Once in a generation, a talent comes along that revolutionizes modern cinema, transcends genres itself, and elevates to something more than an actor – a piece of art itself. Nicolas Cage may just be that talent. He is a god among men, a giant among ants, and a shining light in an otherwise dismal world. Or, he may just be a lunatic with an incredibly unmanageable debt to the IRS, a flare for the dramatic, and an insatiable thirst for bad accents and worse haircuts. Which is true? To be honest, no one knows. and perhaps we were never meant to.
However, after pondering that question, I was forced kicking and screaming into a fantastic journey down the Nic Cage rabbit hole, where I’ve decided to become immersed in all things Cage..
I will be viewing and reviewing the works of this American icon. But I’m not going for your average, award-winning/socially acceptable Nic Cage performances – no, it won’t be that easy. We’re going for the Cage-iest performances…the weird and nuanced way that only Nic Cage can act. With over 80 films in his repertoire, there are more than enough performances to choose from. He’s like the White Samuel L. Jackson (who he costarred with in Amos & Andrew).
I will be rating them on Cage Rage, Cage Cut (Hairline) and Plot & Overall Cage-iness.. Then, eventually when all is said and done at the end of the challenge, I will have an elimination Death Match, pitting the Cagiest performances against each other and crown a King Cage. Either I finish this Challenge and arise victorious, or I get to the point where I can’t take the Cage anymore and give up – giving him the victory. This will not be easy, and at times I may want to just quit – but I will be strong and I will prevail… Or go crazy trying.
For the 1st challenge, I go old school with a relatively unknown performance.from 1993. The film was written and directed by Christopher Coppola – nephew of famed director Francis Ford Coppola and the brother of our “hero” – Nicholas Kim Coppola (aka Nic Cage). Boasting a 3.7/10 on IMDB, this film marked what many believe to be the beginning of Cage’s over-acting performances.
Set up like a bad detective noir film, where the main character narrates and explains his every move, this film starts off just like I had expected – horribly. The story follows Joe, a Con man with a heart of Gold, who accidentally shoots his father in a con gone wrong, and immediately goes off the deep end depressed and drugged out for all of 2 minutes until his dad’s funeral. Then he’s all sober and right as rain. Then Joe goes down to Miami to find his Uncle, he didn’t know he had, and that’s where he meets Eddie – the coked out, fast talking, wig wearing, mustached Nic Cage. His main characteristics are calling everyone friend, or bay-bay, or saying “Viva la France bay-bay” and sweating a lot. Oh and he has a card trick where he makes you pick a card and it’s always the Joker, and he says “Hallelujah, Joker’s Wild bay-bay”. His best line is when he punches a random guy in the gut and screams “Hiy-F*ckin-Yah Man!!”
Here’s a quick highlight reel that MUST be viewed…
Long Story short, Joe’s Uncle Lou is his Dad’s twin brother so it’s played by the same character from before, who may or may not be his real father because they both slept with his mom. Eddie works for Uncle Lou as his “crazy enforcer”…gets jealous of Joe, and thinks Uncle Lou is sleeping with his girl, so he tries to kill him at a carnival. But Joe saves the day just in time and dumps Nic Cage’s face in a McDonald’s fryer, and grease burns his face off. Then things get weird. Charlie Sheen shows up with a goatee and a butler, plays pool with Joe and introduces him to his boss which is a guy that looks like he was a rejected villain from a bond movie. His name is Dr. Lime, but he has a claw hand and they call him Dr. Claw.(Seriously, I’m not making this up).
So Uncle Lou wants to con him, with Joe, and Joe narrates awful lines like “if this goes wrong its the kind of thing that sends you deep into the Shadows squinting for the truth.'” Oh, and I forgot to mention that he’s sleeping with Nic Cage’s girlfriend who looks like his mother. Anyways – so Uncle Lou gets shot in the same way his Dad gets shot, then it turns out his Dad is still alive and was behind it the whole time! And then he tries to shoot his dad but the gun has blanks, so he doesn’t. And he walks away. The End.
As far as crazy performances, this is pretty Cage-tastic. I give it 4/5 Cage Rages.
He’s sporting a pretty awesome dumb and dumber-esque wig, which definitely comes off in the fight at the carnival. 2.5/5 Cage Cuts.
Putrid. This movie was hard to watch even for a Nic Cage movie. 1.5/5 Serious Cages.
Lots of overacting, plenty of Cage Rage and just enough of an awful haircut gives this film a solid 3.5/5 on the Cage-tastic Meter.
So all in all, this article turned out much like the movie – a wonderful waste of time. Did we learn anything? No, in fact I think we may all be dumber from having read this. That said, I am intrigued and I hope you are too. This should be a fun, fantastic journey into the depths of insanity – and I’m glad to have you along for the ride.
Leave your thoughts, comments and opinions below – love to hear what you thought. And if you have any suggestions on what kind of Torturous Cage I should throw myself into next, please let me know. Thanks and see you all soon!