The High-Fiver: Horrendous Movie Accents

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Much Ado About Nothing (1993)Directed by Kenneth BranaghShown: Keanu Reeves

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1. Kevin Costner – Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves (1991)
2. Nicolas Cage – Con Air (1997)
3. Keanu Reeves – Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
4. Cate Blanchett – Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull (2008)
5. Kevin Costner – Thirteen Days (2000)

Contributed by: Spencer

9 thoughts on “The High-Fiver: Horrendous Movie Accents

  1. In fairness to Robin Hood, he wasn’t even trying to put on an accent. For similar reasons, the elephant in the room on this one is The Hunt for Red October where Sean Connery took a similar “screw it” approach, just with an infinitely cooler accent to start with. Also, let’s not forget Jack Nicholson trying to be Bostonian in the Depaahted.

  2. Yes, but he does veer in and out of an English accent briefly in “Robin Hood.” That’s what makes it so bad!

    And if we’re going to include one from the “bad Russian accent on a submarine” genre, then Harrison Ford in “K19: The Widowmaker” clearly trumps Connery.

    Nicholson received consideration, don’t worry. But which of these five would you knock off to make room for him?

  3. I think Robin Hood is overstated for the reasons discussed above. He doesn’t slip in and out of an accent so much as just try to say horrible Hollywood attempts at “old” English dialect (how would you say “Did I wrong you in another life, Will Scarlett?”). Morgan Freeman’s accent was the real travesty.

    So I’d knock that off and possibly also Cate Blanchett. Her accent was the least cheesy thing in Indy 4…

  4. How in the world did you miss Christian Bale’s Batman or Tom Hardy’s Bane? Both of them are worthy of this list. Perhaps no bad, but simply ridiculous

  5. Haha, well, you took kind of a different angle on the question. I was thinking of bad imitations of real accents. Your examples are ones were the decision to have an accent AT ALL was questionable. With Christian Bale, I didn’t mind it as much — there was a legitimate story reason to do it, which was that Batman obviously needs to disguise his voice in order to hide his identity. Did he overdo it? In some scenes. But in others, I think it comes off pitch perfect.

    Now Bane — I’m sure Sumeet will weigh in on this, but the Bane accent made zero sense. In the comics, the character is from South America, so how he came up with some bizarre pseudo-English sing-song thing out of a Willy Wonka nightmare is beyond me. That said, I will offer one defense of the Bane accent, and its this: were you not entertained? I mean, it really might have been the best part of The Dark Knight Rises, so I have no complaints. Oh, and it also gave us this:

  6. This comment section has been great reading! I actually like this list a lot. Sadly (or perhaps proudly?) I haven’t seen Indy 4, so I’ve got nothing on whether Blanchett belongs. However, knowing her other work, what I like about this list is that it includes actors and actresses who are truly trying, which makes the accent that much more “horrendous,” as the High-Fiver says. For this reason, I wouldn’t include Connery because, as Sumeet mentioned, he was clearly not trying in favor of the “screw it” approach. (As an aside, Spencer, your reply on Connery raises the question of whether we are going to see a “bad Russian accent” High-Fiver out of you in the future. You’re almost half-way there!) As a final point, I was pleased to see that Costner’s Kenny O’Donnell disaster in Thirteen Days made it on. A crisis within a crisis all its own.

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