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Review: Rage

Jul. 9, 2014by: Chris Bumbray

PLOT: An ex-gangster (Nicolas Cage) goes for revenge after his teenage daughter is murdered.

REVIEW: RAGE – aka TOKAREV, is a real bummer. After his awards-calibre performance in JOE, Nicolas Cage seemed prime for a comeback, but a recent slew of trailers for increasingly low-rent actioners have suggested that – for whatever reasons – a resurgent career in indie drama is not in the cards for Cage (at least not yet). The title of this movie perfectly sums up how lazy it is. Nicolas Cage in RAGE? Cage RAGE? Sigh.

This is the kind of movie that – had it been made in the nineties – would have been a direct-to-video movie starring a guy like Lorenzo Lamas. It's so paint-by-the-numbers and low-rent that it's actually embarrassing to watch Cage here, as he alternately seems bored, or goes way over the top to at least wring a few unintentional laughs out of the material. If Cage was in danger of going the DTV route with SEEKING JUSTICE and STOLEN, RAGE is an unfortunate further step into a class of movie better left to over-the-hill d-listers like Steven Seagal than a guy like Cage, who still at least has the potential to be great.

We've seen this kind of programmer over-and-over again. Cage plays a tough-guy construction magnate (we know he's tough because he sports mutton-chop sideburns) with a shady past, a loving daughter, and a drop-dead gorgeous young wife (Rachel Nichols). Anyone wanna bet he'll be thrown back into his former life as a thug? A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE this is not, although clearly everyone involved was hoping for something along those lines, with a ludicrous third-act twist that tries to set this up as more than the generic actioner it can't help being. I don't know who's at fault here. Is it director Paco Cabezas, who tries to give the film an arty sheen with slo-mo shootouts and a hilariously melodramatic score (complete with choral solos)? Is it the writers, who must have pitched this as DEATH WISH meets TAKEN (only – ya know – bad)? Or is it Cage himself, who one can only assume took the role because it didn't seem especially taxing, especially compared to something like JOE. Who knows?

Whatever the case, this is a thoroughly depressing film, not because the story is particularly tragic, but rather because how little effort anyone seems to have invested in actually making a good movie. It's like everyone aspired to mediocrity, hoping that they'd be able to skate-by on Cage's name and a few action beats. Even taken as disposable entertainment, RAGE is dull, with virtually no fireworks for the first forty minutes, and then action scenes that feel like leftovers from a bad TV cop show. Poor Danny Glover is wasted in a handful of scenes as a cop who's conveniently forgotten about when private citizen Cage starts running around the city with his two buddies – raking up a body count in the dozens. There's even an icky scene where Cage starts roughing up his wife, only to descend into what I suppose is meant to be a moment of carnal passion lifted out of A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE's handbook, but is so clumsily staged, both characters come off as insane. Ugh.

Overall, RAGE is a terribly clumsy actioner, and only worth seeing if you're a die-hard Cage completest. Even still, one can assume this is a movie Cage and his fans will want to ignore, as it ranks with the dregs of his filmography. Hopefully this kind of low-rent production won't become the new norm for Cage, as both he and his many fans (myself included) deserve more.

Source: JoBlo.com

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1:15PM on 07/09/2014

Settling his debt.

