By Moises Martinez | Chief Editor
Only two reasons can explain why this film caught my attention. The title of the film and Nicolas Cage.
Long, unconventional, and interesting best describes the film and its title. Without seeing the trailer or hearing about this movie until my editor brought it up, I had nothing to believe except the fact that Mr. Cage was starring and producing this movie.
Throughout the opening scenes, the film offers an array of possibilities of what that could be. Of another kidnapped teenage girl saved by a sturdy older man, recalling Taken with Liam Neeson, to a film about a divorced actor living in the shadow of his glory days and trying to mend the broken relationship between him and his daughter.
The film’s opening scenes show a Hispanic couple sitting at home watching a movie when masked men suddenly invade the space and the scene cuts to the lady being knocked unconscious. Then the film quickly cuts to Cage squealing with delight while speeding down a sunny California highway as he drives to meet a director who wants to cast him in his next film.
Sure, the movie sets him up where Cage’s agent, Richard Fink (Neil Patrick Harris), gives him an alternate option of accepting a birthday gig that brings in $1 million, but Cage ignores him. until his agent informs him of the director he had met earlier dropped him from the film and of course he then accepts the birthday gig.
From there, the movie then takes a twist when Cage is kidnapped from a bar after meeting Javi (Pedro Pascal), the wealthy man who hired Cage for the party gig and is tipped off by CIA agents Vivian (Tiffany Hadish) and Martin (Ike Barinholtz) that Javi is a dangerous man and is involved in the kidnapping of the daughter of the President of Catalonia. Cage reluctantly agrees to help the CIA incriminate Javi although Cage strongly believes in Javi’s innocence.
At this point, the film takes on a more dramatic/action narrative, but manages to subtly include comedic scenes that have audiences bursting into laughter.
The typical Hollywood action style is paired with situational/slapstick comedy which helps create a more human feel to the film, making these comedic scenes appear more organically rather than bombarding the audience with random choppy humor. which distracts from the plot.
In terms of camera direction and editing, the film struck a healthy balance between long shots, cuts, and high/low angle shots. The editing perfectly allowed for long uncut shots of scenes if necessary and even when there were quick cuts in the most action-packed scenes they weren’t jerky and overwhelming like Hollywood action films have tend to do so.
Overall, I give this movie Five Nicolas Cage Rages over Five Nicolas Cage Rages because of its ability to smoothly combine action and comedy elements that ultimately defy the stereotypical Hollywood action/thriller movie type that’s been worn. .