Chiwetel Ejiofor is an amazing actor. His roles in everything from Serenity to American Gangster and 12 Years a Slave have proven that he’s one of the best at what he does. Finding out that he was going to play the infamous antagonist in Lion King was exciting news. He has a commanding voice with a dramatic tone that fits the character flawlessly.
Let’s give him some props for what he did accomplish. Chiwetel Ejiofor voiced Scar as good as we could have expected. You could feel the wickedness in his voice when he was talking to Simba. When he was plotting and planning, it was evil. Unfortunately, he fell short on the song “Be Prepared,” a major part of the film.
“Be Prepared” was ruined. It wasn’t so much of a song as it was a spoken word piece (as it was mentioned in the Honest Trailer). If this was just something he’d done as a side project, it wouldn’t have come off bad. But that wasn’t the case. His version came off sounding more like a villain from Pirates of the Caribbean than a villainous lion. You can’t compare the two. Jeremy Irons’ version is iconic. So comparing the two may be unfair. Regardless, Chiwetel Ejiofor’s version didn’t fit the movie.
There was one more thing, Scar had a lot of comedy within his foul ways. There wasn’t any of that here. Playing him as just a villain took away from what he was known for.