When you owe the IRS $13m and have blown your $100m fortune you've got to take whatever is going to pay the rent. This is the equivalent of us working the graveyard shift at McDonald's.
When you owe the IRS $13m and have blown your $100m fortune you've got to take whatever is going to pay the rent. This is the equivalent of us working the graveyard shift at McDonald's.
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12:13PM on 07/09/2014
Never heard of this movie before. Still haven't seen Joe, but am planning to watch it as I've heard nothing but good things of the movie and Cage in particular. That being said, I wouldn't take this movie as a sign of Cage taking a step backwards. It's completely possible that he signed on to do this movie either before, during, or shortly after production on Joe. Perhaps he didn't know how big of a hit he had with Joe at the time. I will wait until his next movie to see if Joe was a fluke
Never heard of this movie before. Still haven't seen Joe, but am planning to watch it as I've heard nothing but good things of the movie and Cage in particular. That being said, I wouldn't take this movie as a sign of Cage taking a step backwards. It's completely possible that he signed on to do this movie either before, during, or shortly after production on Joe. Perhaps he didn't know how big of a hit he had with Joe at the time. I will wait until his next movie to see if Joe was a fluke or Cage's resurgence.
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12:02PM on 07/09/2014
Ah man. I just watched Joe last week. I hadn't even heard of this. I would really like to talk to Nic and see what his deal is. I know he needs money, but he's made dozens of these - how much money does he need? Can he not just settle with national treasures and sorcerers apprentice stuff? Oh Nic, is one of the few celebs in this position that ppl still root for rather than against. I would be in bliss if he got a true detective role
Ah man. I just watched Joe last week. I hadn't even heard of this. I would really like to talk to Nic and see what his deal is. I know he needs money, but he's made dozens of these - how much money does he need? Can he not just settle with national treasures and sorcerers apprentice stuff? Oh Nic, is one of the few celebs in this position that ppl still root for rather than against. I would be in bliss if he got a true detective role
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11:34AM on 07/09/2014

2???

... not really. It's an OK B flick. Probably a 5. So if Bumbay is soooo hard rating movies I'm starting to think Transsformers could be a decent movie!
... not really. It's an OK B flick. Probably a 5. So if Bumbay is soooo hard rating movies I'm starting to think Transsformers could be a decent movie!
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10:02AM on 07/09/2014

He Needs The Money

This is what happens when you spend $10 million a year buying crap you don't need or use, like shipping over an ancient castle, brick by crumbling brick, due to your own ego and deep (but limited) pocket book. Cage WAS getting around $7MM per each of these terrible action movies because they do well overseas. Other countries don't realize what a joke his career is becoming in America.
This is what happens when you spend $10 million a year buying crap you don't need or use, like shipping over an ancient castle, brick by crumbling brick, due to your own ego and deep (but limited) pocket book. Cage WAS getting around $7MM per each of these terrible action movies because they do well overseas. Other countries don't realize what a joke his career is becoming in America.
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7:10AM on 07/09/2014
Warning: bring plenty of tissues.

Cage was the only reason I watched this, and I really gave this movie a chance, but it still ended up ejaculating all over my (and Chris Bumbray's) face. Same rating I gave it: 2/10.
Warning: bring plenty of tissues.

Cage was the only reason I watched this, and I really gave this movie a chance, but it still ended up ejaculating all over my (and Chris Bumbray's) face. Same rating I gave it: 2/10.
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2:55AM on 07/09/2014
Really wish he would make a movie like Matchstick Men again.
Really wish he would make a movie like Matchstick Men again.
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2:25AM on 07/09/2014
Just gimme my National Treasure 3
Just gimme my National Treasure 3
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2:16AM on 07/09/2014
I love direct to DVD films, and seeing big name stars like Cage in these films is great for someone like me. I really haven't seen any of his DTV films that weren't at least average. So I will be very excited to watch this one day soon.
I love direct to DVD films, and seeing big name stars like Cage in these films is great for someone like me. I really haven't seen any of his DTV films that weren't at least average. So I will be very excited to watch this one day soon.
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1:58AM on 07/09/2014
I like nic cage. Too bad he's in straight to DVD hell although I thought Frozen Ground was pretty decent.
I like nic cage. Too bad he's in straight to DVD hell although I thought Frozen Ground was pretty decent.
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1:01AM on 07/09/2014
The name Nic Cage is barometer of a hack film
The name Nic Cage is barometer of a hack film
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12:56AM on 07/09/2014

Really?

It came out in my country a few months ago and I thought it was quite good. Hell of a lot better than some other recent Cage efforts like Seeking Justice or Stolen.
It came out in my country a few months ago and I thought it was quite good. Hell of a lot better than some other recent Cage efforts like Seeking Justice or Stolen.
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