When he was great: The Panic In Needle Park (1971), The Godfather (1972), Serpico (1973), The Godfather Part II (1974), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Scarface (1983)
Since then: The Recruit (2003), Gigli (2003), Two For The Money (2005), 88 Minutes (2007), Righteous Kill (2008), Jack & Jill (2011)
First off, if you actually paid to see Adam Sandler’s embarrassing, cross-dressing comedy Jack & Jill last year, you should be ashamed of yourself. But here’s the truly sad thing about it: That shame is nothing compared to what Al Pacino should feel for taking part in what’s easily Sandler’s worst film ever, and that in and of itself is remarkable in all the wrong ways.
One could say that Pacino has sufficiently proven that he’s one of the game’s all-time great actors, so why shouldn’t he slum it and have some carefree fun in awful flicks of that low-grade caliber? We understand the sentiment, too: If any actor deserves to let loose, it’s the man who’s played such intense and amazing characters as Michael Corleone (The Godfather), Sonny Wortzik (Dog Day Afternoon), and Tony Montana (Scarface).
But look at Christopher Plummer, a veteran actor known for great roles in the past who today, at 82 years of age, is an Academy Award winner for last year’s Beginners, in which he gave his best performance to date. Is he lowering himself to share screen time with Adam Sandler in women’s clothes? Pacino, by comparison, is only 71, so why isn’t he trying to win his second Oscar statue?