To celebrate Nicolas Cage’s birthday, it’s Nicolas Cage Week! We looked at Cage’s best films in the Nineties, and then his best from the Noughties. Today, it’s time to choose our favourite films from this decade!
This is the decade that things went a bit wrong and the quality of his films started to plummet. With the exception of Joe and The Croods, most of his films received mostly negative reviews from audiences and critics alike, even The Snooty Ushers struggled to watch the likes of Trespass, The Runner and god help us, Left Behind. He was not without his share of problems, he was arrested in 2011 only to have his bail posted by none other than Duane “The Dog” Chapman. Such were his financial struggles that he was forced to sell his Action Comics No. 1 for $2.16m. A sad day indeed.
And so, for the final time it is the turn of the Snooty Ushers to announce what the best films were. Our countdown starts… now!
5. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor, 2012)
Dan: Say what you will about Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, it was still 1000 times better than the miserable 2007 film that first saw Nic Cage star as Johnny Blaze. True to the form of their previous films Crank and Gamer, Mark Nevaldine and Brian Taylor created an absurd and wacky take on the night riding flaming skull that saw one of the best ‘Cage Rage’ moments committed to film. It’s utterly bonkers, but the charred ashen appearance to Blaze is dynamite and it has some pretty decent action too. If a ragin’ cage wasn’t enough to entice you, it also has a tattooed monk person played by Christopher Lambert. That Idris Elba fella features too.
4. Drive Angry (Patrick Lussier, 2011)
Rich: Drive Angry is one of the great pieces of film in which cinematic royalty Nicolas Cage plays the role of John Milton a recent escapee from hell, who is on a mission to save his new born granddaughter from Jonah King (Billy Burke). Its a bold, loud, balls to the wall of classic Grindhouse cinema that couldn’t care less about recent trends, standards, awards or critics. It is what it is and that’s bonkers. At times through the film you can clearly see everyone is having fun and the film even seems to poke fun at itself. Never wanting to be anything more than a live action cartoon with cool blood effects enhanced by 3-D, and the biggest loudest cars American muscle cars on screen.This film is a lot of fun and proudly sits on this top 5 list.
3. Kick-Ass (Matthew Vaughn, 2010)
James: Sometimes, knowing the source material can severely effect your enjoyment of an adaptation. As a total graphic novel ignoramus, I love Kick-Ass as an entertaining romp with a chunk of blackness chucked in there.. Maybe Super tells the story slightly better, but it’s still a cracking film, and Cage’s Big Daddy is a big part of that.
2. Season of the Witch (Dominic Sena, 2011)
Dave: The film that started it all, before this I only had a passing knowledge of this great actor. The film itself, while not the best, is great fun. Two battle weary knights (Cage and the brilliant Ron Pearlman) have to deliver a witch to a sacred temple. What started as a joke led to the discovery of some truly great films (admittedly, some not so great) and helped cement some life long friendships with my fellow ushers. So I owe this film a lot. Plus Ron Pearlman headbutts a demon!
Rich: As Dave states, this is probably the most important film of Cages’ history. It started collections, promotions, quotes and some really interesting gift exchanges. Season of the Witch is the Snooty Usher’s patient zero for this obsession. Not only is it a roller coaster ride of film but I feel it started a trend when Nicolas Cage would just start to appear in the most random stuff regardless if it was any good or not. Friendships have been forged like the link between Cage and Perlman thanks to this film. Give this one a go, it’s not the best but you could definitely do worse. its thoroughly deserving of the number 2 spot.
1. Joe (David Gordon Green, 2013)
Dave: In a decade where Mr Cage’s popularity has waned somewhat, he came up with a performance here that reminded us all of what a powerhouse actor he actually is. As Joe, a man with a violent past, who is trying to keep on the straight and narrow, he risks everything to protect a boy from his abusive father. A truly great performance and a stark reminder of how much better he is than what he had been reduced to.
And that is our Top 5 Nicolas Cage films from the 2000s! Agree? Disagree? Let us know!
Until next time, stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold. See you soonish.
PS As a special treat for reading all the way to the end, here’s our individual Top 5s
5. The Frozen Ground (Scott, Walker, 2013)
4. Army Of One (Larry Charles, 2016)
3. The Croods (Kirk DeMicco and Chris Sanders, 2013)
2. Joe (David Gordon Green, 2013)
1. Kick-Ass ( Matthew Vaughn, 2010)
5. Drive Angry
3. Season of the Witch
1. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
5. Drive Angry
3. The Sorceror’s Apprentice
2. Season Of The Witch
5. The Trust
4. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
3. The Socerors’s Apprentice
2. Season Of The Witch
1. Drive Angry