Winning The Lottery With Nicolas Cage #70
My name is Ed and in a few short weeks I will have seen every Nicolas Cage movie, until they release another one. And presumably by then I will have won the UK National Lottery, because after I watch each film I purchase a ticket using numbers based on that film. The shamanic acting force of Cage will make me a millionaire. Or it will make me lose the will to live. One of those.
Rage is a revenge thriller about Nicolas Cage taking revenge on someone because that is apparently what happens by default nowadays if you don’t cast himself in anything else. Basically: daughter of gangster-made-good turns up dead, gangster experiences the emotion of rage, goes bad again.
While the title might promise that at least there could be some classic Cage freak-outs, this is pound shop Sopranos stuff, shot with all the flair of an instructional video about operating a filing cabinet.
The majority of Rage’s runtime consists slightly tragic-looking old men growling at or occasionally beating the shit out of each other, occasionally interspersed with photocopied action sequences. Danny Glover, playing a police detective in a stunningly original piece of casting, spends the whole film looking aggravated that someone got him out of bed for this, and fair enough.
Maybe if it was prepared to wink at its own melodrama there might have been something in it. Cage does at least give the awful dialogue the ridiculous delivery it deserves. “Just how deep do you want this to go?”, one of his henchmen asks. Cage stares directly into his eyes as he gruffly replies: “How deep is hell?” But the only real levity on offer from this rubbish is in how seriously it takes itself.
The twist, for there is a twist, is risible: it comes so far out of the blue that it might as well have been “It was all a dream!” or “They were all holograms!”, although what actually happens is more of a sad fart of plot. We, the audience, are told that the last 90 minutes were more or less a complete waste of everyone’s time, and are somehow to supposed to be impressed by this.
Maybe this is really a sort of Happy Shopper Taken, an overly elaborate power fantasy for past-it dads who reckon they would definitely be up for smashing some heads in with the right justification. “Rage? Cracking film!” laughs your girlfriend’s dad, minutes after you meet him for the first time, refusing to break eye contact.
Any given aspect of Rage that’s even slightly enjoyable has been done better elsewhere, in superior films. Only it winning me the lottery can justify its existence, so fingers crossed.
3 — The bullet recovered from the daughter’s body is linked to 3 earlier murders done with the same gun.
5 — Chernov, the head of the rival gang, says he served 5 years of an 8-year prison sentence.
16 — The daughter misses her Sweet Sixteen party. Because she’s dead. Although at other points in the film they seem to say that she was 17. Possibly no-one ever bothered reading the script all the way through to check it made sense.
17 —Maguire, the Cage character, says he killed his first man at the age of 17, with a knife. Sounds like a lot of bother.
33 — The gun that does most of the shooting in this film Tokarev TT-33. At one point the film was going to be called “Tokarev” but they probably changed it because only the psychos who update the Internet Movie Firearms Database would have known what that was.
50 — Maguire drives a Mustang painted the same as the Mustang GT500 in earlier Cage effort Gone In Sixty Seconds. It says on IMDB.
1 number. Stupid Rage, the worst of all the emotions.
NEXT TIME ON NICOLAS CAGE:
Apparently Medium makes it quite hard to find previous instalments of this so I have made a sort of index thing, here.
Do not spend your money on lottery tickets because you think watching Nicolas Cage films will enable you to win the lottery. The only real winner in the lottery is the lottery, bad artists, and people who actually win the lottery.