What should I be doing instead of this?
November 13th, 2008 By Jason Gargano | Movies |

Where Have You Gone, Nicolas Cage?

Dear Nicolas Cage,

Why do you suck now?

Last night, while flipping through the 200 channels on my new Direct TV HD receiver, I came across Wild at Heart.

Being about five years since my last exposure, I almost forgot how insane that movie is. Not insane in a bad way, insane in a funny and surreal way (like most of director David Lynch’s stuff).


And I’ll be damned if your performance isn’t, to borrow from the title of Bill O’Reilly’s new biography, “a bold fresh piece of humanity.”

Sure, the guy you play, Sailor, is a convict, but he’s also a stylish, sensitive and sexually attuned dude with a killer car and pretty good singing voice.

Lynch once called you “the jazz musician of actors.” So what happened, Nic? A quick glance at your recent movies includes stuff like Bangkok Dangerous, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Next, Ghost Rider and Wicker Man. That's like  Charlie Parker deciding to do Britney Spears covers.

Yeah, I gotta give you props for your dual roles in Adaptation. And you were good in Matchstick Men. But the rest of your current decade is awash in wallet-fattening garbage like Gone in 60 Seconds or well-intentioned mediocrity like Windtalkers.

Can you please bring back the gonzo guy who enlivened Valley Girl, Raising Arizona, Moonstruck, Vampire’s Kiss and Leaving Las Vegas? Hell, I even liked your bonkers take on the blond-coiffed, squeaky-voiced dude you played in Peggy Sue Got Married. You didn’t care if you made a fool of yourself. I liked that. It was a bold, Punk Rock move.


I initially wrote off Con Air as an anomaly. But I can't forgive what has followed. Don’t you have enough money by now? Did we really need another National Treasure movie?

On the plus side, I noticed you’re in German wildman Werner Herzog’s next movie, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, which I assume has something to do with the fearless, old-school Cage-like character Harvey Keitel played in Bad Lieutenant.

This is a good first step in your road back to cinematic badassness. Please keep walking in this direction, Nic.

Thanks for reading,


comments powered by Disqus