The Horror Honeys: "Cry 'Havoc!', and let slip the dogs of war".

"Cry 'Havoc!', and let slip the dogs of war".

A Revenge Honey New Release Review

Rage (originally titled Tokarev... which might be a kind of a gun? I'm not 100% on that) (2014)

Nowadays, when you hear the words "rage" and "Nicolas Cage" in the same sentence, you probably think of this:

And rightfully so. Not only would Nic star in a commercial for anal bleaching if the price was right, but in that commercial, there would probably be a lot of SHOUTING and UNNECESSARY hand WAVING! But for some reason, I am loyal to this guy, often to my own detriment. I see pretty much every movie he puts out, even when I know better. So when I heard about the recently-retitled Rage, it was viewing time! And much like my last experience with Seeking Justice, this Cage film was really not that bad.

The Story: When the daughter of Paul Maguire, a now-legit Irish mob enforcer is kidnapped, he must turn to old friends and resort to less-than-legit measures to get her back. But when, despite his best efforts, his little girl doesn't come home, Paul is determined to take down everyone even remotely responsible for his pain. Yet, is Paul's unbearable rage clouding his judgement about the truth surrounding his daughter's death? And who will truly suffer in the end when a war is fought over revenge?

"The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones."

I can absolutely see why a lot of people wouldn't enjoy this most recent entry into the Nic Cage cannon. It's dark, brooding, slightly derivative of a hundred other mob/revenge movies, and has a seriously bummer of an ending. But all those reasons are why I actually dug it. In fact, there was a reason that Rage opened with a quote from William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Much about Jim Agnew and Sean Keller's script mimics the classic Bard tragedy. Outside of the main plot involving Maguire's daughter, Rage deals with themes of loyalty, friendship, hubris, honor, and power: but mainly what is lost when all of these are at stake. The concepts are heady and the script highlights them beautifully, even when the acting isn't necessarily on par with the story's high ideals.

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves."

I've always been partial to this quote, and I think Rage is an excellent film representation of the idea behind it. As Paul bashes his way through his past in an attempt to literally rage out at the fate responsible for taking his child away from him, it isn't until the end of the film that he is willing to accept responsibility for his role in his circumstances. His mistakes are his own, and when he eventually realizes those mistakes had nothing to do with his daughter's death, the fault is even more in his own hands. I really appreciated this modern take on the grand themes Shakespeare presented in Julius Caesar.

That's not to say Rage is perfect. It's not. This movie stars both Nicolas Cage and Peter Stormare, so you know you're getting a little bit of the old over-acting. However, Cage was seriously restrained for a good portion of the film, and I appreciated that. Until, of course, about 2/3 of the way through when he went full Cage and took me out of the moment. I find that lately, I more appreciate a good Category Five Cage Performance right from the top, so anything around a Three feels like a let down. Thus, I can say in all honesty, another actor might have more properly suited a script this lofty.

I think Rage is absolutely worth seeing, though I am also someone who appreciates a solid, miserable ending. If you enjoy your revenge thrillers complex and pseudo-intellectual, your mob wars multicultural, and your Nic Cage bouncing all over the performance spectrum, then give Rage a try.

Revenge Honey Rating - 3 1/2 Mob Wars out of 5

Nicolas Cage Performance Spectrum Rating - Somewhere between a Category 2 and 3... Not quite seek shelter territory but definitely baton down some hatches