The weekly Netflix pick is back to Netflix! While journeying down a Nicolas Cage rabbit hole I dove from one over the top performance to the next. Rage came up next in this thrilling adventure. Offering a surprisingly tame performance and an intriguing story Rage turned out to be more a genuine watch than a guilty pleasure.
Paul Maguire (Nicolas Cage) is a reformed criminal. He lives an honest life as a successful businessman. He is prevalent and well liked in his community. When his teenage daughter, Caitlin (Aubrey Peeples) goes missing the police don’t act fast enough. Maguire rounds up his old crew and starts doling out his own brand of justice.
If the plot sounds familiar it’s because Cage already made this movie. In 2012 Cage made a movie called Stolen with an incredibly similar plot. Rage is a bit more enjoyable of a movie with the angry upped and the stakes feeling more real.
Part of the improvement on the movie is Cage actually reigning in the insanity. Cage has put out some solid performances in his robust career but he is known for chewing the scenery, spitting it out, and coming back for more. Cage’s portrayal of Maguire is spot on. Maguire doesn’t sweat the small stuff. He’s in control and knows how the other half lives. As the hunt goes down and the path to revenge is well traveled Cage does let the animal out and some scenes are laughably, classically, Cage.
Vanessa Maguire (Rachel Nichols) is under utilized and mostly just plays the woman in distress. There are a couple moments where it looks like she’ll be able to get her hands dirty but Maguire doesn’t allow it. While this is true to Maguire’s character the whole plot feels like it could be simpler is Paul was a single father. It actually would have made the ending play better too.
In the midst of award season Rage wouldn’t be a contender. Maybe that’s what’s so enjoyable about it. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been having a great time catching up on all the critically best of 2017 and hunting down the smaller movies in the smaller venues is a treat. It’s like searching for the off the map restaurants only real (excuse the term) foodies know about. Rage is fast food. It’s there. Something about it is popular. It’s not the best meal you’ve ever had but it’s great once in a while.
The simple plot is held to through some surprisingly good action. There are a few scuffles that are well done and the gun play is limited but feel more realistic than expected.
Rage is a good time. The simple story unburdens the audience. The good (not great) acting is engaging enough. The cast is fine but the main focus is on Nicolas Cage.
It feels strange to have a 3/5 as the Netflix Pick of the week but I encourage you to turn your brain off and watch something good for enjoyment instead of critical approval.