Nicolas Cage: a decade in dreadful films
What happened, Nicolas? You used to be super, you really did – you’ve got a Best Actor Oscar, for God’s sake! And yet although you’ve starred in an extraordinary 24 films (not including appearances as yourself) since the beginning of 2000, precisely three of them were watchable. It really isn’t good enough. Plus, not content with torturing our sanity with Season of the bloody Witch, you’re now gearing up to release Drive Angry 3D, a flick in which you play a man who BREAKS OUT OF HELL to save his daughter’s baby from being sacrificed by the cult which murdered its mother.
To further chip away at any vestige of faith which may still waver in the breasts of your fans (or fan), we thought we’d zoom through a quick retrospective checking out your most absurd parts over the last decade-and-a-bit. And by quick, we mean quick – no more than fifty words per film, max. Anyone who’s voluntarily seen more than 25% of what follows is banned from Best For Film for the foreseeable future. Mmkay? Mmkay.
Gone in Sixty Seconds
In which Nicolas Cage steals some cars. In fact, credit where it’s due, let’s be specific here – lots of cars. All of which have women’s names. Some of them are in a police carpark, but essentially larceny is larceny. Ooh, nail-biting.
The Family Man
Rich but lonely banker travels to an alternate universe where he sees how pleasant and rosy his life might have been had he not forsaken love for Mammon. It’s essentially A Christmas Carol mixed with an inverted It’s a Wonderful Life, which will be rather convenient next year…
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
Plink, plonk, plinky plinky plonk. Ooh, I’m “irrepressibly jovial” Captain Antonio Corelli! I’ve got a rubbish pseudo-guitar! Surely I’m far too friendly to be an authentic member of the Axis forces? Ah yes, because proper Nazis are about to shoot all my men. Still, I’ve had a go on Penélope Cruz!
A Christmas Carol: The Movie
See, I told you The Family Man would be good practice! Nicolas plays miserably bechained cadaver Jacob Marley in an adaptation so odd it featured music and lyrics from the chap who did the Wallace and Gromit theme. Humbug!
If you don’t know anything about the Navajo Code Talkers who revolutionised American military communications by using obscure Native American languages, do some research – just don’t watch this deeply racist film, which sidelines the real heroes completely.
Adaptation. – Watchable Film #1
We’re very impressed with Charlie Kaufman for being brave enough to write himself into Adaptation. as a character for Nic to annihilate. This also illustrates a golden rule of cinema – if it takes Spike Jonze to make you watchable, you’re not good enough to start with.
A word to the wise; if you’re casting a film about a man with OCD who is, inevitably, going to be frequently irritating onscreen, do not cast Nicolas bloody Cage. It doesn’t count as ‘acting’ when he does it. I was made to watch this film at school and have never forgiven Ridley Scott.
Has anyone ever truly understood a National Treasure film? I always assumed they were based on a Disneyland ride, but apparently some diseased human actually sat down and wrote this extraordinary confection of submarines, Freemasons and Jon bloody Voight. It’s beyond salvation.
Lord of War
You should definitely rent Lord of War, because its title sequence (which follows a single bullet from manufacture to use) is practically unsurpassed. As soon as it fades out, however, simply remove and return the disc. Coke-addled Ukrainian arms dealers are all very well, but Interpol’s so 90s.
The Weather Man
Whose idea of a cruel bloody joke was it to cast Nicolas Cage as Michael Caine’s son? The poor man can barely hold his own when he’s acting opposite children, he was never going to have a chance with one of the greatest actors alive. What’s that, unless you give his character progressive cancer? Oh, very well.
The Ant Bully
This is a rare treat. The Ant Bully, which missed the CGI insects craze by a clear eight years, stars the voice talent of our boy Nic as (kudos to Wikipedia for this irreplaceable phrase) “an eccentric wizard [ant] named Zoc”. A WIZARD ANT. Now the cracks are beginning to show…
The Wicker Man
The less said about the bloody Wicker Man the better. Remakes stick in my teeth at the best of times, but why take one of the greatest horror films of all time and rehash it into such a lazy mess? Edward Woodward would take Nicolas Cage OUT, even without the mask of bees.
World Trade Center
The trouble with World Trade Center is not that it’s a spectacularly vulgar exploitation of a hideous tragedy. That’s awful, but the real trouble is Nic’s moustache. And his helmet. But mostly his moustache. Rumour has it some victims burrowed back into the wreckage to keep the moustache away.
As comic book heroes go, Ghost Rider – magic motorcycle, ever-present hellfire, inexplicably burning head – was always a bit stupid. Add Nic, Eva Mendes and the writer/director of Daredevil to that mix and something spectacular was always going to happen. It did. I tried to kill myself in the theatre.
Not going to beat about the bush here; I haven’t seen Next and neither have you. It just sounds dreadful. Nicolas Cage has limited precognitive abilities which lead him to boff Jessica Biel and team up with the FBI to foil a terrorist plot. Look at him, he’s not even looking at his watch properly. Bastard.
National Treasure: Book of Secrets
Very little changed between the first National Treasure film and this, mercifully Cage’s first sequel of the decade – treasure, Confederates, ex-wife, blah. And then his mum, HELEN MIRREN, turns up. Have these people not heard of Nic Cage? It’s like unwittingly going to tea with Pol Pot!
Finally Nic appears in a role which could have been written for him, playing a ruthless hitman who assassinates innocent screenplays for bags of cash – hang on, I think I just dreamt that. In Bangkok Dangerous he’s just a regular hitman who’s tasked to kill the Thai PM. Honestly, who gives a shit?
When an unstoppable threat from outer space is hurtling towards Earth, Will Smith sorts things out. Bruce Willis sorts things out. Even Elijah bloody Wood sorts things out! But Nic just faffs around, before burning to death with the rest of us whilst his son is abducted by glittery aliens. Genius.
I don’t know much about Hollywood, but don’t actors have ‘agents’ whose task it is to find their clients appropriate jobs? Does Nicolas Cage have one such ‘agent’? If so, was he actually PAID for getting Nic the role of Speckles, the star-nosed mole and technogeek? I’m starting to feel nauseous.
See above for my worries re: Nic’s ‘agent’. In this film he plays a distinctly neglectful animated father who is forced to build a robot version of his son when the original accidentally dies. There’s a lovely message for all those kids who’re worried about their place in the world; you’re always, always replaceable.
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans – Watchable Film #2
Managing to weasel into the ‘watchable films’ sublist through its winning combination of Werner Herzog and the incredulously delivered line “You don’t have a lucky crack pipe?”, Nic pulls out all the stops and actually manages to, you know, act. I don’t want him to get bigheaded, but this is progress. Isn’t it?
Kick-Ass – Watchable Film #3
Yeah, this is definitely progress! His character may be an odd pastiche of Batman and the Big Daddies from BioShock, but there’s no doubt at all that Nic’s turn in Kick-Ass was in no way a disgrace. He’s effortlessly out-performed by Chloë Moretz, obviously, but you can’t have everything.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
You bastard, Nic. You bastard. How dare you build us up with two good films in a row, just to deliver this absurd nonsense? Magicians? New York? Long horrible hair? Let any suggestion that you were actually becoming a decent actor again wither and die, you absurdly-glowing-handed monster.
Season of the Witch
Unquestionably the worst film on the list. That is all. For more in-depth vilification, check out our review here and sob into your keyboard at the knowledge that these atrocities have been perpetuated by Francis Ford Coppola’s bloody nephew. We despair, we really do.