What Jexi could’ve been:
>>>> A When Hal meets Her spoof.
What it is:
Making matters worse:
>>>>It spoils a decent cast!
Name an actor with as vast a chasm between the quality of their performances and the quality of the movies they’re in as Michael Peña? To his credit, he’s rarely subsumed by the mediocrity surrounding him, consistently a bright spot — sometimes, maybe, the only one? — amidst the dull light, refusing to succumb to the malaise. Perhaps stop relegating him into being the sporadic comedic relief? His 2019 oeuvre has tasked him with similar character types that he’s been hampered with throughout his career. Sure, he’s now a father (in Dora and the Lost City of Gold) and a boss (in the drecky Jexi), but back in the day, he would’ve played the co-worker / friend versions of these EXACT SAME characters; he’s older now, but the movies are asking him to do the EXACT. SAME. THINGS. By allowing him to flex his lead muscles, his persona could leave a significant mark on what he’s in, instead of intermittently — and insufficiently — sprucing up otherwise ugly affairs. But until that day comes, he’ll remain a perennial contender for The Poor Performer of the Year.
Another Poor Performer competitor:
My annual awards-giving includes some distinctions of my own invention, such as the Year of the Year (AKA the actors who turned in the greatest amount of great work, AKA in multiple movies; click here for an update on the thespians vying for the prize this year). In 2019, I’m introducing a companion category on the other end of the spectrum; The Poor Performer of the Year will be dedicated to the skilled players repeatedly saddled with incompetency. Peña’s one, and Shipp’s another. She followed-up her impressive work in 2018’s Love, Simon with…A Dog’s Way Home, Shaft, Dark Phoenix, and Jexi. Yikes.
Faring better in 2019:
>>>>Scott Mescudi (fellow kids may know him as Kid Cudi).
Memorable cameos both here and in Drunk Parents. Someone grant the man a real role!