Rare, indeed! But this is exactly what is happening in the coming weekend, even if in one of the movies, our hero is only lending his voice… to a snail. In the other, he would be seen very much in flesh and blood as even death fails to destroy his presence. It is Ryan Reynolds we are talking of. A name well known to anyone who knows anything about American cinema. Reynolds will feature in the animated movie Turbo and star along side Jeff Bridges in the comedy action movie R.I.P.D. in a rather packed up summer weekend!
Ryan Reynolds has been around for quite a long time in Hollywood, having started off his acting career in a Canadian-produced teen soap Hillside, in 1990. With time, he has grown in stature within the film fraternity, but it has been only since 2009 that he has had those big earning movies associated with his name.
The big story began with the 2009 action flick, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, co-starring Reynolds, and though the movie’s focus was never on him, he did play the role of one of the scariest mutants, Deadpool. While there have been talks of a spin-off movie on Deadpool, nothing has materialized yet, though Reynolds does keep getting asked on this time and again. But it was another film of 2009 which showed Reynolds as box-office material as the lead hero, when he charmed his way with Sandra Bullock in the rom-com The Proposal, that grabbed $375 million worldwide. One of the finest movies of this genre I have seen in quite a while (and there is really a dearth of such movies now – read this), the movie propelled Ryan Reynolds to another level. And he then had his chance to sail higher, much higher, and the chance to don the mask of a superhero at a time when superheroes are leaving more than just a mark in Hollywood. With 2011’s Green Lantern.
Alas, this superhero never soared high enough. A great opportunity for Reynolds was lost. Worldwide earnings of $220 million were nowhere close to what the studio would have expected when it put in $200 million in the production itself. The failure of the movie based on this DC comics character cannot really fall on Reynolds’ shoulders, but rather to poor direction and a badly assembled screenplay. But even then, the actor has to bear the brunt. A potential big blockbuster evaporated.
While Reynolds shifted back to comedy movies with The Change-Up in 2011, he only managed to erase the bad memories of Green Lantern (somewhat) with a rather gritty role as a rookie agent in the surprise hit of 2012, Safe House. Starring along side Denzel Washington, Reynolds managed to keep his own in this action film, earning positive reviews for his performance.
2013 has begun well for Ryan Reynolds, and while the actor takes lesser credit for the success of an animation flick (unless you can do what Steve Carell did with Gru), Reynolds still played his part in the DreamWorks hit animation movie The Croods. The film has crossed close to $600 million in worldwide earnings, and is already set for a sequel, marking a good beginning for Reynolds in the film animation world. Ryan Reynolds is however not new to the world of ‘lending voices’; he has been part of the Candian animated television series Zeroman and has also guest-starred in Family Guy. So with Turbo releasing this weekend, Ryan Reynolds should not be in much of an unfamiliar territory. It is another DreamWorks – Reynolds collaboration at play here, and one they would be hoping would meet with similar success as The Croods.
Reynolds features in another movie over the weekend, a live action movie this time, R.I.P.D. To add to the list of stars he has worked with in the past, Reynolds would be working along side Jeff Bridges here. Based on a comic series with a supernatural element to it, the movie does have an interesting plot behind it, but its trailers have not been much appealing. Whether the charm of Reynolds with the grit of Bridges can make the movie work, is the question this weekend will answer. It is a tough weekend though with Red 2 and the horror flick The Conjuring also geared up for a fight. So even if movies of this weekend fail to give Ryan Reynolds that push to walk on a higher pedestal, we can really see it coming soon… it’s just around the corner. Reynolds, you gotta keep trying!