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Well, I haven’t made a journal posting longer than a few paragraphs here in a while, so I do believe it is time for another installment of ‘things I like and want to talk about’ (formerly known as Tenth of Awesome, but now closer to Cool Stuff Whenever I Feel Like It). Today’s topic is an actor named Karl Urban. Oh, you’ve never heard of this guy? Well I’m sure you’ll recognize him…

I like to call this one ‘the most unfortunate hairstyle in the Necroverse’.

Now, Urban’s acting career is quite the fascinating one, and the reason I’m writing today. To put it simply, any movie he’s in has a 50/50 chance of being halfway decent (to really good) or absolute shit, and a separate 50/50 chance of actually being a financial success. These statistics were made up on the spot as I looked at his IMDB page: for the positive/positive category, we have Lord of the Rings, the Star Trek reboot, and the Bourne Supremacy; for positive/negative, Doom (which I will argue is actually a pretty damn good movie) and The Chronicles of Riddick (which I will argue is not absolute shite); for negative/positive, Red, Priest, and Ghost Ship; and with negative/negative, Pathfinder and a couple TV shows you’ve never heard of. See what I mean?

Not to say the dude’s cursed or anything, but he definitely has a track record. But as you can see, he’s actually been in some good movies! So why have you never heard of him?

Well, because all the movies he starred in in the US of A were flops.

Karl Urban does not approve of Doom’s box office performance.

Perhaps the most obvious is Doom, which was a movie version of the video game series of the same title. He plays a hardbitten, dry-witted soldier whose unit is sent into an area in which a strange virus is mutating anyone exposed into violent, flesh-loving creatures; the unit is trying to find the cause of this outbreak and figure out how to minimize it, and the scientist they’re escorting turns out to be Urban’s sister (shock of shocks, not a love interest!). Hey, I didn’t say it was a great movie, just that it wasn’t as crappy as all the critics seem to think. One of the big things that pulls the movie down, however, is that Urban plays opposite The Rock. And damn if his acting skills haven’t gotten worse since he was a digital scorpion centaur in the Mummy sequel.

Why no, I’m not made of plastic, why do you ask?

Basically, Doom is a decent action-zombie(ish) movie if you’re looking for something fun to watch, and like I said, Urban does a good job in it. Better than he had a chance to do in the LotR movies at least.

So is this the scene where I’m serious and slightly angry, or serious and slightly triumphant?

ANYWAY. After recognizing him in three or four different movies completely by chance, I decided to check out his actual filmography and discovered that this guy’s movies are an absolute GOLD MINE for me. Bad but amusing, or even good, sci-fi/action/fantasy? Check. Bad ass lady characters coming up out of the blue as protagonists? Check. Sexy muscles all over the place?

Dem biceps are the real reason this movie got made in the first place.


Going through his acting career actually brought some surprises too, specifically the biggest being he was in Xena without my realizing.

Urban’s history of questionable hairstyle choices started early in his career.

Basically this dude is an absolute treasure for my nostalgic, bad-sci-fi-loving self, but despite his acting chops he has yet to land a starring role that puts him on the map in the US. Oh? Wondering about other countries? Aah, you caught how I phrased that didn’t you? Well, Urban’s originally from New Zealand, and if you see him in anything where most of the actors aren’t faking vaguely European accents in the first place, you can tell he’s got a bit of an accent.

“I’ll have you know I didn’t have to fake anything at all…and how the hell did they get me in this movie anyway?”

The reason I bring it up is because Urban actually starred in several critically acclaimed, financially successful movies in New Zealand. Hell he even won awards for a couple of them. (See? It’s not just my strange fondness talking.)
…He just has yet to hit the starring role jackpot over here. He is, however, playing the lead in a couple of relatively big-expectation roles, including that of Judge Dredd in an upcoming adaptation of the comic, and in what looks to be an interesting thriller/mystery called The Loft, and hopefully he’ll hit jackpot somewhere along the line!

So, if you’re curious about seeing a good actor do his job well in, well, a lot of bad but incredibly entertaining movies, then consider checking out Karl Urban’s filmography. I can guarantee you’ll at least get a laugh, and hey, supporting a deserving actor who needs some luck isn’t a bad thing. Anyway, thanks for reading through this, and I hope it’s been enjoyable at least!


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 28th, 2012 05:45 am (UTC)
ngl, Pathfinder is one of my guilty pleasure movies. You know what? We should get everyone together for a movie weekend sometime and subject them to Karl Urban films... and bake lots of tasty treats and generally veg out ^^

Jan. 28th, 2012 03:19 pm (UTC)
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! Although I've already done Riddick, and am pretty sure my head would end up on a platter if I tried it again. But there are still so many possibilities! Pathfinder is also one of the ones I haven't seen, so now of course I must see it if it has such a stellar recommendation behind it. c;

Lessee, Priest was fun and hokey although a bit boring at parts; Red was a little too stupid and made me a little too mad to really want to recommend it for a party (or at all); Doom must be watched, as it is hilarious "zombie" fun; Ghost Ship had its ups and downs but probably is watchable; aaaand Xena is a must. Because Xena.
Jan. 28th, 2012 05:27 pm (UTC)
Fuck yeah Lucy Lawless! I own Pathfinder, so we are all set for that. I've not seen most of his other films, so I bow to your expertise, i.e. what can we pitch at the others without getting shot. And personally I think Doom sounds especially fun. (Zombie hokeyness yes please!)

(also your icon d'awww.)
Jan. 29th, 2012 01:42 am (UTC)
FFFFFF yesssss have you seen Spartacus? She is a freaking goddess in it. Of crazy. But a goddess. And, probably Doom if people are feelin' the zombie love, and Pathfinder if not; otherwise, Priest is fun. I may have devoted a bit too much time to this guy's movies. (someone understands meeeeee)

(yay Homestuck icons! :D)
Jan. 31st, 2012 08:20 pm (UTC)
Aw fudgemuffins, my spam filter ate your Plurk invite. I probably won't join tbh because I'd never use it (the same way I never use Facebook...or Goodreads...or that account on that other site whose name I've forgotten it's been so long...), but thank you for the invite! <3
Jan. 31st, 2012 09:20 pm (UTC)
Aah no problem :)
Feb. 2nd, 2012 01:50 am (UTC)
I learned who Karl Urban is when he became McCoy, and then I recognized that he was also in LOTR. I didn't know about the rest of his double-sided career, though. When you come visit, we can have a marathon.

And now I have to go because the cat is just staring at me... This is the only cat that cuddles, so I'm going to take it while I can (I'm staying at my brother's).
Feb. 3rd, 2012 02:30 am (UTC)
Yesss all the (mostly) bad movies!

Feb. 12th, 2012 04:16 am (UTC)
BAD PERSON WORST FRIEND for not commenting on this in a timely manner. Karl Urban is actually one of the actors we kinda sorta keep tabs on in my family... my mom especially grew fond of him as Eomer. :D Have you perchance seen The Price of Milk? It's a bizarre indie romance film and there is no guarantee what your opinion will be of it, but he gets to be fairly ridiculous in it. (We also see his full moon at one point, but that may or may not be of interest.)
Feb. 12th, 2012 04:52 am (UTC)
NO WORRIES I AM ALL THE TIMELINESS WITH COMMENTING TOO no really I'm not. I haven't, but I am curious, as much to see him in a non-American production as anything else. It'll probably end up on my to watch list soon! (and..I find him goofy looking as hell, but not gonna pass up a nice tush if it is one)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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