Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Just days ago I lauded my main man Nicolas Cage for his amazing work in the amazing film 'Joe'.  I mentioned that there is a generation of young people who really have no idea how good an actor this cat can be when he is really feeling it, but 'Joe' let those punks know who the king can be.  The reasons these punks don't know this is because of movies like this one, like 'Rage'.  Is this 'Rage' a terrible movie?  No… not really, just like 'Stolen' wasn't a terrible movie or 'Trespass' wasn't a terrible movie or 'Seeking Justice' wasn't a terrible movie.  We could go on, but these are the movies these kids are more in tune to watching from Nicolas Cage.  Run of the mill, inconsequential movies which quite seriously could be done by anyone, with Nic apparently cashing the check then moving on the next worthless project he will sleepwalk through.  Actually, they could probably be done better by hiring almost anyone else since I'd have much rather had seen Jean Claude Van Damme in most of these movies than Nic Cage, truth be told.

Paul McGuire (Cage) used to be a bad man, but now he's just honest hard working titan of industry and family man trying to make things good for his hot wife Vanessa (Rachel Nichols) and his teenaged daughter Caitlin (Aubrey Peeples).  Then one day while out of to dinner, Top Cop St. John (Danny Glover) informs Paul that somebody has kidnapped Caitlin, which has Paul thinking that maybe his past has come back to haunt him.

Paul doesn't really want to do this, but it is looking like he's going to have to dust off those long put away badass skills and start cracking some heads to find out who has snatched his little girl, made all the more odd that these bad people have yet to make any ransom demands.  So Paul grabs his lifelong running partners Kane (Max Ryan) and Danny (Michael McGrady), and they go about the business of doing what they do.
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As it so happens, a few years back as a really young men Paul, Kane and Danny did something they really shouldn't have done which turned out really bad, but considering these three are the only ones who knew what went down, the secret should still be safe.  But something has happened which has Paul thinking that somehow, someway these people who they did this wrong too have found out and are looking for retribution.  Now Paul is truly on a mission to get to the bottom of this mess, and he will punch, stab, kill, shoot, kick and stab again… because Paul really likes his knife… to find out the information he needs to know.   And he will stab anybody.  Anybody.  When he probably didn't need to stab nobody.

Okay… 'Rage', directed by Paco Cabezas, isn't an awful movie.  It is a movie starring an actor that is actually good enough to sleepwalk through a movie and can still muster up ways to be interesting, it has a story about an enraged dude seeking vengeance, and while that's a pretty standard premise, it's still a premise we can get with and this movie does have its fair share of action sequences and violence to at least keep us awake for the majority of its running time.  I've seen worse.

I've also seen better which is the main problem with 'Rage' in that it is just so darned mediocre and is filled with stuff that we've all seen many times before.  I will say, in defense of 'Rage', that there are one or two things in regards to the plot that are a little different, they do throw in a couple of things that are slightly unique by way of the narrative, but the filmmakers did not build upon these things and instead went the route of the path much traveled, and gave us a bit of twist near the end that we did see coming… but just a little more on that later.

Recognizing that Nic Cage is just floating around in his own movie, giving just enough effort to appear that he cares a little bit, some of the other cast members do their best to help keep 'Rage' from being awful.  Max Ryan as an actor just looks the part, somebody should probably cast this cat as the lead in one of these throw away, tax write-off action movies and see how that flies, this one comes to mind, Pasha D. Lynchinkoff is pretty intimidating as the heavy in this movie, and Rachel Nichols exists.  This alone helps keep the movie watchable.  Danny Glover looked like he could've used some shock paddles just to keep going and Peter Stromare playing an old Irishman was pretty damned funny.

The thing about the resolution to the problem, or the twist as it were in this movie, is that it seems to us just a tiny bit of rudimentary police work should've solved the problem.  Nothing Sherlockian or anything, just checking the crime scene.  And one would think that a guy speeding through the city streets, wrecking cars and stabbing people would get more than just a stern talking to by our nearly comatose Chief of Police. 

Like was mentioned, 'Rage' isn't awful and it does have a few things that keep it above water, but with a tired narrative, weak dialog, and suspect action… it's not that far above water.
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