I finally got around to seeing the new Pirates of the Caribbean flick, and while I didn’t love it (unbelievable special effects, unbelievably annoying script), I found myself inexplicably intrigued by one facet of the movie: Orlando Bloom’s complete and utter blandness. Over the course of a butt-killing two and a half hours I watched him swordfight, romance Keira Knightley, jump around, do some swimming, be dramatic, play some dice and generally be swashbuckling, yet at no time during the entire proceeding was I riveted by his performance. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying he’s a bad actor; he hits all his marks, he commits to the role, he says his lines well, he’s not ugly, but there’s just nothing to him that sparks any interest in me. I mean he’s dashing and all. He’s dashing. But wouldn’t it have been more interesting if that part was played by say… Ewan McGregor? Or Ryan Gosling? Wouldn’t you have rather seen Captain Jack Sparrow tangle with Obi-Wan Kenobi?
Think back through Orlando’s small cinematic resume and you’ll find that he fades into the background of pretty much every movie he takes. Sure, he was cool as Legolas in Fellowship of the Ring, but other than the awesome way he mounted his dewback-like creature in The Two Towers, there was absolutely nothing interesting about him in the final two movies. He was relegated to a bit part, supporting player even though he was IN the freaking Fellowship. In Troy, you’re watching Brad Pitt and Eric Bana be all sorts of bad ass, and Brian Cox is delivering those classic one-liners (“…then every son of Troy shall diiiiiie!!), but what’s Orlando doing? Boning the blond chick from National Treasure? Standing around looking wussy? I would have preferred Vincent Chase. Moving on, Orlando was flat out paint-dryingly boring in Elizabethtown, completely harmless and ineffective in Kingdom of Heaven, and blown off the screen by a fey, rococo Johnny Depp in Pirates.
I can not recall a moment where I’ve been watching Orlando Bloom act in a movie and thought to my self “Man, that guy’s got charisma. I just can’t take my eyes off of him.” What I do remember every time I finish an Orlando flick, however, is saying to myself: “Was Orlando Bloom in that movie? Really? Are you sure it wasn’t, like, Freddie Prinze Jr., or something?”.
So just how bland is Orlando Bloom, really? Blander than brown rice? Blander than Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House? Blander than the color beige? I tried to put his blandness into words, but found myself uncharacteristically speechless. I tried to compare him to more charismatic actors, but that doesn’t seem fair to the other actors. So in need of a way to properly chart Orlando’s total bland-osity, I created the first ever Pop Culture Scale of Bland***. And just like Pirates 2 is storming the box office, good ‘ole Legolas stormed the Bland chart. Let’s see how it all came together.
So according to my remarkably precise Pop Culture Scale of Bland, Orlando Bloom is far blander than Tobey Maguire and vanilla yogurt, just a bit blander than a head of lettuce, and exactly as bland as white bread and the entire CBS primetime line up. That seems about right. So another of life’s most important questions solved here at TheJay.com. It’s all in a day’s work.
*** If you want to display “The Pop Culture Scale of Bland” on your site please make sure to include a credit and a link to www.TheJay.com. Thank you.
(Follow me on Twitter @jasonamatthews)