No one tell Mark Wahlberg about "Star Wars."
Promoting his role in the upcoming fourth "Transformers" film, the Oscar-nominated actor told an audience at Las Vegas' CinemaCon that he "had to jump at the opportunity because I really feel like it is probably the most iconic franchise in movie history."
Wahlberg has tried several times to get franchises going with mixed results; the rumored "Departed" sequel never came into being, and video game adaptation "Max Payne" disappointed. (There will be a "Ted" sequel, but that's more about the stuffed bear than Wahlberg -- and the "Ted" films are far from "iconic.") He's now stepping into a movie franchise defined by Shia LaBeouf and Josh Duhamel, though the degree to which they're replaceable indicates that the franchise may not, exactly, be as "iconic" as, say, the James Bond, "Jurassic Park" or Indiana Jones franchises. But they sure made a lot of money!
You'd think a former rapper would have a tighter grip on words and their meanings, but Wahlberg's known for hyperbole -- he famously has said that he would have prevented the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, had he been on board one of the planes involved. "If I was on that plane with my kids, it wouldn’t have went down like it did. There would have been a lot of blood in that first-class cabin and then me saying, 'OK, we’re going to land somewhere safely, don’t worry.'"
In short: Let's retire the word "iconic," or at least restrict its use to those who've proven they can speak without wild overstatement. Otherwise, before you know it, Wahlberg will retroactively use the word to describe his performance in failed-franchise attempt "Planet of the Apes."