This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Will Nicolas Cage Ever Appear in a Decent Movie Again?
Reading the blistering reviews of Nic Cage’s latest crapfest Season of the Witch is far more entertaining than heading over to the multiplex to screen the film. Currently, the action adventure film enjoys a 4% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has provided critics ample opportunities to showcase their snark. The film features Cage with some shoddy looking Claire’s Boutique plastic hair extensions and incredibly bad dialog. I could barely get through the preview! More fascinating is how the film enjoys a 55% audience rating. Why are audiences not nearly as repelled by the film as the critics? Even critics who are unabashed Cage fanboys don’t deny the film is utter garbage. What is going on with the once golden actor, whose string of box office straight-to-DVD flops are rivaled only by mid 80s Tom Berenger?
It’s the kind of bravura performance that you only get in a really bad movie. It’s so good that it makes the whole movie worth the while, by far the only thing that makes the movie worth the while. And while this film is outside of the Hollywood mainstream, Cage clearly knew that this was the opportunity to ham it up, yuk it up, and go absolutely fucking crazy.
Nicolas Cage is a favorite of mine, yet I am wary of anything after The Rock because I’m afraid of what I will be forced to endure. Like Bruce Willis, I find Cage to be infinitely watchable even when the films themselves are not. That said, I struggle make myself sit through the dreck he’s made of late, even if I’m guaranteed that Cage will chew scenery to powder and turn dreadful stilted dialog into some kind of po-mo performance piece. In the same vein as Bridges and Jackson, Cage has this hypnotic power over me; I am putty in the presence of his films, even as I scoff and snark on them. I don’t care how much smack I talk about an upcoming Cage release – though I don’t actually pay to see them; I have set that boundary – I eventually end up screening it. My love of Cage remains unwavering, despite all the hell his terrible films have put me through. I can’t turn away. I can’t make myself stop seeking out his films in the middle of the night when I need something to keep me company while I fold laundry.
Maybe I’m just a fool; maybe I’m partly to blame for his continued string of film disappointments. I keep watching them after all. In the face of credible evidence I keep going back to Cage’s films thinking I’m going to find another Moonstruck or The Rock among the collection of crimes of against cinema. Being ever the pragmatist I shouldn’t expect Cage to return to the glory days of quality performances in quirky, well-executed films. At this point it feels futile even to hope the films he does opt to star in at least be marginally watchable. How sad is that? Nevertheless, here I am again, reading awful reviews of Season of the Witch, and the most nagging question is oddly not the one posed in the title, but sadly lesser question: how many loads of laundry will I be able to cycle through during its 1 hour and 38 minute running time once the film makes its inevitably swift debut on DVD.
Are you a Cage fan? If so has he exhausted your good will or are you taking his recent cinematic slump in stride?