Colin Farell is an actor that’s been pretty much made for the Hollywood system of putting a pretty face in front of the camera and not care about how stupid the story they’re telling you in that particular instance. However, I think over the last decade of films we’ve come to see who Farrell is as an actor and as a person, the kind of things he’s into and how his ability to enjoy the camp and the stupid is balanced with an occasional fantastic performance that doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re going to be championing him at the Academy Awards, but rather in our hearts by the amount of times we press play on our Blu Ray player.
Check out my Nine Best Performances by Farrell:
9. James Douglas Clayton from The Recruit (2003)
We all know that Farrell has been the actor that I believe has been following the pay cheques from film to film until recently (and even now I doubt he’s going to stop doing that). A part of me said that I should just make this a top 5 list because I think that’s where we see what Farrell is capable of when given a great script. However, that would also be a misrepresentation of Farrell as an actor. So let’s kick the list off with one of the actor’s most blah films where Pacino is even worse than Farrell. It’s a great example of a movie that got made just because the studio knew they could put a hot looking guy on the poster to entice a target market or two.
8. Bullseye from Daredevil (2003)
I think this is the first early indicator of what Farrell is truly best at and I personally hope he keeps going back to in his career. He’s an actor not afraid to fall deeply into the “fun” realm of film. While Daredevil is not a good film, I do think that Bullseye was the best thing from the film and his constant OCD nature over needing to hit the target.
7. Jim Street from S.W.A.T. (2003)
While many call this the Jeremy Renner film I think it’s much better to pay attention to the real lead, Colin Farrell. This is again, not that great a film but I happened to watch it at a time when I was young and would love any and all random middle of the road action films that were made just because, once again, there’s an attractive man in the lead that they get to put on the poster and you’ll get a random scene where he’s shirtless exercising or something.
6. Danny Witwer from Minority Report (2002)
I think I picked this performance over all the previous ones just because it as an overall movie is way better than the rest of them. I can’t remember anything particularly special about Farrell’s performance in the film. It was the first time I had seen him being something other than the charismatic lead since he’s really a part of the system that Cruise’s character is fighting against. He’s the young legal aid that’s trying to break into his big case.
5. Captain Smith from The New World (2005)
Am I legally obligated to mention this film because it’s a Malick film? Probably, but Regardless I think that Farrell truly broke out of his Hollywood mould here and proved that he can be more than the pretty face that the big wigs wanted him to be. While the movie itself pretty much stands at a level higher than any one actor due to Malick’s auteur nature but it’s hard to not give Farrell points for this role. Maybe you have to shut your eyes and listen really hard with the low nature of the audio to hear all the little things that Farrell does in the film. But I think that’s defeating the purpose of the film.
4. Sonny Crockett from Miami Vice (2006)
It’s probably the most divisive Michael Mann film ever released, but I loved it. I think that Farrell does his best to bring in his tough guy routine that you see in his earlier films and it works perfectly in this badass cops and robbers story frame. Once again I think people will dismiss Farrell’s performance due to the director’s style that definitely puts some room between the audience and the greatness of that performance but I saw it, I believe it’s there, and I loved it.
3. Jerry from Fright Night (2011)
This movie isn’t the greatest. It’s not the be all and end all of remakes. With that said though, Farrell is downright fantastic in this movie. He’s so enjoyably dark and teasing throughout the entire film. Initially you think it’s incompetence but eventually you come to realise that it’s all about him enjoying the eventual kill that he wants to enact on his neighbour that’s discovered he’s a vampire. It’s the perfect combination of what he shows us he can do early in his career and what you see he does even better in his Top 2 roles to come. He’s creepy, badass and a fun side to him at the same time.
2. Bobby Pellitt from Horrible Bosses (2011)
It’s the new Les Grossman and it’s so deliciously lovely. This side role of Bobby Pellitt, the cocaine addicted, nunchaku twirling and prostitute loving boss that doesn’t give a crap about you as long as you can keep him rich enough to enjoy the aforementioned hobbies of his. When Farrell goes for the funny he grabs it so firmly by the balls and owns the role so well that you can’t help but love it. The #1 thing that every actor needs to do when you’re playing comedy is to go for it 100%. You have to commit to the gag no matter how insane it is and that will earn you the laughs 99% of the time and it works here.
1. Ray from In Bruges (2008)
It’s the obvious choice and I doubt that it’ll stop being his #1 role for a few more years while he’s off being the big star that he is. In this film he plays an assassin hiding out in Bruges as he’s handled by his colleague (played by Brendan Gleeson). It’s a great comedy about this young Irishman who’s not just dealing with his own demons with what he’s done, but also his general misery as he has to live in Bruges for the next few days. As said in the film, he’s the worst tourist in the world. Watching him and Gleeson play off each other scene to scene as they try to get through these days is so funny that it even won the actor a Golden Globe.
What’s your favourite role by Colin Farrell?