Taylor Kitsch has had a rough year making the leap to the big screen. His first two leading roles post-“Friday Night Lights” fame – “John Carter” and “Battleship” – turned out to be two of the year’s biggest big budget flops to date. With such high profile, back-to-back duds, some “FNL” fans must be wondering if their beloved Tim Riggins has a future in Hollywood.
The answer is an all-caps YES, if you ask us, and not just because we’re devoted fans of the high-school football drama. Kitsch, 31, isn’t to blame for the epic failure of “John Carter” or the box office under-delivery of “Battleship.” Both barely earned back their budgets, and that was only with help from overseas ticket sales. (Read Film.com’s reviews of “John Carter” and “Battleship.”) He was horribly miscast for the former, although even a different lead wouldn’t have helped salvage the uneven mess — and let’s not even get into the marketing morass that might have sunk “Carter” before it even opened. As for “Battleship,” how could he not trust his “FNL” writer/director Peter Berg to direct him on the big screen – even if the material was based on a board game?
In Oliver Stone’s newest drama “Savages,” a violent California tale of sex, drugs, and the money that makes it all possible, Kitsch proves he’s more than just a pretty face. (Read Film.com’s review of “Savages” here.) The good news for Kitsch is that Stone, a notoriously divisive director, has received mostly positive reviews for “Savages,” and so has Kitsch personally. Although his character transforms the least in the twisty story, Kitsch doesn’t necessarily need to display much range in the role. As the steely-eyed Chon, a pot dealer who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, he’s the muscle to his business partner and best friend Ben’s (Aaron Johnson) sensitive pacifism.
I wrote this for Film.com, a new outlet I'm contributing to occasionally. I blazed through ALL of "Friday Night Lights" earlier this year and thought Taylor was amazing at Tim Riggins. If you didn't watch "FNL" when it was on the air, you simply must catch it on Netflix, like I did!