Legends of Action

July 30, 2012
 

Legends of Action: Nicolas Cage

People don’t usually connect Nicolas Cage with the action genre. Being the son of a Coppola, he obviously doesn’t have much in the way of action cred. We connect Cage with quirky comedies or the occasional batshit crazy role he takes. However, people seem to underestimate the man’s penchant for delivering quality action and he has proven himself that he has a spot reserved amongst the legends of this genre.

Cage started out doing comedies like Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Peggy Sue Got Married. He would find Oscar success by getting nominated for his role in Leaving Las Vegas showing the world that he could act. However, it is during the late 90’s where Nicolas Cage would cement himself as an action hero with the films The Rock and Con Air. Con Air is an excellent action movie with Cage bringing his everyday man demeanor to his role as Cameron Poe. It’s a unique portrayal for an action hero. While he still rocks the mullet and facial hair like many others, it is his unusual quirky presence that solidifies his role in this movie. The Rock was also a great example of Cage bringing his odd sense of humor into the action proceedings in what is still my favorite Michael Bay film. His interactions with fellow legend Sean Connery are golden and he gets to kick his own fair share of bad guy ass.

Cage would later join forces with action director extraordinaire John Woo alongside John Travolta in the sci-fi actioner Face/Off. He stars as psychotic international terrorist Castor Troy. Here he employs the ever so popular Nicolas Cage craziness that we love him so much for. He’s just fantastic in the opening scene and his dialogue is nothing short of awesome. Sure, he then as to take the role of Sean Archer, but even as the calmer one of the two, he still pulls it off.

The early 2000s would see him branch out in other films like Snake Eyes, 8MM, and Gone in Sixty Seconds. He would return with a second Oscar nomination for his role in Adaptation once again proving his worth as an actor. Then in 2004, we saw him take on the role of Benjamin Franklin Gates in another Jerry Bruckheimer production National Treasure. While it may seem like the Indiana Jones of American History, it still delivers as a fun historical adventure movie. Both National Treasure and its sequel were major financial successes and further proved that Nicolas Cage was here to stay in the action genre. In 2005, he would deliver one of his strongest performances as the arms dealer Yuri Orlov in the film Lord of War. Nic Cage is absolutely fantastic and the film is certainly an underrated film in the genre that is well worth checking out.

Lately, it seems like Nicolas Cage has been slumming it a bit with roles in some lackluster films like Ghost Rider, Next, Bangkok Dangerous, and Knowing although he still bring forth some memorable roles in Kick-Ass and Bad Lieutenant. Recently, in 2011 brought us the cheesy exploitation film Drive Angry which was a welcomed return to form for Nicolas Cage. A fun and violent action movie that delivers the fun in spades.

Cage doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon with roles in Kick-Ass 2, National Treasure 3, and the prison film Marble City coming in the upcoming year. Here’s hoping that he returns to more R rated action fare while delivering the quirky personality that he infuses in every character. He might not be Schwarzenegger or Van Damme in terms of physique, one liners, or even martial art skills, but he can certainly hold his own in the genre and has deserved a rightful place with some of the greats.



About the Author

Omar
My name is Omar and I love action movies. I grew up loving action films thanks in part to my father who would deliver a healthy dose of Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis, and Seagal in my movie diet. Ever since then, I continue to love the genre more and more and go along perfectly with my love for the horror genre. What other movie genre can specialize in giving you pure adrenaline and excitement in every turn?



 
 

 

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