Bethesda scored one hell of a coup with Oblivion’s casting. The game hit just a couple of years after the cinema release of Return of the King, when Lord of The Rings hype was still rabid, and so a serious, epic fantasy RPG with swords, magic, orcs and proper, serious English actors was always going to be a very good idea indeed. LotR had Iain McKellen, so Oblivion got Patrick Stewart:
Patrick Stewart! He was Picard. He was Professor X. He was any number of Shakespearian and classic theatrical roles you can think of, and an all-round good egg to boot (both in likeability and head shape). He was hyped in the pre-publicity. He was all over the trailers. But then we got the game. And Patrick Stewart was in it. And he was really bloody good. And then he died after the first 20 minutes and we were left with these guys for the next 100 hours.
So, Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore then. None of them is exactly going to change the world with their craft, but they’re all talented and thoroughly likeable performers capable of making a good production a good deal better when they’re in the right role.
Their voice-acting parts in the Charlie’s Angels game were not the right roles. They didn’t just sound bored, they sounded catatonic. Like they’d recently consumed a party stash of ketamine each and suffered sizeable head injuries at the hands of the dealer they’d stolen it from. And they looked like it too.
By taking the "Grindhouse is just an excuse" approach and naively assuming that a grainy filter would make a crap game ironically cool, Wet failed hard. But surely Malcolm McDowell could have saved this atrocious mess? Or at least made it a bit more bearable. After all, he’s a great actor, but when needs be he’s also capable of hamming it up to a level that makes pig meat look suitable for vegetarians. His range should have been a perfect fit, and his previous video game work as the president in Fallout 3 (making Wet his second starring role in a Bethesda-published game) was fantastic. Surely he could make a supposed Grindhouse game sing?
Above: Golden Globe nominee McDowell as monotone man in hat
No. No it seems he was aware that Wet wasn’t anywhere near as good as Fallout 3, and so just read some words off a page instead of acting. They didn't even bother asking Liam Neeson.
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