Rihanna's Battleship Released: Musicians in Film [SLIDESHOW]
Pop singer Rihanna has made her first foray into the world of acting with a role in Hasbro's Battleship, released on 11 April.
Based on the popular board game, the film sees an alien invasion take place, with the world's only hope for survival being a fleet of ships manned by John Carter star Taylor Kitsch, plus Liam Neeson and Rihanna.
Film studios looking for a big hit will often sign up the biggest star of the moment for their film, hopefully drawing their thousands of fans to the cinema and boosting the box office takings. Rihanna could not be any more high-profile and Hasbro will be banking on her popularity.
Early reviews have not been particularly positive, with Total Film's comment of "Script Overboard" reflecting the view that Battleship is another brainless blockbuster that sees explosions trump plot.
Musicians have often dipped their toes into the cinematic pool, some more successfully than others. Some performers manage to balance their time between the two. At one time Jennifer Lopez had a chart topping album while her film The Cell was top of the US box office.
Casting a musician can have its drawbacks when it comes to the quality of performance. In the case of Rihanna, it appears director Peter Berg has cast her as little more than window dressing, with no real need for her to flex any acting muscles. In one scene her character fires a gun while saying "boom".
While the presence of a musician can increase idle audience interest, it can also offer an easy target to critics as well as pulling viewers out of the film when they recognise a singing star out of context.
A review by Empire describes Rihanna's character as being "as memorable as sea foam", but opening box office returns suggest her presence has played its part for the unstoppable Hasbro box office machine.
Not all musicians in films represent mere window dressing, using their natural talents as a performer to branch out successfully to the visual medium. For others the world of film proves an inhospitable wasteland. IBTimes UK picks out some of the most notable attempts.
Perhaps tiring of her continued dominance of the radio waves, singer Rihanna stars in Hasbro's Battleship, released on 11 April.
The film's trailers suggest her acting skills might not be too tested by the blockbuster, apart from looking startled by aliens and explosions. Whether this is the start of a film career remains to be seen.
Labyrinth, The Prestige
Considering the number of identity changes he has managed to incorporate into his musical career, it seemed that the world of film was a natural fit for the man once known as Ziggy Stardust.
Bowie cemented himself a position in thousands of children's memories in the 1986 fantasy epic Labyrinth. He was also recently seen in Christopher Nolan's The Prestige, employing a questionable accent to portray Nicola Tesla.
Evita, Swept Away
Madonna has seen both the best and worst in the film business. In 1996 she surprised everyone with a spirited performance in an adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita.
However, in 2002 she had critics seeing red with her performance in former husband Guy Ritchie's Swept Away, a film that was so panned it earned a position in the list of many 'all-time worst' lists.
Never one to doubt herself, Madonna took on directing duties for Filth and Wisdom in 2008 and WE in 2011. Neither film was well received, but judging by previous experience, Madonna will take no notice.
Romeo Must Die, The Bleeding, Never Die Alone
Around the millennium it was hard to come across an action film without a rap star somehow turning up in the cast, as hip-hop's popularity saw it threaten to swamp all popular media.
Rapper DMX employed his notably deep voice and penchant for violence in a starring role opposite Jet Li in Romeo Must Die, a film that achieved fame as the penultimate acting performance by the singer Aaliyah before she was killed in a plane crash in 2001.
DMX has continued to act while seemingly winding down his rap career, although titles such as The Bleeding and Never Die Alone suggest he will not be catching the eye of the Academy.
Freddy vs Jason
Before Kelly Rowland became a successful solo artist in her own right and drew extra fame as an X Factor host, she was just another member of Destiny's child, straining to get out of Beyoncé's shadow.
That might go some way toward explaining her unexpected performance in the 2003 film Freddy Vs Jason, an over-the-top gore-filled horrorfest that saw the villains of Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street do battle.
Rowland throws herself gamely into the film, which was never going to please the critics. She also shows off her now trademark sassy attitude before Jason Vorhees, played by Ken Kirzinger, smashes her into a tree.
The operatic hair-metal star has always been larger than life and was a natural fit for the cinema crossover. After several straight-to-DVD roles, Meatloaf shocked audiences in 1999 with his performance as Robert Paulson in Fight Club, where he plays an overweight testicular cancer patient whose treatment has led to him developing breasts.
In a film packed with memorable moments and images, it takes a special performance to stand out, yet somehow Meatloaf managed it. He has continued to appear on film and television, but is still best remembered for Fight Club and his welcome hug with Edward Norton.
On first sight, Tom Waits looks like he was plucked from a whisky-soaked noir film set and the musician and poet has graced many a film with his gravel-voiced presence.
A born performer, Waits has become a character actor whose performances are always worthwhile, especially as a preacher-cum-hallucination in the otherwise forgettable 2005 film Domino.
When it was announced that a film would be made of the life of rapper Eminem, or Marshall Mathers, the film world reacted with some scepticism.
The resulting film, 8 Mile, was a huge surprise, as well as a huge hit. Mathers put in a solid, understated performance, while the 2002 film's soundtrack picked up an Oscar. Eminem has concentrated on music ever since, perhaps because he would find it more difficult to inhabit a character not based on himself.
Get Rich or Die Tryin'
Rap star 50 Cent was at the peak of his popularity in 2005 when he starred in the semi-autobiographical Get Rich or Die Tryin'.
Hoping to match the success that Eminem attained with 8 Mile, 50, otherwise known as Curtis Jackson, was roundly criticised for the film, which received almost unanimously bad reviews.
Despite being somwehat typecast, and a mumbled delivery that often makes him inaudible, Jackson has appeared in a number of films, although the majority limp out as straight-to-DVD releases.