Today is the 50th birthday of our spirit animal/life coach, Nicolas Cage. Good or Bad, Nicolas Cage has brought so much joy to our lives with genuinely great movies like The Rock, Leaving Las Vegas and Lord of War to mind blowing displays of insanity, like Deadfall, Vampire’s Kiss and The Wicker Man. These 10 moments are the true essence of Always Be Caging.
10. The Rock “You’re the Rocket Man”
I’m just going to put this out there right off the bat; I love The Rock with every fiber of my being, it’s one of my top 5 favorite movies of all time, period. It’s full of pretty much nothing but bad ass acting, action sequences and makes up for a lot of Michael Bay’s, uh, lesser works. There’s tons of great Nicolas Cage lines but this scene is one of the most extended setups to a kill one liner and any time someone can get one up on the Candyman is worth highlighting.
9. Gone in 60 Seconds “Low Rider”
Gone in 60 Seconds is a fun heist movie with Nicolas Cage in the role of Memphis Raines, the world’s greatest car thief. Having to steal 50 cars in one night to save his deadbeat brother, Memphis assembles his old crew and they go through the above ritual, listening to Low Rider by War, before heading out for some thieving. Only a master like Cage could put on the little flourish at the end to make it a truly great moment.
8. Con Air “Put the Bunny Back in the Box”
Nicolas Cage as Cameron Poe is the wrongfully imprisoned (don’t get my started on the ridiculous court scene) Army Ranger who is put on a plane with the worst criminals in the world, who of course break out and take over the plane. As if having a Southern accent, mullet and wife beater combo wasn’t ridiculous enough, Cage gets into a battle with Nick Chinlund aka Billy Bedlam, in the cargo hold of the plane over the gift he was going to give his daughter, a stuffed bunny. He also found out the Poe was released and probably working against the other cons the entire time but it seemed like it was mostly about the bunny.
7. Face/Off “I Want to take his Face/Off”
For most of Face/Off, Nicolas Cage is actually pretty restrained, because he’s actually playing John Travolta’s character, Sean Archer, as opposed to Castor Troy, terrorist/drug enthusiast, due to the radical and incredibly unrealistic surgical procedure that is the entire plot of the movie. However, the inner Cage is revealed when Castor/Archer seeks shelter from Archer/Castor by heading to the home of Castor’s buddy and gets a care package of guns and drugs. Not used to the various pharmaceuticals it takes to be the Cage, Archer gets a little loopy and describes his plan to take Castor’s face…off (that’s the name of the movie!)
6. Ghost Rider “1st Transformation”
The only time when Nic Cage is truly allowed to “Cage Out” in the Ghost Rider movies is when Johnny Blaze undergoes his first transformation into the Spirit of Vengeance. Cage fluctuates wildly between horror and delight at the prospect of his head bursting into flames and it’s definitely far and away the highlight of the first movie.
5. Kick Ass “You’ll Be Fine Baby Doll!”
Even though neither of them are the title character, the true stars of Kick Ass are Hit Girl (played by Chloe Moretz) and Big Daddy, played by Cage. After his life is destroyed by a mafia kingpin, Daddy takes his daughter into hiding and trains her to be a pint sized, foul mouthed assassin to get revenge. One of the ways the duo trains is for Cage to shoot Hit Girl aka Mindy point blank in the chest with a pistol, so, you know, usually daddy/daughter bonding activities.
4. Vampire’s Kiss “Misfiling”
You are not a true Nicolas Cage fan until you experience the entirety of Vampire’s Kiss (and say, some generous souls recorded a commentary to go along with it!) Cage’s Peter Loew believes he’s turning into a vampire, but he’s probably just completely insane. One of the greatest scenes in cinema history is when Loew visits his therapist and describes how terrible his secretary is because she misfiled an important contract. His therapist makes the mistake of thinking it’s not a big deal but is immediately given a dose of Rage Cage and a lesson in the alphabet.
3. Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans “I Should Kill You Both!”
Chasing down a suspect, corrupt, drug addicted Detective Terence McDonagh’s best lead is the suspect’s elderly grandmother, who is in a nursing home hooked up to an oxygen tank. Usually you’d show some compassion and tact when dealing with someone in that condition but Detective McDonagh is not a normal person and first attempts to torture the answer out of the old lady by cutting off her air and then pulls a gun and threatens to kill both her and her nurse. The case gets mysteriously solved eventually, so no harm, no foul for Detective McDonagh.
2. Deadfall “Eddie’s Freakout”
The only way to describe Cage’s performance in Deadfall is that he must have gotten paid with a table full of cocaine. Cage plays Eddie, a flunky for con artist Lou Donan, uncle to Michael Biehn’s character, Joe. What makes Deadfall and Cage so insane is that the rest of the characters and the plot is a pretty standard, and kind of boring, con/heist movie but Cage is so over the top, it elevates the entire movie to the next level of greatness. This particular scene is when Eddie comes home and believes his girlfriend is having an affair with Joe (which she is) and goes on perhaps the most epic rant/mental breakdown in movie history.
1 The Wicker Man “Not the Bees”/”Bear Punch”
If you show these clips to someone and they don’t find them to be the most hilarious things they have ever seen, you should leave immediately and never talk to them again. These scene are the epitome of why people either love or hate Nicolas Cage, you either love that someone can do something so ridiculous or hate them because it’s terrible and stupid. Obviously, we love it here at Everything Action and it’s everything we love about Nicolas Cage in two
Are they any great Cage moments that we missed? Let us know and Happy Birthday again Nicolas Cage!