Actors’ Spotlight #68: Mark Wahlberg

Mark Robert Michael Wahlberg (born June 5, 1971) is an American actor, producer, businessman, former model, and rapper. Wahlberg was known as Marky Mark in his early career as frontman for the group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, releasing the albums Music for the People and You Gotta Believe. Wahlberg later transitioned to acting, appearing in films such as the drama Boogie Nights and the satirical war comedy-drama Three Kings during the 1990s. In the 2000s, he starred in the biographical disaster drama The Perfect Storm, the science fiction film Planet of the Apes, the heist film The Italian Job, and the Martin Scorsese-directed neo-noir crime drama The Departed, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. In the 2010s, he starred in the action comedy The Other Guys alongside Will Ferrell, the biographical sports drama The Fighter (for which he earned an Academy Award nomination as a producer for Best Picture), the comedy Ted, the war film Lone Survivor, the crime comedy Pain & Gain, the science fiction action film Transformers: Age of Extinction, the disaster film Deepwater Horizon, and the thriller Patriots Day.

Wahlberg has also served as executive producer of four HBO series: the comedy-drama Entourage (2004–11), the period crime drama Boardwalk Empire (2010–14), the comedy-dramas How to Make It in America (2010–11) and Ballers (2015–present). He is co-owner of the Wahlburgers chain and co-stars in the reality TV series about it. Wahlberg received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on July 29, 2010. He is known for his “tough guy” action persona, frequently portraying police officers, military personnel, or criminals in his films. He is also known for his collaborations with directors David O. Russell, Michael Bay, and Peter Berg.

One of the biggest music stars to transfer over to acting ever, Mark Wahlberg has certainly had a ton of memorable movies in his over two decades of filmmaking, both bad and good. So, let’s start with a look at Wahlberg’s worst movies:

5. Planet Of The Apes

Who the fuck thought it would be a good idea to blend Tim Burton together with Planet Of The Apes. It’s clear that watching this, Tim Burton had no idea how to make this movie work and it failed miserably. But on the positive side, we got two kick ass Planet Of The Apes reboot films in 2011 and 2014 so…thanks…I guess.

4. Contraband

Generic action movie #8779 with Mark Wahlberg playing a boring action hero fending off a lazy villain, his brother-in-law, whose kidnapped his wife. Just a lazy, poorly made movie.

3. 2 Guns

I really wanted to like 2 Guns but I’m sorry, Washington & Wahlberg just can’t save this movie from being complete bullshit. It’s uninspired, it’s lazy, it takes the cheap way out, the story makes no sense, the villains are terrible, and it’s just not enjoyable to watch. I expect better from these two actors and I wish this director, who directed Wahlberg in last year’s equally shitty Contraband, would step up his game and I know both Washington and Wahlberg were trying to keep this film from failing but they just can’t do it.

2. Transformers: Age Of Extinction

“I think we just found a Transformer” Or, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Bay found a way to fuck up your career by doing this piece of shit and its’ sequel for god’s sake.

and the #1 worst Mark Wahlberg movie is…

The Happening

This is the ultimate waste of talents ever, all Zooey Deschanel does is look at you awkwardly on screen, mumble her lines, and act like a friggin’ deer in headlights all throughout the movie, you never feel for her character at all and she just comes off as annoyed by what she’s involved in. And Mark Wahlberg is wasted in this as well.

Those are the worst, now let’s look at the best of Wahlberg’s movies:

5. The Fighter

Based on a true story, The Fighter looks a lot like Rocky when you look at the trailer (at least, that was my impression). But when you watch the film, it’s an entirely different film than Rocky. Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale deliver strong performances in this movie as do Amy Adams and Melissa Leo. Director David O Russell also does a phenomenal job being his best movie that he directed since Three Kings. The Fighter is a strong piece of film work.

4. Ted

Ted is still one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in a long time. It’s a great original concept that pays off very well, the cast works really well, and the laughs come at you every minute. Seth MacFarlene makes a smooth transition to the big screen and it pays off very well and I’ll be very curious to see what MacFarlene does next.

3. Four Brothers

A great kind of overlooked Mark Wahlberg movie where he’s starring alongside Andre Benjamin, Garrett Hedlund, and Tyrese Gibson in this John Singleton directed movie.

2. Three Kings

Not only the film that saved George Clooney’s career but also showcased great performances from Mark Wahlberg and Ice Cube and showed off the great directing ability of David O’Russell

and the #1 best Mark Wahlberg movie is…

The Departed

Without a doubt, the best film Martin Scorsese has ever done. A great cast including Leonardo Dicaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Martin Scorsese, Alec Baldwin, & Mark Wahlberg, fantastic set design, and a great ending. The Departed, I believe, is this generation’s ‘Godfather’. I don’t know why I believe this but while I was watching this film, that’s the thought that came in my mind.

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