Nicholas Cage and the inverse rapturing of a Hollywood career


According to IMDB, this apparently isn’t a joke. Nicholas Cage, like so many celebrities before him, has made the decision, instead of just announcing his retirement from acting, and drifting off quietly into obscurity, to end his epic journey through the Hollywood system with a tremendous, career-ending bang… Yes, he will be stepping into the evolution-disbelieving shoes of the great Christian actor Kirk Cameron and bringing the rapture porn classic Left Behind back to the silver screen.

Here, if you’re unfamiliar with the Cameron films, or the delusional books which spawned them, is a bit of overview from the site of the Cage helmed reboot.

Without warning, millions of people around the globe simply vanish.

All that remains are their clothes and belongings… and an overwhelming sense of terror. The vanishings cause unmanned vehicles to crash and burn.

Emergency forces everywhere are devastated. Gridlock, riots and looting overrun the cities. And there is no one to help or provide answers. In an instant, the earth has been plunged into darkness.

For RAY STEELE, the pilot of a jumbo jet, it means trying to calm his hysterical passengers who saw loved ones vanish before their eyes.

It also means trying to land his damaged plane when every airport is jammed with burning wrecks, all while wishing that he could talk to his family one last time.

For BUCK WILLIAMS, the world-renowned journalist trapped at 30,000 feet, it means a struggle to understand the incomprehensible, the most devastating event in history.

And for CHLOE STEELE, Ray’s daughter back on the ground, it means trying to find her mother and brother…

Maybe it’s too early to call it career suicide. Cage has rebounded before. He bounced back from Wicker Man to do Kick Ass, which was pretty good. The truth is, however, it’s been a hell of a long time since he did Peggy Sue Got Married, Raising Arizona, and Moonstruck back-to-back. His career for the past 20 years or so has been little more than a desperate sprint from one derivative big box office project to the next, in hopes of paying down his considerable debt, without much thought of quality. I guess you could say that Cage is to action movies of late, what Adam Sandler is to comedy. They both aim squarely for the lowest common denominator, they cash their checks, and they move on. In this case, though, I just don’t see him bouncing back with another Adaptation or Leaving Las Vegas. I think this is him resigning himself to the inevitable. He’s scraped bottom for so long that all he’s got left is making straight-to-video fantasy films for a cultish far-right subset of the evangelical movement… folks who daydream about the glorious day that God will call them up to heaven while condemning the rest of us to eternal torment in lakes of fire.

Here, if you don’t believe me as to how bad this will be, is the new trailer.

I should also add that there is a chance it could be awesome, in the same kind of way that Snakes on a Plane was awesome. I don’t think, however, that Cage will commit enough effort to make that happen, though. I suspect that he’ll just walk though it, and won’t really embrace the stupidity of it all. Still, though, it’s possible.

update: According to the website for the film, the producers are now accepting song submissions for use in the film… If I don’t blog very much over the coming week, you’ll know what I’m up to.

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  1. anonymous
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Once you put on that uniform, there’s no turning back. It’s end stage crazy.

  2. Posted June 1, 2014 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    On the positive side, Riff Trax will get ahold of it and do their usual magic.

  3. idea man
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    As this movie only has a $15 million budget, my guess is that he’s getting paid on the back end, so it could be quite lucrative, assuming it makes money on video. Evangelicals eat this stuff up.

  4. Elf
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    It’s hard to feel sorry for him after he took my money for Con Air.

  5. Posted June 2, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Did Cage find Jesus?

  6. Jennifer
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    I don’t know… the first time I socialized outside of work with my now long-term partner was at a Nic Cage movie. So I kinda feel bad for him. My only hope is that he gets all Vampire’s Kiss at some point during this.

  7. Meta
    Posted October 2, 2014 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    The reviews are in.

    Chad Michael Murray, a rich Southern guy, a smart Asian guy, a busty blonde, a distrusted Middle Eastern man, a yelling black woman, an angry little person and a confused old lady are on a plane.

    That collection of stereotypes (and Chad Michael Murray) is not the set-up for a bad joke. It’ s the group of people contained in the first class cabin in “Left Behind,” a movie so astonishingly, hilariously incompetent that nothing I say can prepare you for it. This movie is the worst. And the best. I haven’t laughed like that in a theater in a long, long time, and not one of those laughs was earned on purpose.

    Making his “Wicker Man” look like “Adaptation,” Nicolas Cage stars as the amazingly named Rayford Steele, a pilot planning to cheat on his wife (Lea Thompson) because she’s become too religious. “If she’s gonna run off with another man, why not Jesus?” he feebly says to his daughter Chloe (Cassi Thomson), who flew in for dad’s birthday and isn’t happy that he’s captaining a flight from New York to London with a very conspicuously flirty flight attendant (Nicky Whelan). Lucky for Chloe, dad’s only planning to cheat (he hasn’t slept with the flight attendant yet), and his plans evaporate when—35 minutes into the movie, after many long, seated conversations at the airport—several people disappear from the plane. It happens in other locations around the world too, mostly kids and devout believers. What’s going on?????

    Obviously it’s the rapture, but the endlessly awkward “Left Behind,” based on the bestselling novel that also was a bad 2000 Kirk Cameron movie (but not nearly this bad), treats this assessment as a revelation. The movie exists to wag a finger at non-believers while opening up an endless list of questions. Are great humans who don’t read the Bible not spared, but murderers who do read it are? Are there really no minors who don’t deserve to be brought to heaven? And why doesn’t that dog get to go?

    Of course, this is a movie where adult flight attendants gossip like 12-year-olds and strangers talk to each other like no strangers ever would. Investigative journalist Buck Williams (Murray) gets treated like George Clooney even though we have no reason to find him credible. (He also randomly starts acting like he and Chloe, who met minutes ago, have known each other for years. It’s creepy.) Murray’s awful—my favorite is the blank way he says, “We’re on fire”—but so is everyone else. Cage is his usual drowsy self, even when declaring a state of emergency.

    I love the way Cage throws out items as he rifles through the bag of a flight attendant who disappeared (she went to Bible study and wasn’t a hussy). I love the one and only family photo into which it looks like Cage was Photoshopped. I love that all Buck eventually is good for is pressing “redial,” and the suggestion that a plane can’t land unless a port-a-potty is out of the way. I love that there’s no societal context to address why the rapture’s happening now and that Chloe, no joke, does something that reminded me of both “Wet Hot American Summer” and “The Great Muppet Caper.”

    Read more:,0,150093.column

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