Ever since Alec Guinness sorted out a nice little pension plan for a bit part in Star Wars and Marlon Brando demanded a suitcase full of cash for a few lines in Superman, actors of the very highest calibre have been queueing up to take the money for adding a bit of gravitas to a bog-standard blockbuster.
They may tell you it’s all about storytelling and character development, but who are they kidding?
There’s no reason to sneer at stars who bag the blockbuster buck – they’re jobbing actors at the end of the day, and that’s where the work is.
But however many stars feature in the latest instalment of X-Men adventures, it’s all about the bells and whistles, the special effects that ramp up the action and aim to take the breath away.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is two hours of the above, with theatrical greats Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart rubbing shoulders with screen stars Michael Fassbender, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence and many more.
There are giant robotic opponents, a spot of time travel, a dizzying plot and original director Bryan Singer back to call the shots.
Anything original or unexpected? Nope, and that’s just how the punters like it.
Making his big screen debut is Postman Pat, dropped into a plot that mixes up Britain’s Got Talent and a Wallace & Gromit robot threat theme, with Stephen Mangan voicing our hero and Ronan Keating doing the singing bits. It’s not Frozen by any means, but it’s harmless family fun.
And still they keep coming: Adam Sandler continues to churn out charmless chunks of cinema in the fond belief that anyone is interested. In Blended he’s teamed up again with Drew Barrymore in a supposed comedy about a couple stuck with each other after a disastrous blind date. Guess what happens, as if we haven’t seen it all before.