Rage Blu-ray Review
When the coach of a sports team has a “money” play in his or her pocket that simply “can’t miss,” they use it until the competition can figure out a way to make it miss. And if a weakness is not promptly discovered then the rest of the teams will simply mimic it until someone comes along who can expose that chink in the proverbial armor. Like in sports, Hollywood makes no apologies for “going with the flow.” If something works, it will be copied, duplicated and transcribed until the viewing public stops paying to see it. Well it seems the page titled “The Liam Neeson” in Hollywood’s “playbook” might have met its timely demise at the hands of Nicolas Cage’s RAGE.
Paul Maguire (Nicolas Cage, NATIONAL TREASURE) is an ex-mobster who was able to walk away from the violence, start up a successful business, family and go legit. However, when his daughter is kidnapped and murdered, it sets him off on a rampage through his past to try and find the person responsible.
RAGE not only tries to crowbar Cage into a rip off of TAKEN, but then the brazenfaced plot “doubles down” by swiping the climax of MYSTIC RIVER as well. However, as blatant as they are, that’s not even the most egregious absurdity this film’s writers and director commit. The most audacious falsehood is that the people associated with RAGE actually think they were making a good film.
RAGE is like that friend we all have that’s in the absolute wrong career path, but they think they are so great at it you just don’t have the heart to tell them how much they suck. If only there was someone on set during filming that could’ve been brutally honest, RAGE had the groundwork already installed for a pretty fun film. Plop Jason Statham (CRANK) in the middle of it, add in 3 or 4 more action sequences and a semi-interesting villain, and “voila,” there would be a “Rage 2: Rageaholics” being green lit right now.
But the most depressing part is that you didn’t really even need Statham, you have Nicolas Cage for god’s sake. Even the marketing should’ve been geared toward his presence to the effect of, “Don’t try and Cage the RAGE.” This guy used to be a “1st round draft pick,” and he can still bring the goods when he selects quality projects, e.g. KICK-ASS and JOE. All that was needed was for the writers and director to become self-aware at exactly what kind of film they were creating. They already had just about every action movie cliché known to man in the script and “grindhouse” style dialogue like “a rap sheet as long as my dick,” uttered by none other than Danny Glover (LEATHAL WEAPON) as the inept detective in charge of the inept police department always 2 steps behind the good guys, bad guys and everyone else in between. Now in a film that’s actually trying to be reminiscent of TAKEN or MYSTIC RIVER, that kind of verbiage elicits instant winces from the audience, but in an over-the-top, use up all the ammunition until there’s a “New World Order” type of fun fest, that line is Fun Dip gold.
It’s too bad that Nicolas Cage seems to have lost his barometer for when to turn on his “crazy eyes,” because instead of trying to follow in Neeson’s, Statham’s or anybody’s footsteps, this is the type of film where he could’ve reminded us all exactly who owns the character patent on crazed-action antihero, yet charming and surprisingly witty semi-psychopath guy.
RAGE BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: 2.35:1 Widescreen, 1080p/AVC MPEG-4: Ultra sharp and detailed, color is deep and blacks are inky while keeping flesh tones at a very nice balance – and that’s just the close ups of Nicolas Cage’s painfully obvious dye job.
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1: The sound mix is very effective for the film’s action sequences, which are actually well choreographed. Dialogue is clear more the most part and sound effects of gun fire have more of a real-world sound than a movie “bang.”
The Making of Rage (5 min): Three featurettes with the standard interviews with the cast and crew as they show just how excited they are to be a part of this film and what a genius everyone is who’s a part of it. It’s only 5 minutes but if you’ve watched the entire film, you’ve suffered enough.
Deleted Scenes (15 min): Five deleted scenes that depict much of what has already been displayed in the final cut but either extended or shown in a different sequence order. Most of the extended scenes are from when Paul and his friends are young and commit the act that sets everything in motion.