Kountermove critiques MMA star's movies and TV shows, and the MMA starís performance in them

3/11/13 in MMA   |   Ringworm   |   5 respect

Oct. 28, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC    fighter Quinton Jackson during weigh ins for UFC 137 at the Mandalay Bay event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsHollywood is notorious for jumping on the bandwagon, incorporating what’s hot in pop culture into their productions. MMA is no exception. With MMA hitting the mainstream, Hollywood has been offering MMA stars roles in TV and movies. We at Kountermove have critiqued some of those movies and TV shows, and the MMA star’s performance in them.

Tito Ortiz: 

While Numb3s was not a terrible show (Tito played Tino Alva), Tito tends to be in movies that suck. On average, movies with Tito received positive reviews from only 30% reviewers. Tito’s best movie (at 57% positive reviews) was “The Dog Problem,” a romantic comedy. 

Ortiz started his acting career in 2003 with a cameo in the Jet Li film "Cradle 2 The Grave." He would go on to appear in such films as "The Crow: Wicked Prayer" and "Zombie Strippers" (http://bit.ly/ctELMN trailer), during which he met his current girlfriend Jenna Jameson (http://bit.ly/bSEGmE). 
In most of his roles (i.e. the ‘Huntington Beach Bad Boy’) he comes off a little uncomfortable, which is typical for most athletes making the crossover to acting. 

Tito’s most striking role is in the “Valley of the Wolves: Iraq.” Not many fighters or actors have the nerve to take a role in a Turkish movie with anti-American sentiment. In “Valley of the Wolves: Iraq”, Ortiz plays an American soldier with a conscious. After his buddy kills a bunch of defenseless Iraqi civilians, he stands up to his friend and is ultimately killed for the trouble (http://bit.ly/cStNuI). Despite the dialog being dubbed into Turkish, Tito still seems tight and ill at ease. 

1. Zombie Strippers! (2008), 
---Character: Bouncer
---Average positive review: 39%
2. The Dog Problem (2006) 
--- a. Character: Frank 
--- b. Average positive review: 57%
3. Valley of the Wolves: Iraq (2006) 
--- a. Character: American Major Commander 2
--- b. Average positive review: 58%
4. The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005) 
--- a. Character: Famine 
--- b. Average positive review: 0%
5. Venice Underground (2005) 
--- a. Character: Poptop 
--- b. No Reviews
6. Cradle 2 the Grave (2003) 
--- a. Character: Ultimate Fighter 
--- b. Average positive review: 26%

Chick Liddell: 

With the exception of playing an Ultimate Fighter, Chuck looks uncomfortable and awkward when on the big screen. The parts offered to most MMA stars making the crossover to films are pretty bad, and Chuck is no exception. When Chuck is in a movie, the average reviewer gives the movie a positive rating only 34% of the time. 

His best acting performance was in the HBO show Entourage, where he played himself, pissed off that his parking spot was about to be taken by the lead characters Turtle and Drama. He had several lines and came off pretty well. 

Liddell’s various television performances have been less than stellar. On Dancing with the Stars, Liddell struggled throughout and was the fifth celebrity eliminated, finishing in 11th place. Mark Dacascos, Kelly Osbourne, and Melissa Joan Hart all beat him out. He looks clumsy and out of place in this video of him fox-trotting in a suit and top hat (http://bit.ly/a0tKks). 

By far Liddell’s most entertaining “performance” was his interview in March 2007, shortly before UFC 68, where he appeared on Good Morning Texas (the Texan version of Good Morning America) to promote the film “300” which he had a small part in (http://bit.ly/bgu8D3). Chuck appeared to be very high and fell asleep mid interview. Chuck claimed he had pneumonia and had taken a large dose of sedatives. However, Dana White would later admit that Chuck had been out partying the night before and was in no condition to do the interview.

1. The Ballad of G.I. Joe (2009) (V) 
--- a. Character: Gung Ho
--- b. No Reviews
2. The Death and Life of Bobby Z (2007) 
--- a. Character: Maddog 
--- b. Average positive review: 25%
3. Blade: The Series (1 episode, 2006) 
--- a. Character: Graft
--- b. No reviews
4. Bachelor Party Vegas (2006) (V) 
--- a. Character: The Iceman 
--- b. Average positive review: 0%
5. Cradle 2 the Grave (2003) 
--- a. Character: Cage Fighter 
--- b. Average positive review: 26%
6. How High (2001) 
--- a. Character: Tough Guy 
--- b. Average positive review: 27%
7. The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) 
--- a. Character: Boy Scout 
--- b. Average positive review: 70%

Randy Couture:

Randy’s films get an average of 40% positive reviews. Both “Invincible” (http://bit.ly/92jazo) and “Redbelt” (http://bit.ly/aMhoeL) helped Randy’s average, but most of the movies went straight to DVD, which helps in that no one reviewed them.

