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Someone Has Got to Stop Michael Madsen
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on November 30, 2005   |   Episode 7 (Show Archive)  

Normally I welcome Hollywood talent in video games; their recognizable voices generally add to the production value, and there's nothing better than a well-placed cameo to get you in the right mood for whatever it is you're supposed to be in the mood for. But some actors try a little too hard, and come off more needy than cool. This seems to be the case with Michael Madsen, the famous character actor who has been in close to a hundred films. You might remember him for his roles in movies like Reservoir Is this the only good thing about Species? Dogs, Thelma & Louise, Species, or most recently, Kill Bill vol. 1 & 2. This is an actor that has worked with many of the best directors in the business and has made a name for himself the hard way. But lately I've started to wonder if Mr. Madsen is being typecast. While he's played literally dozens of different characters in all kinds of movies, so far his video game work has been reserved to Grand Theft Auto, and Grand Theft Auto-clones. Not that these are bad games he's getting himself wrapped up in, but they certainly aren't very diverse. But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. In 2001 this all seemed like a normal video game relationship, Rockstar Games hired a whole host of famous actors to voice Grand Theft Auto III, and Michael Madsen was snagged in the round up. He played Toni Cipriani, a restaurant owner who makes the nameless hero go on several driving missions. You'd look mad if you were stuck in one of the worst games of the year! But in Driv3r (the game I will from now on refer to Driver 3), Michael Madsen plays the guy doing all the driving missions. As Tanner, an undercover FBI agent, Madsen gets to play the lead, but also snags a whole bunch of horribly written dialogue. He does get a chance to travel all over the world in this long-awaited sequel, but not even a trip to the French Riviera can keep this from being a bad GTA-clone. Michael Madsen also shows up in 2003's True Crime: Streets of L.A., a sub-par effort with a lot of famous actors talking over loud rap music. Madsen plays Rafferty, a fellow that used to work with the father of the main character. Rafferty is old and frail, and just ridiculous. Usually we reserve this level of violence for our wars, but everything is fair game when you're fighting stoners! Now you might see it has a non-issue, but I find it a little troubling that he's the one connection between all of these Grand Theft Auto wannabes. I mean let's face it, the only reason Michael Madsen wasn't in the Getaway is because he doesn't have a thick British accent. But then, yet again Mr. Blonde is one step ahead of us, because he's already been in the Getaway ... the forgettable 1994 Alec Baldwin/Kim Basinger feature film. And don't think this is the end for Michael Madsen in GTA-clones, he's already been tapped to voice Jack Frozenski in the upcoming NARC sequel/remake! This has got to stop, somebody needs to get a hold of his agent and shake some sense into them. I have no problem with this guy trying to make a name for himself in the video game arena, but let's not have all his appearances be in the same type of game. How about a role-playing game? A puzzler perhaps? Oh screw it, just let him be the voice of the next Contra game! Just no more open-ended, GTA-clones!


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