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Movie review: ‘Rage’ has Nicolas Cage in yet another by-the-numbers thriller



And so comes another cheaply made thriller starring Oscar winner Nicolas Cage. While Cage has proven that he has great talent with films such as “Bringing Out the Dead”; “Raising Arizona”; “Adaptation”; and “Leaving Las Vegas,” he also reminds people that he’ll take just about any role given to him. “Rage,” which releases to limited theaters on July 11, is another example of the latter.

Photos from 'Rage' (2014)-slide0
Courtesy of RLJ Entertainment, used with permission
Nicolas Cage is about to unleash some 'Rage'
Courtesy of RLJ Entertainment, used with permission

It’s a simple revenge flick. Man’s daughter gets kidnapped, and he seeks vengeance against those who did it. Cage plays a businessman named Paul, who used to live life as a thug. But he’s gotten past that phase, and he has a wife, a daughter, and a nice house. He wants to make sure his daughter doesn’t go down the same path he did, and he wants to keep his family safe from any kind of harm. Then his daughter goes missing, and he has to bring back some of his old tactics.

The film’s original title, “Tokarev,” refers to a gun that plays a key part in the film. It also sounds more intriguing than “Rage,” which is just a generic, almost go-to kind of title. Then again, that’s all that “Rage” is, really. Every revenge cliche is used once, maybe twice, here.

Nothing is surprising, and some of the actors try, but they can’t get past the script’s inane setup, putrid dialogue, and baffling twists. Cage has one moment that can be considered a “Cage-out” (screaming and shaking his head), and while it’s supposed to be powerful, the viewer can’t help but laugh.

Danny Glover plays the officer investigating the case, who tells Paul to not get involved. Of course, Paul doesn’t listen, because what else would the revenge-seeking dad in a thriller do? And when Glover describes one character’s rap sheet to be “as long as my d***,” one has to wonder how the “Lethal Weapon” actor kept a straight face whilst saying that.

The action scenes in “Rage” look like they belong in some cartoon and not so much a revenge thriller. As soon as shots are fired, the image slows down to the same level as something out of “300.” It’s amazing there wasn’t some kind of dubstep thrown into the soundtrack.

The cinematography is bland, with most of it taking place in the dark or in a flashback of some kind. And the one final twist that is supposed to bring the whole film together is so absurd that it will make you want to unleash some kind of rage. Just make sure it’s not on something expensive or irreplaceable.