Randy seems more comfortable than most MMA stars on the silver screen. Couture’s abilities are even apparent in bit parts such as his role as a prisoner in the movie “Big Stan” (http://bit.ly/aununw). Consequently, Randy seems to be on a path to bigger roles in higher-quality production films, including Sylvester Stallone’s movie "The Expendables" and "
The Expendables II" (http://bit.ly/9i29Mj) where he plays the intelligent mercenary named Toll Road.
Next to Quinton Jackson’s role in the “A-team” and Gina Carano in "Haywire," no MMA star has received a better role than Couture in the “Expendables.” With the star power involved, and the amount of hype the movie has received, it did well in the box office. Couture worked with such action film heavyweights as Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Dolph Lundgren, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Even Stallone has been touted Couture’s work on Late Night with David Letterman (http://bit.ly/9C0iyE).  Given his performance we can look forward to Randy having a fruitful and successful career on the silver screen.

1. The Expendables (2010) and The Expendables II (2012)
--- a. Character: Toll Road 
--- b. Average positive review: 41% and 59%
2. The Scorpion King: Rise of a Warrior (2008) 
--- a. Character: Sargon 
--- b. Average positive review: 25%
3. Redbelt (2008) 
--- a. Character: Dylan Flynn 
--- b. Average positive review: 67%
4. Big Stan (2007) 
--- a. Character: Carnahan
--- b. Average positive review: 13%
5. Invincible (2006)
--- a. Character: 'Toruci' Player #1 
--- b. Average positive review: 71%
6. Today You Die (2005) 
--- a. Character: Vincent's Bodyguard #1 
--- b. No reviews
7. No Rules (2005) 
--- a. Character: Mason 
--- b. No reviews
8. Cradle 2 the Grave (2003) 
--- a. Character: Fighter #8 
--- b. Average positive review: 26%

Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson: 

If you’re going to see a movie with one MMA star in it, you will want it to be Quinton Jackson. When reviewed his movies receive a whopping 60% positive reviews. This stat, however, might be misleading because “Bad Guys”, “Never Surrender”, and “Hell’s Chain” were not reviewed. 

If there is any MMA star destined to have a career in acting it is Rampage Jackson. While his acting range might be limited stereotypical street thug acting roles, Quinton is a natural, and his characterizations seem effortless. In his first movie role, “Bad Guys”, he comes off a little awkward (http://bit.ly/bbv2Y3 trailer only), but Quinton settles down and seems at ease in his next role as a Guardian Angel crime patroller in “Midnight Meat Train” (http://bit.ly/anJQtN). Despite “Never Surrender” being one of the worst movies ever made (http://bit.ly/aHSnGW), Quinton still manages to out act everyone (the bar is pretty low in this movie). 

In the role of B.A. Baracus in the "A-Team" movie, Quinton plays perhaps one of the biggest movie roles yet for an MMA star. 

1. The A-Team (2010) 
--- a. Character: Cpl. Bosco 'B.A.' Baracus 
--- b. Average positive review: 49%
2. Death Warrior (2009) 
--- a. Character: Wolf
--- b. No reviews
3. Hell's Chain (2009) 
--- a. Character: Jackson 
--- b. No reviews
4. Never Surrender (2009) 
--- a. Character: Fighter
--- b. No reviews 
5. The Midnight Meat Train (2008) 
--- a. Character: Guardian Angel 
--- b. Average positive review: 70%
6. Bad Guys (2008) 
--- a. Character: Leroy Johnson
--- b. No review

Georges St. Pierre:

His dominance inside the UFC's octagon, good looks, and charm, has not only turned GSP into one of the biggest stars in MMA, but would seem to make him a shoe-in for top MMA star in Hollywood. However, his French accent seems to have limited him to some extent. 

St-Pierre has appeared in three films to date; playing himself in the MMA film "Never Surrender,” then some bit parts in the action films "Hell's Chain" and "Death Warrior." All GSP’s movies have gone straight to DVD and therefore have received very little in terms of formal reviews. However, judging by most online polls (http://imdb.to/da8N1x), it is clear you shouldn’t put these films into your Netflix queue anytime soon. Judge for yourself by watching this clip of St-Pierre in the film “Never Surrender” (http://bit.ly/aHSnGW).

