Rainn on my parade

Because it’s downtime at work and I feel like writing about serious, scholarly stuff. Like Hollywood comedians.

I have a beef with Rainn Wilson. I don’t find him funny at all. I think he’s stealing roles from Jack Black, who’s never unfunny in my book. Either that, or Rainn is just picking up roles Jack had rejected, although Jack doesn’t look the type to turn down roles unless perhaps extremely necessary. I once saw him in a children’s show called Yo Gabba Gabba, and despite the fact that he was garbed in a silly orange suit there, dancing and singing and bouncing around like a human beach ball, he was actually giving his all, like his whole career depended on it.

The first time I made that impression against Rainn Wilson was after watching the 2008 movie The Rocker. In that film (which also stars a younger looking and then-virtually unknown Emma Stone), Rainn plays a bitter ex-rocker who quit the music business after being booted out of the band he co-founded. If that role sounds familiar, it’s because Jack Black played it in School of Rock five years prior. In fact, as I was watching The Rocker, part of me was convinced Rainn was imitating Jack, only not doing a very good job of it. But I could be wrong. Maybe he’s just naturally lame.

Tale of two onscreen rockers: Rainn Wilson (L) in ‘The Rocker’ ends up a poor duplicate of Jack Black’s character in ‘School of Rock.’

That’s not the end of it. Last night I saw Super (2010), where Rainn is a lovelorn cook who creates a superhero alter ego named Crimson Bolt to save his wife (Liv Tyler) from the clutches of a drug syndicate. When I saw him in his ratty superhero costume, I remembered Jack as a fat Mexican wrestler in Nacho Libre, and thought, Darn, this dude has done it again, playing a role that should’ve gone to Jack. Jack could’ve injected more tragic humor into that poor-ass superhero role. With Rainn, the character was just… tragic. And so is the movie. Super convinced me to skip the next Rainn Wilson film that may come my way.

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