One of the most exciting parts about the build-up to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was the news that the legendary Jeff Goldblum would be reprising his role as chaotician/rock star/sex god Ian Malcolm. Our minds raced with the possibilities, including (but not limited to) scenes of a shirtless Goldblum riding into action on the back of a T-Rex to save the day.
Unfortunately, while Fallen Kingdom wasn’t a bad movie on the whole, we didn’t get nearly enough ‘blum for our buck – Dr Malcolm’s role was essentially a walk-on, with one small scene at the very start of the film and another at the very end. With this in mind, we cast our minds back to other movie cameos that promised far more than they could deliver.
Forest Whitaker – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
What We Hoped For: The Star Wars anthology movies represented a chance for filmmakers to make a complete departure from the characters we know and love, and Rogue One doubled down on that vibe by being a gritty war movie in space. One of the most interesting casting choices was Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker, chosen to play a veteran of the Clone Wars called Saw Gerrera.
What We Got: Whitaker barely got a chance to shine during his cameo in Rogue One. He had two basic functions in the story: driving Riz Ahmed’s defector pilot sorta mad, and giving protagonist Jyn Erso a place to watch her dad give a massive exposition dump. His tasks fulfilled, he then elects to die in a massive explosion as the Empire tests the Death Star.
Jared Leto – Suicide Squad
What We Hoped For: Heath Ledger’s incarnation of The Joker was always going to be a difficult act to follow, but everyone involved in the production of Suicide Squad was keen to tell us just how much Jared Leto was going to blow our minds with his method acting. Stories of Leto sending dead animals and used condoms to his co-stars were thrown about with such abandon that they quickly became a meme, and the admittedly excellent trailer for the movie, set to Bohemian Rhapsody, featured Leto heavily.
What We Got: It’s not entirely surprising that Suicide Squad turned out to be a deep-fried trainwreck of a movie, but it was surprising just how little the Joker actually featured. Leto was left to do little more than laugh, purr weirdly at awkward moments and get upstaged by Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn at every turn.
Quentin Tarantino – Django Unchained
What We Hoped For: It’s easy to forget that on top of being a legendary writer-director, Quentin Tarantino is a decent actor – see his brilliantly unhinged performance in From Dusk Til Dawn. So when it was announced that he would have a bit-part in his Western revenge movie Django Unchained, we were excited to see him return to the screen.
What We Got: Not only does Tarantino’s cameo come in a scene that kills the momentum of the movie just when it’s reaching its climax – it also features one of the very worst attempts at an Australian accent ever committed to film. Luckily Django feels the same way, and promptly blows Tarantino up with a stick of dynamite.
Bryan Cranston – Godzilla
What We Hoped For: Bryan Cranston was riding high off his turn in Breaking Bad when it was announced that he’d been cast in Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla. The last time a Western director tried to bring the King of Monsters to the big screen he was let down by Ferris Bueller and Leon the Professional, so we were pumped to see an actor of Cranston’s calibre joining the cast.
What We Got: After a genuinely heartbreaking opening scene in which he witnesses the death of his wife, Juliette Binoche, Cranston’s character becomes a paranoid recluse (correctly) convinced that something otherworldly was to blame. Sadly, he’s killed by a MUTO just after being proved right, and we’re left to spend the rest of the movie with Aaron Taylor Johnson, the World’s Blandest Soldier.
Night Shyamalan – Every M. Night Shamalan movie
What We Hoped For: That he wouldn’t make a cameo in this movie for a change.
What We Got: Nothing but disappointment.