1. Death Warrior (2009) 
--- a. Character: Shaman 
--- b. No reviews
2. Hell's Chain (2009) 
--- a. Character: Stone 
--- b. No reviews
3. Never Surrender (2009) 
--- a. Character: Georges 
--- b. No reviews

Cung Le:

Cung Le was Strikeforce's middleweight champion in 2008, but gave up the title to pursue a career in acting. For the most part this transition has been successful as seen by the increasing number of big roles he has received. However his movies, like most MMA stars’ films to date, have been flat at best. When his movies are good enough to get reviewed, they average 34% positive reviews, which is about on par with other MMA stars. 

Cung Le’s acting is pretty good compared to most MMA stars. He plays more than just thugs, cops and fighters, making his acting range large for an MMA star. He played the villain in “Dark Assassin” (http://bit.ly/b6t7wh) and took the lead role in “Blizhniy Boy: The Ultimate Fighter” (http://bit.ly/c3FLWd). His MMA background comes in handy for scenes that require athleticism, as with this scene in “Bodyguards and Assassins” (http://bit.ly/9devf4). 

Unfortunately, Le’s biggest film to date did not reach great acclaim in the box offices. Le starred alongside Channing Tatum in the Hong Kong action film "Fighting." (http://bit.ly/asRrWT) Rouge Pictures (its distributor) undertook a big marketing push for “Fighting”, but it ultimately failed to live up to expectations at the box office. The critics were equally unkind, one critic put it this way “The only thing you'll be 'fighting' is your lagging attention span.” 

The Man with the Iron Fists 
---a. Character: Bronze Lion
---b. Average positive review: 49%
Tekken (2010) 
---a. Character: Marshall Law 
---b. No reviews
2. Bodyguards and Assassins (2009) 
--- a. Character: Sa Zhen-shan 
--- b. No reviews
3. Pandorum (2009) 
--- a. Character: Manh 
--- b. Average positive review: 28%
--- c. Clip: http://bit.ly/bvPoYL 
4. Fighting (2009) 
--- a. Character: Dragon Le 
--- b. Average positive review: 40%
5. Blizhniy Boy: The Ultimate Fighter (2007) 
--- a. Character: Erik 
--- b. No reviews
6. Dark Assassin (2006) 
--- a. Character: The Assassin 
--- b. No reviews
7. Kwoon (2004) (V) 
--- a. Character: Mort Ission 
--- b. No reviews
--- c. Clip: http://bit.ly/b81YQB 
8. Sleight of Hand (1997) 
--- a. Character: Victor
--- b. No reviews 

Forrest Griffin:

Forrest’s acting range consists of playing a cop or bad guy. Unfortunately, he does neither all that well. In 2007 Griffin looks uncomfortable as he plays a murder suspect in a 2007 episode of Law & Order: SVU. He comes off a little over the top, but so does Ice-T (http://bit.ly/aPvlf3). 

He then had a cameo, where he played a criminal, in the action flick "Locked Down” (http://bit.ly/b7dX4r). Griffin was on the other side of the law by playing a cop in Tucker Max's 2009 film "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell". As one reviewer put it, this film “might be the most hypocritical feature in the history of film as well as the history of hypocrisy, and along with serving beer, I hope they show I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell in hell.” Nuff said. In short, Forrest should stick with fighting.

1. Locked Down (2010) 
--- a. Character: Mule 
--- b. 
Average positive review: 0%
2. I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell (2009)
--- a. Character: Better Cop 
--- b. Average positive review: 21%
3. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (1 episode, 2007)
--- a. Character: Mike Kona

Keith Jardine: 

Keith Jardine may not be a huge MMA star but he has the menacing looks to score bit part acting roles. Jardine appeared in one the best TV shows ever made, Breaking Bad, where he played a criminal who gets into a bar fight (http://bit.ly/aF0man). Landing a spot in this TV show alone makes Keith our personal favorite MMA actor.

While most of Jardine’s movies have gone right to DVD, and have not been formally reviewed, he clearly makes the most out of his limited role in “Crank: High Voltage” (http://bit.ly/aSJom7). He also has had roles in the Toby Keith’s comedy "Beer For My Horses," "Gamer" starring Gerard Butler, and ‘The Dean of Mean’ has a role in the new MMA-themed film, "Unrivaled," (http://bit.ly/9zdB6V) starring Hector Echavarria. 

