Edward James Olmos, the Latino star of stage and screen(s), has managed a career-long feat. After atrociously aggressive adolescent acne, Olmos was left with a potential liability for a movie and TV thespian: dramatic acne scars. It’s not that cosmetically challenged actors can’t work in Hollywood, it’s just that they usually have to make due playing villains: thugs, drug dealers, or prisoners. It’s a well established Tinseltown convention: having scarring teen acne supposedly turns men to a life of crime.
This makes Olmos' career remarkable. In what must have been a supreme effort, Olmos has bucked the pock-marked gangster trend and has chosen parts that are heroic. His breakout TV role on “Miami Vice” was not as a drug dealer, but as a police lieutenant. He was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of the real-life inspirational teacher Jaime Escalante in “Stand and Deliver.” And Sci-Fi fans revere Olmos as the heroic fleet commander in “Battlestar Galactica.” So in “2 Guns”, a bullet-ridden action flick starring Denzel (Washington) and Mark(y-Mark) Wahlberg, we had expected that Olmos would once again resist stereotyping and go good guy.
It’s a bit of a disappointment that instead Olmos is cast as the head of a Mexican drug cartel. Cliché, anyone? To his credit, in interviews, Olmos points out that his character is a loyal family man. Also, none of the cast, including the two leads, come off squeaky clean. Presumably, Olmos’ next big release will insure that his turn as a scarred villain is a one-off. That movie is “Machete Kills,” where fellow pock-marked movie star, Danny Trejo, is the hero, and the bad guy role is already taken by Mel Gibson. Decent chances, then, that Olmos will return to role model status.
Mark Wahlberg's Mini-Mark at Skinema.com
Scarred star Danny Trejo