Best of, Worst of… screw ‘em! It’s time to sink through the mire towards the stuff down there nestled under the surface. Past the big hits, cult classics, and respected middle-tier stuff where the filler lives. Maybe even a little closer to the bottom than the top. Treacherously close to the bombs, the stinkers, and the abominations. Films that not only don’t get love but don’t really even deserve love.

Except here. So with that we bring you… Ten Mediocre Films We Can’t Help But Embrace.

Note: Each of these films is embraced by a single editor. These are not committee decisions, not are they representative of one unified editorial focus. Each author is on their own.

Day One – The Peacemaker
Embraced by Nick Nunziata (email address for hate mail)

Director: Mimi Leder
Writers: Michael Schiffer, Leslie Redlich Cockburn & Andrew Cockburn (source article)
Starring: George Clooney, Nicole Kidman, Marcel Iures, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Holt McCallany, Aleksandr Baluey.
U.S. Box Office: $41,256,277 (Budget: $50,000,000)
Rotten Rating: 45%
IMDB Rating: 5.8/10

This is not a very good movie. It was made before Mr. Soderbergh’s graces allowed George Clooney to keep his head still and focus on acting rather than coasting on his oodles of sex appeals. It’s directed by the woman who Deep Impacted us. The master villain is a piano teacher. Nicole Kidman is at her very blandest. It is a Tom Clancy by way of James Bond thriller that doesn’t have the crackerjack storytelling of the former or the glitz of the latter.

It’s mediocre through and through. And it’s fine.

It’s all fine because George Clooney knocks it out of the park as a ruthless badass of a man. Seriously, he is as much a man as action as any of them out there whether they be called Bourne or McClane. His film isn’t nearly as good and it’s definitely showing that even in its best days it works in a vacuum. It’s already a relic in 2010.

And it’s fine, because Clooney, even in E.R.
mode is just so damn good. He’s vicious and blunt and absolutely
condescending to all around him just so long as the good guys win. The
kind of guy you want out there. Yeah, he sends Ford Explorers as bribes
to bad people, but the end result is Joe America in Deer Lick getting
his Starbucks without a hitch every morning. The best scene takes place
about 45 minutes into the film after Clooney’s Tom Devoe has already
tortured a diplomat in his own damn office. A car chase happens, and a
Mercedes becomes a kung fu weapon for Clooney as he drives over faces,
skids sparks onto gasoline, and outsmarts numerous foreign types while
Nicole Kidman bounces around like a sack of bitch.

Actually the movie isn’t horrible. Marcel Iures is a very sympathetic villain, until he tries to incinerate the flesh of the world. There are some decent action beats. Aleksandr Baluey is an actor and villain who’d had been perfect in the 80’s. It’s just not original. Or altogether bright. But it’s fun. And that’s enough.

I’m not convinced that Clooney is the titular character, though. Otherwise the title would have been The Piece Maker or He Thinks You’re Not Dying Fast Enough or Bad Mood Hero or Guy Will Drive On You.

Either way it’s totally mediocre and I totally defend it.

Buy this movie despite common sense’s grasp on you.

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