With the release of this weekend's "Jack the Giant Slayer" we'll get to see multi-talented actor Ewan McGregor back in action. Judging by the trailers alone, he looks to be knee-deep in giant slaying, which of course made us ponder the other things Mr. McGregor has slain in his day. Is slaying a new thing for the former Jedi Knight? Or is this slay-fest yet another in a long line of slays? It's time to get to the bottom of this pressing issue, and as such, here's a listing of the top ten slain objects our exhaustive research on Ewan unearthed:
10. Renee Zellweger's Cynicism in "Down with Love"
I maintain this film is wildly underrated. It's cheeky, clever and just downright fun. Okay, DVD box art quote completed, this was a far better version of a film that was released the exact same year, "How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days". While I'm on the subject, I suppose "Sex and the City" had elements of the same thing throughout. Oh, and "Never Been Kissed" was right there too. Hmm, now I'm seeing the problem. Still, hats off to Ewan McGregor, he waylaid Renee Z's heart, leaving nothing but a slain dress on the floor.
9. Satire in "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen"
Fans of the original satirical work by Paul Torday were not pleased with the rom-com version put out by Lasse Halstrom. This was a case of Ewan McGregor attempting to slay a metaphorical mess of salmon, but he ended up only slaying a novel. That is, unless you ask the Golden Globes, in which case this was a work of staggering genius.
8. A Conspiracy in "The Ghost Writer"
A good rule of thumb is to avoid all writing gigs where the previous scribe died under mysterious conditions. In this instance McGregor got to the bottom of a vast multi-national conspiracy, only to be hit by a car, "Meet Joe Black" style.
7. A Tsunami in "The Impossible"
If you want to get technical, one could argue it's impossible to slay a weather phenomenon and he actually slayed the lack of communications in Thailand. Nevertheless, he brought a certain debonaire vibe to trying to reunite with one's children.
6. Nicole Kidman's Heart in "Moulin Rouge"
Consumption is not a fun disease, and being a courtesan isn't up there in terms of life goals either, so Ewan McGregor's heartfelt slaying of Nicole Kidman's cold exterior was as touching as it was delightful. No one can deny the man knows his way around an Elton John cover.
5. The Constraints of the Narrative Method in "Big Fish"
The power of imagination and flashbacks are powerful story tool, and Ewan McGregor's character in "Big Fish" used both to great effect. Was he hanging out with a giant? Did he really join the circus? Only Ewan knows, and he's too busy slaying your preconceived notions of reality to let you in on his little secrets.
4. Human / Dog Communication Methods in "Beginners"
Oscar-nominated "Beginners" was a treatise on love in the 21st century, but the most awesome part was clearly Cosmo the wonder dog telling Ewan McGregor what was what. Channeling Baxter from "Anchorman," Cosmo's contributions the story added maximum levity in in only short bursts of subtitles.
3. Darth Vader's Legs and Left Arm in "Stars Wars III: Revenge of the Sith"
Let's face it, at this point, Darth Vader had it coming. He'd choked out Padme and completely embraced Emperor Palpatine's nefarious ways. He needed a big-time comeuppance, and who better to deliver this blow than a young Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi? Ewan McGregor went medieval on Darth Vader as only a Jedi master could, slicing and dicing him in midair like a tomato you see on those late-night knife commercials.
Wait a beat, what could be more impressive than slaying Darth Vader's appendages??!
2.The Road of Bones in "Long Way Round"
Oh, yes, actual real life slaying of the Russian Far East. You wouldn't think an A-list Hollywood star would brave 19,000 miles of open road from London to New York City on his BMW bike, but that's just what Ewan McGregor and his partner Charley Boorman pulled off. This is easily Ewan McGregor's most heroic slaying of a monster, because this one could have actually killed him. But in terms of entertainment dollar? There's one small slaying left to consider.
1. Heroin Addiction in "Trainspotting"
Ewan McGregor finally chose life, and that's a good lesson for all of us. Riding the dragon had Ewan down on the mat, but he rallied back to attain a suit and a briefcase. He crushed drug addiction, and in the process proved he's ready to slay just about anything the world has to offer. Bring on the giants this weekend!
Laremy wrote the book on film criticism and slayed a coffee and donuts this morning.