RIP Anton Yelchin: 5 Must Watch Movies Showcasing His Talent
Anton Yelchin dies at age 27 in a tragic, freak accident.
After a tragic and unforeseen car accident, the world has lost yet another Hollywood talent. At only the age of 27, the “Star Trek” actor Anton Yelchin was found at his home pinned between his mailbox and car. Apparently his on his way to a rehearsal when he exited his vehicle which was left in neutral and it slid down a steep driveway fatally injuring him.
“Actor Anton Yelchin, known for his roles in “Star Trek” and “Alpha Dog,” was killed early Sunday morning after getting pinned by his own car … TMZ has learned.
Yelchin’s friends became alarmed because he was supposed to meet them hours earlier for a rehearsal. They went to his San Fernando Valley home at around 1 AM and found him pinned between his car and a brick mailbox, which was attached to a security gate.”
It’s sad to lose an actor so young that was so genuine in his craft. While most will remember him for his role as Chekov in the latest “Star Trek” films, I believe Anton Yelchin was an actor with such versatility that the sky was the limit for this young talent.
He may not have won an Oscar but between his variety of character he’s played and scoring some iconic roles, I think his potential was there especially with his dedication to his craft. I think he was right in that sweet spot of his reach extending to both pop culture mainstream and critical acclaim. Here are 5 films that I think promoted him as a true Hollywood talent.
5. Fright Night
Horror films are fighting an uphill battle from the beginning when it comes to gaining notoriety from critics. But when it comes to horror movie remakes, the uphill battle becomes even steeper.
“Fright Night” put Anton Yelchin up against a cunning and attractive vampire played by Colin Farrell and Yelchin definitely held his own. While the horror movie “campyness” was present, the film flourished in the realm of entertainment with Yelchin taking a majority of the spotlight. He may have had a young face and an outcast persona, but he definitely was the underdog hero that we wanted to cheer for. He managed to breathe new life into a classic horror film that was welcomed by many.
4. Alpha Dog
Based on a true story, “Alpha Dog” did surprisingly well for a film with its acting backbone dependent upon a very fresh cast. Alongside Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, and Justin Timberlake, Anton Yelchin was the innocence of the film playing the captive in ransom scenario.
Playing a young boy at the age of 15, he captured the essence of many hormone-raging teenagers in a situation like this. With a bit of Stockholm Syndrome thrown into this scenario, Yelchin had the motions down for who his character was supposed to be. As he was captivated by the sexual allure of women surrounding these “thugs” and scared of his fate at the same time, it’s easy to say that he was the unrecognized heart of this film. Without his character, this film would not be able to instill a sense of relatability with its audience.
3. Like Crazy
“Before Sunrise” is one of my favorite romance films due to its dialogue driven plot and intertwining characters that have a physical distance that separates them. “Like Crazy” shares this trait with “Before Sunrise” but presents a new mechanism that takes the choice of being together away from the characters. In this film, Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones are forcefully separated by law due to an expired U.S. visa.
The plot is fairly straight forward but it’s the chemistry between Yelchin and Jones that make “Like Crazy” such a pleasant romance film. It was outside of Anton Yelchin’s usual comfort zone to play the main love interest in a film, but he and Felicity Jones just had amazing chemistry. The film may have been based on a scenario that many of us could not relate to but the characters’ infatuation with one another brought honesty to the film that allowed most any of us to relate.
2. Star Trek
As the iconic Chekov, this is the role that Anton Yelchin will most be remembered for. He brought a “Star Trek” side character into the spotlight with his unique blend of intellect and comedy. While he didn’t have the screen time of Kirk or Spock, he did have a number of memorable moments that made the fans love him.
From the first “Star Trek” film I specifically remember the laughter from the highly advanced computers not recognizing his thick accent. I also remember the intense scene of beaming up Kirk and Sulu as they were caught in a freefall. It’s odd that despite the number of scenes that were pivotal to the film’s story, Yelchin’s performance in this moment was the probably the most prominent scene I remember. It’s a shame that we won’t be able to see where Yelchin could have taken Chekov in the future.
1. Charlie Bartlett
This film fell under some scrutiny when it came to many mixed reviews but when it comes to entertainment and “rewatchability,” I think “Charlie Bartlett” excelled as a film. Alongside Robert Downey Jr. and Kat Dennings, Anton Yelchin reminded us of the struggles of being a teenager. He becomes a friend to everyone that we all wish we had when going through the heartache of high school.
The film is a bit all over the place mixing in some dramatic moments alongside obscure comedy, but this is the film that made me love Anton Yelchin. His character goes through his own struggles of trying to belong but there’s also some genuineness to him when he spends his time trying to help others. This film may be critiqued on a structural level, but I think it’s very enjoyable and makes you love Anton Yelchin.
There are a number of roles that Anton Yelchin has had outside of the ones mentioned here, but these were films that defined him for me personally. If I made the list larger I would also include his cult role in the film “Odd Thomas” and even mention his potential as Kyle Reese in “Terminator: Salvation” if the film hadn’t have been such a bomb.
Outside of his film career, Anton Yelchin was a very focused and quiet individual. You never heard about any scandals or anything negative about him as a person. While he did not gain signature acclaim through awards like an Oscar, he has been continually recognized for his indie presence and other work by various critics and film societies. It’s sad to think about how we lost such a promising actor so early and I hope that many others recognize the potential that this talented actor truly had.