I was watching this really bad, cheaply-made, fairly recent horror on TV the other night called The Tripper, about some guy who runs around a forest wearing a Ronald Reagan mask and slashing up hippies.
You had Paul ‘Pee Wee’ Herman Reubens and Jason ‘Jay of Jay and Silent Bob fame’ Mewes, and Lucas ‘Witness’ Haas. So quite obviously it was a film of questionable quality.
But, also in there was Thomas Jane playing the local sheriff Buzz Hall, and it got me thinking how much this guy has been stagnating in his career.
Though far from being the world’s greatest actor, there is just something about him as a leading man I like. He’s a man’s man I guess. A seemingly good honest, down-to-earth bloke with a fair amount of presence about him.
But, maybe due to his lack of acting range, he’s never truly ‘made it’.
After bit parts in some high-quality films such as Boogie Nights (1996) and The Thin Red Line (1998), co-starring in Under Suspicion (2000) and Original Sin (2001) and playing the love interest in The Sweetest Thing (2001), he finally reached name-above-the-title star status with The Punisher (2004).
Throwing his beefed up weight around in the under-rated comic book adaptation, he completely looked the part of the action star and seemed destined to become a big drawcard in that genre.
But, following the less then enthusiastic response to The Punisher by the critics and the box office, plans for a direct sequel were scrapped. Another Punisher was released last year, but had no relevance to Jane’s – and ultimately faired even worse.
Jane has been very quiet ever since, the majority of his appearances coming in Arquette vehicles. He appeared in two episodes of TV thriller Medium (with wife and star Patricia Arquette) and two low-budget movies directed by brother-in-law David ‘Dewey’ Arquette, The Butler’s in Love (2008) and the aforementioned Tripper (2006).
There has also been an average performance in the average-delivered Stephen King novel adaptation The Mist (2007).
In fairness he apparently tried out for the role of Harvey ‘Two Face’ Dent in The Dark Knight (2008), but lost out to the man he bares a resemblance to, Aaron Eckhardt, and was unable to take up the role The Comedian in Watchmen (2009) due to some scheduling conflicts.
That all said, it’s good to see Jane back to doing what he’s shown to do so well – playing the tough guy and kicking some ass – in the upcoming Give ‘Em Hell Malone.
I just saw the trailer to this little retro actioner that seems to have plenty of character – and have to say it looks pretty sweet.
Jane plays “a tough-as-nails private investigator (Malone) who squares off with gangsters and their thugs to protect a valuable secret. Malone goes through hell to protect the information but he dishes some as well”, so says imdb.com.
It’s directed by Melbourne’s own Russell Mulcahy, who’s had a hit (The Highlander, Ricochet) and miss (The Shadow, Tales of the Mummy, The Scorpion King 2) kind of career, but may be finally back to some sort of rorm.
Givfe ‘Em Hell Malone, which co-stars the interesting pair of big Ving Rhames (Marsellus from Pulp Fiction) and little Doug Hutchison (Percy from The Green Mile), is released later this year – but not exactly sure when. Check-out the poster HERE