BRAD PITT - INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
Don't get me wrong, the whole carving Nazi symbols into his foreheads of his enemies is a rather cool arch, but after that what are you left with? The answer - not a whole hell of a lot. Counter that with Christoph Waltz and Melanie Laurent throwing down the acting hammer, Michael Fassbender going super British, Eli Roth taking the ham to 400 degrees, and Diane Kruger just being herself, and you've got one heck of an overshadowed hero. Well, I say hero... that's a moral debate I'm not quite prepared to get into right now.
MATTHEW BRODERICK - THE LION KING
I'm not knocking Matthew Broderick here, it's just that with a film involving Rafiki, Timon, Pumbaa, Scar, the Hyenas, Zazu, and of course Mufasa, little ol' Simba is an afterthought when reflecting on this work of animated brilliance.It certainly doesn't help that he spends a good 80% of the film just blindly following and dealing with these far more interesting characters.
AL PACINO - THE GODFATHER
Now it's time to throw out the honorary 'most likely to be argued against in the comments section' selection! Let me say this right now - this doesn't mean Michael Corleone is a bad, or uninteresting character. I just think, in a film packed with so many memorable characters, he's just one of the least memorable. Sure, he's the glue that holds it together, but he's never going to get out from under the shadow of Vito Corleone - a fact he struggles with even in the film's second installment. I've always found myself drawn to Fredo, Sonny, and Tom Hagen more so than Michael in even his brightest moments. Also, you've got Abe Vigoda there.... that's just awesome in its own right.
KEANU REEVES - POINT BREAK
I could see an argument to be made that this is the 'honorary Keanu Reeves' list. He is quite overtly the master of being overshadowed by his supporting cast. Then again, he also has a great sense for picking movies that play to his strength - he should just avoid romantic comedies (still have nightmares after Sweet November). Oh yeah, Point Break. Well this one is easy: Gary Busey + Patrick Swayze + Lori Petty + John C. McGinley = one hell of an overcast destroying any intrigue carried by our good ol' friend Johnny Utah - man, even his name is uninteresting.
MARK HAMILL - STAR WARS A NEW HOPE
Hey look, it's that Skywalker guy being vastly out awesomed by three other characters who would go on to become some of the most interesting characters ever to exist in film. Sorry Hamill, you really didn't stand a chance and 'uninteresting main character' syndrome has always been a plague on the Star Wars franchise. That's not even counting pre-prequel Darth Vader, the ever lovely Princess Leia, and the lovable robot duo of C-3PO and R2D2 just waiting in the wings to pounce on a scene when you're not looking. Wait, I forgot to mention Peter Cushing is in this too! Shit, Luke you never stood a chance.
So there you have it, my list of heroes being dramatically over shadowed by their supporting cast. Now that I've shown you mine, why don't you show me yours? What films do you think are still mint, even if their main characters are lost in the background?