Well, I think most of that guy's reasoning is fanboy crapola with
little substance. Just pointing out that the guy has taken many diverse
roles doesn't mean he was actually good in them. That isn't
"range" - having "range" is determined within the context of one
character with multiple facets (off the top of my head: Paul Giamatti
in Sideways and American Splendor - he's convincingly funny,
sympathetic, melancholy, convincingly conveys "unspoken" emotion,
etc.) He was the festering boil on Much Ado About Nothing,
because, compared to the rest of the cast (Kenneth Branagh, Emma
Thompson, Kate Beckinsale, Denzel Washington, etc.), he was stiff and
overwrought. I just watched the film Thumbsucker in which he plays a
goofy orthodontist and, yes, I will admit he was fairly convincing in
the role, but it was a supporting role, one that didn't require much
beyond one note. Granted, I still haven't seen My Own Private Idaho
(which is supposed to be his best performance, right?), but I still
have yet to see him convincingly deliver a line in a dramatic context.
"I know kung fu" doesn't count.
And Bert, I understand and am convinced by your argument that he's utterly convincing in The Matrix as far as physical acting is concerned. Most actors might not put in the effort to look like a "real" martial arts superstar. But it's his psychological acting that leaves me unconvinced.