Sam Worthington is an Australian actor with the personality of a mollusk and the charisma of off-brand toilet paper. Despite this, he’s managed to star in a number of major motion pictures. The most noteworthy are probably Clash of the Titans, Terminator Salvation, and Avatar, in which he plays, respectively, a soldier-guy, a soldier-guy, and a soldier-guy. I have seen all three of these films, and I’ve discovered that there are five simple rules to making a Sam Worthington movie. I will explain them in detail below.
Rule #1: There Has to Be a Battle Between Two Sides, and Sam Worthington Must Be Part Bad Guy, Part Good Guy
A Sam Worthington film, to be a Sam Worthington film, must feature a conflict between two sides, one of which is a sympathetic underdog, and the other of which is a senselessly evil and seemingly omnipotent force whose motives are nonsensical. The twist is, Sam Worthington must somehow belong to both sides, which he will eventually realize in an underwhelming voyage of discovery. That voyage should run roughly as follows.
Sam Worthington: I’m just an everyday Joe. I’d make a pretty unlikely hero, given that I’m an orphan/a criminal/crippled.
Good Guys: Holy shit, adversity!
Sam Worthington: (does something everyday Joes can’t do in the face of adversity)
Sam Worthington: Oh. I guess I’m also a god/robot/magic leader of the blue people.
Good Guys: (suitably impressed)
Rule #2: Everyone Else Must Do the Work of Establishing Sam Worthington’s Character
You can’t make Sam Worthington act. No one can. Maybe because he can’t; maybe because he doesn’t care to. Regardless, it’s necessary for all the other actors to help Sam Worthington establish the character he simply will not on his own. Hence Sam Worthington films must heavily feature dialogue like this.
Other Character: Your parents/loved ones/non-crippled twin brother are dead, Sam Worthington. How does that make you feel?
Sam Worthington: Bad.
Other Character: That sure makes you a compelling protagonist whose struggles are relatable.
Sam Worthington: Maybe.
Other Character: I bet you’re prepared to make many sacrifices over the course of this film.
Sam Worthington: Can’t talk. Staring at a bug.
Rule #3: A Woman Who Should Know Better than to Help Sam Worthington Must Help Sam Worthington
At some point in the film, Sam Worthington must encounter an uninspired, one-dimensional heroine who, in spite of herself, comes to love Sam Worthington. He will win her over with scintillating dialogue like this.
Heroine: Just who exactly are you, Sam Worthington?
Sam Worthington: Dunno.
Heroine: I was initially suspicious of you, but now I think you’re here to help me and the group to which I belong.
Sam Worthington: Maybe.
Heroine: God I love you. Let’s share an awkward sex scene that forces everyone in the audience to look away in embarrassment.
Sam Worthington: Okay.
Despite the fact that the heroine has reason to distrust Sam Worthington, she must wind up helping him, and her assistance will prove critical for whatever dumb thing Sam Worthington is trying to do. He must then crush the heroine’s dreams by getting her killed/getting himself killed/getting her father and her giant tree house killed. You can love Sam Worthington. But you’re gonna pay for it.
Rule #4: The Plot Must Culminate in Sam Worthington Facing a Dramatic “Identity Crisis” that Lasts All of Two Seconds
In the climax of the film, Sam Worthington has to come face to face with a representative of the evil thing with which he partly identifies. This representative will try to tempt him and fail. Example:
Villain: Sam Worthington, you don’t want to help those humans/humans/blue people. Look deep into your heart. You’re really one of us gods/machines/humans! Join us, and together we’ll do something evil for no reason!
Sam Worthington: I dunno.
Villain: Hahaha, you’re tempted, aren’t you Sam Worthington? You’re tempted to help me achieve my senseless objective!
Sam Worthington: No. I’m going to do the opposite of that.
Villain: But—but why?!?
Sam Worthington: My burgeoning love for Representative from Underdog Group.
Villain: Curses! Love! An emotion I do not understand, because I’m a god/a robot/in the military!
Rule #5: The Main Villain’s Plan Must Make No Sense and Have No Room in It for Sam Worthington Doing Predictable Things
Another rule of Sam Worthington films is that the villains must never take into account the simple things Sam Worthington might do to stop them. It should go something like this.
Villain: My plan is perfect. First, I’ll use Sam Worthington to accomplish a goal I could achieve without the convoluted use of Sam Worthington, such as luring my enemy to my headquarters or convincing blue people to die! Second, in the course of doing so, I’ll perfectly position Sam Worthington to thwart me by obvious means! Hahahaha!
Sam Worthington: (does predictable thing)
Villain: Curses and drat! I wasn’t at all prepared for this readily anticipatable setback! Nevertheless, I highly doubt the love Sam Worthington feels for Representative from Underdog Group will give him the strength to triumph over this monster/robot/guy inside a robot!
Sam Worthington: (does)
Villain: Nooooo, my plannnnnssss, my stupid, stupid plllaaaaaannnnssssss…
And there you have it. Now you’re totally prepared to go out and write your own Sam Worthington screenplay. If it’s greenlit, all I ask for is a shout-out. And that you make Sam Worthington something awesome, like half-salmon, half-bear maybe.
Just to get you started, here’s a little sample dialogue for that last movie idea, which I am tentatively entitling, “Clashatar of the Salmon/Bears Salvation.”
Male Protagonist Who Takes Needless Dislike to Sam Worthington But Will Later Respect Him as a Brother: We can’t trust Sam Worthington! He’s part bear! We have to kill him!
Assembled Crowd: (aggressive jeers, rumblings of agreement)
Heroine: Yes, he’s part bear. Which means he’s the only one of us salmon who understands the way they think.
Assembled Crowd: (hushed silence as weight of this sinks in)