Like any popular actor out there, Robin Williams has made some poor choices. And that's ok because his good work is really good and he's succeeded in establishing himself as more than a standout comedic talent - not an easy thing to do.
But even when he's not being funny, Williams has shown he can deliver an effective dramatic performance under the right circumstances. Whether he's balancing that with some of his funniness as in Good Morning, Vietnam or Dead Poets Society or just being straight-up like in Good Will Hunting or Insomnia. And when he's being funny, he's usually one of the very best. So he should be commended for his talent and accomplishments.
But not here. Not today. No, today, we're here to slam him for his worst offenses ever put onto film.
5. The Final Cut (2004)
I'll admit I have very little to say about this one as it was so horrendously boring, I could barely pay attention to it. But when I first heard of it, the plot sounded interesting. Williams' involvement actually meant little to me as I understood this to be a drama/thriller with sci-fi elements. I just assumed he'd fit in fine. I suppose I can't fault him for being especially bad in this movie. It's just an especially bad movie where an actor like Williams seems ridiculously out of place due to its tone. Now I've noted Williams is capable of fitting into a darkly toned movie but there's just no chance of it here.
In a not too distant future, he plays a "cutter" - a person with the task of editing a person's experiences, recorded via a chip implanted shortly after birth, into short little films called "rememories" to be viewed upon the person's death. The movie has 1984-like themes with some bureau sort of editing history as they see fit but just let me save you some grief by telling you to skip it cause it is booooring. Williams can be entertaining even when he's bad but he's such a non-presence in this movie (as the main character) I have to mark it down as one of his worst.
4. RV (2006)
This is more familiar territory for Williams. A lacklustre affair about an annoying, dysfunctional family enduring wacky happenings as they vacation through Colorado in a large RV. It's the same old crap we've seen before but this time with JoJo!
Williams is the patriarch of this irritating little ensemble and he's shown to be drifting from his wife as he concentrates on his career and he's more or less alienated from his stupid, adolescent offspring, a boy and a girl. The plot is what we've already seen a thousand times and the "humour" is lame piled on more lame.
One especially awful scene features Williams trying to make his son appear hip to a group of wiggers by "speaking their language". You know, in 1993 we could at least crack a smile as Williams attempted rapping with a toy velociraptor. But in 2006, Robin Williams trying to speak "street" or "fly" or whatever the fuck is unforgivable. Now, it's not like his attempt wins the kids over and it does embarrass his son but it's still just so painful to watch context simply cannot excuse it.
Everything else is just Williams' character trying to hold together his pathetic family (don't ask me why) while at the same time deceiving them that they're on a regular vacation while in fact he's trying to get ahead in his job yet again. I'm pretty sure there's a part where a hose blasts shit - a good metaphor for this film.
3. Jumanji (1995)
2. FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)
I actually saw this animated abortion in theatres. Before you move to condemn me, allow me first to point out: 1. I was nine years old. 2. I didn't actually intend to see it - my sister and I had gone to see Beethoven and it was sold out so we were stuck with the only other movie with a G rating.
As for how truly terrible this movie is, I don't even know where to begin. I mean, have you seen it? And Tim Curry also somehow found himself mired in this mess as well. I could weep. But instead I'll just get angry. The animation, while not on par with Disney, was decent. After that, every single aspect falls far, far below the comparatively Olympian level of decent. It's a movie with a message - save the goddamn rainforest! But this isn't really communicated too well. Basically, it tells the poor kids duped into seeing it (as I was) not to cut down the rainforest. Well, since I'm pretty sure most kids aren't loggers in Brazil or whatever, I guess they could leave this movie feeling pretty good about themselves. Actually, no, they couldn't. Because this movie is shit.
Now to Williams - he voices a bat. Guess what his amazingly hilarious schtick is - crashing into stuff. And he does so, over and over and over. Which is actually tolerable when measured against his horrific "musical" number wherein Williams, as an animated retarded bat that has been repeatedly experimented on...raps. I could bring up lots more vomit-inducing elements this movie features but for the sake of my sanity as well as yours (and you should save your vomit for the next one), I'll stop here.
1. Popeye (1980)
Maybe you think it's unfair of me to include this one. Well, let me tell you something: life isn't fair. Which is the precise reason why I, a person who DESPISES Popeye with every fibre of his being and wishes he could travel back in time and somehow obliterate it from history (that's right, even ahead of Woody Woodpecker and Scrappy Doo) was exposed to a feature-length film about him with no means of escape.
How did this happen, you ask? Well, as a result of apparently having absolutely no screening process whatsoever, Acadia Lines managed to employ a sadistic and highly insane bus driver who one frozen February night a few years ago, chose to forego the company's long ago established policy of no longer showing movies on trips and, guided by the hand of Satan himself, selected a VHS copy of Popeye to expose his passengers to - good, decent people who actually PAID for this hellish voyage under the pretext that they wouldn't be subjected to excruciating torture. The regular torture of a winter Halifax to Sydney bus voyage, sure, but not this. But we were. And so, even though it was only on a tiny screen and the volume was low, I saw the movie, Popeye. My batteries were dead and reading on the bus makes me sick. Needless to say, I got quite sick.
Anyway, I don't care if this is a good representation of Popeye or decent or bad or whatever - I simply HATE Popeye and all interpretations of him - I can't even play the little Popeye game included on 31 in 1. It was all just so horrible - it looked like it was filmed at the very edge of the world somewhere. There were no trees, just rocks and water and....sorry, I blacked out for a moment there. The sad fact is that even though I did everything I could short of sleeping or suicide to resist, I have seen this movie and I can never unsee it. So yeah, Williams was a no-name guy at the time (well, I guess he was recognized by the name, Mork) and just wanted to break into films but I don't care.
For doing this movie - which hurt me for EVERY SINGLE SECOND it ran, and it even featured SONGS for christ's sake - there is a special place in hell reserved for Robin Williams and no amount of good work can save him from this fate. I know that's in direct contradiction to what I said in my intro but...but it's POPEYE. No forgiveness.