Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Marvelous Shining Rays!


I'll gladly be corrected, but I think the impressive Ray Stevenson has portrayed more different Marvel characters than any other actor. Chris Evans has a higher profile with Captain America and the Human Torch, but his other comic book turn was in the DC Losers film. Stevenson has become arguably my favorite actor. He stole the movie King Arthur with the impressive and almost completely silent turn as Dagonet and his role in Kill the Irishman as real life labor organizer and gangster Danny Greene makes for a tight action flick with lots of zest and quality.
 

But it was Frank Castle that he made his bones with me first in Punisher: War Zone. I had little regard for this movie which seemed to be dumped onto the market with little fanfare, but which is to my mind easily the best of the three Punisher movies, at least in terms of accurately presenting the comic character onto the big screen. Stevenson looks the most like Castle of any actor who has portrayed him and the sheer brutal violence of the movie seems like the comic come to life to me. Loved the darkness of his portrayal and the darkness of the city at night. It works spectacularly well and is deserving of more attention.


Then out of the blue he turns up again in glittering Asgard as the most memorable of the Warriors Three, the rotund Volstagg. Admittedly Volstagg, as big as  he is gets lost in the Thor movies. There's just so much happening and too many characters, but he does get some few choice scenes here and there.


I'm glad they didn't make Volstagg a total joke in the movies, as his enormous girth would not have succeeded in this movie. It would've felt like Fat Bastard in the Austin Powers movies.


But I have to say, the most surprisingly entertaining turn Stevenson has had as a Marvel character is as Firefly in the second G.I.Joe movie. Like his role in King Arthur, he almost steals this movie from the moment he shows up with his gimmicks and whatnot.


There's just something totally convincing about Stevenson in these movies. He's big enough to sell the action and he's a damn fine actor well under control in the weirdest settings and scenes.

I can't wait to see what Marvel character he portrays next. Personally I've always wanted to see someone bring Union Jack to the screen, and Stevenson would be great. But I do know that whatever the case, any movie with Stevenson in it, gets my attention.

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6 comments:

  1. The first time I ever saw Ray Stevenson was in the TV series "Rome" from about ten years ago, ever seen that ? When Thor came out I assumed Volstagg would be portrayed as hugely obese using a "fat suit" or something but, as you say, it would probably have looked ridiculous.

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    1. Stevenson is the kind of actor who can steal a scene just by sitting in the background. Eastwood famously could do that too. I seek out new Stevenson stuff now, so I'll have to give Rome a check.

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  2. Not to put down Stevenson, but...if you want to get technical about it...
    Stan Lee's played a different character in each of his Marvel movie cameos, including Willie Lumpkin!
    Plus, he's narrated a plethora of animated series and audio stories (Remember "Rock Reflections of a Super Hero"?).
    And, he's given voice to characters ranging from Future Tony Stark to the Mayor of Super Hero City.
    In addition...
    Bruce Campbell played a different minor character in each of the Sam Raimi Spider-Man flicks...

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    1. See I knew I'd forget someone. Good old Stan has the absolute record which will never be topped. My favorite is his turn as Willie Lumpkin in the first FF movie. It was the perfect role for him. Overall they do a decent job with his cameos, though they can be intrusive weirdly short as they are.

      Bruce Campbell is a favorite and he's always playing the same guy regardless of what the name is, a wry smart ass. He's so good at it.

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  3. Agreed on Punisher: War Zone, a wildly misunderstood movie, in my opinion. I've been ranking all the Marvel movies on my own blog, and I'll be talking about War Zone tomorrow:
    http://girlsgunsandcigarettes.blogspot.com/2015/04/best-of-marvel-pre-blade.html#more

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    1. I'll definitely check those out. I have a theory that despite what fans say they want, when a character is presented pretty much as they are in the comics, the less the audience seems to appreciate it, and weirdly likewise the fans. Adjustments have to be made, and I'm pretty cool with that normally.

      But the Punisher is a character made for the movies and all three Punisher movies are decidedly different. War Zone is still my favorite, just saw it again a few weeks ago. Stevenson just looks the part, perhaps the most accurate portrayal of a comic character to screen ever since Robin Williams played Popeye.

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