Some actors are just universally liked. Their names show up in the trailer and people are more inclined to go see that movie.
Such is the case with the release of Vin Diesel’s latest movie trailer, The Last Witch Hunter, starring Elijah Wood, Rose Leslie (Ygritte from Game of Thrones) and Michael Caine. The film stars Diesel as the last remaining immortal witch hunter in modern day New York. When a coven’s uprising threatens to plague humanity, it is up to him to take them down but he must partner up with a female witch in order to destroy them. Take a look!
Even though it is a solid cast from various successful franchises, it is Michael Caine’s name that might guarantee the success of this action movie. When has Michael Caine ever disappointed in a film? His presence reassures us everything will turn out alright, and his voice is the melody of wisdom. While we are not trying to wax poetically about the greatness of Mr. Caine, there is no denying the Batman trilogy actor elevates any film he has ever been in. Whether he is taking care of the Wayne Manor or teaching Sandra Bullock how to walk like a lady, here are 5 reasons why having Michael Caine in a movie is always a good sign:
1. By God, that accent!
This is no small or superficial trait to celebrate. Everyone has tried at one point or another to replicate Caine’s accent and it is safe to say most of us have failed. Born and raised in London, Michael Caine is renowned for his cockney accent but has made it his own with his cadence and by stepping away from the roughness generally attributed to the Londoner accent. Everything he says sounds important and his attempts at humor are all the better thanks to his subtle, sarcastic tone. It would be silly to assume filmmakers are not aware of the power of his voice. It is it's own brand and style. You recognize it anywhere and you can never get enough of it.
2. He is the mentor to the movie’s hero
What would Batman have done without Alfred’s care and advice? What would Cobb have done in Inception without the help of his father-in-law and brilliant professor? Michael Caine is the unsung hero in all of these movies, providing information and solutions to the main characters and giving way to the story’s solution.
He is never in the spotlight or involved in the main action but his presence is essential to the development of the hero. In The Prestige, the two magicians played by Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale, have an initial connection with Caine’s character as they began their careers working for him and learning the secrets of illusion. As the story progresses and the friends become rivals, it is Caine’s character that aids in their plans of sabotage and revenge.
The same goes for his role in Interstellar. Without Dr. Brand’s research of the wormhole leading to another galaxy, Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) would not have been recruited by NASA to go on the space mission in search of humanity’s last chance of survival. Michael Caine is always the figure in the background moving along the protagonist’s actions, whether the purpose is for good or evil.
3. His wisdom helps explain the plot
We mentioned earlier how his voice exudes wisdom and that is not just because of his magnificent accent (see #1). Actors with such distinct voices are naturally pushed into the direction of roles with lots of narration - just ask Morgan Freeman. But, while many of these roles are solely for an expository purpose and can seem very forced, Michael Caine manages to be an interesting character and still deliver the needed information.
In The Dark Knight, Batman is faced with the troubling question of how to beat the Joker when you can’t even understand what drives him. Alfred provides insight from his past experiences and explains to Bruce ‘some men just want to watch the world burn’. Without being overbearing, Alfred brings light to the type of character the Joker is, a man that can’t be bought or isn’t driven by anything logical like money or fame. He is the essence of evil and the audience receives that important message through Alfred.
4. His versatility knows no limits
Michael Caine has done it all. He has been in over one hundred films ranging from comedy to drama. He played the sexy bachelor Alfie in the movie with the same title and decades later played another shaggable bachelor in the form of Nigel Powers in Austin Powers: Goldmember. He was in the original Italian Job and has appeared in multiple award winning films like Educating Rita and Cider House Rules. He can make us laugh with his bitchiness in Miss Congeniality and then get us emotional in that confrontational scene between Bruce and Alfred in The Dark Knight Rises. Seriously, every time. Yet no matter what type of role he ends up playing, it is safe to say Michael Cain is always a joy to watch.
5. He classes everything up
Maybe it’s because he is British. Maybe it’s because he is so well known as a fancy butler. Maybe it’s the smile or how well known he is but adding Michael Caine to a movie always adds a certain element of class. Even when he plays a part in a movie as silly as Goldmember, he is suave and charismatic in a very gentlemanly way. Regardless of the role or genre, he is well mannered, well spoken (even when he is insulting someone) and rarely loses his composure. However, that does not mean he is monotone. He always manages to be a complete character with his own fears and struggles.
It has not yet been established what exactly his role will be in the movie but the man seems to be getting better with age. No matter what he's sure to bring an impressive performance to The Last Witch Hunter and I can't wait to see what he does.
The Last Witch Hunter will be released in theaters starting October 23, 2015.