By Kieran Begu
In 2015, Jennifer Lawrence was lightning in a bottle.
Nobody in Hollywood had ever witnessed fame accelerate this fast. At just 25, she had won an Academy Award and had been nominated for 3 others.
Her perfect formula for mainstream and artistic credit brought immense success.
Her vulnerable, yet powerful performance as Katniss Everdeen made her iconic among teens. Her role in the X-Men franchise assured her of consistent box office glow, and her performances in art films made her an awards darling.
Lawrence was too big to fall. One film failure would barely make a dent, but 5 consecutive failures would tell a different story.
For the first time, the X-Men film success failed. X-Men Apocalypse represented all that could go wrong in X-Men, with an incoherent plot and muddled characters.
Jennifer, with the world watching her, failed to deliver. No amount of bravado could’ve saved the horrendous script.
Her following role in Passengers would mark the same mistake. A promising idea with a good cast, the writing was of the caliber of a fourth grader.
Passengers would mark Lawrence’s third lead into mainstream audiences and display her acting range for the masses to see. But this time, luck would run clean out.
Unlike the cunningly crafted set of Hunger Game films, Passengers represented everything to dislike when it came to blockbusters. The idea was stripped clean of any inspiration and programmed to climax with a CGI action mess.
Yes, Jennifer gave an above-the-brow performance, but the spotlight shifted away from her and shone upon the crash and burnout of such a large blockbuster.
Credibility was slowly fading and as Oscar season neared she needed to prove herself once more.
Her next choice in art films was perhaps taken a little too literally when she ventured into the mind of Darren Aronofsky in his completely arthouse horror piece mother!
Her interpretation of Mother Earth and Mary was showered in a blaze of confusion.
Audiences left with their minds wondering what they just watched, giving this film an F CinemaScore. Critics left thinking, “what a pretentious, self indulgent piece of shit.”
Unanimously derided as one of the worst of the year, mother! was as far off from any chance of redemption, both critically and commercially, and became the lowest grossing movie of her career.
This series of unfortunate events would continue. Red Sparrow suffered the same fate as her previous attempts, but this time the world was counting.
The leap into spy thrillers was a calculated choice.
Black Widow transformed Scarlett Johansson from a sprouting orchard into a global superstar. The right amount of badass and action could do that for anyone.
Red Sparrow however turned out to be much less of a deal than initially thought. A passable and thrilling, but confusing, action movie was all it amounted to be with no genius or strong performance to be seen. It was frustratingly mediocre.
Mediocrity would be Jennifer’s mortal enemy, an adjective that had haunted her throughout this four-movie streak.
Certainly, none of these movies was horrible, but the specialness of her previous roles vanished. Her magic, fresh face of Hollywood began to crumble under these barriers of mediocrity.
Her next film strayed far from any form of mediocrity. This time, it was just horrendous.
The X-Men franchise crashed spectacularly to the ground in its finale, Dark Phoenix.
Infamously known as a movie that horribly flopped, losing a nauseating 170 million dollars at the box office, Dark Phoenix became a joke in the film community.
And this wasn’t any Blade Runner 2049, whose unfortunate box office performance was entirely unjustified — no, Dark Phoenix wholeheartedly deserved this punishment.
In the clearest example of when studios should stop a franchise, something that could have ended with the ponderous, poignant finale that was Logan, unfortunately continued into one of the dullest finales.
Dark Phoenix shouldn’t have existed, it served no purpose, had nothing to say and was inexplicably shit.
Jennifer Lawrence wasn’t at the forefront in the movie, not a main player that would have to absorb all the criticism from the film. But being a supporting character in such a film did enough damage.
Slowly but surely, Jennifer’s career has been coming to a grinding halt.
Her rate of movies per year dropped from 3, to just one — to now, possibly none.
Hollywood is a vicious playground. You make a few errors and a soon you become buried deep in sand. Unfortunately, Lawrence made 5 of those.
There is a high possibility that Jennifer’s career will bounce back with flying colors. It’s a drop that all actors experience, albeit hers is noticeably more severe.