Words by Jonathan Hailey
Former NBA champion Dennis Rodman has entertained, shocked, and perplexed us with his athletic prowess, outlandish behavior and colorful hair dye. One thing that’s kept us laughing at Rodman is his belief that he is a hero. He wanted to be a hero so bad he appeared in any and every film or TV series that allowed him to explore his acting fantasies in the late 90s and early 2000s. All of those attempts turned out to be hilarious but not in the way he was aiming for. Take a look at the five times Dennis Rodman failed at being a hero.
Double Team (1997)
Rodman’s first foray into action stardom was the Jean-Claude Van Damme comedy “Double Team.” Dennis played Yaz, an eccentric weapons dealer who becomes Van Damme’s only ally in bringing an international criminal to justice. While you never expect Oscar-worthy performances from Jean-Claude Van Damme films, Rodman’s performance was so terrible he won three Golden Raspberry Awards which salute the worst in film. Rodman was named Worst Supporting Actor, Worst New Star and shared the Worst Screen Couple with the Muscles from Brussels.
Soldier of Fortune, Inc./Special Ops Force (1997-1999)
Before circling back to the silver screen, Rodman tried to be an action star on television and we were just left scratching our heads. The series, “Soldier of Fortune, Inc.” later renamed “Special Ops Forces,” about a team of former military operatives who perform “unofficial” missions for the government like eradicating the world of drug lords and terrorists. The first season’s ratings were Verne Troyer low so the creators did a little revamping and in comes Rodman for season two as an exceptionally skilled pilot. The NBA champ’s addition was the final nail in the show’s coffin as the remaining viewing audience left it dead broke and naked out in the television viewing wilderness.
Simon Sez (1999)
The former NBA star moved from supporting player to star when he hit the big screen again as an INTERPOL agent name Simon who is trying to rescue a kidnaped girl from an arms dealer. Universally panned by critics, The New York Times said the film’s plot “seems as if it had been fished out of the wastebaskets of writers who have written scores of better examples of the genre.” They did say The Wild One was “inescapably watchable,” but Rodman was acting alongside Dane Cook. It’s not hard to act better than Dane Cook. Have you seen his movies? Yeah, me either.
We’re not sure whose bright idea it was to make a movie about skydiving drug smugglers, but Dennis Rodman was cast in it right along with Stephen Baldwin, Tom Berenger, and one of the guys from “American Pie,” Thomas Ian Nicholas. Rodman is a member of the alleged drug smuggling skydiving team who doesn’t get along too well with Baldwin’s character, a U.S. Customs agent trying to bring down the crew. Still confused as to how skydiving and drug smuggling are remotely related? So are we.
North Korea “Hoops Diplomacy” (2013-2014)
Dennis Rodman visited North Korea in early 2013 for an exhibition basketball game. During his trip, he met with their leader Kim Jong-un. Later he said, Jong-un and Obama should just pick up the phone and talk to end tensions between the two countries because both of the leaders were basketball fans. (Because being basketball fans is going to be the common ground two world leaders find to foster peace.) Rodman was crazy enough to think he had enough pull with Kim Jong-un that sending a tweet would get the North Korean leader to release American prisoner Kenneth Bae from a labor prison. His tweets fell on blind eyes and we all wished Dennis would sit his ass down somewhere for real this time. The good news for Rodman is that his North Korea antics made people laugh so much that it’s being turned into a movie by Ride Along director Tim Story. Look out for that in the future. Stop laughing. That wasn’t a joke.