The Five Best Ian McShane Movies of His Career

The Five Best Ian McShane Movies of His Career

Ian McShane

It’s too bad American Gods is a series and not a movie because personally I happen to think that Ian McShane playing an elderly and wily version of Odin is one of the best portrayals out there, not to take anything from Anthony Hopkins. But he’s made a habit of playing wily characters throughout his career at this point and it’s become something he’s well known for since quite honestly he’s just that good at it. Ian can play the villain or the hero and anything in between since he’s got the kind of personality that can shift without warning and leave you wondering just what his character’s real motives are. That’s the beauty of his ability since he does look as though he can be a kindly older individual that can be helpful and seeks to aid those that need it, or he can be just downright evil and vile. But then he can also by mysterious, self-serving, and purposefully vague on screen, all of which are great since it means he’s one of the most versatile people around.

Here are the five best movies from his career.

5. 44 Inch Chest

Ella Taylor of NPR isn’t wrong when it comes to stating that this movie is about the wounded male ego, but where she might need to step back is thinking that a wife cheating on her husband and not having the nerve to tell him something’s wrong is making a very big mistake, potentially. Colin does suffer a mental break when he finds out his wife’s cheating, and calling up his friends, whether they’re actually there or in his head, is just one step further down the road. It could be that Colin is mentally wrecked anyway and isn’t at all stable, but it could also be that his wife’s infidelity was the one final crack that let his instability run wild.

4. Kung Fu Panda

This was just a very fun and engaging movie that carried a very big moral premise that a lot of people have heard over and over, but with a host of celebrity voices that made it even more fun and got a lot more people to watch. As Tai Lung Ian was the ultimate bad guy that could do just about all the things that we’ve seen in Kung Fu movies throughout the years that seem to defy the natural order and was actually pretty cool to watch. Of course when he came up against the one character in the story that didn’t succumb to most of his deadliest attacks it was kind of hard to really believe but hey, it’s a cartoon, it was fun anyway.

3. Death Race

This selection was more to show that he can be a good guy and he can be someone that’s seen as a mentor since as the pit boss to the famed Frankenstein character that’s been host to several different racers he’s the kind of guy that knows a lot of things and has seen nearly everything that there is to be offered on the track. Of course it’s still possible to surprise him as the dreadnought was able to, but overall he’s the wise, older gentleman that sits back and lets people do their thing and advises when he needs to. This was perhaps one of his most low-key roles despite the fact that he was pretty visible most times, but it was still fun to watch.

2. John Wick: Chapter 3-Parabellum

It’s kind of hard to say with any definitive voice just why Winston did what he did to John since he seems to genuinely like the assassin, but then again Winston is a pragmatic individual that knows which way the ball bounces. It’s very possible in the next movie that we’ll see that Winston is playing the long game and is still a true ally to John Wick, but will have another ace up his sleeve if he happens to need it. After all he didn’t get to his current position by being impulsive or foolish, so it’s very likely that he’ll have some other angle that he’s playing, since it’s kind of difficult to see him as the villain in these movies.

1. Deadwood: The Movie

You either like the character of Al Swearengen or you don’t since he’s the kind of irascible old coot that a lot of people might steer clear of but still see as a valued asset or ally depending on what they need. When Hearst comes riding into town trying to upset the natural order of things, no matter how bad they might get, he sets off a storm of events that eventually end up seeing him in a cell and the rest of the town finally settling after the brief conflict. One of the best parts however comes when Al defiantly curses while he’s being read the Lord’s Prayer.

Good guy or bad, Ian McShane is just great.

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