5 Movies Where Nic Cage Was Totally Out of His Depth

Nicolas CageMy friends and I have this theory about Hollywood’s three biggest actors. These three men are Hollywood’s go-to guys for any movie that requires a confused guy struggling to understand the world around him: Jeff Goldblum, Nic Cage, and Keanu Reeves.

Our theory goes a little something like this: Jeff Goldblum doesn’t know when he’s in a movie (thus his genuine befuddlement in every movie EVER.) In contrast, Nic Cage always knows when he’s in a movie…he just chooses to play himself in every single one of them. After all, Nic Cage only has one setting, and that setting is “Nic Cage.” (Oh, and Keanu Reeves is actually missing a whole hemisphere of his brain, which is why his default reaction to everything is “whoa.”)

Nic Cage is kind of a weird guy. In addition to probably being a vampire, he’s the most unpredictable talent in Hollywood. There’s no middle ground with Cage: he’s either astonishingly good (see Adaptation, Leaving Las Vegas, Lord of War and Kick-Ass), or hilariously awful. And because America is a country where we love mocking the wealthy, we like Nic Cage best when he’s floundering around on screen like a cat chasing a laser pointer. Here are some of his film roles where he was more out of his depth than normal.

5) The Wicker Man

Here’s what I imagine the boardroom meeting was like on the day that some studio decided to remake The Wicker Man:

Studio Exec A: (snorts cocaine off of a $10,000 hooker’s stomach) Hey, you know what? We should remake The Wicker Man!

Studio Exec B: (shoots heroin in between his toes) That old British movie? Do we efun knooow any British peoples?

Studio Exec A: Uh. Um. Uh…Nic Cage? Nic Cage is British, right?

Studio Exec B: Who cares. Greenlight it, and then come “greenlight” this water pipe I carved out of my last People’s Choice Award.

For his depiction of a not-so-clever policeman, Cage got nominated for a whole pile of Razzie awards, including Worst Actor and Worst Couple (for Cage and his bearsuit, natch.) Try to watch this clip and NOT laugh. It’s impossible.

But it’s okay, guys. Cage has had years to think about where the film went wrong, and he has a plan to fix it.

“I would like to hook up with one of the great Japanese filmmakers, like the master that made Ringu, and I would like to take The Wicker Man to Japan…except this time, he’s a ghost!”

He actually said this: So expect another Wicker Man remake in a couple of years with a Sixth Sense twist at the end.

4) Season of the Witch

If you haven’t seen Season of the Witch, do so immediately. It’s a classic example of how Nic Cage can ruin a movie just by being himself. Even though the movie takes place in 14th century Europe, Nic Cage just runs around talking in a very flat, undeniably Californian accent. He’s not even trying. It’s amazing his character doesn’t have a tattoo of the American flag on his bicep.

Cage plays the ludicrously named Behmen von Bleibruck, a knight who abandons his fellow soldiers during the crusades after witnessing a brutal massacre of innocent townsfolk. Have you ever seen Nic Cage trying to look sad about something? It’s like watching a gassy baby try to take a dump.

Nic Cage as a noble knight is about as believable as Nic Cage as the nephew of Francis Ford Coppola.

3) Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Did you ever know that they made a second Ghost Rider flick? Well, they did, and it’s about a thousand times worse than the original.

Sequels are always worse than the originals, but Nic Cage himself is actually worse, which makes no sense. He’s already played the role once! He had time to reflect on the character, make adjustments to his performance…so why does he look so clueless in every shot of the film where something isn’t on fire?

Cage’s last words in the film are actually, “I’m Johnny Blaze, the Ghost Rider.” Yeah dude, we know. We knew that, like, two entire movies ago. And we’re SUPER proud of you.

2) Superman

What’s that, you say? You don’t remember Nic Cage ever playing Superman?


Thank God that movie never got made. Supes needs some hair plugs. At least this superhero costume doesn’t have nipples.

You’re looking at a prototype of the costume that Cage was going to wear for a mid 1990s Superman flick, to be directed by Tim Burton. In Burton’s vision, Supes wouldn’t fly, and his Fortress of Solitude would be guarded by polar bears (probably played by Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.) You can’t tell in the picture, but the final product would have been a laser disco suit that looked like this:

You know, that oil spill-colored costume combined with Cage’s stilted speaking voice would have totally made me buy him as an alien who doesn’t understand our “Earth ways.”

Whether you think Nic Cage is an alien or a vampire, one thing is clear: he’s definitely not an actor.

1) Bangkok Dangerous

Why do people keep letting Nic Cage drive in his movies? It doesn’t matter whether he’s driving a fast car or riding a sick motorcycle, he looks about as confident behind the wheel as 95-year old granny.

The nonsense title should be your first clue that the story is a total mess, a problem that Cage’s patented “Nouveau Shamanic” acting style only manages to make worse. The real tragedy here is that the original flick is great. In the original story, the main character is a deaf hitman. But once Cage got his hands on the project, the badass hitman became just another stereotypical Hollywood killer. God, what I wouldn’t give for a clip of Nic Cage doing his dialogue in a “deaf guy” voice.

The only good thing about this movie is that Nic Cage kills himself in the end, in a pretty spectacular fashion.

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