Nic Cage – Awfully Awesome or Awesomely Awful?

How’s this for a plot synopsis to make Ed Wood, Russ Meyer and Garth Marenghi weep? When his daughter is killed by Satanists, who then kidnap his baby granddaughter to sacrifice her and bring about the end of the world, Milton breaks out of hell and hits the road in an attempt to save her life. He’s accompanied by a sexy waitress and pursued throughout by The Accountant, the Devil’s right-hand man… In 3D!!!

I don’t know about you but I’m already standing in line with my popcorn and specs.

Drive Angry

Say what you want about Hollywood and their dire output but the studio heads still have plans, ideas and rules. One such rule would be: never greenlight anything like the batshit craziness of above, unless, unless you have a star attached. Thank the maker then for one Nicholas Kim Coppola.

As the video above will attest, (and you really should watch it) Nic Cage makes an awful lot of shit. The Wicker Man, Next, Knowing, Bangkok Dangerous, his latest Season Of The Witch, one of the first films released in 2011, may also be remembered as one of the worst. He has become, now that Mr. Cruise has stopped beating up sofas with his feet, the most mocked A-list figure on the internet.

So why does he deserve our adulation? Because as the graph below shows he also makes an awful lot of good too. Raising Arizona, Adaptation, Kick Ass, as well as one of last year’s stand out films and performances, Bad Lieutenant. In a Hollywood that plays it safe, Cage is bucking the trend, rolling the dice and sometimes coming up with Snake Eyes. All of his choices are risky. Some ‘risky-stupid’, some ‘risky-brave’. Sometimes the risk is such a success you have to wonder if the guy has crystal balls.

For a larger look at the Nic Cage Matrix visit The Shiznit

Bad Lieutenant is one such risk. It also gives the greatest veracity to the claim that Nic should be let off the leash whenever possible. On paper, the re-imagining of an Abel Ferrara film about a coke-snorting, masturbating cop, doesn’t seem like particularly safe ground to tread. Turning the bad-cop, bad-cop into a crack-piping, detainee fucking police seems even more treacherous. The end result, however, was more fun than anybody imagined. When originally announced critics sharpened their knives. When the finished film was shown the same critics threw 5 Star reviews at it like confetti. Nic Cage and his lucky crack pipe were one of only a handful of things 2010 will be remembered for.

So back to Nic’s agent. Any paymaster worth his salt would have tucked the script for Bad Lieutenant under a copy of National Treasure 3: The Search For Pieces Of JFK’s Brains. Instead Cage is unleashed to make increasingly bizarre choices (you did read the synopsis for Drive Angry right?), bizarre choices that have a hit rate of approximately 4 bad to 1 good. Statistics that sound as awful as the idea of a Ghost Rider sequel.

Ultimately Drive Angry may may turn out to be an incoherent mess of biblical proportions. Conversely it may turn out to be a laugh-riot, a tongue in cheek joy to behold. Either way, with Little Nicky it’s always you pay your money you take your chance.

The reasoning behind his filmography is open for debate. You may think Cage has more swimming pool heating bills than the London Olympic Aquatic centre and would do anything for a pay-cheque, you may assume he has deep seated psychological problems for which he should seek immediate help. Or you may believe that Cage “just likes being in movies, Gary”.

Me, if he made a triple bill of Space Ass, Dick Hole, Black Hole, and Schindlers Fist, I’d be there with my popcorn, first in line.

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