You might come to Paul WS Anderson's Pompeii for the volcano, but you'll stay for
Kiefer qualifies as a ham because he understands the rules of hamminess. Rule one is that he has already established himself as a perfectly capable actor. If he hadn't worked with
1 Gary Oldman
Finding the definitive
2 Frank Langella
There is a moment in 1987's Masters of the Universe where Langella, playing Skeletor, is asked to wear what is essentially a pair of gold antlers and scream with delight as he becomes the ruler of everything in existence. "YES!" he wails, as an enormous intergalactic sphincter opens up behind him. "The power fills me!" Then he shoots laser beams out of his eyes at a topless man. It remains, to this day, his greatest moment.
3 Al Pacino
Thank heavens for the day that
latter-period Pacino has spent the
past two decades bawling lines as ludicrous as: "A woman's shoulders
are the front lines of her mystique," while daring us to point out how silly he looks. He's got it all figured out.
4 John Lithgow
If you've never seen Cliffhanger, you might assume that
You would be wrong. In Cliffhanger, he uses every single tool in his arsenal to convince the world that nobody has ever hated
him. The best thing about this role
isn't that Lithgow is evil; it's that he may or may not be British. His accent entirely depends on his mood.
An all-out tour de force.
5 Steven Berkoff
Like a weaponised
A man who thinks he's in a
much bigger film. A man who thinks that all the microphones are much further away than they actually are. He is capable of great, experimental acting methods. His genius is trying
to use them in films called
6 Robert De Niro
7 Paul Giamatti
Watch him in Downton Abbey or 12 Years a Slave and you'll be struck by the sensation that
8 Bryan Cranston
This is speculative but, based purely on the way his eyebrows manage to worm their way across every square centimetre of his face in the trailers, there's a pretty good chance that Cranston will redefine hamminess as we know it in this month's Godzilla remake.
On the web
Up Pompeii! Our critics go wild for the disaster movie in this week's film show
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