Mark Wahlberg, the charismatic kid from Boston who swapped his funky bunch for a shot at Hollywood, is one of the highest-paid actors in the business today. With an acting career that spans three decades, he’s seen his fair share of highs and lows. Today, we’re going to dive into the depths and uncover the lows. The movies that left us scratching our heads, thinking, ‘Really, Mark?’
The Truth About Charlie (2002) – IMDb Rating: 4.7
In this remake of the 1963 film ‘Charade,’ Wahlberg plays a man who may or may not be the husband of Thandie Newton’s character. When her husband is murdered, she’s thrust into a world of international intrigue and danger. Wahlberg and Thandie Newton share as much chemistry as oil and water. The film is a worldwide flop, raking in only $7 million globally. It’s one of those films so bad that it didn’t even warrant a DVD release. Yikes!
The Happening (2008) – IMDb Rating: 5.0
A film that started with promise! M. Night Shyamalan at the helm and a fear factor that had us all on edge. This thriller centers around an inexplicable, invisible toxin that causes anyone exposed to it to commit suicide. Mark Wahlberg plays a high school science teacher trying to escape the deadly phenomenon with his estranged wife.
But boy, did it fall flat on its face. Wahlberg, our tough-as-nails, run-towards-the-fire kind of guy, spends the entire movie running away. The role was a mismatch of cosmic proportions. It’s no surprise he earned himself a nomination for a Golden Raspberry for Worst Actor. ‘The Happening’ is a happening you’d rather skip.
Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) – IMDb Rating: 5.2
In this fifth installment of the Transformers series, Mark Wahlberg reprises his role as inventor Cade Yeager, who joins forces with the Autobots to prevent a cataclysmic event orchestrated by the revived leader of the Decepticons, Megatron.
However, when the words ‘worst’ and ‘Transformers’ appear in the same sentence, you know you’re in trouble. ‘Transformers: The Last Knight,’ despite boasting the likes of Sir Anthony Hopkins, is a hot mess. Its convoluted, paper-thin plot and over-the-top action make it almost unwatchable. Wahlberg, who did his best amidst the chaos, is only to blame for agreeing to sign on after the colossal disappointment of ‘Age of Extinction.’
Max Payne (2008) – IMDb Rating: 5.3
Based on the popular video game, Wahlberg portrays Max Payne, a maverick cop with little regard for rules on a quest to find those responsible for the brutal murder of his family and partner amidst a myriad of plot twists and dark, supernatural forces.
But it is another low point in Wahlberg’s filmography. With a failed attempt at a hyper-stylized look, it didn’t resonate with critics or fans. Wahlberg, usually reliable in gritty roles, comes across as a two-dimensional, uninspiring video game hero. Max Payne? More like Max Painful to watch.
Renaissance Man (1994) – IMDb Rating: 6.2
Wahlberg’s silver-screen debut, ‘Renaissance Man,’ isn’t as shiny as it sounds. Wahlberg plays a private in the U.S. Army who is part of a group of underachieving soldiers being taught by an advertising executive (played by Danny DeVito) who is hired to teach them basic comprehension and life skills.
Despite his heartfelt portrayal of an army recruit, the film was a box office dud. Critics were left unimpressed with its attempt to juggle comedy, drama, and star power. In retrospect, we can’t be too hard on Mark; after all, everyone has to start somewhere.
While we can’t forget the disappointments, it’s important to remember that they don’t define Wahlberg’s career. For every ‘Max Payne,’ there’s a ‘Boogie Nights’ or ‘The Fighter.’ The boy from Boston has proven his mettle time and again, and a few duds along the way can’t overshadow his accomplishments. So, Wahlberg fans, let’s take these flops in stride, and hope for more hits in the future. After all, that’s showbiz!