1. Breaking Bad
--- a. Character: Bar Fighter (1 episode, 2010) 
2. Unrivaled (2010) 
--- a. Character: Stone 
--- b. No reviews
3. Death Warrior (2009) 
--- a. Character: Andre 
--- b. No reviews
4. Gamer (2009) 
--- a. Character: Mean Slayer
--- b. Average positive review: 29% 
5. Crank: High Voltage (2009) 
--- a. Character: Concerned Man
--- b. Average positive review: 62% 
6. Beer for My Horses (2008) 
--- a. Character: Jay Boy Simpson
--- b. Average positive review: 0%

Oleg Taktarov:

Oleg parleyed his UFC stardom, and hardened looks into a pretty impressive acting career – appearing in over 30 films and TV shows. He is probably one the most successful Russians in Hollywood. Taktarov's film credits include roles in "Air Force One", "Rollerball", "Bad Boys 2", "Miami Vice", "We Own the Night", and "Righteous Kill" alongside Robert DeNiro and this summer’s hit "Predators" where he plays "Nikolai" (http://bit.ly/a09GDw). 

Oleg’s movies run the gambit including romantic comedies, horror, and action. As with most MMA stars, his movies mainly bypass the theaters, right to DVD. Oleg’s best movie was probably “Air Force One”, where 80% of critics gave it a favorable review. On average though, Oleg movies garner 36% favorable responses, typical of other MMA stars. 

In 1998, Oleg started studying acting at L.A. Playhouse West Theatrical College and it has paid off. In 2001, he played the delusional bad guy in the movie “15 minutes” (http://bit.ly/9NhP2L); his performance was believable, but nothing to write home about. In Russia he played the lead in the Russian crime blockbuster “Montana” and was generally appreciated by the critics there. His recent performance in the summer blockbuster “Predators” was not fantastic, but it will not sacrifice his career.

1. The Tower (2010) (in production) 
--- a. Character: Vadim 
--- b. No reviews
2. Ultimate Champion (2010) (completed) 
--- a. Character: Blade 
--- b. No reviews
3. Predators (2010) 
--- a. Character: Nikolai 
--- b. Average positive review: 63%
4. Viy. Vozvrashchenie (2010) 
--- a. Character: Gritsko 
--- b. No reviews 
5. The Way (2009) 
--- a. Character: Polkovnik Dilov 
--- b. No reviews
6. By the Will of Chingis Khan (2009) 
--- a. Character: Kuchulun Khan 
7. Righteous Kill (2008) 
--- a. Character: Yevgeny Mugalat 
--- b. Average positive review: 20%
8. Montana (2008) 
--- a. Character: Nikolai 
--- b. No reviews
9. Rockaway (2007) 
--- a. Character: Ivan
--- b. No reviews 
10. The Death and Life of Bobby Z (2007) 
--- a. Character: Oleg 
--- b. Average positive review: 25%
11. We Own the Night (2007) 
--- a. Character: Pavel Lubyarsky
--- b. Average positive review: 57%
12. Blizhniy Boy: The Ultimate Fighter (2007) 
--- a. Character: No credit
--- b. No reviews
13. Miami Vice (2006) 
--- a. Character: Russian Security 
--- b. Average positive review: 47%
14. Sdvig (2006) 
--- a. Character: Fetisov 
--- b. No reviews
15. "Okhota na izyubrya" (2005) TV mini-series 
--- a. Character: Kamaz
16. Law of Corruption (2005) 
--- a. Character: Skala 
--- b. No reviews
17. Call Me Genie (2005) 
--- a. Character: Ufa
--- b. No reviews 
18. National Treasure (2004) 
--- a. Character: Shippen 
--- b. Average positive review: 45%
19. "Alias" (1 episode, 2003) 
--- a. Character: Gordei Volkov
20. Bad Boys II (2003) 
--- a. Character: Josef 
--- b. Average positive review: 24%
21. 44 Minutes: The North Hollywood Shoot-Out (2003) (TV) 
--- a. Character: Emil Matasareanu 
22. Rollerball (2002) 
--- a. Character: Denekin 
--- b. Average positive review: 4%
23. Red Serpent (2002) 
--- a. Character: Sergei 
--- b. No reviews
24. The Quickie (2001) 
--- a. Character: Boris
--- b. Average positive review: 0% 
25. My Friend's Love Affair (2001)
--- a. Character: Boris 
--- b. No reviews
26. 15 Minutes (2001) 
--- a. Character: Oleg Razgul 
--- b. Average positive review: 32%
27. Counter Measures (1999) 
--- a. Character: Engineer Dimitri 
--- b. No reviews
28. "Combate Mortal" (1999) TV series 
--- a. Character: Oleg Taktarov 
29. Air Force One (1997) 
--- a. Character: Prison Guard #2 
--- b. Average positive review: 80%
30. "JAG" (1 episode, 1997)
--- a. Character: Russian Officer
31. Absolute Force (1997) 
--- a. Character: Agent Borris Checkniov 
--- b. No reviews
32. Total Force (1997) 
--- a. Character: Boris
--- b. No reviews 

As long as MMA continues to grow as America’s new pastime, MMA stars will continue to show up in the limelight. 
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