Kristin Kreuk: From Her Best to Her Worst
Kristin Kreuk is one of those actresses who has the potential for greatness but is stuck in mostly mediocre roles. She has had some absolutely astounding performances in films that were unfairly overlooked and she has also had some fantastic performances in films that were badly executed but had the right idea. Mostly known for her role as Lana from Smallville, Kristin seems to have tried time and time again to branch out but can't seem to shed the Lana Lang visage.
In the following article, I will list Kristin's films from her best to her worst. I also included Earthsea and Ben-Hur, which are technically miniseries. They both have two parts which combine to three hours. It isn't a huge deal now for films to have a three hour length so I thought it justified to include the two.
Based on historical events, Partition takes place in India in 1947 and centers on an Indian war veteran who takes in a young Muslim woman and gives her shelter even though both his and her families forbid it. Caught between loyalty to family, loyalty to religion, and loyalty to each other, the two have to choose what's more important as their destinies intertwine for better or worse.
The film was an emotional heavy-hitter. It gripped the heart, rattled it, squeezed it, and broke it into a million pieces all by the time the credits roll. It was intense, beautiful, and tragic all at once. There's not many films out there that can truly reach the emotional heights that this film did. I have nothing but praise and love for Partition and everyone involved. I give it a total of 4 out of 4.
Ecstasy, based on the novel by Irvine Welsh, tells the story of a drug addict and smuggler who attempts to get clean after meeting the girl of his dreams. It stars Adam Sinclair and Billy Boyd as two of the druggies, Carlo Rota as one of the drug-trafficking heads, and Kristin Kreuk as the saving grace.
There are many films about drugs which are dark in tone. Films like Less Than Zero and Requiem for a Dream come to mind first. Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy, however, attempts to do what Trainspotting did: show what the drug underworld is like all the while keeping the film's tone serious yet comedic. Ecstasy may not be the remarkable hit that Trainspotting was but it comes real close. The film is realistic, and that's most important. I'm glad that it didn't promote or disregard drugs in any way. It put reality in front of you, showed you that while drugs may be fun when you start, they can easily get out of hand, especially when you're giving away someone's product and not making money on it. Debt can pile up fast and so can death threats. It's well-written, superbly directed, and acted very well. I give the film a 4 out of 4.
#3: Snow White, the Fairest of Them All
It seems like every beautiful young woman has played a fairy tale princess in some form or another, Snow White being one of the most popular. Long before Kristen Stewart took command of the screen in Snow White and the Huntsman, we had a quite different version. Kristin Kreuk stars as Snow White in her film debut Snow White: The Fairest of Them All.
The film pretty well stuck to the story that the Disney animation told, but added a bit more substance to it to help expand the story. Kristin proved right away that she was a born actress and had some wonderful talent. I give the film a grand total of 3.5 out of 4.
Surprised? So am I! EuroTrip takes 4th place, delivering fun and laughter throughout. The film centers on Scott, a man who is down on his luck when it comes to women. He had been writing to a German girl, only Scott thought she was a man. Turns out Mike was pronounced Mee-ka. Scott had had a drunken night and told Mike to never contact him again. After realizing his mistake he sets out on a cross-world journey to find Mike and make things right.
While most of these hormonal teen type films can be gross or just downright crass, EuroTrip sets itself apart by offering real laughs and fun rather than the usual nonstop crap (literally) jokes. I give the film a 3 out of 4.
#5: Space Milkshake
You'll never look at rubber ducks the same way again! Set in the late 22nd century, space has become little more than a dump heap. NASA has sent up what are called Sanitation Stations to keep space cleaned up so astronauts can get their shuttles where they need to go. But when a time warp sends one particular Sanitation Station to an alternate dimension where all life on earth is dead and a brilliant mad scientist trapped himself in the body of a rubber duck, the team must stop the evil duck from taking over the galaxy and figure out how to return to their own dimension.
Yes, it's silly, but it's a fun and smart kind of silly. It's a good relaxation movie that you can watch while you wind down from the day and have a few laughs. I'll be quite honest, I thought I would hate it just judging from the synopsis but it's actually pretty hilarious. There's not a lot of thinking required, which is usually something I'm against, but this movie is just too fun to hate. I give Space Milkshake a 3 out of 4.
#6: Street Fighter - The Legend of Chun-Li
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li is based on the popular Street Fighter video game series and tells the origin story of one of the most famous and powerful characters, Chun-Li. An aspiring concert pianist and expert in many forms of martial arts, Chun-Li was always an incredibly beautiful and smart woman, becoming independent at a young age when her father is thought to be dead. She searches out the truth and in the process trains to be better and completely aware of her surroundings. She is determined to take revenge for her father's death, no matter what.
Honestly, I know nothing about the video games so I couldn't tell you if the movie was story accurate or not. What I can tell you is that it always entertains, however the acting and effects suffers a little bit, but the martial arts stunts are breathtaking. I give the film a 2.5 out of 4.
Ben-Hur is a 2010 adaptation of the remarkable novel by Lew Wallace. It was made for TV and split into two parts. It stars Joseph Morgan, Stephen Campbell Moore, Emily VanCamp, Kristin Kreuk, and Hugh Bonneville.
I liked how hard this adaptation tried in its first half. The problem with it really lies in its second half which hurries things along, skips major scenes and plot points, and loses its true meaning and heart along the way. It seems this particular adaptation wanted to focus more on Ben-Hur's tragic past and suffering rather than the epiphany he gains after meeting Jesus. There are some historical and biblical inaccuracies that aren't exactly huge details but are still too easy to spot. It is a shame too because with a stellar cast like this, the two-part event could have been so much better. I give 2010's Ben-Hur a 2 out of 4.
Have you ever seen a film that you were rather unimpressed with but you still thought the premise was interesting? That was how Vampire was for me. The film centers around a male biology teacher who finds suicidal people and convinces them to let him drain their blood. He then drinks it because he is anemic. He is quickly dubbed The Vampire because he only ever drains people's blood rather than killing in the usual messy way. You can tell the person cares about people in general. He doesn't want to kill anyone. He just figures that instead of someone's body being wasted in a hanging or jumping off a bridge, he could end their misery and replenish his body all at once. It's an interesting concept but I felt that the film approached it the wrong way. The film was acted superbly and well-directed but I think it was the writing that hurt it most. I respect that they tried their best and developed a story worth telling so I give Vampire a score of 2 out of 4.
Earthsea is a two part event that is based on the book series and tells the story of a young blacksmith who aspires to become a wizard. I know nothing about the books and I was hugely disappointed with this adaptation. The effects were horrible, the story too slow at times, and I have been told that this version was almost 100% different than the books. Apparently it gets nothing right. Kristin Kreuk and Shawn Ashmore give some really good performances but unfortunately that's the only thing it has going for it. I give Earthsea a 1.5 out of 4.
What is your favorite Kristin Kreuk role?
Kristin Kreuk has so much hidden potential that I truly hope the world will be able to see someday. She has proven how splendid she can be with just the handful of roles she's had. If you look at the work she did on Smallville, Edgemont, and Beauty and the Beast, she seems to be constricted to the "pretty girl/popular girl" role and that is a huge injustice to her heart and intelligence. She is capable of so much more and I for one would like to see her soar in more films like Partition that are emotionally and socially impactful, films that could really make a difference.
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© 2017 Alec Zander