Over the years Nicolas Cage has shifted from A-list to action star to more straight to video releases. Lately he has been taking on more smaller roles with a few of them being really good. His latest, Rage aka Tokarev takes him back into the action thriller world, but does it bring another great performance along with it or will it be a step backwards in his latest string of stronger performances?
Rage follows a reformed criminal whose daughter is kidnapped causing him to round up his old crew to seek out his own brand of justice. This is a bit of a step backward for Cage in regards to some of the great stuff he has put out as of late. While this isn’t a horrible film it is a pretty by the numbers and predictable. Cage seems to be trying here and not just walking through it like some of his previous films, but it is bogged down with pacing issues, the story predictability and some bad performances. When the film works it works well enough to shine a glimmer of hope through the cracks that it might be picking up, but then it falls back to its struggling nature. The action is nothing all that special, with most of it resorted to pretty simple and unmemorable. There seems to be an honest attempt here at a Taken like story for Cage that could have been really great, but they polluted it with too many sub stories and attempts at shock that it gets lost on itself in the end.
There are some twists to the story that does help to elevate it a bit, but never really enough to make it work overall. As far as a straight to video action thriller it is likely to resonate with some, but with his last few great performances it is really hard to get on board with this throwaway role. If you are a fan of Cage, judge for yourself when Rage hits Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Download on August 12th.