Par for the course for Nicolas Cage. So this is about a father (Cage) who is a criminal gone clean. When his daughter gets kidnapped, he decides that it is in his best interest to start digging up the past. Now Nicolas Cage, as we are already well aware, is not afraid to star in some direct-to-video level material; between the last two years, he has starred in this, Left Behind, Outcast and The Frozen Ground. I’m the only person I know who saw The Frozen Ground, and I don’t know anybody that has seen any of the others, but I suppose it’s a good thing that he’s at least getting steady work. I love that one episode of Community where they debate whether he’s a good actor or a bad actor, because the difference is night (Bangkok Dangerous) and day (Leaving Las Vegas). I’ve come to realize that if it’s something that doesn’t get any advertising, you can usually expect the worst, although it usually ends up being lower key than his more notorious works like The Wicker Man.
For all intents and purposes, this is a low-grade Taken; it’s about a kidnapped daughter, and vengeance seeking father, of course it’s going for the same audience. It sets the stage for something to go wrong with his daughter so much that it’s kind of stacking the deck, but I will give credit in that they didn’t go the direction that I thought they would. Overall, this is just not a good movie. Even from a technical standpoint, it’s not well put together; there are visual and sound edits and cuts that don’t fit smoothly together. I know I watch a lot of movies, but that’s not something that that I typically notice, so I knew something was off. The cinematography isn’t half bad, and there are a few creative camera shots, but it’s all slapped together so haphazardly, it discounts anything good that it has going for it. Also, these are supposed to be quiet, smart and discreet criminals, and they get loud and sloppy at almost every turn.
This is trashy and something that pops up unexpectedly at Redbox. The second act drags, and you can tell that nobody was inspired for this, but you know what? This has 3 good Cage outs. If you’re at all familiar with this man’s library, you know what I am referring to, such as the bees, or the hallucinatory reptile scenes from Bad Lieutenant. When it happens, it’s glorious, and it’s something you wish that you could bottle and inject as an intense out-of-body-experience type of drug. There was barely a chance you were going to watch this anyway, and unless you want to see those aforementioned Cage outs, let me confirm for you: there’s no reason to watch this.
Rage (2014) **
– Critic for Hire