Yes, that's John Cusack playing a first century B.C.E. Roman general in the new film "Dragon Blade," (opening Sept. 4) and boy, does he look ridiculous, like someone who made the decision about his Halloween costume after consuming a full bottle of vodka. In fact, Cusack looks so uncomfortable and silly, he might actually make the all-time list of bad casting choices, which includes these groaners:
John Wayne, "The Conqueror" (1956) The Duke as Genghis Khan. The gold standard of bad casting. Bad makeup, bad 'stache, compounded by ludicrous dialogue -- "She is woman, Jamuga, much woman. Should her perfidy be less than that of other women?"
Edward G. Robinson, "The Ten Commandments" (1956) Think Little Caesar goes Egyptian. His "Where's your messiah now?" line is spoken in such an American big city ethnic accent, Billy Crystal has been making fun of it for years.
Mickey Rooney, "Breakfast At Tiffany's"(1961) Rooney played Holly Golightly's Japanese neighbor Mr. Yunioshi, complete with taped eyelids, buck teeth and screechy voice. Not only miscast, but one of the most toxically racist movie portrayals ever.
Sofia Coppola, "The Godfather, Part III"(1990) Imagine casting someone who has the acting chops of the second lead in the local high school play as Michael Corleone's daughter. Then imagine it's the director's real-life daughter. Then imagine this didn't happen. Try.
Melanie Griffith, "A Stranger Among Us" (1992) Griffith plays a cop who goes undercover in the Hasidic community to catch a murderer. The mind boggles.
Keanu Reeves, "Little Buddha" (1993) Keanu plays the Buddha. 'Nuff said.
Vince Vaughn, "Psycho" (1998) A pointless remake, featuring Vaughn, basically a comic actor, trying to out-creep Anthony Perkins' original performance as Norman Bates. No. No. No.
Denise Richards, "The World Is Not Enough" (1999) Did anyone for one second buy the "Wild Things" star as a nuclear physicist? Anyone?
Christian Bale, "Exodus: Gods and Kings" (2014) Who knew Moses was actually a white Englishman? Really. Who knew?