“I think I'm still trying to find my feet as an actor. And I know it ain't brain surgery, but it confuses me and it comes between me and my sleep a lot.”
The man is either incredibly unlucky, needs to fire his agent, or the most likely, does whatever movies he damn well pleases and doesn't really have a goal in mind. Even his famously underperforming movies sound good on paper. A historical drama about a legendary figure, directed by Oliver Stone, and you're the lead surrounded by the likes of Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer, Anthony Hopkins, and other A-listers? What wouldn't appeal to an actor in that scenario? Unfortunately, the result was Alexander. Co-star in a spy thriller with Al Pacino? Too bad that gave us The Recruit.
To watch him completely own vastly different roles like Bullseye in Daredevil, or Jerry in Fright Night, or Ray in In Bruges, is to watch Hollywood wasting one of it's brightest young stars, not necessarily in those roles, but in not giving him more to do. The only thing standing between him and the praises that will be heaped on Christian Bale for something like Into the Furnace, is the opportunity. The only thing stopping from having a mid-career renaissance like Matthew McConaughey, is the lack of type-casting early in his career to play against. You get the sense from interviews that Colin isn't bothered by any of this, and that perhaps explains why he's always treading water just below the guaranteed, blockbuster, A++-list status of colleagues like Leonardo DiCaprio or Will Smith. His upcoming credits show little hope of breaking trend, with only Winter's Tale showing the potential to rise above mediocrity and his rumored involvement in a Warcraft movie (yikes!) being hopefully just that: a rumor.
The best case scenario is probably something like Tom Hanks. After starting his career similarly aimlessly, Tom settled into a comfortable rotation of doing Oscar-bait movies where he could flex his acting muscle, and movies that simply struck his fancy. The worst case scenario would be someone like Mickey Rourke: somewhat squandering his youth before needing a comeback role to get back into the limelight; a slight cautionary tale with still a bit of hope to leave a lasting impression on film.
Currently existing in a strange limbo between being obviously a top-flight movie star, and not having much evidence to support that statement (Hi, Ryan Reynolds! You're here too?!), let's hope Hollywood starts giving Mr. Farrell something to do with his immense talent.