Ever wonder what happens to actors and filmmakers who stop making good films and start releasing bad ones? They land themselves in Movie Jail! JoBlo.com readers will act as the jury to hold celebrities accountable for the diminishing quality of films, while still taking into full account their entire career. While they won’t actually spend any time behind bars, this is a fun way for you to voice your opinion as to whether a few bad movies discredits an entire career. So, read through the evidence on both sides and let us know in the comments whether this week’s defendant deserves to go to MOVIE JAIL!
The Defendant: Vin Diesel
Vin Diesel is hereby charged with the inability to successfully act in a film outside of two main franchises. With two mediocre series that continue to get films in addition to his main studio work, Mr. Diesel has repeatedly turned in weak to bad performances in movies that continue to coast on brand recognition.
EVIDENCE FOR THE PROSECUTION: KNOCKAROUND GUYS, THE PACIFIER, BABYLON A.D., THE LAST WITCH HUNTER, THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK, THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS franchise, XXX, XXX: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE, A MAN APART, RIDDICK
Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, I am here to talk to you about a movie star who has barely starred in any movies. Yes, he has three franchises to his credit, two of which are billion dollar properties. But, while he has created one based on car racing and heists while another follows a band of intergalactic superheroes, Mr. Vin Diesel has failed to create any success outside of those movies. Sure, working with Marvel Studios where all you have to do is say three words in slightly different inflections is an easy paycheck, it does not a quality movie star make.
In examining the career of Vin Diesel, any of his non-Marvel or FAST AND FURIOUS films have been underwhelming to bad. Both the XXX and RIDDICK franchises are mediocre at best and any of his other work is just bland. THE LAST WITCH HUNTER and BABYLON A.D. are some of the worst films of the last two decades and THE PACIFIER is a painful attempt to replicate the comedic success Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone have enjoyed. There is so little depth or range to Vin Diesel’s resume that we have to look to voice work to find his best acting.
Even his trademark FAST AND FURIOUS films only became hits when they turned into ensemble projects. Vin Diesel is a movie star not because of skill or talent but due to being in the right place at the right time. I have no doubts, Ladies and Gentlemen, that Mr. Diesel’s upcoming BLOODSHOT wlll firmly fall into the realm of additional proof against the defendant and serve as more cause for him to be incarcerated and prevented from further diluting our cineplexes from more deserving and talented performers.
EVIDENCE FOR THE DEFENSE: SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, THE IRON GIANT, PITCH BLACK, BOILER ROOM, THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS franchise, FIND ME GUILTY, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
The deep grumble of Vin Diesel‘s voice has carried him to the A-list but it is his skills as a movie star that have kept him there. From his early supporting roles in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, BOILER ROOM, and vocal work on THE IRON GIANT, Mr. Diesel found himself the standout performer in PITCH BLACK which garnered him a spin-off franchise based purely on fan campaigning. From there, he launched the now iconic FAST AND FURIOUS franchise which has been entertaining global audiences for almost twenty years.
You could make a case that Vin Diesel‘s films are purely popcorn fare and have no depth to them, but i encourage you to look at his work in Sidney Lumet‘s FIND ME GUILTY, a small scale film that easily shows what he is capable of as an actor. Even A MAN APART shows that while he may have muscles and can handle an action sequence alongside Dwayne Johnson, Mr. Diesel is a performer but also an actor. His voice work in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY has been often underappreciated but his utterance of those three simple words has depth that helped the animation team that brought Groot to life.
THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS has become a franchise powerhouse and one of the few original series not based on a comic book or other source material to light up the box office. With two more films coming, Mr. Diesel is going to easily find himself another franchise worthy of his talents that will keep him the global star he has proven to be. BLOODSHOT could be that film or his rumored inclusion in the AVATAR franchise could take him to even greater heights than he has already achieved. Vin Diesel is a movie star through and through and having a pair of blockbuster franchises is more than enough evidence to allow him to continue to explore less mainstream fare or even passion projects that don’t break the bank.
Vin Diesel has appeared in fifty projects over his career. Of those, eight have been in THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS franchise, three in the RIDDICK series, 2 in XXX films, and four Marvel movies. There are at least four more films in the pipeline adding to those franchises with more on the horizon. Is this the output of an actor who should be put in Movie Jail? Do his failures outweigh his success or are we being harsh on a movie star because we don’t like some of his work? We put the decision to you as to whether Mr. Diesel deserves to be found guilty or not.
*The cases for and against a defendant going to Movie Jail by the author are not necessarily his views and opinions but they are some of the beliefs that one would use to effectively make an argument for both sides. Not quite a devil’s advocate but you get the point. Anyway, this is all in fun so don’t take it too seriously. We have a separate jail for those people called “Troll Tower” and believe me you do NOT want to go there.
WHAT SAY YOU: GUILTY OR NOT?
Here is your change to make your voice heard. You are the Jury! Let us know in the comments below whether you find Vin Diesel INNOCENT or GUILTY and we will share the verdict in two weeks! Remember: this is all for fun. No celebrities have been harmed in the creation of this column.
LAST WEEK’S VERDICT: NOT GUILTY
Despite almost two decades of mediocre to downright awful films, Nicolas Cage‘s iconic movies and unabashedly insane performances have exonorated him from all charges. While we may excuse his Redbox-caliber output to this point, Mr. Cage will need to showcase his true talents on the big screen again lest he find himself back in this courtroom. Case dismissed.