Monday, April 5, 2010

The Weekly Quandry: Sam Worthington: Where Did He Come From And Why Does He Keep Getting Work?

Note: This post has retroactively become the first in a series called The Weekly Quandry, which is exactly what it sounds like.

I've been meaning to rant about how much I detest Sam Worthington for a while now. He was terrible in Terminator: Salvation, but then everything about that movie was awful. Likewise he was the weak link in the generally stellar Avatar cast, but after my two epic rants I just wasn't prepared to do another post. Now io9 has run an article on the enigma that is Sam Worthington's career, and I'm feeling compelled to voice my opinion on the subject...

I simply cannot understand where Sam Worthington came from, and why he continues to star in blockbuster films. He doesn't seem to have appeared in anything notable before Terminator, but since then he's become seemingly ubiquitous, first starring (albeit in alien-cat form) in Avatar and now bitch-slapping deities in Clash of the Titans. Considering that all these roles have come within the space of a year I'd say he's had a fairly "meteoric" rise to fame. What perplexes me is why.

Sam Worthington is not a good actor. He doesn't seem to have any specialties besides looking morosely perplexed and yelling, and no one I've talked to thinks he's much in terms of sex appeal. One would think his lack of talent might translate well into an everyman persona, but his performance in Avatar made it pretty clear that he can't even pull that off. I argued that his character should have been written out of the film entirely, and I know I'm not alone in this. Jake Sully is the source of much of the controversy surrounding Avatar, and is somewhat useless given the overall aims of the film, so why not lose him entirely?

The man doesn't appear capable of much besides being masculine and loud, so why does he keep getting work? He's currently starring in Clash of the Titans, and is apparently set to star in a new Dracula movie. Not that he needs to considering that he's guaranteed a hefty retirement fund from the inevitable Avatar sequel(s). It completely escapes me why or how but Sam Worthington has somehow managed to become one of today's leading male actors.

As near as I can tell he starred in Hamlet, and thereby earned himself a leading role in Terminator: Salvation. It must have been around that time that he was cast in Avatar, perhaps because the Terminator franchise is James Cameron's baby. That could somewhat explain the spike in his noteriety, but maybe I'm wrong? If someone can explain the phenomenon to me I would sincerely appreciate it. It won't make Sam Worthington a better actor, but it will hopefully begin to make sense of everything. Right now I'm about ready to just blame McG, he seems like a glutton for punishment, but perhaps that's undeserved.

I realize that this post makes me officially a big fat hater, but I just can't stand Sam Worthington. He actually makes every movie he is in worse, which is saying a lot given his filmography. It's at least refreshing to know that I'm not alone in being as confused as I am, though I'm sorry for being so negative. I'm sure Sam Worthington is a wonderful human being, but he can't act to save his life.


  1. For any and all who are interested, The Daily Protagitron has responded to my hate-piece with a defense of Mr. Worthington. You can view it here. I disagree with almost all of the points made in the article, but it is still totally worth a read:

    I suppose I'm glad someone out there likes Sam Worthington. At the very least it makes this an issue of taste rather than some sort of reality vortex whereby someone with zero talent keeps getting work regardless, ala Shia LaBoeuf...

  2. i keep saying this, and no one seems to listen, but clearly he's just the latest incarnation of faust. no big.

    but really max, what is it about this man that gets to you out of all the totally untalented conventionally attractive celebrities out there? that someone is getting work in hollywood for no apparently good reason doesn't seem even remotely surprising to me. is it that he keeps getting work in movies you are excited about? because avatar would've been a piece of shit no matter who played the lead role.

  3. It's just that he came out of nowhere so suddenly and then became so famous with so little talent. It's the whole combo that's shocking and bothers me so much. Seriously, had anyone ever heard of him before Terminator? No. It's surreal. Hence why I agree, a deal with the devil is the only possible explanation, logically speaking

  4. I'm a little concerned about all these comments I am reading..I was called today to be a "extra" in a new movie starring " Sam" and I had never heard of him until today..I guess I will see hiow he is when I go cast next week..I wish I knew the name of the movie Im going to be in..I guess I will get all the details when I get there..