Sam Worthington has rocketed to super stardom, but he has his fair share of knockers and doubters.
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16 Nov 2009 - 11:11 AM  UPDATED 6 Nov 2012 - 4:33 PM

Could anyone who watched Sam Worthington mumbling his way through Somersault, Thunderstruck or Gettin' Square have predicted he'd become one of Hollywood's hottest actors?

Not me, and I suspect that on some days, even Sam can't believe his luck. After starring alongside Christian Bale in Terminator Salvation, Worthington faces the biggest test of his career when James Cameron's Avatar opens next month.

Most pundits are expecting the ambitious sci-fi adventure, in which he plays a former Marine-turned Avatar who's asked to save the world, to do blockbuster business; with a reported production budget of $US310 million and a marketing spend of $150 million, according to the Los Angeles Times, it will need to gross at least $800 million worldwide to give Fox a chance of recouping.

Even if Avatar under-performs, the 33-year-old Aussie has a bunch of films lined up for the next two years, including Clash of the Titans, Debt, Last Man, The Candidate and Last Night.
Yet Sam probably has as many knockers as admirers judging by recent Internet chatter.

Hollywood Elsewhere's Jeff Wells seems unconvinced about his talents, observing, “It had somehow slipped my mind that Sam Worthington is the star of Louis Leterrier's Clash of the Titans. This on top of Avatar and the last Terminator film plus Last Night, The Debt and the possible/discussed The Candidate and The Tourist...it's a kind of deluge. Worthington is into and all over everything in the same way that Christian Bale was the absolute go-to guy two or three years ago.

“Part Arnold, part Clint, past Chuck Norris...I get it, fine. I'm just feeling like I've been Sam Worthington-ed in a Paul Simon/'A Simple Desultory Philippic' sense.”

That's a reference to one of Simon's songs in which he complains about being bombarded by the omnipresent celebrities of the era such as Mick Jagger, Andy Warhol, Norman Mailer, Phil Spector and even his onetime partner Art Garfunkel.

Wells' thoughts prompted a wave of comments, roughly divided equally between those who value Sam's worth, and those who don't. “Not sold at all on Worthington; he's a blank-slate,” opined one blogger who calls himself actionman.

“I like Worthington enough,” asserted one fan, Eloi Manning. “He's a bloke, not a girly man. Worthington at least has some pretty solid stuff he did in Australia behind him. I think he has the chops. He's a quiet performer, not really flashy, and I think that's why he works in CGI epics. He doesn't distract from the absurdity on display.

“There's a dearth of credible action stars in Hollywood at the moment. At least he looks like he can handle himself in a fight. And I think he's popular among filmmakers because he's professional and gets on with the job without any fuss.”

One blogger predicts, “Worthington, if anything, will be what Schwarzenegger was in the 80s.” Referring to the last Terminator opus, another noted, “I don't know if Worthington is going to be one of the greats of our time, but I don't think it's really fair to judge him on his performance in a movie that was directed by McG.”

A blogger using the ID Aladdin Sane said, “His ascension is unbelievable in some regards. Hopefully it pays off in the long term for him (artistically speaking).”

It's sure paying off in his bank balance.