So, one of my favorite new actors is Ben Barnes. Hailed from Britain, he’s the beady-eyed, long brown haired actor who has a short resume of films. He made a brief cameo in the Fantasy film Stardust and was the titular character in Narnia: Prince Caspian. So far, his most recent films have not been released in the United States, but thanks to the Internet, I’ve watched three them all. Here are my reviews for them:
Dorian Gray (2009)
I had such high hopes for this film. It’s Victorian gothic literature of a man selling his soul for eternal youth and beauty leading to a journey into hedonism. It’s quite poetic, but the execution was an abomination to the Oscar Wilde’s original work. Ben Barnes is good to look at and his journey is riveting; but cheesy effects, crappy editing, and below average acting did not save this movie. I think I made my mind up when Ben Barnes unsuccessfully kills his mentor with a bow tie and ends his life with a fiery “Tales of the Crypt” death scene. No thank you!
My Rating: C
Easy Virtue (2009)
Easy Virtue is mostly a star vehicle for Jessica Biel but Ben Barnes looks quite dashing in the background. He’s coiffed with 1920s attire as he plays the son of an English family who brings his new bride to meet the family. It’s pretty engaging, but I get the feeling that this film doesn’t cater to American audiences, as much of it is British humor with a touch of 1920s vaudevillian humor. Nonetheless, it’s still a good film to catch Ben Barnes in as he sings a few songs.
My Rating: C+
Bigga Than Ben (2008)
A departure from his typical movies, Bigga Than Ben has Ben Barnes play a Russian refugee who deals with criminal activities. It’s a very independent movie with documentary style angles as it focuses on the underground international lifestyle. Not in a period piece, but it is interesting to see Ben Barnes play a character different from his other films as his character has a Russian accent and dressed like a dirty vagabond. It’s worth a look since a majority of his films are all period pieces.
My Rating: C+
Ben Barnes has much potential and looks great as a great period-era actor, but needs to step up his movie roles. With a background in theatre, he has leading man potential. I’ll wait for his time, but again, he’s very debonair.