Top 10 Worst Movie Cameos
Cameos can be hit or miss. Some are barely visible, and are only spotted by those looking for them. This can describe most of Hitchcock’s moments as a background pedestrian. This is fine. Other cameos are so forced and pointless or distracting that they immediately break the suspension of disbelief and cripple the experience. These are those cameos.
#10 – Macy Gray in Spider-Man
If…if…your movie needs a live performance to complement a scene you want it to be someone who can merge into the background with the music, set and extras. A good example would be (surprisingly) the band Ministry in A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, playing at the redneck anti-robot rally. Spider-Man is how it is done wrong. There’s no particular reason why there should be a concert playing in the middle of the city when the Green Goblin first attacks, and it would have cost more to decorate the set to look like one. Then the choice of performer – why Macy Gray? She’s not associated with the characters or comic books at all, and the appearance already made the movie feel aged by the time it hit cinemas.
Although if I was stuck as a Macy Gray concert I’d pray for a lunatic to blow the place up.
#9 – Mr. T and Richard Kiel in Inspector Gadget
This cameo made me feel sad. Mr. T was more of a brand than anything else, and Richard Kiel was always going to be known as Jaws from the 007 series, but it’s still pretty sad to see them reduced to this.
To sum up, the live action adaptation of Inspector Gadget is a piece of shite. Really, really awful. Product placement ridden, horribly directed and awkwardly acted shite. During the end credits there’s a bunch of extra pointless scenes thrown together for…no reason. One of them is a bad-guy minion who had a tiny role in the film attending a help-group for minions. Sitting in the front row is Mr. T and Richard Kiel.
They didn’t even rate high enough for an appearance in the real film, instead lumped in during the credits as a punchline to sixth tier performers lame gag. To make it worse they aren’t made up to look like their famous personas, clearly wearing what they walked in with, so they’re not immediately recognisable in the split second they do appear. And it THAT isn’t enough, they’re surrounded by other famous minions such as Oddjob and Nick-Nack, but they’re played by impersonators who are more recognisable than the REAL ACTORS they’re sitting with?
It’s depressing that this was something that these icons deemed worthy of showing up for.
Unrelated – why is there someone dressed like Kato in the back-ground? Bruce Lee was no-ones ‘minion’.
#8 – David Hasselhoff in Piranha 3DD
Oh, what wit! David Hasselhoff playing a lifeguard! Because he was on a show about life guards about 20 years ago! I would’ve said that maybe The Hoff is turning his entire career into a perpetual joke about his previous roles, but having recently met the man I can confirm that this is entirely true. The guy literally walks around in his costume jacket from Baywatch.
This kind of joke isn’t funny. I joke needs a set-up and a punchline – this is showing us a person who was famous and expecting people to find that entertaining enough. Even if that was enough to sell you a ticket to the cinema then it has been done better already. Namely the Spongebob Squarepants Movie.
#7 – Smash Mouth in Rat Race
Sometimes a cameo can be used in the place of actual writing. Rat Race had the set-up to be funny, but it was written by people who think children would appreciate jokes about Lucille Ball and screaming hysterically is how most men would respond to meeting a transvestite. There is a tiny bit of suspense to be had in waiting to find out who would win the big cash prize and the end of the race, but the script chickened out in a spectacularly lazy fashion. After having everyone get the prize at the same time and decide to share it (defeating the entire point of the movie) the writers didn’t know how to wrap things up…so they crash a bus into a Smash Mouth concert.
They then give the money to charity and Cuba Gooding Jr. justifies his Oscar win by dancing awkwardly to Smash Mouth as they perform that song from Shrek, the first and last reason anyone knows there’s a band called ‘Smash Mouth’.
#6 – Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder
If any entry is going to get me hated on for this article, it’s this one. But I maintain that this is, like Hasselhoff above, an entire gag centred around the audience recognising the famous person in the screen. It’s TOM CRUISE…in a FAT SUIT…and he DANCES! That’s not a joke, and if the role was filled by literally anyone else it wouldn’t have been given a second thought. The fact that Cruise did it solely to make fun of the studio exec who fired him for promoting a cult and acting like a public liability just makes it the saddest and most pointless example of stunt casting in history.
#5 – Stephanie Meyer in Twilight
There were a few people who could’ve made this spot. Stan Lee is some of his more awkward moments…Stephen King has a few clangers…but this is the most cringe inducing. At the beginning of a pointless cafe scene in Twilight there is a pointless shot of Twilight author Stephanie Meyer writing on her laptop. And the camera just stays on her, hovering uncomfortably while Meyer smirks about making a cameo in her own movie. You can sense everyone in the cinemas shifting uncomfortably while the shot just lingers, stopping short of a giant neon sign lighting up above her head flashing the message ‘LOOK WHO IT IS!!!’ at everyone.
#4 – Kevin Smith (and Jason Mewes by extension) in Chasing Amy
Kevin Smith was never thrilled with the ‘softening’ of his trademark characters Jay and Silent Bob for his follow up comedy Mallrats. Still, what are you going to do? Turn up in your next movie and complain about directly to your main character? If you don’t know Kevin Smith you may have answered ‘of course not, that would be idiotic’, but it’s what he did.
Chasing Amy was more mature and series that the preceding Mallrats and Clerks, dealing with some serious questions about relationships in the modern age. That gets flushed down the toilet the moment comic relief side-kicks Jay and Silent Bob turn up. But it’s a small, subtle appearance, right? No…they turn up as hammy dues-ex machina to inspire the main character to fight for what he loves. They also talk about how badly handled their characters were in the previous film.
It’s egotistical, unfunny and pretentious. It’s made even worse by Smith then continuing to use the version of the characters they were just condemning in another three movies. Possibly because it made sense when stoned.
#3 – Madonna in Die Another Day
Urgh. I love the James Bond series. And this movies is one of the worst things ever committed to film. Ever. It does everything wrong. Ok, there is the sword fight. It’s kinda cool. Except…
Bond is about to confront his target, a wealthy and powerful man who is currently training to kill people with pointy weapons. It’s tense. The location is lavish and we can’t wait to see what goes down. Bond approaches the fight instructor. She turns around and the entire audience whispers ‘Is that Madonna’ to the person next to them. On the screen Madonna stands and smirks at the camera and all the tension and potential for the scene is forgotten.
Fuck this movie.
#2 – Bruce Willis in Ocean’s 12
Talk about a mishandled sequel. I’m going to assume that the entire cast and crew spend a wee bit to much time smoking the local delicacies in Amsterdam, because no-one sober thought up this…weird shit.
So Julia Roberts is in the movie, playing Tess. The characters in the movie have the genius idea of Tess…played by Julia Roberts…pretends to be Julia Roberts in the movie.
They MUST have been stoned. They HAVE to have been. They wrote a big name, Hollywood movie where Oscar winner Julia Roberts plays a character who disguises herself as JULIA ROBERTS. And how does she get rumbled? Because, for NO REASON, Bruce Willis turns up playing himself and notices that she’s writing with her right hand instead of her left.
NO. BAD MOVIE.
#1 – M. Night Shayamalan
So you’re a director and also fancy yourself an actor? Want to be in your own movie? Go ahead. This has lead to some good movies (also The Room, but that’s an anomaly). Unless you constantly…CONSTANTLY…cast yourself in the pivotal, emotional role in the movie. Unless you can only deliver the lines in a bland, emotionally flat performance. In The Village it was awkward and stupid, but in Signs it genuinely kills some of the most important dialogues in the movie.
Now we’ve seen the worst, what are the best? Add your suggestions below and keep on eye out for a future article!