Matthew McConaughey is one of those actors people like to nag on, just because.. They say he’s a bad actor, that he can’t provide any substance or life to a character and so on. But is that really how it is? Personally, I like him a lot!
Sure, 4 out of 5 movies is basically the same, the RomCom with a happy ending (I’m talking about movies like How to Loose a Guy in 10 Days, Failure to Launch and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past), in which he always plays the same guy just with different names and jobs. But every now and then, he steps up and gives us a performance of a lifetime. This is what I want to address here today.
In 1996, McConaughey gave us A Time to Kill, playing against big names as Kevin Spacey, Sandra Bullock and Samuel L. Jackson. Here, he also shows us that he can muster up an intense humanity with a touch of frailty on the side. An award-winning performance, Best Breakthrough performance – MTV and a nomination for Most Promising Actor in the CFCAs.
After that (at least in my mind), it was pretty basic McConaughey-acting for a few years, until 2002, where he plays Denton Van Zan in the movie Reign of Fire alongside Christian Bale, Gerard Butler and Izabella Scorupco. Denton Van Zan is a gritty, cold, meticulous (almost a Batman-contender for the MoS-sequel?) and brutal american soldier, who hunts dragons (because they can) and McConaughey gives the character a life of its own. I feel that the movie doesn’t really begin until the Americans arrive, purely because of McConaughey’s presence.
Again, a few years went by with mere basic McConaughey, with movies like Failure to Launch and We Are Marshall (great movie though), slowly building up to Fool’s Gold. Some of you might say that this is just another RomCom (and you are not wrong), but McConaughey’s acting in this one differs from all the others. He’s an adventurous, goal oriented, clumpsy and down right lovable dreamer who won’t stop until he gets what he wants. His performance is the reason why I watched this movie three times.
I can go on and on all day about the movies he have made that proves his worth, but I’m going to leave you with a final one, the one that inspired me to write this in the first place; Killer Joe (from 2011), against Thomas Haden Church, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple and Gina Gershon. Matthew McConaughey plays the title-role, Joe Cooper, a Dallas police detective who moonlights as a contract killer on the side, who is hired by Chris (played by Hirsch), who together with his father Ansel (Haden Church) plans to have his mother killed for the life insurance. When they fail to come up with the money needed for the kill, Killer Joe comes up with the idea of a retainer. If he gets Chris’s sister Dottie (played by Temple) for himself, he will do the job for them. Everything seems to go as it should for a while, but as everyone who likes movies knows, things have a habit of turning sour. This is a movie I would categorize as a Must-See ! As it says in the trailer, McConaughey gives a performance of a lifetime, once again showing us that he is a true force to be reckoned with!
So there you have it, folks! And as always, until next time…Peace!