Is it possible the same, world-class actor who wowed audiences in such classics as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and The Godfather: Part II is now routinely showing up in such tripe as Dirty Grandpa, The Intern and Grudge Match?
I’m referring to Robert De Niro who, if he passed away today, would be remembered as one of the greatest actors of his generation.
In addition to winning Oscars for best actor in Raging Bull and best supporting actor in The Godfather: Part II, De Niro also received best actor nominations for his roles in Cape Fear and The Deer Hunter, respectively.
And, yet, he pops up almost every month in yet another piece of dreck: Killer Elite, Machete and Righteous Kill to cite three others.
Is Bobby D Hollywood’s answer to Muhammad Ali? Has he become so enamored of the silver screen that he’ll grab any role available? Lord knows he has more money than God. And, were he trying to continually perfect his craft, De Niro would turn to the stage.
Searching for an answer, I asked Hollywood trivia expert par excellence, Thomas J. Powers, Jr., to answer two simple questions:
1.) Why is De Niro seemingly prostituting himself?
“I don’t think De Niro is prostituting himself at all. I’ve seen a few of his lesser movies…he has done a very professional job. He is good. Acting is work. “Bobby Milk” has earned his right to work.”
2.) Will it impact his long-term reputation?
“No. If he was an athlete doing sub par stuff it would probably impact his long-term reputation. But Bobby De Niro is an actor. He does good professional work. His reputation remains stellar. He is a Hall of Famer for all time.”
Agree or disagree with Tommy’s views, Bobby D has clearly not guarded his reputation over the years. Nor has he been selective in choosing titles that would afford him the opportunity to both stretch his talents and display his craft.
I find it both puzzling and depressing. Fade to black.