Review: Rage

Few actors run as hot and cold as Nicolas Cage. When he’s at his best, he can be mesmerizing, but when he’s off, he’s a lightning rod for really lousy films, which in their way can be almost perversely entertaining. Too bad there’s little entertainment value in his latest film, Rage.

Cage takes his turn playing Liam Neeson in Taken. As with Kevin Costner in the underwhelming 3 Days to Kill, Cage proves there’s no substitute for Neeson’s particular brand of skills.

Rage - Nicolas Cage and Rachel Nichols

Paul Maguire (Cage, Kick-Ass) is a reformed criminal who’s now a successful businessman. He’s married to a beautiful woman (the far too-young Rachel Nichols, Alex Cross) and his daughter, Caitlin (Aubrey Peeples) is surprisingly well-adjusted to her stepmother and has a good head on her shoulders.

Everything goes haywire once some masked thugs break into his home and kidnap Caitlin, prompting Maguire to go on a path of … rage to discover her whereabouts.

Nicolas Cage and Danny Glover in Rage

Cage gives an earnest effort here, but he’s not nearly the intimidating presence this type of revenge flick needs and his inability to be a credible vigilante makes for a satisfying experience for viewers. If anything, it makes you appreciate how Neeson, a full 12 years older than Cage is able to effectively convey being a bada$$. Cage’s best attempts are yelling, which somehow makes him less threatening. Fortunately Maguire’s former running buddies, Kane (Max Ryan) and Danny (Michael McGrady), are able to bring some much needed roughness to the film as they turn up the town searching for Caitlin.

Their efforts attract the attention of Det. Peter St. John (a slumming Danny Glover), who doesn’t try to stop their mayhem as cautions Maguire that the life he’s worked so hard to build could just as easily unravel with more rash decisions.

Rage - Pasha D. Lychnikoff stars as Chernov

Director Paco Cabezas has an uphill battle trying to get Cage over as a ruthless, vengeful main character, but he’s also handicapped by his overly dramatic tone. Revenge flicks need a certain dose of dark humor so the audience can have some fun rooting the hero on.

Here, Cabezas sucks all the fun out of the story and doubles up on heavy-handed musical scores and one slo-mo action scene after the next. The action has a bit more realistic slant and looks brutal and decidedly not ‘cool,’ but it doesn’t matter when it’s such a chore to sit through.

Rage - Nicolas Cage stars as Paul Maguire

There’s a twist at the end, but it’s the truly awful kind that makes the movie all the worse for the decision to surprise the audience.

You’d have to dig back through Cage’s recent catalogue to find a film as decidedly bland as Rage. This film will only leave you irritated as it’s not terrible enough to work up enough emotion to make you mad, just once again frustrate you with the knowledge that you wasted time giving Cage yet another chance to disappoint you. Only in that regard can the film be considered a success.

Rating: 2 out of 10

Photo Credit: Image Entertainment

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  • Barry Murray

    Lol. Nic Cage as an vengeful killer. I want to instert one of those Nic Cage funny meme pics.
    And isn’t if funny that 27 years after making a movie in which he was supposedly at retirement age(Lethal Weapon, 1987), Danny Glover is still playing a cop. Priceless.

  • Geesh I didn’t realize it’d been so long. That’s a minute to be so perfectly typecast!

  • Anonymous

    So you think its Nick Cage fault for this movie? Really? Are you an idiot? Sorry, you just think its the actors fault for a bad movie, maybe study the film process a little more! I think they ran out of money at the end and took a stupid cheap way out at the end, felt totally let down!

  • Barry Murray

    And a warm Welcome to Mr Nic Cage everyone!

  • LOL. Internet hi-five coming your way Barry. 🙂

  • Barry Murray

    Haha. Couldn’t resist, lol. It’s what it seemed like.

  • Seriously. For once, I just didn’t even know how to respond to a comment.

  • Barry Murray

    There are times when someone takes your breathe away. This was such a time my friend. It happens!

  • Good thing you had my back this time! 😉

  • Barry Murray

    Of course. But if you vote republican, i will drop you like a stone, lol.

  • LOL. We’ll be good for a very long time then!

  • Barry Murray

    Excellent. I have a few friends on Facebook who keep posting the usual links about how evil President Obama is, and act as though he is responsible for all America’s ills(I occasionally wonder how i got those people as friends, lol). I suppose it’s easy to find fault with someone when you are opposed to their views, but from an outsider’s point of view, Obama seems to be trying to do well. I suppose it depends on your viewpoint.

  • I’m sure if Obama were a Republican, Democrats would find tons of things wrong with him as well although some gripes about Obama really seem like a stretch.

  • Barry Murray

    What absolutely astounds me are people with bones to pick with Obama, who have nothing but good things to say about George W Bush…
    And i wonder how that could be…

  • That’s sad… certainly not like W wasn’t blameless during his stint.

  • Barry Murray

    Far from it.

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